By US Equestrian Communications Department
The Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team delivered quality rides at the Perrigo CPEDI3* held March 10-12 at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Week 9. The team of Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel, Fiona Howard and Solitaer 40, Cynthia Screnci and Sir Chipoli, and Roxanne Trunnell and Fortunato H2O claimed top honors. Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline guided the team consisting of seasoned and less experienced combinations to strong scores throughout the weekend.
“It was a unique show for us because some of our top horse-and-rider combinations weren’t here as they are still in Europe, so it was a good chance to have some of the less experienced combinations be on a team,” said Assouline. “Being on a team is almost something you need to learn and train, and that is exactly what we did this time. You need to find the right shows for that and, because this year we don’t have a championship, it is a perfect year to do that. Get new riders on the team so that they can get a little bit of mileage, learn it, and be under pressure.”
Competition began on Friday, and Trunnell and Fortunato H2O had the top score of the day for the U.S. team. Trunnell (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Lehua Custer’s 2016 Oldenburg stallion scored a personal-best 74.930% to win the Grade I FEI Para Grand Prix A Test. Screnci (Wellington, Fla.) and Sir Chipoli, Volado Farms’ 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding, tallied their own personal-best score of 70.427% to earn the top spot in the Grade V FEI Para Grand Prix A Test. Howard (Boston, Mass.) and Solitaer 40, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker, made their debut as a combination, scoring 68.908% to win the Grade II FEI Para Grand Prix A Test. Hart (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Riley’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding, had a solid Grade III FEI Para Grand Prix A Test to earn a score of 68.889%.
The Adequan U.S. Para Dressage Team delivered another day of strong performances on Saturday to win the Perrigo CPEDI3* team competition with a score of 427.774%. Howard and Solitaer 40 impressively improved their score from Friday to top the Grade II FEI Para Grand Prix B Test with a score of 72.500%. Trunnell and Fortunato H2O delivered another lovely ride to score 72.430% and win the Grade I FEI Para Grand Prix B Test. Screnci and Sir Chipoli scored another personal-best score in the Grade V FEI Para Grand Prix B Test, taking the top spot with a score of 68.579%. Hart and El Corona Texel had a bobble in their walk work but managed to earn a respectable score of 65.111% in the Grade III FEI Para Grand Prix B Test.
Two U.S. team members competed on Sunday’s freestyle day and had excellent rides. Trunnell and Fortunato H2O earned another personal-best score of 77.711% to win the Grade I FEI Para Grand Prix Freestyle. Screnci and Sir Chipoli collected their third personal-best score of the weekend, winning the Grade V FEI Para Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 72.192%.
In addition to strong performances by the U.S. teams members, Assouline acknowledged the progression of developing combinations at the competition.
“It was nice to see the younger riders who were previously in the 1* and 2* going to the 3*,” said Assouline. “They are still doing well with the tests being more difficult, and they are progressing.”