Trussell and Anton Continue Dominance in Large Tour Competition at AGDF

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by Carly Weilminster for JWM Inc.
Wellington, FL –  Belinda Trussell (CAN) and Anton secured another victory at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) today, continuing their consistent showing on the winter circuit this season and solidifying themselves as one of Canada’s strongest Large Tour combinations. The pair earned a personal best score in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane and George Fellows, on a score of 75.529%. Arlene “Tuny” Page (USA) finished in second place aboard Woodstock with a 73.431%, while Laura Tomlinson (GBR) and Rosalie B captured third place with a 72.078%.

Trussell and Anton have demonstrated the value of experience and tenured partnership this season, which has been reflective in their scores, achieving a personal best score in the FEI Grand Prix Special of 75.529% today.

Belinda Trussell and Anton
“His highlight is his piaffe and his passage is really good too. His transitions in and out are very easy for him,” commented Trussell. “I have to say, his consistency (is a strength). He’s a really solid competitor, and it’s such a great feeling as a rider. You have that confidence going into the ring that your horse knows his job well.”
“He also was so relaxed and with me. That was a great feeling,” she continued.

After their performance at the FEI CDI 5* at AGDF a few weeks ago, Trussell found assurance in the pair’s ability to overcome adversity. Anton looked as poised as ever in the Global International Ring this afternoon and seemed to grow even more poised in the arena after their preparations at home.

“Those are part of the challenges of the sport. It’s why we all love it. It’s not easy, and you have to keep thinking about solutions. These are animals, and they’re unpredictable. They have their own personalities, and Anton became afraid of the whole atmosphere and the applause,” she explained. “I had to sit back and think to myself how can I help him feel confident in the ring. My feeling is, when you have a confident horse, you have everything you need.

“I tried to think of different things to help him with his sound sensitivity. It’s going to be an ongoing challenge, but he was great this weekend and I didn’t do the freestyle because I wanted him to be confident in the ring again,” said Trussell. “I want to do the freestyle again, so that will be another challenge for us in the near future.”

Arlene “Tuny” Page and Woodstock
Arlene “Tuny” Page and Woodstock, one of her two talented Grand Prix mounts, performed another accurate Grand Prix Special test which secured them a second place finish in the competitive class. Woodstock, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Havel x Mirania) looked soft and relaxed, which Tuny said has been a steady progression throughout each of their tests this season.
“The fact is, this horse is incredibly expressive and is blessed with a tremendous amount of scope and elasticity. He has so much power. It’s always a challenge to figure out how to channel that power but not take it away,” said Page. “Believe me, the chicken in me occasionally says, ‘You just have to tone everything down,’ but then of course, you lose the extravagance that has him on a 78% before the canter.

“I’m learning how to balance out the expression that he has with a little bit more zen, if you will, in the canter, which is where he carries more tension and can be more mistake-prone,” she continued. “Last year in Europe, I didn’t find this kind of tension, like what I have here. For him, whatever reason, this venue is a little bit more challenging and it’s been great to have him remain solid in these scores even though for him it can be a little bit more exciting for him.”

Laura Tomlinson and Rosalie B
Woodstock and Page are forging a strong relationship, which is improving the quality of their tests from beginning to end according to Page. With the trot work now fluid and expressive, the final piece they will look to improve will be the canter work.
“The highlight for me today, just like Belinda was saying, is consistency through the ride. The quality in the trot is almost matched by the overall quality of the canter and the horse has such talent for pirouettes, it’s amazing. You want the whole thing to be on about the same score if you possibly can,” she explained. “I was really pleased with that today, because he let me ride the half-passes and the flying changes much better than he did on Friday.”
Tomlinson, who winters abroad in Wellington, FL, from her typical home base in the U.K., rode Rosalie B in their second competition together to earn a 72.078%. Tomlinson commented on the progress the new pair has made in just two shows together.
“I was very happy with her. It was her second show ever at the Grand Prix level and her second show with me ever. I’m thrilled with how much she’s come together just since the last show,” said Tomlinson. “She’s much more confident in the ring, and easier to ride. I feel very happy with the way she’s going and the way she’s improving. We didn’t actually have any mistakes today.”

“She’s still lacking the strength a little bit, but she’s obedient with it. We had a great ride together and I’m thrilled,” she noted.

Belinda Trussell and Anton in their presentation ceremony with judge Isobel Wessels (GER), Lisa Apa of Today’s Equestrian, and Cora Causemann of AGDF.
Chris Von Martels (CAN) won the second annual Palm Beach Dressage Derby Exhibition at AGDF, besting fellow international riders Laura Tomlinson (GBR), Adrienne Lyle (USA), and Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP). Von Martels and Tomlinson went head-to-head in the final round of competition aboard Patricia Koschel’s Leuchtfeuer DE. Each rider had a five-minute familiarization period with each of their rides, prior to riding an FEI Prix St. Georges test before a panel of three judges.
Von Martels started the competition off aboard Legacy’s Ambicioso, a 2005 P.R.E. gelding owned by Deborah Berger, and would earn a 64.605% from the judges. Paired with last year’s champion, Adrienne Lyle, Von Martels made the most of the pair’s time in the arena to advance to the final round of competition. Lyle received a 64.254% in a close competition, earning an overall fourth place.
Chris Von Martels and Leuchtfeuer DE


Tomlinson advanced in front of Juan Matute, Jr. in the first round of knockout competition aboard Zazou, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (00 Seven x Kimbel) owned by Dana Dion, with a score of 66.535%. Matute, Jr. scored a 64.825% and would ultimately finish in third place.
“You certainly couldn’t have had two more different rides in one day. I don’t have much experience riding Spanish horses at all and it was my first time riding one in a competition setting,” explained Von Martels. “He was very sweet and had my back a few times when I didn’t give him any extra confidence. Patricia’s [Koschel] horse I thought was actually very fun to ride and is certainly a powerful, strong horse, but when you find that connection with him you could ride a very accurate test.”
Tomlinson drew the short card and rode back-to-back rounds, after already riding the FEI Grand Prix Special aboard Rosalie B and was admittedly tired. Tomlinson and Leuchtfeuer DE scored a 67.719% and would await Von Martels score.
Jokingly, Tomlinson admitted that she probably got Leuchtfeuer DE very warmed up for Von Martels, who performed a lovely test to score a 70.008% for the win.

“The first ride was very fun, it was a very powerful horse. The canter was trickier to ride because it got very big in front. It was a good challenging ride though. I was expecting Leuchtfeuer DE to be a bit lazy and then he actually got very hot with me during the test,” commented Tomlinson. “He just got a bit too strong, but unlike Chris, I don’t think I had collection the entire time during my test. I was definitely not lacking impulsion during the test, but probably lacking a bit of connection.”

Adrienne Lyle (USA), Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP), Laura Tomlinson (GBR), and Chris Von Martels (CAN) in their awards ceremony
“It’s fun to have nice horses in a class like that and it was a lot of fun for us,” continued Tomlinson.
“I thought the derby was very fun. It was my first time doing a class like this and I was definitely excited. The horse I rode, like Laura said, was very powerful. The trot tour was very exciting, but the canter was a bit more challenging to ride,” noted Matute, Jr. “These classes are something I always look forward to and it adds another aspect to your riding.”
Former champion, Adrienne Lyle, is always excited to compete in the class, which offers riders a way to test their skills in an enjoyable, yet educational atmosphere.
“I think these classes are very entertaining and we were commenting on the sidelines that it’s the only time you see everyone get a bit light-hearted and is able to laugh at themselves. If they have a mistake, everyone smiles, and the crowd cheers when you finally get your lead change,” laughed Lyle. “It was fun and it’s always a good time with good camaraderie.”
Thomas Baur, Director of Sport at AGDF, thinks the inclusion of a true derby class is essential during the circuit and fits in perfectly with the Palm Beach Dressage Derby competition during week eight.
“Definitely we will see this in the future. This has potential for more than a Sunday afternoon I think. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that this year with Nations’ Cup across the street, but I will try to make this an evening event next year,” noted Baur. “I’d like to thank all of the owners and riders who donated their horses and to these riders.”
Competition at AGDF continues again Wednesday, March 16, with the FEI CDI 4*/3*/1* presented by Havensafe Farm and will continue through Sunday, March 20. For more information on AGDF, please visit
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Today’s Equestrian with Diane & George Fellows 
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %
1. Belinda Trussell (CAN), Anton, 2000 Sachsen Warmblood gelding by Anteaus x Shirley x Melit owned by Robyn Eames and Marc Trussell: 75.196%, 73.235%, 77.745%, 76.569%, 74.902%, 75.529%
2. Arlene “Tuny” Page (USA), Woodstock, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Havel x Mirania x Contango owned by Arlene Page: 74.314%, 75.000%, 72.647%, 72.549%, 72.647%, 73.431%
3. Laura Tomlinson (GBR) Rosalie B, 2006 Westphalian mare by Rubin-Royal x Nordmaid x Newcastle owned by Dr. & Mrs. Bechtolscheimer: 70.098%, 71.863%, 73.725%, 70.588%, 74.118%, 72.078%
4. Lisa Wilcox (USA), Galant, 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Escuro x Bellisma x De Niro owned by Jacqueline Shear: 71.569%, 71.275%, 71.078%, 70.196%, 69.902%, 70.804%
5. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA), Rassing’s Lonoir, 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding De Noir x Lorani x Loran owned by Olivia LaGoy-Weltz: 68.137%, 66.471%, 69.804%, 68.824%, 68.627%, 68.373%
6. Jill Irving (CAN), Degas 12, 2002 Hanoverian gelding by De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni owned by Jill Irving: 68.039%, 67.549%, 68.922%, 66.961%, 69.118%, 68.118%
7. Eliane Corida van Reesema (CAN), Jewel’s Adelante, 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Schufro x Tangent x Phaeton x owned by Elaine Corida van Reesema: 68.431%, 68.137%, 67.059%, 69.020%, 67.059%, 67.941%
8. Sharon McCusker (USA), Wrigley, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Son De Niro x Pinomia x Rhodiamont owned by Sharon McCusker: 67.647%, 66.961%, 67.647%, 66.961%, 68.039%, 67.451%
Final Results Palm Beach Derby Dressage Exhibition 
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge B%, Total %
1. Chris Von Martels (CAN), Leuchtfeuer DE, 2003 Hanoverian gelding by Londondery x Duene x Ne Niro owned by Patricia Koschel: 70.395%, 69.737%, 70.132%, 70.008%
2. Laura Tomlinson (GBR),  Leuchtfeuer DE, 2003 Hanoverian gelding by Londondery x Duene x Ne Niro owned by Patricia Koschel: 67.895%, 67.500%, 67.763%, 67.719%
3. Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP), Zazou, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by 00 Seven x Kimbel x Ferro owned by Dana Dion: 64.605%, 63.684%, 66.184%, 64.825%
4. Adrienne Lyle (USA), Legacy’s Ambicioso, 2005 P.R.E. gelding owned by Deborah Berger: 65.658%, 64.211%, 62.895%, 64.254%
Photo Credit: SusanJStickle.
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