Abraham Pugh (USA) and Elfenperfekt grabbed their first career CDI wins together at the 2020 CDI-W Tryon on 23 - 25 October 2020 held at Tryon International Equestrian Center, the venue of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Pugh and the 14-year old American bred Trakhener stallion Elfenperfekt (by Peron out of Elfentraum, by Zauberklang x Donauschimmer), bred and owned by Alice Drayer, claimed the Grand Prix on a score of 68.109% and topped the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 74.010%.
Julio Mendoza Loor (ECU) and Rosali, Aileen Daly’s 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (by Blue Horse Romanov out of Mosegardens Ratina, by Ragazzo), claimed second in both the Grand Prix Freestyle and the Grand Prix, scoring 73.990%, and 67.022% respectively. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, the 2008 Connemara Cross gelding (by Gun Smoke out of Kynynmont Tara, by Greystone McErrill) owned by Pam Liddell, claimed third in both CDI competitions, scoring 66.261% in the Grand Prix and 71.150% in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
"He Keeps Getting Better"
Pugh and Elfenperfekt have been together for seven years now, he shared, and they keep “getting better and better” as they go.
“My weekend went really well. This is our first time winning an international competition like that, so it’s pretty special. He just keeps getting better, and I keep getting better, so it’s really exciting. He really is a great partner,” Pugh shared of his mount. “He really will try his heart out for me day, in and day out; he doesn’t tell me no. He comes to work the same horse, whether we are at a show, whether we are in a big environment or a small environment.”
Though successful all weekend, Pugh noted that his mount only improved throughout the competition.
“I felt like today, I was able to have a little more fluidness and I was able to push him just a little bit more, without him being out of his comfort zone. Today we went out and I asked him for everything he had, and he answered and powered through it. The plan is to keep competing with him and seeing where we can go in the CDI ring!”
Six Year Partnership
The Trakehner stallion Elfenperfekt was first competed in the U.S. as a youngster under Wanja Gerlach. He received his American Trakehner Association licensed status in 2018 based on his performance record.
The 41-year old Pugh, who hails from Greencastle, PA, made his show debut on his American bred Trakehner in 2014 and his CDI debut at small tour level in Devon.
They moved up to international Grand Prix level two years later at 2016 CDI Devon and then returned again to the CDI ring two years later at the CDI Tryon test event in April 2018.
In 2015 the pair finished fourth in the short Grand Prix at the U.S. Developing Grand Prix Horse Championships and one year later in 2016 they were third in the final rounds of the Developing GP Horse National Championships.
This year the pair competed in the international arena at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington for the first time, but the pair got eliminated from the Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Derby.
When asked if there will be be a re-run in Wellington in 2021, Pugh replied. "I’m not sure if we will go to Florida or not, but we are definitely going to try and come back here in the spring.”
Photos © Sharon Packer - USEF
Scores: 2020 CDI-W Tryon
Scores: 2016 U.S. Young and Developing Horse Championships
Scores: 2015 U.S. Young Horse Championships
Somer Hit and Aesthete Win Eastern U.S. Young Horse Qualifier for Verden