Jill Irving Sweeps 2019 CDI Ottawa, But Fancy That Draws Attention with Long Awaited Come Back

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 21:17
2019 CDI Ottawa
Tina Irwin and Fancy That at the 2019 CDI Ottawa :: Photo © Cealy Tetley

Canadian WEG team rider Jill Irving swept the big tour at the 2019 CDI Ottawa Dressage Festival held May 16-19, 2019, in Ottawa, ON, but it was the long-awaited come back of Tina Irwin's Grand Prix horse Fancy That that drew extra attention.

Jill Irving of Moncton, NB, had a notable weekend in the Ottawa Dressage Festival big tour riding Windhaven Farm’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Arthur (by Jazz x Contango). The duo took top honours in the CDI 3* Grand Prix with a score of 72.435%, and went on to win the Grand Prix Special with 70.191%.

Tina Irwin of Stouffville, ON, piloted Fancy That (by Donnerschwee x Freiherr) to an exciting win in the mare’s big tour debut and her show come back in Ottawa.

The 13-year-old Oldenburg, who is owned by Jaimey Irwin and Rocket One LLC, was absent from the show ring since 2017. At the time she was gaining mileage in the Grand Prix level tests in the national shows in Wellington, but an injury put an abrupt stop to her rise to top level. 

Two years later, the bay mare got her first taste of international big tour competition in the Grand Prix on May 17, scoring 66.000% for a fifth place. By the next day, Fancy That had gotten her bearings and entered the ring with confidence for the Grand Prix Freestyle. She and Tina impressed the judges to the tune of 70.800% to secure the win.

“I was thrilled about Fancy’s performance in the Freestyle,” said Tina. “To perform in front of a large crowd and to the music at that level is still very new to her and was a huge accomplishment! To win was icing on the cake. It is exciting because I know we have so much more in there to give and this is just the beginning.”

Tina has seen the bay’s abilities grow tremendously over the course of their seven-year partnership. After several years of consistent international small tour competition, Tina knew Fancy That was ready to make the leap and challenge the most difficult tests the FEI has to offer.

“Fancy had to first learn all of the Grand Prix movements, and then it was about confirming them while keeping the relaxation,” explained Tina. “I work a lot on the basic thoroughness with her to be able to keep the adjustability in the movements. Fancy shows an exceptional ability for collection in the piaffe, passage and pirouettes; she has a lot of power! Fancy has a lot of talent for the Grand Prix movements, so once she was able to put them together we knew it was the right time to compete her. I plan to give her more exposure at the Grand Prix this season to get more miles and confidence in the ring.”

In the small tour, Tina added another win to her record, this time with the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding that she co-owns with Jaimey, Laurencio (by Laurentio x Donnerhall). Together, they placed first in the CDI 1* Prix St. Georges on May 17 with a score of 72.892% and are currently ranked number one for the Canadian WEG team spot.

The remaining CDI 1* classes were won by Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, and Barbara Holden Sinclair’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Carlucci (by Contendro I x Compliment). Their back-to-back victories began with a 73.333% in the Intermediate I, followed by the next day’s Intermediate I Freestyle, which Belinda and Carlucci won with a high score of 75.542%.

Photo © Cealy Tetley

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