Alanna Flax-Clark and El Paso Capture Win in FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* at AGDF
Week 9 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, March 9, with FEI Para Individual Champ Tests. This is the second week of AGDF that offers international competition for para-dressage riders. Competition on Sunday, March 10, will feature FEI Para Freestyle Tests from Grade I to Grade V at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Alanna Flax-Clark and El Paso, her 15-year-old Dutch Riding gelding by Elegant, won the FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* with a score of 65.294%. Grade II is for riders who mainly use wheelchairs and have some combination of trunk, arm, or leg impairments. Flax-Clark is from Granada Hills, CA, and now trains in Califon, NJ.
“He felt more consistent in the walk today, and I think more responsive,” said Flax-Clark of El Paso. “We changed a little stuff from yesterday, and I think overall it felt more fluid. We kept my reins a little bit longer, so he wouldn’t fall forward as much and the poll would be a little bit higher. I think it just gave him a little bit more room to move and not fall back.” “It was bit more scary for me because I didn’t feel as locked in,” continued Flax-Clark. “I can’t adjust my reins during my ride, so it’s always what can I do beforehand so that we both feel comfortable and get the best ride possible.”
El Paso is a big help to Flax-Clark in the show ring. “He’s a super show horse. I don’t really have to worry about anything in the show ring, especially here he feels right at home,” said Flax-Clark. “From January, the first day we took him out at AGDF, it was like he was right at home. He’s really focused, he loves showing, he loves working, and I can focus on what I need to do in the ring.”
Lee Garrod and Question won the FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade V – CPEDI 3* with a score of 65.690%. Grade V is for riders who have a mild impairment of movement or muscle strength, or a deficiency of one limb or mild deficiency of two limbs. Grade V is also for riders with some visual Impairment. “I had more horse under me today, for sure,” said Garrod of her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quaterback. “He moved with power today. He’s a very honest horse, and his temperament is lovely. He’s exactly what I’m looking for in a Para Horse.” Looking forward to her freestyle tomorrow, Garrod said, “I want to keep my horse under control, but with elegance and power.”
The day started with another win for Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I owned by Kate Shoemaker, this time in the FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade I – CPEDI 3* with a score of 75.476%. David Botana and Lord Locksley, an 18-year-old Trakehner stallion by Unkenruf owned by Margaret Stevens, came in second with a score of 72.381%. Botana is the first junior rider ever to be on the U.S. Para-Dressage team.
In the FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade III – CPEDI 3*, Rebecca Hart and Fortune 500, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Rowan O’Riley, won with a score of 68.284%.
Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40, her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit, won the FEI Para Individual Champ Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 74.309%.