March 9, 2015–Sunday was an exciting day at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), host of the Week 9 Palm Beach Dressage Derby’s final day of competition. For the first time at AGDF, a Derby Exhibition class was organized, providing a unique opportunity for spectators and fans to further appreciate the sport of dressage. Adrienne Lyle (USA) ultimately won the class, followed by Christoph Koschel (GER), Karen Pavicic (CAN), and Lars Petersen (DEN) respectively.
The class, formatted like a true Derby, paired riders to compete on the same horse in back-to-back tests (Koschel/Pavicic and Lyle/Petersen), with the rider receiving the highest score moving forward to the second round. Riders were given a five-minute familiarization period with the horses before performing an FEI Prix St. Georges level test. “Last year when I heard the Palm Beach Dressage Derby would be held at our venue, I had been told about the history of the show and I thought that a Derby needs a Derby (class). That’s why I set this up this year to test out how it would work,” said Thomas Baur, Director of Sport at AGDF. “It was great that we had four top riders join us, and we will work on something for next year to make the Derby class a larger part of the week.”
Christoph Koschel received the highest overall score of the class, with a 71.421% aboard Kelly Layne’s Von Primaire, which ultimately moved him to the second round to compete against Adrienne Lyle, who received a 66.579% aboard Melody Jackson’s Fortune and Fame, pushing her into the final round of competition. Lyle won the final round of the Derby, scoring a 66.816% aboard Leah Wilson’s Zango with Koschel finishing just behind on a 64.053%.
“I think that this is something for a Saturday night. It would be really fun,” said Baur. Koschel added that these competitions are fun for spectators, and there are several ways to make the class more difficult for riders. “These competitions are great because you get to see horses being ridden by different riders and like Thomas said, a derby needs a derby. They’re very popular in Germany. It would be great to add some sort of Freestyle element to the class as the final round. It would be something really nice for the crowd and make it more challenging for the riders.”
Lyle, who entered the International Ring at AGDF for the first time this season to participate in the class, was thrilled with her win and expressed the most sincere gratitude to the owners who volunteered their horses for the competition. “I was very excited when I received the invitation to compete, and it’s great fun. Thank you so much to the owners for giving us this opportunity. It was incredibly generous of them, and they put a huge amount of trust in our hands to make sure their horses had a positive experience in the ring.”
Lyle and Koschel both started the first round on large warmblood geldings, proceeding to ride the smaller Zango, a feisty P.R.E. stallion, who made both riders work for their scores. “I rode two completely different horses today. We had one bigger mover and then one little firecracker of a horse, so it was really interesting. You get a couple of minutes to warm-up and figure them out, and then you have to go in there and ride to the best of your ability. It’s a great challenge,” remarked Lyle.
The planning for next year’s event has already begun and the extra preparation time will allow Thomas Baur and his team to create a truly spectacular event. “With more time I think we can really make this class an important piece of this competition,” he stated. Karen Pavicic agreed and said the event was well received considering its inaugural year. She noted, “A lot of people were asking about it and I think there was a lot of interest, which will continue to grow as people understand what it is and the format. People were asking about live-stream and wanting to watch, which is a great thing to know for next year.”
Final Results for Palm Beach Derby:
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E% (Clarke-GBR), Judge H% (Schwennesen-AUS), Judge C% (Eisenhardt-GER), Judge M% (Romanov-RUS), Judge B% (Zang-USA), Total%
1. Christoph Koschel (GER), Von Primaire, 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kelly Layne, Don Primaire x Noraline x Amiral ZW P.S.: 71.316%, 72.237%, 70.526%, 72.237%, 70.789%, 71.421%,
2. Karen Pavicic (CAN), Von Primaire, 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kelly Layne, Primaire x Noraline x Amiral ZW P.S.: 71.184%, 70.395%, 69.868%, 69.605%, 67.368%, 69.684%
3. Adrienne Lyle (USA), Fortune and Fame, 2004 Oldenburg gelding owned by Melody Jackson, Florencio x H Rinetle x Bonjour: 66.316%, 65.263%, 65.568%, 68.158%, 65.526%, 66.184%
4. Lars Petersen (DEN), Fortune and Fame, 2004 Oldenburg gelding owned by Melody Jackson, Florencio x H Rinetle x Bonjour: 64.342%, 67.763%, 65.526%, 67.105%, 68.158%, 66.579%
1. Adrienne Lyle (USA), Zango, 2004 P.R.E. stallion owned by Leah Wilson: 64.868%, 67.237%, 68.421%, 66.053%, 67.500%, 66.816%
2. Christoph Koschel (GER), Zango, 2004 P.R.E. stallion owned by Leah Wilson: 63.289%, 63.684%, 65.526%, 64.079%, 63.684%, 64.053%