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Sarah Chatfield Scores Last Qualifying Spot As Competitors Prepare For Dressage Under the Stars Finale
Written by: Kendall Bierer Client:Dressage Under the Stars Release Date:2012-03-30
Wellington, FL – March 30, 2012 – The skies opened with a downpour Wednesday night as the seventh week of Dressage Under the Stars got underway—but that didn’t stop the competition as top dressage riders vied for the last qualifying spot. The remainder of the evening stayed dry as the bout of rain settled, and it was Sarah Chatfield who came out on the top with her Spanish freestyle, bringing the crowd to their feet as they showed their support.
The night was filled with the sounds of Spanish guitar as Chatfield wowed the crowd and the judges, pirouetting her way to the final slot. Her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Pattent, performed splendidly in the illustrious role of Chatfield’s daring and mysterious mount, decorated with roses intertwined within his mane. Chatfield masqueraded Zorro in appearance, bedecked in a black costume with a flowing Spanish cape, a flat-brimmed black sombrero, and a black cowl sackcloth mask that covered the top of the head from the eye level upwards.
“The entire theme of the freestyle was Spain and mystery,” Chatfield described. “We had so much fun out there. I had decided to enter for fun and just do the best we could, but he really performed well under the lights. The venue is great—so horse friendly—it was such a pleasure to warm-up on the polo field and then ride into the dressage ring. I am looking extremely forward to the finals.”
Chatfield is an FEI level rider with both Silver and Gold medals from the USDF. She has trained every horse she has ever shown at the FEI level, winning multiple FEI and regional championships with her mounts. When she first started working with Pattent he was doing second level, but he has since stepped up to the Grand Prix level. The duo showed their immense talent on Wednesday night, earning the favor of the judges and the final qualifying spot.
“He is a wonderful horse—very honest, great attitude, is a pleasure to ride absolutely everyday—He loves what he does,” Chatfield elaborated.
Australian Olympic contender Kelly Layne also joined the final qualifying night aboard two horses. The Iberian culture continued into Layne’s routines, reflecting the heritage of her 10-year-old PRE horse Illenio, who was imported from Spain, and her spectacular Lusitano, Ulme. The talented Lusitano was originally destined for greatness in the bull-fighting arena, but after a failed career whilst living in Portugal, Layne brought Ulme forward into the role of a Grand Prix Dressage mount. Layne and Ulme, dressed in attire native to Ulme’s beloved country, gained a resounding applause not only for their dazzling costume but also the very respectful bow Ulme gave to the audience at the end of the routine.
Jane Clark, or as media personality Steve Williams affectionately nicknamed her, "The Fairy God Mother of Equestrian Sports in the U.S.", lead the panel of judges with her witty commentary and proficiency. U.S. Dressage rider Katherine Bateson and “R” -rated Dressage judge Susan Roberto joined Clark on the judges’ panel. Each judge expertly granting scores based on technique, choreography, music selection and costume design.
“It is so great how things are happening in the equestrian community,” Roberto exclaimed. “It is so wonderful to have an event such as Dressage Under the Stars amidst all of it.”
Wednesday night also introduced Horze as their Finale sponsor. Horze recently launched their Web site www.horze.com in the United States—serving as the largest equine supply company in the world with availability in over 40 countries. Horze reps were on-hand for the event, and the crowd was thrilled to receive exciting give-aways. It was announced that Horze would provide over $3,000 in merchandise at the Dressage Under the Stars Finals next week.
Next Wednesday marks the final night of Dressage Under the Stars where the seven horse and rider combinations will pull out all the stops in their freestyle routines as they attempt to become the 2012 Dressage Under the Stars Champion.
Fun, friends and fabulous riding are all a part of Dressage Under the Stars with the finale taking place Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at Polo West located at 2470 Greenview Cove Drive Wellington, FL. Doors open at 6:30 with an 8:00 PM start. For additional information please call (917) 907-0053.
Horze is the world’s largest equine supply manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer. With over 5,000 products available in 14 different languages to 40 countries, Horze has something for equestrians at every level. Finally European quality tack and supply is available at an affordable price. Visit www.horze.com for their full line of apparel for the horse and rider.
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