Belinda Trussell was on fire when she claimed top scores in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle aboard Anton, and again in the Intermediaire II division on Tattoo at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI-W 3*. The Canadian dressage athlete is attempting to earn scores to propel her toward representing her country at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. With results like the ones she and her family-owned horses just chalked up, she is one step closer to making her dreams come true.
Three wins— most notably two major wins in the Grand Prix— in just one weekend stood out to Custom Saddlery, the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team. The company awarded Trussell with the Custom Saddlery MVR (Most Valuable Rider) Award, which is given throughout the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to riders who demonstrate winning performances or contribute to the overall quality of the show series in some other way.
Trussell and Anton (Antaeus x Shirley, Malit), a 16-year-old Sachsen gelding owned by Trussell’s mother Robyn Eames and her husband Mark Trussell, jump-started the wins by earning the blue ribbon nod from the judges in the FEI Grand Prix with a 72.860 percent in the most recent CDI at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. She and Anton’s Friday night Grand Prix Freestyle set to new choreography and music confirmed that Trussell was a woman with a mission when she notched another blue ribbon win with a 75.025 percent. She and her own Tattoo (Traureg x Renaissance, Ramiero’s Son), a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding, also took the top score in the Intermediare II division. It was Tattoo’s first Intermediaire II test as well as the first time he had transitioned from piaffe to passage in the ring.
“Anton was great,” Trussell said as she accepted the Custom Saddlery MVR Award. “I think he’s getting better and better. He’s like a fine wine; he’s better with age. I think it was one of my most harmonious and expressive tests I’ve ridden to date. I’m thrilled with him.”
The Canadian athlete has already represented her country at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and with these additional wins, her goal of competing in the next Olympics is that much closer. “While at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, I want to continue to do a few more shows and do the five-star and, hopefully, the Nations Cup as well,” she said.
As a winner of Custom Saddlery’s Most Valuable Rider Award, Trussell received a ribbon, a beautiful Custom Saddlery saddle pad, a cloth bag, and an embroidered towel from the Aiken, South Carolina, based company— the maker of the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team through the 2016 Olympics and a sponsor the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 12-week series.