During last year’s Global Dressage Festival season, a new CDI Amateur division made its debut, and progressively gained entries of Adult Amateur riders who wanted to experience the grandeur of competing in the show series’ International Arena alongside FEI riders of the same levels. Patricia Koschel of Germany, whose name consistently charted the leader board, pioneered the CDI Amateur division with Leuchtfeuer DE, and encouraged other Adult Amateurs to do the same.
Now back competing in the CDI Amateur division at this year’s Global Dressage Festival, Koschel’s achievements in the ring and her encouraging words to other amateurs did not go unnoticed. That’s why Piaffe Performance Farm chose to reward Koschel with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award for her impressive performance in the recent Adult Amateur Prix St. Georges class, and for her contribution to the overall excellence of the Adult Amateur division.
Olympian and Pan American Games Gold Medalist Dr. Cesar Parra, owner of Piaffe Performance Farm, strives to recognize Adult Amateur riders for their hard work and dedication to the sport of dressage. Koschel was a standout candidate for the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award and was spotted during her performances with her own Leuchtfeuer DE, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry x Duene – De Niro). The pair earned first and second placings in the Intermediate I with a 69.386 percent and Prix St. Georges with a 68.421 percent. Katie Riley, Assistant Trainer at Piaffe Performance Farms, rewarded the pair with the tri-color Piaffe Performance ribbon, a neck medal, and an engraved silver picture frame to hold a lasting memory of their award-winning ride.
“The Amateur divisions are absolutely important for the sport,” Koschel explained. “I wish that more people would enter these classes before jumping into the International Open classes. I think it is discouraging for some people when they immediately start in the CDI Grand Prix against professionals, and then they receive low 60 percent scores and never get a ribbon. Everyone should take the chance to start in the Adult Amateur division to gain experience, and then, when they are ready, move into the CDI classes without Amateur status. For Adult Amateurs like myself, it’s super to be able to compete at this show without the pressure of competing against superstars.”
Koschel, whose husband is the international dressage competitor and trainer Christoph Koschel, appreciates her time in the ring with her horse, and always keeps their training goals in mind. “I am a total rookie to the Grand Prix, and so is my horse. This year I wanted to do the Intermediare I and II, but we do not have the one-tempis down yet. He is still doing 20 with my husband, but only four with me. So we took a step back and will train the tempi changes without any pressure, then come back next year and be ready for the Grand Prix.”
Patricia Koschel has been riding Leuchtfeuer DE since he was only a four-year-old. “He was really horrible to ride in the beginning, and that’s what makes me so proud, that we are now at this level and receiving consistent scores,” she said. “He tries to do his very best in the ring, and that’s why I love him from the bottom of my heart.”
Continued dedication to climbing the training ladder and excelling in and outside the ring are traits that Piaffe Performance Farms admires and continually rewards. As Riley presented Koschel with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award, she explained, “This was such a lovely combination to watch. They performed beautifully in the ring. We wish Patricia and Leuchtfeuer DE all the best for their future endeavors and hope to see them back in the ring next year in Grand Prix.”
In addition to the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Award, Piaffe Performance also is an Official Sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and the International Arena Rider Lounge and Hospitality Tent at the show grounds. The Piaffe Performance Rider Lounges provide drinks and snacks for all levels of riders to enjoy as they relax before or after their tests.
The talented team at Piaffe Performance Farms is based in Jupiter, Florida, during the winter, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, year round. The training, showing, and sales facility specializes in selecting top quality dressage prospects for riders of every level. Learn more about Dr. Cesar Parra, Piaffe Performance, and training, lessons, and sales services offered at www.GKHorsesatPiaffePerformanceFarms.com.
Text by Johnny Robb - Photo © Astrid Appels