American Christina Vinios and her fresh 2015 U.S. Developing Prix St Georges horse champion Folkestone were victorious in the small tour, taking out a triple win at the 2015 CDI-W Devon in Pennsylvania on 2 - 4 October 2015. Vinios proved that her bay 9-year old Fidertanz offspring is ready to play with the big boys.
The duo won the Prix St Georges, Intermediaire I, and Intermediaire I kur with 68.904%, 71.263%, and 73.292% and despite the rainy and windy weather enjoyed their time in Devon. It was the first time the pair rode a freestyle, ever.
“I am very excited. The beginning (of the freestyle) didn’t go quite as planned, but I tried to catch up to my music and it worked. We have been working on getting him stronger and more supple and through," she explained.
The weekend was full of firsts for Vinios, who enjoyed her first time showing at Devon as well as her first time performing a freestyle in competition. She can count both her Devon debut and her freestyle debut as successes. Vinios had help putting together music and choreography for Folkestone’s freestyle, trying to produce something that would suit the gelding.
“I sat at a restaurant with a friend of mine one night and hammered out the choreography,” Vinios explained. "I loved competing at the Devon CDI,” Christina told Eurodressage. “I'm originally from Boston so it was nice to feel a little closer to home than the usual longer trips."
Christina confirmed that the enjoyed the Devon show grounds with its cozy feeling as it has only two rings. Still there was also a lot of action with breeding classes and Lippizaner performances as well as a hat contest going on.
"It was very cold and windy/rainy the first few days, so it was not so nice for the spectators, but they were great and very supportive of the riders. I’ll come back every year if it’s not pouring rain and freezing."
Vinios, who snowbirds in sunny Wellington, Florida during the winter months, admitted that she is ot used to competing in that sort of conditions, but she was lucky because once she was out there the weather didn’t effect her. “As soon as I got on Folkestone to start warming up I really didn't notice the rain and cold anymore," she added.
After competing Folkestone in the small tour on the 2015 Dressage in Florida show circuit, Christina spent three months in Kentucky during the summer, an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. Vinios is training with Spanish Grand Prix rider Juan Matute.
Folkestone, aka "Huey", is bred by Rosemarie Boelts and Christina bought him at the 2010 Oldenburg auction in Vechta, Germany as a 4-year old. For 2016, Christina has a couple of nice young horses coming up that she hopes to compete locally in Wellington upcoming season.