At the conclusion of the Grand Prix Special CDI4*, sponsored by Donato Farms, the British anthem rung out during the prizegiving. Susan Pape and Harmony’s V-Plus took the spoils in Saturday’s top class during Week 3 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.
Pape was the unanimous choice from all five judges, finishing on 71.979%. Pablo Gómez Molina (ESP) landed second place honors riding the 14-year-old PRE Ulises De Ymas — apt during a week whose headline sponsor is the US PRE Association. In a truly international podium, Germany’s Michael Klimke claimed third, riding Uwe Kappel’s 12-year-old Domino 957 to 68.149%.
At 10 years old, Harmony Sporthorses’ Oldenburg stallion by Vivaldi was the youngest horse in the class, and his score marked a new career high at this level.
“It’s only V-Plus’s third Grand Prix Special,” said Pape, who is based in Europe but is a regular at AGDF. “In the beginning he wasn’t sure where he had to go, but he felt focussed and stayed very with me. He’s pretty amazing already, but give him a couple more months to gain strength and he will be a really nice grand prix horse. He doesn’t even technically turn 10 until August; he was born really late.”
Pape has ridden V-Plus since he was bought by her sponsors Leslie and John Malone of Harmony Sporthorses for €1.2million at the PSI Auction in December 2018.
Pape also finished second in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, sponsored by ProElite®, riding the 15-year-old Harmony’s Eclectisch to 69.617%. It was the young gun Erin Nichols (USA) who — at just 20 years old — topped the list of 12 starters. This was her and Elian Royale’s second ever senior CDI show together and they posted a new personal best of 70.468%. Jemma Heran (AUS) rode her own 25-year-old San Amour mare Saphira Royal 2 into third with 68.787%.
Nichols was awarded over 70% from all five judges, and is drinking in the experience of moving up into the senior ranks.
“I was amazed and so excited,” said Nichols of the score she earned on the 15-year-old Glock’s Johnson gelding whom she bought through Dirk Glitz two years ago. “I knew going down that centerline I put in the best effort that I possibly could — and there are still places where I can improve. It’s been a really awesome experience moving up, and I’ve had amazing support from USEF.”
For more information and results, visit https://gdf.coth.com.