Anna Buffini Wins Wellington World Cup on Personal Best Score to Earn Start at Championship Final

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Anna Buffini and Davinia la Douce completing the last of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in North America to earn a start at the annual Global championship next month. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 4, 2022–Anna Buffini rode FRH Davinia la Douce to claim a start in the World Cup Final by posting a personal best score in  the Global Dressage Festival Grand Prix Freestyle, the final qualifier in North America.

Anna Buffini 27 years old of San Diego, California and the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare scored 79.265% to beat their previous best of 78.485% set two months ago for the rider’s first American championship.

She plans to take Davinia la Douce, the horse she acquired from Germany’s Anabel Balkenhol two years ago and , to Europe soon so as to prepare for the Final in Leipzig, Germany April 6-10. The World Cup Final of only 18 rider and horse combinations is the only annual global championships but has not been held the past two years because of coronavirus.

She will join Ashley Holzer of Wellington who earlier clinched a start on Havanna for her first championship as an American since switching in 2017 from riding for Canada that included four Olympics and the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas.

North America is assured of two starts in the Final. However, Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu on her Olympic mount All In was runer-up on 79.145% and may earn an extra starting place.

Brittany, pregnant with her second child due in September, will miss the world championships but hopes to go to the World Cup, an event the partnership have not experienced.

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Anna and Davinia had come into Friday’s Freestyle behind Codi Harrison, aged 25 of Wellington on Katholt’s Bossco in the North American standings. Codi was unable to earn sufficient points to maintain her second place in the standings.

Anna, a young star on Sundayboy, said of the victory on Davinia:

“I mean it’s totally surreal. I really didn’t let myself think about it, because I never want to assume. I never want to count my chickens before they hatch.

“If we could go in there and do the test I knew she could do, I knew we could get a great score, but you know, it’s my 10th grand prix in my life or something, and we’re still figuring it out.

“Today we found all the right buttons. We put everything together, and like I always ride–I learn so much after I make mistakes, and we made mistakes yesterday, and we fixed that in the warm up today–and we came out and I was not going to let that happen again today, so hopefully we can carry this over to the next show now.

“I was definitely feeling the pressure. And I think, coming off of mistakes yesterday, your confidence definitely is lower, and I had to really regroup, and go back to trusting my feelings.”

She laughed that she would be happy “if I could only ride freestyles the rest of my life, that’s what I would do. Music and horses are my two passions in the world.

“If I wasn’t a horse rider, I’d be a singer, so to have both in the same arena, and for this now to go to the World Cup, I am literally living my dreams. It definitely helps to have the familiarity of the music, and my voice is in there, so sometimes I’m like ‘Maybe she hears my voice and she likes it’ to add a little extra soothing in there. But it’s just so fun to ride. And I love BTS so much! Everybody knows this.

“I always tell people, my ultimate goal in life is not the Olympics. It’s to go to the Olympics so I can do a BTS (Korean pop group) freestyle, so I can meet BTS. That’s my goal in life. A little different than most.”

Results:

CDI-W World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges: Christof Umbach Katrina Wüst Evi Eisenhardt Michael Osinski Cesar Torrente
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 79.265 USA Anna Buffini FRH Davinia la Douce 80.075 78.375 78.25 79.375 80.25
2. 79.145 CAN Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu All In 77.275 79.55 81.025 77.75 80.125
3. 77.640 USA Alice Tarjan Donatella M 75.375 77.875 77.575 79.825 77.55
4. 70.880 USA Jan Ebeling Status Royal OLD 70.05 72.775 72.95 69.875 68.75
5. 68.200 USA Codi Harrison Katholt’s Bossco 68.1 68.6 70.4 66.5 67.4