Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven Wins Again with Don Auriello in FEI Grand Prix Special at AGDF Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI W

RELEASE: March 3, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello (Sportfot)
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello (Sportfot)
Wellington, Fla.
- The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI W, presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur and Maria Mendelsohn of Illustrated Properties, concluded on Sunday at The Stadium at PBIEC. First to take a victory lap was Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) and Don Auriello in the FEI Grand Prix Special. The day concluded with the FEI Intermediaire Freestyle, which was topped by Evi Strasser (CAN) and Rigaudon Tyme.

Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello were hot off a win in Friday's FEI Grand Prix before topping the Special with a 77.804%. Second place finisher Caroline Roffman (USA) earned a total score of 70.373% aboard her Highness O. Fellow American Lisa Wilcox and Denzello rounded out the top three with a 70.020%.

Vilhelmson-Silfven purposely chose to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special instead of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday night. Since she and Don Auriello are already qualified for the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Lyon, France, Vilhelmson-Silfven opted to get in some practice for the special. The pair will surely face the test in the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games (WEG), also in France, and Vilhelmson-Silfven felt sufficiently prepared after their test on Sunday.

"I'm really happy with him. I actually had a personal best score today. I did have a little stumble in one of the half passes, I don't really know what happened, but otherwise he felt good," Vilehlmson-Silfven explained.

Don Auriello will now begin his trek back to Europe before the World Cup Finals, where Vilhelmson-Silfven admitted she will have a completely different horse.

"You're in this heat, and then go indoors in Europe again. He's totally different there. He gets hot. He gets totally excited. Here he's a bit laid-back, and I have to get him awake," she outlined. "So I have to switch from one to another, but on the other hand I almost like the hotness now, when he has the routine. In the beginning it was scary, but now I like it because I think he gets even more expressive. I hope that it will be the perfect combination."

Roffman was proud of Her Highness O for doing so well in a test completely new to both of them. Sunday was the first time either of them had contested the Special, and while Roffman felt they had a few green errors, she will always be grateful for her horse's fantastic attitude.

"She always tries, sometimes too much. I was also trying maybe too hard, maybe mistakes were silly on my part. She's so honest, she just wants to do it for you. It's a fun feeling to have a horse that's always trying so hard, so I'm very happy with her," Roffman explained.

The FEI World Cup Finals and WEG are goals for every rider, and Roffman noted that while she would be thrilled to qualify for either event, she's happy to enjoy the journey with Her Highness O.

"We all dream of the same things, but it's about going there and giving confidence. I don't want to blow her mind. It's not fair. She needs to take it easy and get confident, and me too, and then see what happens," Roffman remarked.

Wilcox described herself and Denzello as having a combination of Roffman's greenness and Vilhelmson-Silfven's international aspirations. Sunday's test was Denzello's third CDI and only the second time he had done the Special, but with their promising results, Wilcox has her eye on the WEG.

"The mistakes he had, bless his heart, he's thinking the Grand Prix lines for the twos. He was sure I was making a mistake. I was very, very pleased with his expression and what he offered me today," Wilcox described.

Wilcox also had to deal with a horse just as hot as the tropical Floridian weather. She agreed that if you can harness that excess energy, it can pay off immensely. "I did want to up the expression a little bit, but he kind of did that on his own and I was more or less trying to calm him down in there. I know what Tinne's talking about, it is kind of nice to have that power, but only if you can control it," Wilcox pointed out.

The Palm Beach Dressage Derby Perpetual P.R.E. Award recognized Janne Rumbough and her 12-year-old Andalusian gelding Junior for international level competition. Nicholas Fyffe and Fiero HGF were presented with the award for national level competition. Fiero HGF is a six-year-old US P.R.E. stallion out of Ibiza by Grandioso III and is owned by Romance Farm Inc.