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Florida Dressage Classic honors “Equestrian of the Year”

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2003 -- Lauren Walfish was honored as "Equestrian of the Year" by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the awards ceremony at the Florida Dressage Classic, held February 13-16, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian show grounds in Wellington, Florida. Lauren Walfish competes in the FEI Young Rider division with her 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Icon (Julio Mariner x Erege.)

Presented by Event Chairwoman Mary Ann Grant and honorary Chairman, Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham, the award recognized extraordinary fundraising efforts on behalf of the society. During the past year, equestrians raised nearly $100,000 for the Society, with Walfish fundraising nearly $40,000 alone. First runner-up, Alison Firestone, lined up almost $30,000 in donations to the organization.

Corporate sponsor Bayer awarded a one-year supply of Legend to the winner, with Euro-American Saddlery also presenting a generous gift certificate.

Sunday afternoon’s Intermediare I and Grand Prix freestyles culminated a weekend of intense competition. Debuting his much-anticipated Intermediare I freestyle this weekend, Jans Brons and Josien won the class with a 73.667%. Josien (Casanova x Dans-Utopia), a 12-year-old Dutch mare, is owned by Elizabeth Schaffner of Wainscott, NY. Yvonne Losos de Muniz of the Dominican Republic rode Inatana Las Marismas to second place with a 71.5%. In third place, Reese Koffler scored 68.667% with the 12-year-old Dutch gelding Joery (Zeoliet x Danna.)

In the Grand Prix freestyle competition, George Williams won with a score of 73.042% aboard Rocher (Rolls Royce x Fraenzi.) Owned by Chuck & Joann Smith of Richwood, OH, this 12-year-old Westphalen mare can be seen next at the 2003 US Freestyle Dressage Championships and the US League Finals at Miami's Tropical Park, February 21-23. The results in Miami will determine which two riders will represent the US at the Dressage World Cup in Goteborg, Sweden, March 27-30.

Earning a second in the Grand Prix freestyle, Jan Brons scored 67.208% with Fernando. Canadians Ashley Holzer (66.542% with Imperioso) and Julia Vysniauskas (60.042% with Syntax) rounded out the class. Vysniauskas earned an extra round of applause for her effort, her second Grand Prix freestyle since “graduating” from the Young Riders division.

Earlier in the weekend, Williams and Rocher won the Grand Prix with a 71.667%, narrowly beating out Oded Shimoni’s 71.597% aboard Glenstern. Ashley Holzer rode the 13 year-old Dutch stallion Imperioso (Cocktail x Bonita) to a 65.764% for third in a field of 13 competitors.

Shimoni and Glenstern took home the blue in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special with a 69.933%.

The High Score Awards for the weekend began with Melissa McDowell’s 75.185% at First Level with Ghaston, her 6-year-old Hannoverian by Grusus, out of Apfeil. Second Level’s High Score went to Svenja Meyer aboard her 6-year-old Hannoverian gelding Rossini M with a 71.892%. Lynne Kimball Davis of Dover, MA, earned Third Level honors with a 69.286% on her 6-year-old KWPN gelding Pompidou (Jazz x Belinda.)

Ingrid Pollak took Fourth Level High Score Champion with a 72.326% on her Dutch gelding Gatsby (Rubenstein x Una.) Young Rider High Score went to Nicole Levy with a 67.926%. Levy, of North Ft Myers, FL, owns and rides Korrado (Pele 207SIB x Edinette) an 11-year-old KWPN gelding.

Coming Up: the next Pan Am Games qualifier, The Palm Beach Dressage Derby (February 28-March 2) at White Fences (Loxahatchee, FL.)

All results are posted at

Tickets to the Winter Equestrian Festival are available by phone at 793-JUMP or at the gate. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Children 12 & under are free all days. Senior admission is $5 every day. Adult admission is $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. Parking is free.

Winter Equestrian Festival Dates:

(Each week runs Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM)

Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular – February 12 – 16
Florida Dressage Classic –February 13 - 16
Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters – February 19 – 23
Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Open – February 26 – March 2
Cosequin Wellington Finale – March 5 – 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic – March 13 – 16


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