Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 24, 2020 – As the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) passes its halfway point, Leatherdale Farms is celebrating the success of its talented high-performance horses over the past few weeks of competition. Grand Prix dressage riders Guenter Seidel, Diane Creech, and Vanessa Creech-Terauds have played an instrumental role in piloting seven of Leatherdale Farms’ horses to top results throughout the first half of the winter season in Wellington, Florida.
Quite possibly one of the most exciting parts of the season kick-off, Olympian and Leatherdale Farms rider Seidel made the trip from his home base in Del Mar, California, to join the majority of the team in Wellington. Seidel brought with him two of Leatherdale’s top horses, Equirelle W and Beltano, to campaign for the first half of the season before returning to Southern California.
“I have been completely spoiled by Louise [Leatherdale] and working in such a great facility with Sue [Blinks]. I have worked with Sue every day with the horses and it’s very helpful to have eyes on the ground,” said Seidel. “She makes time to go to the shows with me, and I’m really thankful to her. Everyone on the team has been so supportive, and I’ve been blessed with that. I’ve enjoyed every moment here this season.”
Partnered together for two years now, Seidel has worked on developing Beltano (Belissimo M-SPS Heavenly, Hohenstein) into an international Grand Prix prospect. The pair made their season debut during the AGDF 3 where the 11-year-old Hanoverian placed second in the competitive CDI1* Prix St. Georges with a 71.324%. Beltano returned to the arena during AGDF 5 of competition to improve his scores with Seidel to 72.892%, winning in the CDI1* Prix St. Georges.
“I was very happy with how Beltano started competing here. He did well at the first show and the highlight for me was that the judges gave very complimentary feedback about his performance. He presents a very nice picture,” expressed Seidel. “At home, we’re working on the Grand Prix, but the rest of season we’re working for a little more of everything: a little more expression, a little more brilliance.”
With Equirelle W (Florett AS-Orchidee T), Seidel started the season strong on the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. During AGDF 3, the relatively new partnership made their international debut together in the CDI3* Grand Prix. Seidel rode a lovely test with Equirelle W, who scored multiple eights for her walk, claiming an overall score of 66.5%. Seidel and Equirelle W entered the International Arena again during AGDF 5 to place fifth in both the CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special with respective scores of 68.587% and 67.702%.
“Equirelle is such a cool horse. I haven’t had her very long, but I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity while I’m here to get in the big ring and see how she handles it. I’m floored by how the environment does not seem to bother her,” he explained. “She has a lot of potential in the piaffe and passage, and has a great canter and walk. Everything is there! I have to find the right buttons that work for me and be good enough to present her in the way that she deserves to be presented. In general, I’m happy with how it’s gone so far and want to continue that way.”
Creech-Terauds has also had a breakout start to the season in both the international ring and at the national shows. With Leatherdale Farms’ homebred Fleur de Lis L (First Dance-EM De La Rosa, De Niro), Creech-Terauds started the season with a Intermediate II debut the very first week. The 11-year-old Hanoverian mare came out again during AGDF 3 for the U25 Grand Prix with Creech-Terauds, where they scored a 67.949%.
“Fleur has been my long time partner – I love that mare. It’s been amazing to compete with her through the Juniors and Young Rider divisions to now develop her up to the U25 Grand Prix. She’s the first horse that I’ve taught the Grand Prix to, and it’s been such a fun journey along the way,” shared Creech-Terauds. “I’m excited to keep showing and developing her this year because she has an amazing work ethic, and she tries so hard for me.”
In addition, 20-year-old Creech-Terauds rode Hallmark 3 (His Highness-SPS Lapislazuly, Lancier) during the opening week to a score of 67.353% and fifth place in the Intermediate II against stiff competition. The 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding entered the Gold Coast Dressage Association (GCDA)’s CDI for the second week of the winter season where he swept the U25 Grand Prix division with Creech-Terauds by winning both days of competition with two scores about 67 percent. During AGDF 5, Hallmark 3 placed third in both of the CDIU25 division classes, capping off their week with a win the CDIU25 Grand Prix Freestyle after scoring a 68.59%.
“I’ve been really excited for Hallmark and our developing partnership. We’re coming up on a year in March that I’ve been riding him and we’re figuring out what buttons we can push on each other,” stated Creech-Terauds. “We did our first freestyle this year – we both loved the music and loved going out there to perform it. I’m hoping we can get on the U25 Nation’s Cup Team and do well there. It’s been a really fun time with him.”
Another His Highness-sired progeny, Harley L (His Highness-MS Eileen, Espri) made his Intermediate II debut with Creech-Terauds at AGDF 3. The 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding claimed two blue ribbons in the division, scoring up to a 65.441%. Continuing the gain confidence in the new level, the next time he competed, which was during AGDF 6, he wowed the judges to beat 14 other horses to win with a 68.971%.
“I’ve been so incredibly proud of Harley. He used to be a little bit scared of other horses in the warm-up ring, and now, coming to Florida, he trusts me. If we’re ever put into a scary situation, he knows that he’s safe with me and comfortable with me,” Creech-Terauds added. “The same goes for developing him up through the U25. I was so proud of him last weekend. He went out there and tried his best. That was a really big class for him and it was really special that he came away with the win.”
Campaigned by Creech, Leatherdale Farms homebred Dublin L (Damsey-EM Wibranda, Wolkenstein II) also made his Intermediate II debut in the FEI Test of Choice class during the first week of competition. The 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Leatherdale Farms’ Grand Prix stallion Damsey FRH went on to place second in the Intermediate II during AGDF 3. During AGDF 5, Dublin L continued his upper-level development and earned an impressive 70.294% in the Intermediate II, and in AGDF 6 placed second in the class with a 68.676%.
“I think Dublin is going to be a great Grand Prix prospect. He loves it and I’m excited about how he’s developing. He’s still young; he’s only nine, so I’m taking my time with him and playing around with him. I’m not taking anything too serious and so far, it’s been a really exciting journey,” Creech said. “Dublin is a little bit smaller than Damsey, but he certainly inherited his talent for collection of the piaffe and passage. The collective work is so easy for Damsey’s progeny. I’ve had the privilege to train a couple of horses by Damsey now and they just love the work and it’s always exciting to develop them.”
During the second week of the season, Creech competed Robbie W (Rubin Royal-Rolling Home) in the Gold Coast Dressage Association’s CDI. “Perfect Robbie”, a 17-year-old Oldenburg gelding, claimed the third place ribbon in his first class of the new year before going on to clinch the win in the CDI Intermediate I with a 67.676%.
“Robbie has been with us for a long time now, and I just love that horse,” remarked Creech. “He has such a great personality and I’m just enjoying him. We’re going out and playing around. He throws his heart into every class he goes into and tries really hard. We call him ‘Perfect Robbie’ because that’s what he is! He can do no wrong.”
As Team Leatherdale heads into the second half of the winter season, they are focused on further developing each horses’ training, while also looking forward to exciting results ahead.
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