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Ruth Hogan-Poulsen And Mon Cheri Win FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle

WELLINGTON, FL – February 22, 2004 – It was Freestyle Sunday at the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival today – the highlight of four days of competition in the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic in Wellington, Florida. Ruth Hogan-Poulsen won the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle with Mon Cheri scoring 68.417% and then went on to take second place in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with Armando, who tallied up 66.333%.

Hogan-Poulsen, 37, of Plainville, Vermont, and Wellington, Florida, started off her kur rides with Sue Michalek’s 12-year-old Danish mare, Mon Cheri. The duo rode to music from the movie Ladyhawke. “It’s orchestral, it’s very full, and it accentuates her trot especially,” said Hogan-Poulsen. She pointed out that the best movement the pair performed today was the half-pass right to pirouette to half-pass. “The music just flows so perfectly into it. There’s a pause where the pirouette comes and it just looks like it was meant to be there – it was perfect. It’s a really good feeling when it works out right, and very obvious when it’s not. It went perfectly today,” said Hogan-Poulsen.

She has been partnered with the mare for 18 months. Hogan-Poulsen said the win aboard her today felt, “Fantastic! The mare has been consistently in the top three. It’s just pulling off that one more point or two to win the class. In this morning’s win she was right there for me. We have more qualifiers coming up so it’s a good edge for us to get going into those.” Though the mare is for sale, Hogan-Poulsen is aiming Mon Cheri for the USET Foundation Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I national championships that will be held in June in California along with the Athens Olympic Dressage Selection Trials.

In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Hogan-Poulsen rode her own Armando to the red ribbon in a crowd-pleasing compilation of dance music. “It’s mostly Marvin Gaye with some Miami Sound Machine in there,” she said. “It’s very upbeat and the crowd loves it. I was a little bit concerned initially that the judges wouldn’t like it that I have a little vocal in it. Heard It Through the Grapevine is such a popular song, people sing it anyway so I’m not sure the judges realize that the vocal is there because they’re sort of humming it along.” Indeed the beat matched Armando’s passage and piaffe tour perfectly and made for a dramatic entrance accentuated by the well-known vocal. “The crowd really likes it and Armando really likes it. We call him ‘Marvin’ in the barn now. The music comes on and he picks himself up to a new level. It’s amazing,” said Hogan-Poulsen.

Armando appeared especially in tune with his music today, and Hogan-Poulsen was particularly pleased with two of their more difficult movements. “I loved my double pirouette to the left. He nailed his one tempis today – right on the tempo. I really liked that.”

Hogan-Poulsen acquired the 16-year-old, 17-hand, bay Hanoverian gelding in April 2003. The duo competed two weeks ago in the Wellington Dressage show at WEF, a qualifier for the Olympic Selection Trials in California in June, and will also compete in the next qualifier for the Olympic Selection Trials, the Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***, March 18-21. “I’m an Athens hopeful, but I’m also a realist,” said Hogan-Poulsen. “He’s not a team horse. I’m doing it to gain experience and also to get on the Developing List or the Long List. He’s a horse that does a lot of things fantastic and some things are very hard for him, so I take it easy on him. I ride him four days a week, long and low. I don’t do any movements on him – just exercising, trail riding, and the girls at the barn ride him. We just try to keep him healthy and sound and supple and then pull it together to have some fun in the ring.”

Hogan-Poulsen has become known in the dressage world for her expertise in putting together freestyles and has created a business called Dressage in Details that also produces educational audiocassette tapes of dressage tests. For freestyles, she creates the choreography and selects the music and edits it. “I put it all digitally into my computer so I can enhance it or speed it up or slow it down or add whistles or bells or whatever people want to do,” she explained. “I’ve done my own freestyles always and about two years ago people started to ask me to do theirs. I love to do it.”

In other kurs to music competition today Bent Jensen riding Rockefeller won the USDF Freestyle Test of Choice, earning 70.069% at Second Level. Suzanne LaPorte aboard Wittus won the FEI Young Rider Freestyle with 67.292%. Canadian Julia Vysniauskas saddled Syntax for the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with 69.500%.

For full results, visit


Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.


February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***

March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W

March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***

March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y

(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)

March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)


February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***

March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W

March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****

March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****

March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W

April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The Tampa Tribune


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