Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival 11th Year Opens This Week, 1st International Dressage Event of 2022

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Alice Tarjan on Donatella M, one of three horses she competed at the national Wellington Season Kick Off. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 10, 2022–The Global Dressage Festival this week begins the 11th year of the winter-long outdoor circuit as the first international dressage competition in the world in 2022 with spectators permitted to watch riders from around the globe. Riders representing Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Spain and Israel are joining North Americans competing in the opening week.

The Global circuit of seven CDIs, including the only top rated 5* and a Nations Cup outside Europe as well as three World Cup qualifiers, are key to selection of teams from the United States and Canada and possibly some other nations as well as individuals for the world championships in Herning, Denmark in August.

Coronavirus-sparked cancellations have wiped out the schedule of European CDIs until mid-February at the earliest. A CDI3* world championship qualifier in Australia next week is international in name but in a first of its kind event all five judges are Australians with two judges in Europe designated as a supervisory panel viewing a video feed as a backstop.

Wellington’s World Cup this week pits German team rider Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD  who leads the Western European League by a big margin against American Ashley Holzer on Havanna who is atop the North American League.

Frederic, competing in Florida for the second year, is seeking to be one of nine Europeans in the starting lineup of 18 rider and horse combinations at the Final in Leipzig, Germany in April. His hopes of competing in the annual world championship have been stymied by coronavirus-sparked cancellation of the event for the past two years, with the surge in the virus raising doubts about this year’s Final.

Ashley, whose sole World Cup Final was in Las Vegas 2009 when she rode for Canada as she did in four Olympics, would represent the United States for the first time in a senior championship if she earns one of two invitations allocated to North America.

Codi Harrison on Katholt’s Bossco, ranked second in North America, is also in the lineup for the World Cup if it occurs.

So, too, is Anna Buffini on Davinia la Douce, who has added to her string with the purchase of world young horse champion Fiontini that she said she is not yet ready to show.

In addition to the three World Cup qualifiers, Global has upgraded several other competitions so there are five CDI4*s as well as a CDI5* and a Nations Cup.

Adrienne Lyle who rode Salvino on the history-making silver medal U.S. teams at the Olympics and the 2018 World Equestrian Games and Tokyo team mate and Sabine Schut-Kery with Sanceo, newly “discovered” as an international star though long recognized at home, are in Wellington to campaign for a world championship squad spot. Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper opted to stay home to compete at the developing circuit at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California.

Three U.S. team possibilities  competed this weekend in national shows in Florida ahead of the Global circuit.

Alice Tarjan, an amateur who buys youngsters that catch her fancy from videos, competed three of what may be as many as five (yes, five) she has developed to Grand Prix or near top sport this year. The horses are Candescent that has been her international mount; Donatella M on which she was awarded 76.359* from two judges at the national Wellington Kick-Off event this weekend; 73.424% on Serenade MF that Alice rode to 2021 developing Grand Prix title and 71.250% on Jane at Intermediate II. The fifth is Harvest that took silver at the 2021 U.S. developing Grand Prix championships.

Benjamin Ebeling, the 22-year-old who was successful on both sides of the Atlantic on Illuster van de Kampert, made his Grand Prix debut on Indeed that had been competed at Big Tour for three years by his father, Jan Ebeling, a 2012 Olympian. The ride on Indeed will give Ben two Big Tour mounts.

Sarah Tubman, who won gold on First Apple at the 2019 Pan American Games when she used her family name of Lockman before marrying international 4* judge Lee Tubman last month, competed the 12-year-old KWPN stallion at a national Grand Prix for a score of 72.391% at the spectacular World Equestrian Festival in Ocala, Florida.

Sarah Tubman competing First Apple in a national Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida this weekend. © 2022 SusanJStickle.com

Canada’s world championship selection begins with the Global circuit.

The popular developing Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges

The Global circuit and its 50-acre show grounds were not included in the purchase last summer of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and its Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters. But the European group that bought the show grounds said it wants to bring Global back into the fold. In the meantime, management remains the same as it has for several years of both GDF and WEF.