By Alice Collins for Wellington International
Alice Tarjan (USA) came out on top of the 15 combinations forward in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Iron Spring Farm, on Saturday of Week 7 at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. AGDF hosts seven weeks of CDI competition over three months and runs through April 2.
Tarjan was competing her own 13-year-old mare Candescent (Christ x Falkenstern), and the pair netted a winning score of 72.638%. This was just 0.06 percentage points shy of their best performance ever in this test, achieved in the very same arena at AGDF in 2021. Fellow American Anna Marek posted another plus-70% score to finish in the runner-up spot, partnering Janet Simile’s 13-year-old Fire Fly (Briar Junior x OO Seven) to 70.234%. Belgium’s Laurence Vanommeslaghe broke the American stranglehold on the podium riding his own Havalon, a 16-year-old gelding by Blue Hors Hotline, to 68.809% and the third place ribbon.
Tarjan explained that although she has been training Candescent since she was a four-year-old, she hasn’t been the most straightforward horsedespite her attractive, expressive movement.
“Overall everything’s going in the right direction,” said the 43-year-old from Oldwick, NJ, who has a clutch of prolific horses at grand prix level. “It’s been a long road and she hasn’t been the easiest. I’ve had her for nine years and she’s always been a real challenge.
“I don’t think anyone wrote a book on how to train this horse. She’s been doing grand prix now for a few years but what I’ve learned is that being able to do the movements in the grand prix and then putting everything together in a cohesive and harmonious test are two very different things,” added Tarjan, who has been coming to Wellington for almost a decade. “Now I finally feel like I have a horse that’s on my side and we’re finally starting to form a partnership.”
A large field of 24 starters lined up for the Intermediate I CDI1*, sponsored by Zen Elite Equestrian. Charlotte Jorst (USA) led the all-female podium line-up, riding her own Federle to 71.863%. The nine-year-old mare by Fürstenball garnered plenty of eights, but a mistake in the two-time changes pegged the score back a little. Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM) gave Jorst a good run for her money, trailing by just 0.29 percentage points with 71.569% on another mare — the 10-year-old Idwinaretto, by Everdale. Jessica Howington rode Indigo TC, by Glock’s Dream Boy, to 70% and third place.
Dressage competition at AGDF 7 concludes on Sunday, with a packed day of action across the divisions. It features the individual finale of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™, with freestyle classes at both small tour and big tour level in the form of the Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* and the Intermediate I Freestyle CDIO3*. Two more qualifiers take place in the Future Challenge classes; the Lövsta Future Challenge Intermediate II and the Prix St. Georges, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as an Under 25 Grand Prix and the Intermediate I Freestyle CDI1*, sponsored by Zen Elite Equestrian. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Click for full results from the CDI3* FEI Grand Prix Special, sponsored by Iron Spring Farm.