Belinda Trussel Top AGDF 7 FEI Grand Prix Special (VIDEO)

Belinda Trussel Top AGDF 7 FEI Grand Prix Special (VIDEO)

Belinda Trussell (CAN) and Anton smiled their way through the awards ceremony for the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4* presentation sponsored by The Dutta Corporation at Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Trussell and Anton topped the competitive class on a 71.490% with Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor following in second receiving a 70.667%, and Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella placing third with a 70.608%. AGDF 7 competition will continue tomorrow, highlighting the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle CDI1* presented by Mission Control.

Trussell and Anton finished third in the Grand Prix CDI4* and accumulated another top three finish this week today with the win. Trussell was beaming during the press conference and could not say enough great things about Anton's performance. “This week he felt great. I feel like he's in the best shape of his life; he just is fantastic. The training has been going very well and he just kind of clocks through everything. He's a professional now.”

The pair's relationship is evident in their string of consistent performances so far this year at the 2015 season of AGDF. “I honestly think he was better than me in the Grand Prix on Thursday. Today he was just spot on it felt like a really great Special and I'm excited for how he felt, to have him, and to be able to show him,” said Trussell.

Trussell has not only seen vast improvements in Anton's physical fitness but also in his mental capabilities too. “As a younger horse he was so hot and I find that at this stage in his life, he's much more relaxed and I can really ride to his potential now, where before I felt sometimes I had to ride below it because I didn't want to scare him,” she explained. “I feel like we're at a point where he's letting me in and the overall picture is starting to come together.”

Doktor, who performed his usual workman-like test, was a bit perkier today according to Francis, which allowed her to ask more of him during the test. “He was really good. We had a big spook after the extended canter and I thought it would hurt the pirouette afterwards, but he just went right back to work. I had a lot of horse behind me throughout the whole test. We sometimes have trouble holding the extended trot, but it's getting a lot better and it was better in this test.”

The tumultuous weather in South Florida this week was a factor for many riders but Francis felt that Doktor handled it well and that it only brought out the energized side of the gelding she handles on a daily basis. “As long as I keep him in front of my leg and I can keep him where I want him,” she explained. “He can get tense, but today he felt so nice.”

Megan Lane and Caravella had a lovely return back to competition since their World Equestrian Games (WEG) performance last summer. “The piaffe and passage tour along with the one-tempis are her highlight, especially in comparison to the world stage. She definitely has something there, and it's really exciting to have a horse like that,” said Lane. “I'm so lucky and so honored to ride her. I'm really happy with the scores too. To debut with a score above 70% here after WEG is something I was really happy with as well.”

Lane re-evaluated the pair's performances after last season to pinpoint exactly where she wanted to put focus coming into the 2015 season. “Her piaffe was very hit or miss sometimes and she either feels very comfortable or the opposite, and we spent a lot of time working on that. We're trying to get her to relax in the movement more, which we are seeing a big difference in,” explained Lane.

Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4*

1. Belinda Trussell (CAN) Anton, 2000 Sachsen Warmblood gelding owned by Robyn Eames, Anteaus x Shirley x Melit: 70.392%, 71.176%, 73.627%, 69.804%, 72.451%, 71.490%

2.3 Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor: 2003 Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I: 68.137%, 70.392%, 72.745%, 69.510%, 72.549%, 70.667%

3. Megan Lane (CAN), Caravella, 2001 Dutch Warmblood mare owned by rider, Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman: 70.588%, 70.000%, 70.294%, 70.000%, 72.157%, 70.608%

4. Kelly Lane (AUS), Udon P, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Whistlejacket Farm LLC & April Harris, Hierarch x Maleida x Uniform: 71.275%, 67.353%, 69.608%, 69.314%, 70.000%, 69.510%

5. Arlene Page (USA), Alina, 1998 Danish Warmblood mare owned by rider, Michellino x Alberte Lindebjerg x Diamant: 66.471%,66.765%, 70.000%, 69.804%, 70.392%, 68.686%

6. Catherine Haddad- Staller (USA), Mane Stream Hotmail, 2002 Oldenburg gelding owned by Rowan O'Riley, Michellino x Rederna x Havel: 67.353%, 68.725%, 68.725%, 68.725%, 67.745%, 68.255%

7. Jill Irving (CAN), Degas 12, 2002 Hanoverian gelding owned by rider, De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni: 66.471%,66.373%, 66.275%, 68.725%, 65.980%, 66.255%

8. Susan Dutta (USA), Currency DC, 2000 Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Clintino x Cinderella x Classiker: 63.333%, 66.471%, 63.824%, 63.824%, 64.118%, 64.314%

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