2010 Festival of the Horse Wrap-up

Beginning in 1995 as part of the Volvo World Cup Finals, the Festival of the Horse (March 30 April 2) has become one of the largest dressage shows in Southern California. Cornerstone Event Management strives to combine top competition with special activities surrounding the show. “The sponsors play a large part on the success of the Festival,” said Glenda McElroy, Festival manager. “We try to find a niche for all our sponsors; Markel Insurance, a long time partner, sponsors the High Point coolers, LA Saddlery the exhibitor welcome party, Marta Kauffman the Head Set Commentary, and so on. This year one of the new events that we added was the book signing with Stephen Clarke (FEI O judge) to introduce his new book, Dressage Dreams. We try to provide fun social activities as well as top competition.” And exhibitors seem to agree.

Ebeling_Rassolini_14SJ1723_TerriMillerDavid Wilson and Special Agent: Markel/Cornerstone High Point Open Cooler Winners

David Wilson of W Farms (Chino Hills, CA) had the distinction of earning the highest score not only of the show, but of his career. After earning a respectable score of 76% on Friday in his First Level test, Wilson asked Special Agent (Kathryn Phillips, owner) to kick it up a notch and the big stallion deliveredearning an 82.286% and winning the Markel/Cornerstone High Point Open cooler. “He’s a phenomenal horse,” said Wilson of the five-year-old Oldenburg by Sandro Hit. “Just when you think you have enough, he gives you more.”

Wilson imported Special Agent from Germany in December, when Phillips told him she wanted a special horse. Although horse and trainer are still getting to know each other, Wilson discovered a fun trait of the stallion. If you rub his muzzle, he’ll stick his tongue out the front of his mouth and let you hold it.

Jan Ebeling Sweeps CDI Grand Prix

Jan Ebeling and two horses, Sandrina and Rafalca (Ann Romney, Beth Meyer, Pat Crow and Amy Ebeling, owners) rose to the top of almost every class they competed in. In the CDI Grand Prix, Rafalca earned 67.532% for the win, followed closely by Sandrina with 67.064%. Ebeling then rode Rafalca in the Grand Prix Special and came in second with 68.167%, and he won the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sandrina with 70.850%–a full five percentage points above the second place team. “Sandrina was a big surprise,” Ebeling noted. “We knew she was a good horse, but we didn’t expect her to do so well in her second CDI Grand Prix.

“Sandrina had only competed in one open Grand Prix before her two CDI rides. “The judges were very complimentary,” he went on to say. “She received 8s on her passage. It was very, very exciting. This is a horse with a great future.”

Ebeling’s student Ann Romney (part owner of Sandrina and Rafalca) rode her Happy Day to a second place finish in the Prix St. Georges Amateur/Junior/Young Rider class with a 60.526% on Friday and a third on Wednesday with 60%. Ebeling also rode Amanda Harlan’s young horse Rosenzauber 8 (“Rosie”) in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges test, earning 69.714% in the warmup and 67% in the Qualifying class. “She did awesome,” gushed Harlan. “She’s still so green, but she’s really coming along. I’m so proud of her, and it was really neat to see Jan show her.” While Harlan was also supposed to show her other horse, her ride times conflicted with school and she had to scratch. “School comes first,” she explained.

Marisa Festerling and Big Tyme Ready for the Big Time

Marisa Festerling took her Big Tyme through the CDI Prix St. Georges test with great skill, earning a 68.596 and second place in this large class. Festerling was less than two percentage points behind Olympian Steffen Peters. She repeated the feat in the Intermediaire I class, garnering a 68.947. However, the Intermediaire Freestyle was all hers, and she took it with 71.750%.

“I think that his gaits, his intelligence, and his beauty are what make him such a special dressage horse,” explained Festerling. “We hope to qualify for the Festival of Champions at the Intermediaire I level this year in Gladstone, NJ, and hope that he becomes a successful Grand Prix horse in the future. He had a very successful Young Horse career and represented the U.S. at the FEI World Breeding Championships in Vereden, Germany in 2006, so our goal is to progress now at the FEI level.”

Festerling has trained with Marie Meyers for 16 years and has been her assistant for many of those years. Their student Suzanne Smith, riding Kasanova, was Upper Level Amateur High Percentage Champion thanks to her score of 64.419% in Fourth Level. The pair won both of their Fourth Level Test 1 classes.

The next Cornerstone Dressage shows will head to Parker, Colorado for Dressage at the Horse Park I, II and III (April 30 – May 2), and then on to Woodside, California for the Woodside Spring Dressage (May 21 23), before returning home for Dressage at Flintridge (May 28 30) in Flintridge, California. For more information, schedules, and complete results, visit the Cornerstone website (http://www.cornerstonedressage.com).

Grand Prix Results:

1. Jan Ebeling/Rafalca 67.532%
2. Jan Ebeling/Sandrina 67.064%
3. Gunter Seidel/U II 66.085%
4. Elizabeth Ball/Orion 66.000%
5. Wendy Christoff/Pfalstaff 65.830%
Grand Prix Freestyle Results:
1. Jan Ebeling/Sandrina 70.850%
2. Jo Moran/Minna 65.800%
3. Kathy Pavlich/Komo 65.750%
4. Alisa Wilson/Weltclassiker 65.600%

Grand Prix Special Results:

1. Gunter Seidel/U II 69.875
2. Jan Ebeling/Rafalca 68.167
3. Elizabeth Ball/Orion 63.583
4. Christine Traurig/Sambuca 62.875
4. Wendy Christoff/Pfalstaff 62.875