Alice Tarjan Rides American-Bred Serenade to Victory in Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix Special on Highest Score of Rider’s 3 Big Tour Horses

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Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF riding to victory in Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Special. © 2022 Ken Braddick/


WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 5, 2022–Alice Tarjan rode Serenade MF to victory in the Globa;l Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Special Saturday in the debut international competition for the American-bred mare. The score was the highest so far of the rider’s three Big Tour mounts she has developed from youngsters.

Alice of Oldwick, New Jersey and the nine-year-old American Hanoverian were awarded 73.149% from the panel of three European 5* judges and two Americans. The score topped the best Special results Alice has received on Candescent of 72.702% 11 months ago and 70.659% on Donatella M that she debuted at CDI Grand Prix five weeks ago, all in Wellington.

Benjamin Ebeling of Moorpark, California on Indeed, the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare that he took over competing from his Olympic competitor father this year, placed second on 71.276%.

Canada’s Naïma Moreira Laliberté on Statesman, the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding on which she was the reserve on the Tokyo Olympic team, was third on 70.851%.

Alice until two years ago had competed only one horse at CDI Grand Prix, on Elfenfeur in Wellington in 2015. For the past several years, she has been buying young horses she finds on the Internet to create her own pipeline.

“I’m kind of surprised,” she said of the result on Serenade (Sir Donnerhall x Don Principe) and bred by Maranna Haymon. “Very unexpected. You know the horse has the ability to do it, but you don’t expect her to do it so soon maybe.”

The ride in Global’s centerpiece international arena was “probably the best show that the horse has had” and “it’s getting better every time out.”

But, she said, it is “still a work in progress.”

Serenade, Alice said, is “super reliable… she goes in and does the job every time. And she’s so honest. We make a lot less mistakes than we make on the other horses, I think. It’s just a little easier- It’s more reliable and it’s easier to put in a clean test somehow on this horse than I find how it is on the other horses.

“I think she has the ability to do all the movements pretty well. The pirouettes are good, the piaffe is decent. The horse has a nice trot and canter to start with, and she walks. And also you can put her in any environment and the horse doesn’t even blink an eye, so I think those are all advantages. Again, it’s just working on the balance going forward.

“She’s just so low key! She couldn’t care less. Yeah, she’s so easy. I would bring that horse anywhere in the world.”

Unlike Candescent and Donatella that she said are more affected by the environment at shows.

“I find that the Special is maybe a little easier for my horses. My horses are all pretty honest and the piaffe/passage is pretty consistent.”


Judges: Michael Osinski Kari McClain Katrina Wüst Elisabeth Max-Theurer Christof Umbach
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 73.149 USA Alice Tarjan Serenade MF 74.574 75.106 71.170 72.979 71.915
2. 71.276 USA Benjamin Ebeling Indeed 71.064 70.957 72.872 68.936 72.553
3. 70.851 CAN Naïma Moreira Laliberté Statesman 70.213 70.426 70.319 71.064 72.234
4. 68.553 USA Katie Duerrhammer Paxton 67.128 70.638 67.021 67.553 70.426
5. 68.064 USA Sarah Tubman First Apple 69.149 68.723 66.064 66.064 70.319
6. 67.723 BEL Laurence Vanommeslaghe Havalon 68.511 65.426 68.085 67.872 68.723
7. 66.468 JPN Kiichi Harada Sir Galanto 65.213 67.979 65.638 66.702 66.809
8. 65.745 GER Michael Klimke Harmony’s Sanrino RHP 66.702 68.404 64.787 64.681 64.149
9. 64.532 USA Aaron Janicki Heron 67.128 66.17 62.872 60.106 66.383
10. 63.745 CRC Gloriana Herrera Vampiro De Pereto 63.404 65.532 64.255 62.979 62.553
11. 63.617 USA Mikala Münter Skyfall 62.553 65.532 64.043 61.702 64.255
12. 61.894 CHI Virginia Yarur Ronaldo 61.915 61.064 62.766 60.957 62.766
13. 61.723 USA Katherine Bateson Chandler Haute Couture 61.809 65.213 60.638 58.723 62.234
ELIM. USA Bridget Hay Faolan