Canada’s Christilot Boylen rode Dio Mio to 73.789% for another victory in the FEI Intermediaire-1 Freestyle CDIO 3* and ended up as the top individual rider of the week.
Boylen had a picture perfect end to the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO/CDI 3*, wrapping up a banner season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), which concluded Sunday afternoon at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Americans Kimberly Herslow and Caroline Roffman rounded out the top three. Herslow and Rosmarin were second with a 72.632%. Roffman finished close behind with a 72.263% with Her Highness O.
The judges for the class were: Mirabel Alonso at E, Anne Gribbons at H, Evi Eisenhardt at C, Joan Macartney at M, and Linda Zang at B.
Boylen’s top scores over the last two days of competition, which included a 75.500% in Saturday’s FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle CDIO 3*, put her in first place for the weekend’s individual standings for Nations Cup competition. Boylen finished with a grand total of 148.289, besting American rider Cesar Parra and Van the Man, who picked up the silver medal with 146.583 points. Fellow American Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O finished in third place with a cumulative score of 146.313.
Custom Saddlery selected the FEI Intermediare-I CDIO 3* as the Most Valuable Rider class, another honor that Boylen took home. Boylen received a Custom Saddlery year-long sponsorship as well as a Custom Saddlery Steffen’s Advantage saddle for her performance in Sunday’s class.
Dio Mio’s ability to put out highly correct tests makes him incredibly hard to beat in competition. “He’s a very accurate horse and he was again today. That’s where it gets difficult for the others until they stop making mistakes. That’s about it,” Boylen stated matter-of-factly.
Temperatures soared on the third day of a demanding weekend of competition, but Boylen remained confident in her horse rising to the occasion. “In the heat, there were a lot of horses I think fighting today after last night. He’s very wirey and athletic. He just came out the same as ever,” Boylen described.
“He’s a trooper,” Boylen continued. “His Thoroughbred side comes through quite strongly. He’s never been tired in the ring.”
While his Thoroughred blood gives him the endurance to outlast his competitors, Boylen acknowledged she deals with a certain amount of tension with the ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Naturally, this was of no concern to her either; Boylen knows she can trust Dio Mio to always pull through for her.
“Last night [during the freestyle], he walked in there and he was actually quite terrified of the [Jumbotron] screen. But there was never a question of whether he was going to go down [to that end of the arena]. He’s a very honest horse, which I appreciate a lot. You need an honest horse, just like you need honest people,” Boylen smiled.
Boylen also felt her European base gave her an edge in competition due to the level of competition in classes with massive entries there. However, she did not count the AGDF out as a future hotbed of dressage competition and plans to return next winter.
“I think it’s going to build. This is definitely a fantastic base for those available in Florida. I think you’re going to see more and more people [compete next year],” Boylen commented.
The Champion Equine Insurance Dressage Style Award was awarded Saturday to Christilot Boylen, who won the FEI Intermediare-I with a score of 69.737%.
FEI Intermediare-I CDIO 3*
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1 Christilot Boylen, CAN, Dio Mio: 73.684%, 73.947%, 74.737%, 72.895%, 73.684%, 73.789%
2 Kimberly Herslow, USA, Rosmarin: 73.158%, 72.632%, 73.947%, 70.658%, 72.763%, 72.632%
3 Caroline Roffman, USA, Her Highness O: 72.500%, 70.395%, 73.289%, 73.158%, 71.974%, 72.263%
4 Lars Petersen, DEN, Chicco Roslev: 70.526%, 69.605%, 72.105%, 69.737%, 72.237%, 70.842%
5 Carlos Munoz, ESP, Klousau: 69.474%, 70.132%, 72.500%, 70.921%, 70.132%, 70.632%
6 Christopher Hickey, USA, Witness Hilltop: 70.132%, 70.132%, 68.553%, 69.211%, 70.132%, 69.632%