Del Mar’s Dressage Affaire highlighted by Seidel’s regain
By Diana Saenger
Among the climax of an exciting 3-day Dressage Affaire competition at the Del Mar Horsepark was the return of Cardiff’s three-time Olympian Guenter Seidel who missed last year’s competition due to a serious injury. Seidel, wildly cheered by the crowd, smiled from ear to ear after winning 1st place in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
“It was more challenging on Saturday as there was some pain,” Seidel said. “On Sunday I felt better and was very happy with the horse and the results.”
Seidel was injured last year in Germany when he was thrown from his horse and suffered a broken pelvis, cracked rib and collapsed lung. As he paraded by the stands this weekend with his horse UII, he was greeted with applause from fans as well as other riders in the competition. Seidel has been openly appreciative of support from the community since his injury. “People have been very nice, and it means a lot,” he said.
All the training and classes paid off as many other competitors held their heads high regarding their wins. This year’s Dressage Affaire had a record number of 300 entries as young as 15 and from as far away as Mexico and Canada. “So many of them waited to the last day so we had no choice but to turn them away,” said Kim Keenan-Stordahl, Dressage Affaire event manager and President of Keenan Productions and Events.
Another favorite event at Dressage Affaire and returning for the second time is the addition of 15 handicapped riders competing to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in the Para Equestrian Division. “This is our second year for the Para Equestrian Division competitors,” Keenan-Stordahl said. “We are excited to have them.”
The Para Equestrian competition, a unique form of physical activity, is quickly gaining both competitors and fans as it involves two finely-tuned partners, the rider or driver and the horse. It is available to and practiced by equestrians with a wide variety of disabilities. Winning the 2011 Para-Equestrian CPEDI3* Dressage Affaire was the Canadian Team completing their first stop on the way to the 2012 Paralympics in London. They were followed by the United States Team – Jonathan Wentz and Ritcher Scale (Grade Ib), Eleanor Brimmer and Vadico Interago (Grade III), Donna Ponessa and Otto (Grade Ib) and Dena Pate aboard Imagine That (Grade IV). Three of the United States riders earned a qualifying score over 60% gaining their chance to compete at the 2012 Paralympics in London, England. Jonathan Wentz US Para Team member who competed at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, earned his qualifying scores for 2012 with his two horses.
“The Para Equestrian Association competition at Del Mar has become a terrific event and world-class venue,” said Lindsay McCall, the organization’s spokesperson. “The Del Mar Dressage Affaire has become a key destination for us and we plan to be back again next year.”
For more information about Dressage Affaire 2011 visit www.dressageevents.com.
Dressage Affaire Results
Saturday, March 12, 2011
(CDI) FEI Grand Prix:
1- Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, CA, riding Rafalca. Score= 69.596%
2- Susan Blinks of Encinitas, CA, riding Robin Hood. Score= 68.447%
3- Guenter Seidel of Cardiff, CA, riding UII. Score= 67.638%
4- Shannon Peters of San Diego, CA, riding Odyssey. Score= 66.234%
5- Wendy Christoff of Delta, British Columbia, CAN, riding Pfalstaff. Scrore= 65.532%
Sunday, March 13, 2011
(CDI) FEI Grand Prix Special
1- Shannon Peters of San Diego, CA, riding Odyssey. Score= 66.250%
2- Alisa Wilson of Chino Hills, CA, riding Weltclassiker. Score= 64.792%
3- Wendy Christoff of Delta, British Columbia, CAN, riding Pfalstaff. Score= 64.458%
4- Kathleen Raine of Murrieta, CA, riding Breanna. Score= 64.375%
5- Michelle Reilly of San Marcos, CA, riding Atlantic. Score= 63.646%
Sunday, March 13, 2011
(CDI) FEI Grand Prix Freestyle:
1- Guenter Seidel of Cardiff, CA, riding UII. Score= 71.900%
2- Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, CA, riding Rafalca. Score= 71.675%
3- Susan Blinks of Encinitas, CA, riding Robin Hood. Score= 69.875%
4- David Wightman of Murrieta, CA, riding Partous. Score= 69.125%
5- Elizabeth Ball of Carlsbad, CA, riding Orion. Score= 67.125%
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