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Harrison Hangs On for Grand Prix Special Victory at 2023 Festival of Champions

Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco rose to the top of the pack again in Thursday’s Grand Prix Special at the 2023 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Despite some “rider errors,” she and the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding earned a 69.829% to claim the win. “Today we were not mistake-free, but he still gave a pretty great feeling throughout the whole test. He stayed with me.”

Katie Duerrhammer and Paxton earned second place in the class of nine horse and rider combinations. She and the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding finished with a score of 69.637%. And in third place again was Lehua Custer with her 13-year-old KWPN gelding, F.J. Ramzes. The duo scored a 69.595% to round out the podium.

Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco
© Julia Murphy

Standout Movements

Harrison and “Bossco’s” piaffe and passage were once again the standout movements of their test, earning scores between 7 and 8 across the board. “The passage actually felt better today,” remarked Harrison. “The piaffe and passage are usually his highlights.”

She added that her other favorite parts of the test were their one tempis and half pass. “The ones felt nice. The half passes felt quite easy today for him. That’s not one of his strengths, but even though he’s getting older, they’re getting better.”

In their two tempis, though, Bossco got ahead of himself and performed a one tempi. “I had some rider errors—I gunned it a little too much in the twos and had a mistake. I also messed up my walk tour,” Harrison admitted. Regardless, the remainder of their movements placed them at the top of the leaderboard.

“The last centerline felt pretty good. It felt good yesterday too. But at the end of the test, you’d expect him to be more tired, but that last centerline he lights up knowing he did and good job, and it’s time to be done.”

Ready to Rock the Freestyle

Looking forward to Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle, Harrison hinted at what to expect. “I think it’s pretty fun! It’s a rock freestyle. We showed it all season, and he loves it.”

“He loves the music,” she continued, “there’s always a little bit more energy inside of him when he hears it. It’s made for him, so it highlights our good things, and it’s my favorite test to ride.”

Barn Dad

Though Harrison is not from a horse family, her father, Warner, is always there to support her. He stood proudly in his “Barn Dad” hat as he watched his daughter and Bossco rise to the top of the class. “He’s the best,” said Harrison. “He’s always around. None of my family rides. I’m really the only one, so I feel pretty lucky to have parents who support it and try to help as much as they can.” Harrison added that last year, when she started her business and didn’t have help, her father would visit once a month and do all of the stalls. “I’m lucky to have him.”

Brentina Cup

The first leg of the Brentina Cup Championship saw nine horse and rider duos tackle the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 test. Quinn Iverson and Beckham 19 emerged victorious from the group with a score of 67.409%. “It’s a little warm here today and everybody is a little tired,” Iverson remarked on the high-90 degree weather, “but he still put in a really good effort.”

“I was actually really happy with the pirouettes today,” said Iverson, noting they were her favorite part of their test. “Sometimes he gets really fast, and he actually kind of slowed down and let me turn him. I was very happy with that.”

For full results of the Grand Prix Freestyle, click here.

For full results of the Brentina Cup, click here.

Thanks to Cosequin for our coverage of the 2023 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, including rider interviews, competition reports, photos, videos and more!⁣

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