Saturday, March 7, 2009

Silva and Prosecco Featured on

After winning the FEI Prix St. Georges at the Wellington Classic Dressage Show, Silva and Prosecco were featured on For the whole story, click here.

"It's really exciting, and I appreciate the support," said Silva, who was also sure to thank her coach, Oded Shimoni. "I've had so much help from Oded and I also want him to know how much I appreciate all he's done."

Photo of Silva and Prosecco Copyright

Friday, March 6, 2009

Working Hard in Florida

Lillian Heard, Silva Martin, Caitlin Silliman and Brody the dog enjoying the sunshine at Stillpoint Farm in Wellington, Florida. Amber Heintzberger photo

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Palm Beach Dressage Derby

The Palm Beach Derby went really well for all the horses. On Thursday Jeff placed third (64.4) in the Developing Horses class. First place scored 64.8 and second scored 64.6 so it was very close, and a little frustrating because I made two mistakes in the canter and probably would have won otherwise, but Jeff was very good.

On Friday Prosecco was awesome in our first Prix St. Georges together. His trot work was beautiful and his canter was good. I was still worried about his changes, and the four-time changes were so good that I got excited and made a mistake in the three-time changes. He placed second on 69%, just behind Betsy Steiner with 70%. I am going to keep showing him in the open classes for now and probably enter the CDI at Raleigh, NC in June.

Jeff did a different PSG on Friday and was good in the trot but got tired in the canter, so he got just a bit flat. He scored 62%.

Ballatale went in Fourth level test 1 which was a warmup for Fourth level 2 and got 61.3, then scored 63.8 on Saturday in 4th-2, which is a qualifying score for Devon. It's exciting that he's qualified. He's really easy to ride, not an Olympic horse but very obedient - he's a really good guy who tries hard and rarely makes a mistake.

Sea Lord (pictured above and right, Amber Heintzberger photos), scored 65.5 in the same test and placed 5th; he was a little tense, and got strong in the canter. Today in 4th-3 he was so much better! He placed second out of 13 horses. He's already qualified for Devon and I am going to compete him at Fourth level again next weekend. For him it was a big step up from Third to Fourth level - for some horses it's not a big step, but for him it was - so I am going to keep him there a while and then do the Developing Horse classes. I'm not in a hurry with him and he needs to get physically stronger.

My student Lillian Heard did 2nd level and did really well. Last weekend she scored 68% and this weekend 61%. None of the judges know her since she's an eventer and her scores don't really matter because she's getting ready to go intermediate in eventing and her horse has improved so much. She's also working on her jumping with Katie Monahan-Prudent and plans to enter the Plantation Field horse trials when we get home, which will be her first event of the year.

Caitlin (pictured left, hard at work; Amber Heintzberger photo), had to sit this show out because Waimea has an ulcer in her eye and we don't want to take any chances with it until it's healed. Caitlin is looking forward to possibly having a new horse soon though!

I am catching a flight to Pennsylvania today to teach a two-day clinic so hopefully I will not be stuck up there in the snow!


Tough Conditions at Pine Top

Well folks I can tell you that I am well and truly soaking wet. For the last three days I have been competing Minoture du Passoir, Shatzi W, Remington XXV and Benwald in the mud at the Pine Top Horse Trials in Thompson, Georgia. All four horses put in great dressage tests and clear show jumping rounds on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday night the storm of all storms hit Georgia. The organizers of the event wisely chose to cancel the cross-country phase of the preliminary and the intermediate due to the harsh conditions on Sunday morning. This was a little bit of a shame for Min and Shatzi as they were within striking distance of the leaders. The organizers did choose to run the advanced cross-country.

Remington was having his first advanced start of his life. The challenge was set with not only a big course but with pouring rain and muddy conditions. Remington was a champion flying around the course clear. He felt a little bit green, especially the bounce fence out of the first water. I also felt he really noticed the bigger size in fence, so I took my time setting him up. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw he held onto 2nd place in Advanced A-1 on 59.0 out of 19 horses, only eight of which completed the event. This was a big effort for such a green horse.

Benwald, (pictured above and right, photo by Kat Netzler/The Chronicle of The Horse), was also a legend today. The Irish Thoroughbred went cross-country later in the day when the track was well and truly chopped up. He was all heart, slipping and sliding around the course. There were three corners on the course that he jumped well. Apex fences and corners have been his weak link so I have been training hard over them. I was really impressed with his effort over these accuracy fences, and it's good too see the training is paying off. He recorded the fastest time of the day, finishing 2nd in the second Advanced A-3 class on 56.4, out of 18 horses.

So all in all, I am very pleased with the efforts of these top horses. For complete results, click here.

Kat Netzler of The Chronicle of the Horse kindly provided these photos of Benwald in action. Thanks for the photos Kat, and for standing out in the rain to get them!

Until next time...