Benjamin Ebeling & Illuster Van De Kampert Win Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix for 2nd Big Tour Victory Since Leaving Under-25 2 1/2 Months Ago

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Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert in Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival. © 2021 Ken Braddick/


WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 26, 2021–Benjamin Ebeling rode Illuster Van De Kampert to victory in the Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix that was only the third Big Tour and second win since leaving a successful career in youth divisions 2 1/2 months ago.

The result for Benjamin and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding of 73.326% was a personal best, eclipsing the 71.804% posted in their first Grand Prix win exactly a month ago at the same Palm Beach International Equestrian Center show grounds.

Susan Dutta of Wellington, one of the most experienced riders on the Florida circuit, posted a Grand Prix career high 71.304% to place second on Don Design DC.

Nick Wagman of San Diego, California and Ferano were third on 70.217%.

Disappointing was the performance by Sarah Lockman on First Apple, individual gold medalists from the 2019 Pan American Games. The pair scored 65.978% to place ninth in the lineup of 13 combinations in the first international Grand Prix in a year, though the pair competed in two national events this month.

The 21-year-old Ben logged the third highest CDI Grand Prix score  for an American behind only Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper and Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo so far this year. The Grand Prix Special, in which he will compete Sunday, counts toward selection for a squad of up to eight combinations that are tentatively set to go to Europe ahead of deciding on the team for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

He is coached by his Olympic dressage rider father, Jan Ebeling, and Christoph Koschel of Germany who is based in Wellington in winter, and fresh eyes from FEI 5* judge and former U.S. team rider Gary Rockwell.

Ben, based at his parents home in Moorpark, California, is in the third year competing Illuster, having shown on both sides of the Atlantic including the Young Rider Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany in 2019.

As happy as he was with the result, he said there were “still a couple of things we really have to work on” with the horse that he describes as “a little bit of a hot horse,” such as walk to passage transitions and calming him down.

The highlights for him were the most control he had in the passage in a test and the big changes

“There’s always stuff to work on, at least that’s what my dad tells me,” he laughed.


CDI3* Grand Prix for Special

Judges: Kari McClain Cesar Torrente Agnieszka Majewska Christof Umbach Peter Storr
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 73.326 USA Benjamin Ebeling Illuster Van De Kampert 72.609 74.891 73.152 75.652 70.326
2. 71.304 USA Susan Dutta Don Design DC 70.326 69.891 71.522 74.783 70
3. 70.217 USA Nick Wagman Ferano 70.652 70.109 70 73.043 67.283
4. 69.804 USA Ashley Holzer Valentine 68.696 69.457 71.304 70.652 68.913
5. 69.457 USA Mette Rosencrantz Dzeko 70.326 68.804 69.783 70.109 68.261
6. 68.565 USA Dawn White-O’Connor Bailarino 72.609 68.913 66.087 65.109 70.109
7. 68.304 USA Anna Buffini FRH Davinia la Douce 68.913 67.935 69.239 69.239 66.196
8. 66.065 USA Katie Johnson Quartett 66.848 66.63 64.674 65.652 66.522
9. 65.978 USA Sarah Lockman First Apple 63.913 68.043 65.87 66.957 65.109
10. 64.369 CAN Ariana Chia Fiderflame 65.543 65.978 64.13 62.283 63.913
11. 63.522 USA Mikala Münter Salsa Hit 64.674 63.587 63.478 65.543 60.326
12. 63.065 COL Maria Alejandra Aponte Gonzalez Duke De Niro 62.391 64.457 62.5 63.804 62.174
13. 58.196 USA Amy Bock Walk The Line 60 58.152 60.435 56.63 55.761