U.S. para dressage riders began the 2024 competition season with its first CPEDI3* appearance at the 2024 Global Dressage Festival 3 in Wellington, FL.
Chef d’Equipe Laureen Johnson led Beatrice de Lavalette, Rebecca Hart, Fiona Howard, and Cynthia Screnci to automatic top honours in the team competition in the absence of teams from other nations. Only two foreign, individual riders joined the competition, one from Canada and one from France.
The U.S. combinations delivered solid tests as they aim to building upon their performances in this initial outing for 2024.
“With several newer athlete/horse combinations, overall, we did quite well,” said Johnson. “The future looks very encouraging, and it’s always very exciting to have new horses. We are all looking forward to the March Wellington CPEDI and Ocala CPEDI competitions. I was very proud of our athletes and know we are on an upward trajectory.”
Beatrice De Lavalette (Lake Fort Worth, Fla.) and Sixth Sense (by Sir Donnerhall I x Florencio) earned three scores in the 70s throughout the competition, demonstrating their consistency and steady partnership. On Friday, the pair collected a score of 71.552% in the Grade II Grand Prix A Test to win the class. De Lavalette and the 2010 Oldenburg gelding owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas de Lavalette built upon their initial test by scoring 72.824% in the Grade II Grand Prix B Test on Saturday to win another class. They closed out the competition with a score of 73.656% in the Grade II Grand Prix Freestyle for second place.
Fiona Howard (Boston, Mass.) and Fleuresse (by For Romance x Donnerschwee) are a relatively new partnership but had strong results while making their second CPEDI appearance together. They scored 66.149% in Friday’s Grade II Grand Prix A Test to finish second in the class. Howard and Fleuresse , a 2017 Oldenburg mare owned by Fiona Howard, Elizabeth Bagsby, Sharon Day, and Julian Howard, reached the 70-mark with a score of 70.500% in Saturday’s Grade II Grand Prix B Test. The pair ended on a high note with a win in Sunday’s Grade II Grand Prix Freestyle on a score of 75.678%.
Cynthia Screnci (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Sir Chipoli (by Sir Donnerhall x Carabas) put forth solid efforts in their tests for the U.S. team. The pair won the Grade V Grand Prix A Test on Friday with a score of 69.914%. Screnci and her and Volado Farms’ 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding tallied a score of 68.728% on Saturday in the Grade V Grand Prix B Test earn second place in the class. They finished the weekend with a win on Sunday in the Grade V Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 62.767%.
Rebecca Hart (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Floratina (by Fidertanz x Rubin Royal), a 2008 Hanoverian mare owned by Rowan O’Riley, were eliminated in Friday’s Grade III Grand Prix A Test. Hart made the decision to withdraw from the remainder of the competition since Floratina did not feel like her usual self. The pair will aim to return to the competition ring later during the winter circuit.
-- text USEF, edited by Eurodressage
Scores: 2024 CPEDI Wellington