Three months after his split with longtime sponsor Horses Unlimited, Colombian Dr. Cesar Parra has moved on with new horses in his life and new show successes in Florida. Besides moving his renowned Furst Fabio up to Prix St Georges level, Parra got a new ride for the Grand Prix ring, the 12-year old Westfalian gelding Ecu (by Ehrentusch). Furthermore, with the Bundeschampionate winner Donavan, he is a strong contender to represent the United States at the 2007 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany.
Parra returned to the Grand Prix show ring at the national show Welcome Back to White Fences mid March. He immediately won the Grand Prix with a solid 67.50%. Previously owned and competed by German Katrin Bettenworth, Ecu has a tremendous piaffe and passage and shows great elasticity in all three basic gaits. Through the generous assistance of Dr. Jackson Morgan and his wife Carolyne, Cesar was able to acquire Ecu in Germany on March 30, 2007.
"It was exciting to be back in the Grand Prix ring, but I must admit there was a bit of anticipation as well, because I have only ridden the horse for 2 weeks. But he was fantastic, showing off his world class piaffe and passage and we won the class," Parra said.
Two weeks after White Fences, the pair did their first international show in Wellington finishing fifth in the Grand Prix with 64.958% and second in the Kur to Music with 68.200%. "He felt really great in Wellington and there was plenty of room for improvement. We are getting to know each other better day by day and I feel that this horse is going to be truly great. I'm so happy and grateful that Jackson and Carolyne made this partnership possible," Parra explained.
Parra has not only created a competitive presence in the big tour, but at the lower levels he is also building up a string of success with youngsters Donavan and What Happen. Aboard his own Oldenburg licensed stallion Donavan (by Diamond Hit x Consul) Cesar won almost every single FEI young horse test he entered in. Scoring consistently in the 80s and 90s, the 6-year old Donavan is a significant contender to represent the United States at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden this summer.
"We were invited to the USET Young Horse clinic with Scott Hassler, our national young horse coach, and it went great. Donavan is really maturing and we got super feedback from Scott," Cesar said. The combination won the FEI Young Horse class with 8.33 at the Wellington CDI a few days later.
Cesar has also been campaigning High Point Solution's 6-year old Hanoverian What Happen (Waldstar xx x Gloster). The elegant mare, owned by Mike and Heather Mendiburu, has closely been following Donavan in the young horse class rankings as well as making her mark in second level tests. At the Gold Coast Revisited CDI, Donavan and What Happen claimed first and second place in the same class.
Finally, Parra's Rhinelander gelding Furst Fabio, who became an internationally acclaimed horse at the 2006 Global Dressage Forum, where German team rider Hubertus Schmidt said that he has never ridden a better horse before, won the Prix St Georges at the Gold Coast CDI with over 70%. "Fabio is doing great. He is now schooling the entire Grand Prix routine. He's such a fun ride, every single day."
Now that the collection of ribbons and trophies has increased after a highly successful Florida show season, Parra is moving the horses back home to Performance Farm in New Jersey, where he will be preparing them for the summer shows.
"Even though we had to adapt to a new situation this winter, our lives have stayed the same. I have fantastic horses in our stable, a good working relationship with Hubertus Schmidt and Dr. Volker Moritz, and happy clients. I have serious people behind me with serious intentions and it feels great to all be on the same wavelength. We will be preparing for the Pan Am games as well as the World Young Horse Championships. So with every ending there is a new beginning, and we are looking forward to making ourselves even better than we were before," Parra said.
Photos copyrighted: Phelpsphotos.com
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