Canada’s Olympic Hopefuls Chris von Martels & Eclips and Lindsay Kellock & Sebastien Post Big Tour Career High Scores to Place 1st, 2nd at Tryon CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle

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Chris von Martels on Eclips in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle at Tryon International Equestrian Center. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

MILL SPRING, North Carolina, April 25, 2021–Canada’s Olympic team hopefuls Chris von Martels on Eclips and Lindsay Kellock on Sebastien posted almost identical Big Tour career high scores to finish first and second in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle at Tryon International Equestrian Center Sunday.

Chris and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding scored 79.095% for the win with Lindsay and the 15-year-old Rhinelander gelding in second just 0.070% back on 79.025%. Both riders earned a mark of 80% from one of the five judges. Julio Cesar Mendoza Loor of Ecuador who lives in Columbus, North Carolina near the Tryon center, was third on 73.115%.

Among Canada’s current contenders for one of three Tokyo Olympic team spots, only Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu on All In has a higher score, 79.330%, for a musical performance that was logged in Wellington, Florida in February this year.

The three combinations are atop the current selection standings with only one CDI remaining on the calendar ahead of the Games, a 3* at Cedar Valley near Toronto. But tighter rules to counter the continuing Covid-19 pandemic have cast doubt that it will be held.

Both Chris, 38, and Lindsay, who celebrated her 31st birthday last week, have competed successfully for Canada in championships–Chris on Zilverstar on the silver medal team at the 2015 Pan American Games where his freestyle mark of 79.500% at Small Tour remains his highest and Lindsay on Floratina on the gold medal team at the 2019 Pan Ams.

All three are coached by Ashley Holzer, a four-time Olympian for Canada including team bronze in 1988. Based in Wellington, Ashley now rides for the United States. She is also Lindsay’s godmother.

Lindsay Kellock and Sebastien in the Tryon International Equestrian Center CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I’m so proud of Eclips and the results from today,” Chris said. “I always believed that we could achieve these types of scores together, so today was very reassuring. He is a horse with endless quality and potential, but I think his best characteristic is his desire to work.

“We have a very good friendship and understanding for each other. Maybe that sounds a little strange but I think the special horses like him require a bit more than just your riding and training.

“I am so grateful to Barbara Soederhuizen, the co -owner of Eclips.”

“I am over the moon,” Lindsay said after the ride on the horse owned by Melissa Schiff of Enterprise Farm Equestrian LLC. “We had a tough go in the Grand Prix on Friday. There was a pretty severe drop in temperature coming from Florida all season and I had a very fresh horse underneath me. I think he is a warm weather horse! But In the end horses are like people–we don’t always have a good day and you have to try to learn from it and move forward and that was the plan going into Sunday’s freestyle.

“This was our first time ever running through this freestyle it was made by Tamara Williamson of Kurboom just over a month ago so not a bad first run and to achieve one score over 80 and a personal best is so exciting! Sebastien has more in the tank and every time I go in the ring we learn more and more about one another. I’m so thankful to my team Ashley, Meghan Donavon (groom) and Melissa and everyone behind the scenes.

“What a great way to finish off the season!”

Results:

CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges: Lee Tubman Christof Umbach Peter Storr Sandra Hotz Cesar Torrente
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 79.095 CAN Chris Von Martels Eclips 78.750 78.150 79.225 80.625 78.725
2. 79.025 CAN Lindsay Kellock Sebastien 77.900 78.800 78.225 79.475 80.725
3. 73.115 ECU Julio Cesar Mendoza Loor Rosali 73.95 73 74.675 71.625 72.325
4. 72.860 CAN Jill Irving Arthur 73.025 71.775 73.25 73.35 72.9
5. 69.740 USA Susan Dutta Figeac DC 69.95 70.875 70.75 68.7 68.425
6. 68.605 CAN Evi Strasser Déjà Vu Tyme 67.6 68.65 70.425 67.625 68.725
7. 63.020 USA Michael Bragdell Faberge Blue 63.6 63.2 60.3 63.875 64.125