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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By KENNETH J. 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|
|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|
|7.||68.304||USA||Anna Buffini||FRH Davinia la Douce||68.913||67.935||69.239||69.239||66.196|
|9.||65.978||USA||Sarah Lockman||First Apple||63.913||68.043||65.87||66.957||65.109|
|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|