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Sara Lieser

June 16, 2006

Intermediaire I Goes Gibson’s Way At Gladstone

Michelle Gibson appeared unstoppable as she earned her second victory in the Collecting Gaits Farm/U.S. Equestrian Federation National Intermediaire I Championship with Lex Barker on June 16 in Gladstone, N.J.

Gibson won the Intermediaire I with a score of 72.55 percent over Guenter Seidel and Princeton (70.90%).  Gibson also won the Prix St. Georges on the previous day with Lex Barker. 

“I was really happy with everything,” she said.  “He felt so good in the connection.”

June 15, 2006

Floriano Comes Out Strong In The Grand Prix At Gladstone

Steffen Peters is no stranger to the Grand Prix dressage ring and he knew that to win the Grand Prix at the Collecting Gaits Farm U.S. Equestrian Federation National Grand Prix Championship in Gladstone, N.J., he’d have to pull out all the stops.
   
“I took a lot of risks today,” he said on Thursday, June 15, after his ride.  Those risks paid off as he won the class aboard Floriano with a 74.50 percent, almost 3 percentage points higher than his next-closest competitors.
   

June 4, 2006

Byyny And Task Force Get The Job Done At Jersey Fresh

The track was imposing and the rails were falling, but Jan Byyny is a tough competitor and she rode to win, displacing just one rail to take first place with her veteran, Task Force, in the Jersey Fresh CCI***.

Not satisfied with first, she scooped up second place with her other ride, Waterfront.  They had one of only two double clears and finished just 0.3 points behind Task Force.

“I’ve never won a reasonably big event before,” said a thrilled Byyny.  “I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

June 3, 2006

Byyny Breaks Into The Lead After Cross-Country

Jan Byyny was on a mission on cross-country in the Jersey Fresh three-star--a mission to prove that she’s ready for the World Equestrian Games.  And she did prove it on Saturday by finishing with the two fastest times of the day and moving up to first and second place with Task Force and Waterfront.

June 2, 2006

Dressage Deja Vu For Windfall And Chiacchia

Darren Chiacchia called Windfall “dependable” after dressage, and he did appear that way as he went straight into the lead in the Jersey Fresh CCI***, May 31-June 4, with a score of 39.3 points despite somewhat sloppy footing after a hard night’s rain.
   

May 5, 2006

Van Grunsven Vanquishes The World Cup For Third Straight Time

It's hard to argue with perfection. Anky van Grunsven and Keltec Salinero rule the modern dressage arena, and the FEI Dressage World Cup Final on April 20-22 was no exception.

The gifted pair laid down an impressive and precise musical freestyle to take home their third title in a row, this time in their native land of the Netherlands before a sell-out crowd in Amsterdam.

Always spectacular in his piaffe and passage, Salinero appeared relaxed and comfortable in the electric atmosphere of the RAI Center, performing true halts and invisible transitions.

April 30, 2006

Yesterday’s Leaders Looked Great At The Third Horse Inspection

Thirty-five riders presented their horses on Sunday morning, April 30.  Overnight leaders Becky Holder and Courageous Comet looked fit and ready to jump as they jogged up the pavement.

Spectators mobbed the third horse inspection, trying to get as close as possible to the amazing athletes, both equine and human.
   
Ralph Hill, who hasn’t missed a Rolex Kentucky in the history of the event, was enjoying himself as usual in the jog with Bad Boy Billy.  He flashed the crowd with his bright pink socks at the far end of the runway.

April 29, 2006

Courageous Comet Rockets To The Top

Courageous Comet may only be 10 years old, but he answered all the questions on cross-country day, April 29, better than many of his elders.  He and Becky Holder flew into the lead early in the morning by finishing on their dressage score of 43.7 points.

“I kind of feel like Cinderella at the ball,” said a bedazzled Holder.  “I’m waiting to turn back into a pumpkin.” 

This is this combination’s second start at Kentucky, but they didn’t finish because of a foot problem in 2004.
   

April 28, 2006

Windfall Wows The Judges To Take Dressage Lead

Darren Chiacchia and Windfall II spent their winter in Florida contesting the FEI Prix St. Georges classes and it showed.  Windfall’s presence and movement carried him to the top of the leaderboard at the end of dressage (33.0) by more than 6 points.

They rode a flawless test, where the highlights included his sweeping trot half-passes, huge extended trot and expressive flying changes.  Brian Ross, the judge at H, rewarded them with 80 percent.

“As a package, this was my best test ever,” said Chiacchia. 

April 28, 2006

Severson Shoots To The Top Of The Scoreboard

Kim Severson could win dressage on a donkey, but of course Royal Venture is no donkey.  The Australian Thoroughbred put in a magnificent test—accurate and flowing with invisible transitions to take the lead (39.5) three quarters into the dressage at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in the morning on April 28.
   
No other rider was able to break into the top five in the morning.  Mara Dean and Nicki Henley still stand in second place, Becky Holder and Courageous Comet in third, Stephen Bradley and From in fourth and Donna Smith and Call Me Clifton in fifth.

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