Canadian eventing athletes dominated the CIC Aspen Farms Horse Trials, held June 9-11, 2017 in Yelm, WA, winning both the CIC 2* and CIC 1* divisions.
Anne-Sophie Levesque, 19, of Cochrane, AB topped the CIC 2* division riding Eskapade (Portland L x Golden Art), her 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding. A dressage score of 49.1 put the pair into the initial standing of sixth, but they moved quickly up to second place after adding just four jumping and two time faults in the show jumping phase. A foot-perfect cross-country performance put their final score at 55.1 for the win.
“It felt extremely rewarding to win,” explained Levesque, who has been partnered with Eskapade (‘Paddy’) since 2010 when she was just 12 years old, and has essentially grown up with him. “It was also slightly shocking to win, considering the large number of professionals in the division, as well as the top quality horses. It was very exciting to feel Paddy prove himself among them.”
Making the win even more exciting was the fact that Aspen Farms Horse Trials marked Levesque’s first time competing at the CIC 2* level.
“It was our first CIC 2*, so I would have been proud of simply completing,” explained Levesque, who now has her sights set on the eventing portion of the 2017 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), set for July in Kalispell, MT. “Paddy has a big heart, but an equally big set of opinions. I think we finally achieved the same wavelength at this event and found ourselves working in harmony. I came into the event with plans geared to preparing us for future competitions – achieving a quiet dressage test, accurate show jumping round and relaxed cross-country. We achieved all of the above, and it clearly payed off.”
Sabrina Glaser, 34, from Langley, BC also made her mark in the CIC 2* division, finishing with two horses in the top five. Interestingly, Glaser received identical dressage scores of 48.0 with both of her horses, Rembrandt (Galouet x Travelling Victor), a nine-year-old Thoroughbred-cross gelding owned by Patricia Yust, and Hypona To Be True, her nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, sired by To Be Sure.
However, it was Rembrandt who proved to inch ahead to take third place overall, after adding eight jumping faults in the show jumping phase and just 1.6 time faults cross-country for a final score of 57.6. With Hypona To Be True, Glaser had a double-clear show jumping round, but added 10 time penalties on cross-country to finish just behind Rembrandt in fourth place on a total score of 58.0.
In the CIC 1*, Sara Sellmer, 34, of Kamloops, BC celebrated her birthday weekend by earning her first-ever FEI win after finishing nearly 10 points ahead of her nearest competitor aboard Rubia (Romantic Star x Pik Junior), an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Amy Click.
After a dressage score of 39.6, the duo went on to add just two time penalties on cross-country to take the win with 41.6 total penalties.
“Rubia was on point from start to finish,” explained Sellmer, whose goal is to move up to the 2* level by the fall. “Her dressage test was really good – to break into the 30s was exciting. Show jumping felt like a hunter derby round, which is always nice. Cross-country, I had a plan for the water and it worked. Rubia is getting so brave and trusting, it really does make all the long hours in the winter worth it when she comes out like that.”
“I have been with Rubia since October 2016. My good friend Amy Click was incredibly generous and gave me the ride on her after I lost my 3* horse suddenly,” explained Sellmer, whose former partner, TF Kriesler, passed away in the fall of 2016. “At first Rubia and I were a bit cautious, but we leaned into each other and trusted, and now we are good friends. I just adore her and I think she likes me too.”
For more information and full results from the Aspen Farms Horse Trials, visit http://aspenfarmseventing.com.
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