Kathleen Raine (USA) and the lovely mare Breanna scored a 73.667% to win the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farm at Week 5 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) and Divertimento followed in second with a 72.000% and Jill Irving (CAN) and Degas 12 rounded out the top three with a 69.078.
Raine and Breanne have been partners for more than 10 years, as she began working with the mare when she was four years old. The duo’s performances this week at AGDF are a testament to the time Raine has dedicated to creating a strong partnership with the mare. “It has been so fun to have had her for so long. We know each other really well, and I enjoy starting them from the beginning and training them up,” said Raine.
The duo’s extended stay in Europe this past season has really helped Breanna cope with large atmosphere venues. “Being in Europe really helped her suppleness and her whole way of going. I can see it in her reaction, her consistency, and the atmospheres we were able to experience there, which we don’t really have here. It helped to boost her confidence,” said Raine.
Vilhelmson-Silfven performed a very correct test on her partner Divertimento. “Tim”, who is known to get excited in electric environments, settled nicely for Vilhelmson-Silfven during the test. “This is our third week showing, and he keeps going and holding up very well. The weather earlier in the week made him a bit more excited than I wanted, but we cope with it and have figured out how to handle it,” she explained.
Divertimento’s large size can be intimidating to some, but he is the sweetest horse in the barn according to Vilhelmson-Silfven, which is what makes him so fun to work with. “He’s the sweetest one. Absolutely anyone could hack him, but once he hears applause he starts to get worked up,” she commented. “He tries really hard and all he wants to do is his best for you.”
Jill Irving and Degas 12 had a lovely test to place them third in the class. “I am so thrilled with our performance. He has finally become a man!” she exclaimed. “He was very good and I feel like now we’re covering ground in the canter, especially in the two-tempis. We landed right on the letter.”
Irving is the presenter of the Jill Irving Owner’s Award at each “Friday Night Stars” Grand Prix Freestyle event of the 2015 season, highlighting owners of winning combinations in both the CDI Prix St. Georges tests and the AGDF National Shows. “I think this city, Wellington, has grown so much and is so international now. Just right now we have Sweden, Canada, and the U.S. represented here and I thought that it was time we started recognizing the owners who are such great stakeholders,” said Irving.
She hopes the award will continue to draw the spotlight to many of the owners who make this sport possible. “I just felt like this was something really dear to my heart, and I’m so passionate about this sport. I think the owners deserve to get a trophy and have some time in the limelight,” she continued.