This article is from The Pilot, Southern Pines News Paper!
The Stars Aligned at Pinehurst Dressage
BY PATRICIA SMITH: EQUESTRIAN CORRESPONDENT
The third time was the charm for the Pinehurst Dressage Schooling Shows. The first two shows in the series were cancelled due to inclement weather. Luckily, Feb. 1 dawned sunny and cool with no rain or snow in sight.
The nice weather brought Dressage riders out to the historic Pinehurst Harness Track to dust off the cobwebs. Sue Smithson, show manager, had three rings running simultaneously to accommodate a large turnout. A Sport Horse Versatility (SHV) competition was also running in a fourth ring. It included an in-hand division and a ridden division.
Orion, aptly named after a constellation, was the brightest star making his debut at Dressage. Orion earned the high score of the day, a 76.785 in a Training 2 class, with Gina Fiore in the irons for owner Donna Griffin, who is sidelined with a fractured leg. Fiore has been riding the 5-year-old Trakehner/Irish gelding, a grandson of the show jumper Abdullah, for three months. "I thought he was really well behaved, very quiet and accurate," said Fiore.
Orion was unbeatable, also winning a Training 1 class with a score of 69.565. Fiore was on a roll, continuing her winning streak to place first in Intermediate A with her 9-year-old Irish horse Ferol Erol, who scored a 63.448. "He (Ferol Erol) was fresh today but ridable. It was a good first horse show (of the season)," said Fiore.
Michele Lobsinger's mare, Brandenburg's Able Starlight, also shone brightly earning the second highest score of the day, a 72.5, to win a Training level class.
Remington, an American Quarter Horse, took a first place in Preliminary A class scoring 57.037 for owner and rider Linda Dreher of Vass. Remington also came in second scoring a 62.917 in a Preliminary B class.
Remington was a bit distracted in the Preliminary A class. "My second test (Prelim B) was a better test," said Dreher. "There was a mule (Lucky Number Seven owned by Shannon Hoffman of Zebulon) in the ring next to mine and Rem thought it was the strangest thing he had ever smelled. Rem was very keen to figure out what that smell was. He obviously had never seen a mule before. By the time we were warming up for test B, the mule didn't prove to be as distracting."
The mule, Lucky Number Seven, proved his versatility by winning the Sport Horse Versatility (SHV) Under Saddle class with owner Shannon Hoffman aptly guiding him through the obstacles. Seven did well in Dressage classes which counts as part of the SHV score. Seven scored a 64.286 in Training 2, finishing second on the heels of Orion. And Seven never brayed once during the competition.
The next Pinehurst Dressage Schooling show is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 15.