Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Kane Stand Champions on Final Day of 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival

Mar 31, 2024 - 8:23 PM

By Alice Collins for Wellington International

After three thrilling months of competition including seven CDI shows, the curtain came down on the final day of action of the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) 2024 season in Wellington, FL, on Sunday, March 31. This year, the largest dressage circuit in the world boasted 2000 entries in the national rings and 550 CDI entries, with 22 different nations represented.

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén & Kane, winners of the Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Final, sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. Photo © SusanJStickle.com

Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén added another notch to her dressage belt to cap a tremendous season with her talented string of horses when she stood grand champion in the Future Challenge young horse Prix St. Georges series, sponsored by Diane Fellows’s company Buffalo Wild Wings. 

The 56-year-old rode Lövsta Stuteri’s impressive nine-year-old Kane (Glock’s Dream Boy x Krack C) to 72.706% and the unanimous win from the panel of five judges. The USA’s Ben Ebeling partnered ACR Enterprises and Hof Kasselmann’s nine-year-old Escola daughter Escona 8 into the reserve champion spot with 70.971%. Jennifer Williams and her own striking gray nine-year-old Babylon Berlin (by Bordeaux x United) slotted into third with 69.794%.

These classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young FEI quality horses, giving them exposure to benefit their development with the biggest of world stages in mind — without the pressures of a CDI.

Vilhelmson Silfvén only recently started riding Kane, who used to be a licensed stallion. This was just their third test together, but the partnership’s future is already looking very promising. The rangy bay has a beautiful front end, and Vilhelmson Silfvén showed him in a soft, elastic frame with her customary quiet riding.   

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén & Kane are presented as winners of the Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Final, sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. Photo © SusanJStickle.com

“It was a good ending to the season,” she said. “We’ve had Kane since he was three and he was a breeding stallion at ours, but last year we gelded him because he was a little bit too much of a stallion. We thought he would be a great competition horse, so we decided to give him a future like that. He also has a much happier life as a gelding because he was a bit too worried as a stallion and too unhappy. Now he’s the sweetest and loveliest horse to have around and he’s happy going out in a big field.”

Kane showed once in 2023 under Caroline Darcourt, who works for Lövsta Stuteri, and he has been to stallion shows, but he lacks formal competition experience. 

“He owns the arena and gives a great feeling,” continued Vilhelmson Silfvén. “I’m glad I rode him in the warm-up class yesterday as he was a little bit too excited, and today he was perfect. I had small mistakes because he was more sensitive than I prepared for, but maybe that’s just the lack of routine together in the competition arena. And in an arena like this it’s different from riding in a small show, but I had a good feeling.”

Her win was fitting given the many years she, and Lövsta Stuteri’s owner, Swedish entrepreneur Antonia Ax:son Johnson, has spent promoting developing horse classes around the world. 

“I’m really for these developing horse series,” added Vilhelmson Silfvén, who rides half a dozen horses a day. “It’s really good to have the possibility to do a national test in the international arena. Everybody comes together—the judges and the rider—it’s all about trying to educate horses in a good way. It’s a great way to educate the horses and get them in the big arena.”

Vilhelmson Silfvén and her team now prepare to fly back to Europe for a rest and then to begin the summer competition season in this exciting Olympic year. She plans to return for AGDF 2025. 

No spurs is key to Jorst’s taming of Botticelli

At the conclusion of her ride in the 3 Graces Dressage CDI1* Intermediate I Freestyle, Charlotte Jorst (USA) punched the air in delight. Her grin only widened when her winning score of 75.77% was announced. She rode Atterupgaards Botticelli, a 12-year-old Danish gelding by Benetton Dream x Caprimond whom she has had since he was a wild five-year-old. The recent FEI rule change on spurs has been a breakthrough for the electric horse, whom Jorst showed with no spurs.

Charlotte Jorst & Atterupgaards Botticelli, winners of the 3 Graces Dressage CDI1* Intermediate I Freestyle. Photo © SusanJStickle.com

“It’s been such a long journey with that horse and he’s so hot and a bit crazy, so to get in there and hit everything in the test and for him to be so calm and confident was incredible,” she enthused. “I don’t ride him with spurs at all;I try to ride most of my horses with no spurs and no whip, just because I think it’s fun and I try to really get them on my seat.”

The Danish-born Jorst bought the horse from Helgstrand and had a rocky time with him in the competition arena before finally putting all the pieces together to make him happy. That includes trail riding, soaking his hay and reducing pre-test warm-ups to 15 minutes. 

“He’s been so hot that I couldn’t really get in the ring with him,” she explained. “He’d go so crazy that I couldn’t get any changes, he’d spook at everything and you’d be sitting up there afraid of falling off all the time. It was like sitting on a freight train. It’s taken a long time to have him on my seat and up in front and able to give. Now he’s 12 and I can finally do it all in the ring.

“It’s a puzzle and it’s been fun to solve and then get a ride like this. He’s going to go grand prix now. His piaffe and passage is so incredible. This was his graduation ceremony and it was so much fun!” She added.  

Sunday’s action marks the conclusion of the 2024 AGDF season. Next year’s 12-week circuit kicks off with a CDI-W, which runs January 8-12. For more information, results and to watch the live stream, visit the Global Dressage Festival website.

Click for full results from all classes in AGDF 12.

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