America’s Susan Dutta & Don Design Post Personal Best Grand Prix Special Score for Victory at Florida’s Gold Coast Opener CDI3*
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 21, 2023–America’s Susan Dutta and Don Design DC posted a personal best Grand Prix Special score at the Gold Coast Opener CDI3* Saturday to win what she described as the best Special ever for the long-time partnership.
The victory by Susie of Wellington, Florida and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding was on a score of 72.149% and came a day after placing second in the Grand Prix.
Anna-Christina Abbelen, a European youth Championship gold medalist on six German teams, competing in her first ever show in the United States, was second on 70.277%.
Two-time Olympian Morgan Barbançon of France and the 12-year-old Westfalen gelding Deodoro were third on 68.787%. The duo won the Grand Prix Friday to kick off a three-month long winter season.
Susan and Tim Dutta, her husband and owner of Dutta Corp. horse transportation company, bought Don Design from Hof Kasselmann when the horse was five years old and credited the Kasselman family and German team rider Frederic Wandres who is a farm trainer with the success she is experiencing. Don Design is one of several horse that Susie has developed to top sport over the years. She was alternate for the U.S. team at the 2007 Pan American Games and has competed on more than a half dozen Nations Cup teams for the USA, on both sides of the Atlantic, mostly in Europe.
She said the performance Saturday was “the most control I’ve had over my horse, expression, obedient and clean…what more can you ask for?”
“I’m trying to bring that kind of consistency to the ring that I can have these clean tests then we can add maybe a little bit more after that. But right now we’re working on balance, control and consistency, and trust.”
The biggest change in her riding and in her horse has been working with Frederic Wandres, who rode on Germany’s team at last year’s world championships in Herning, Denmark and is in Florida for his third winter circuit for Hof Kasselmann.
“I think he’s done a phenomenal job,” said Susie who spent five “valuable” months at Hof Kasselmann last year. “I thank him and Francois Kasselmann for grabbing me and believing in the horse. They always believed he was really good but they never had control of the training or the management. They took ahold of me this summer and I’m forever grateful.
“Freddy’s a fantastic trainer. He’s super tough. I needed that. This horse is a great horse, it just needed to be ridden better. Between the whole family team–Ulli, Bianca, Francois, Lars, Freddy–they all brought it to the table to help me to become better. Thinking, thinking how do we make the horse better, her better?”
The scores move the partnership into contention for a place on the U.S. team for the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile late this year.
“I’d go to Mars for the team,” she joked.
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
|Judges:||Agnieszka Majewska||Janet Lee Foy||Stephen Clarke||Cesar Torrente||Kari McClain|
|1.||72.149||USA||Susan Dutta||Don Design DC||72.234||73.617||70.532||72.766||71.596|
|2.||70.277||GER||Anna-Christina Abbelen||Sam Donnerhall||70.000||70.319||68.617||72.128||70.319|
|4.||66.234||SUI||Barbara Bertschinger||Sonnenberg’s Solisco CH||66.915||65.957||67.340||65.213||65.745|
|5.||64.766||USA||Christopher Hickey||Stenagers Wyatt Earp||64.255||64.255||64.574||65.957||64.787|
|6.||63.851||AUS||Jemma Heran||Saphira Royal 2||64.681||62.234||64.362||63.617||64.362|
|SCR||USA||Chase Shipka||Gladstone Zee T|