Katie Duerrhammer Rides Paxton to First Big Tour Victory to Win Ocala World Equestrian Center CDI3* Grand Prix with Personal Best Score
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
OCALA, Florida, April 14, 2022–Katie Duerrhammer rode Paxton to a personal best score by a big margin to win the World Equestrian Center CDI3* Grand Prix, the first Big Tour victory for the partnership. Benjamin Ebeling on Indeed and Alice Tarjan on Serenade also logged personal bests in placing second and third.
This CDI, the first approved by the U.S. federation after pulling the plug on licensed events after three CDIs in 2021, the first year of operations, was the biggest dressage competition so far at the $1 billion family-owned WEC. Competitors, owners and spectators laud the show grounds as equal to the finest in the world.
More than 225 riders with almost 290 horses were scheduled to compete over four days with the Grand Prix in the spectacular Grand Arena with the Equestrian Hotel as the backdrop.
Katie of Greenwood Village, Colorado and the 11-year-old Westfalen gelding were awarded 73.217% in only their fourth CDI Grand Prix and beat the previous high score of 68.630% set six weeks ago.
Benjamin Ebeling of Moorpark, California and Indeed, the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding that he took over riding from his father, 2012 Olympian Jan Ebeling, at the beginning of the year scored 72.848%. The previous best was 70.087% posted in February.
Alice Tarjan and Serenade, the nine-year-old American-bred Hanoverian mare received 72.087% beating their previous best of 71.348%. Serenade is Alice’s third horse she has developed to international Grand Prix in the past two years, the others being Donatella M that she also competed in this Grand Prix for eighth place, and Candescent.
“To go in there tonight in a venue he’s never been in and for the first time take a deep breath and say, ‘OK, we can do this’ was huge,” said Katie of Paxton. “I feel like he really trusted me, and I haven’t had him feel like he felt tonight, ever. It was very emotional. He’s not been easy. For everybody involved, Adrienne [Lyle], me, his owner, everybody, they have had so much faith in him when I haven’t always. To have him go in there and say, ‘Let’s do it’ was just incredible.”
The 22-year-old Ben Ebeling who has spent most of the past two years competing in Florida in winter and Germany summer, said of Indeed that his father rode at CDI Grand for three years: “She’s just risen to the occasion time and time again at the shows. Step by step, she’s getting better; a couple percent here, a couple percent there. I’m really feeling it in the every-day training. She’s quite a long horse, but I think the engagement from the hindquarters has taken her a bit and now she’s really understanding the idea. Today was honestly the best out transitions in the piaffe/passage that I’ve had. That’s something that I’ve been really working on and was a little frustrated about, but today she really came to the party and she’s just fantastic. I’m really happy about it.”
CDI3* Grand Prix
|Judges:||Marian E. Cunningham||Sarah Geikie||William Warren||Omar Zayrik||Gabriel Martin Armando|
|3.||72.087||USA||Alice Tarjan||Serenade MF||72.065||72.174||71.848||72.174||72.174|
|5.||70.935||USA||Anna Marek||Fire Fly||70.435||69.783||71.413||71.196||71.848|
|6.||70.217||USA||Kerrigan Gluch||Mejorano HGF||70.87||71.63||69.348||68.696||70.543|
|7.||70.087||USA||Nora Batchelder||Faro SQF||71.413||68.804||69.783||71.087||69.348|
|8.||69.587||USA||Alice Tarjan||Donatella M||68.37||68.152||69.348||71.196||70.87|
|9.||69.131||USA||Lehua Custer||F.J. Ramzes||69.348||69.674||69.022||67.935||69.674|
|10.||68.587||CAN||Megan Lane||Zodiac MW||68.587||68.152||70||70.217||65.978|
|11.||68.457||USA||Mary Haskins Gray||Don Divone||69.13||69.457||68.37||67.174||68.152|
|14.||68.261||USA||Melissa Taylor||Dixie WRF||69.674||70.109||67.935||67.935||65.652|
|15.||67.978||USA||Susan Dutta||Don Design DC||69.783||66.848||68.696||67.826||66.739|
|16.||67.326||USA||Kevin Kohmann||Mr Bumblebee||66.63||67.609||67.935||69.022||65.435|
|18.||67.000||USA||Susan Dutta||Figeac DC||67.065||66.739||67.065||67.826||66.304|
|20.||66.674||USA||Anna Marek||Snoopy Sunday||67.174||68.261||66.196||66.739||65|
|21.||66.282||GUA||Alexandra Dominguez Thomas||Etanga||66.304||66.304||65.543||66.848||66.413|
|22.||65.543||SUI||Barbara Bertschinger||Sir Schiwago||68.043||64.565||64.348||66.522||64.239|
|23.||63.565||USA||Nora Batchelder||WGangster Girl||62.717||64.783||63.804||63.261||63.261|
|24.||63.500||NED||Ivo Jührend||Cover Girl||61.087||64.674||63.478||65.435||62.826|
|24.||63.500||USA||Amina Bursese||Fiti AL||64.891||61.957||62.391||64.13||64.13|
|EL.||USA||Allison Gerlt||Sir Lommel|
|RT.||USA||Sarah Tubman||First Apple|