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'Solid' Performance Gives Jan Ebeling the Win in Grand Prix Special on Second Day of California Dreaming Productions' Festival of the Horse CDI 3*

RELEASE: March 30, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Yellow Horse Marketing for California Dreaming Productions

Jan Ebeling & Rafalca win the Grand Prix Special at California Dreaming Productions' Festival of the Horse CDI 3* (Terri Miller)
Jan Ebeling & Rafalca win the Grand Prix Special at California Dreaming Productions' Festival of the Horse CDI 3* (Terri Miller)
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
- The Grand Prix Special Test became a hard-fought battle for top honors on the second day of competition at California Dreaming Productions' Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25 (presented by Hof Kasselmann) at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, Cal.  The right to claim the blue ribbon came down to hundredths of a point as 2012 London Olympic U.S. Team member Jan Ebeling and Rafalca earned 71.294% to narrowly maintain the lead over former World Equestrian Games Bronze medalist Kathleen Raine on Breanna with 71.235%.

"Today we some very solid performances from the top two as well as a couple promising new combinations, and that made it a fun class to judge," noted FEI judge Jane Weatherwax (4* USA).  "Everyone looked more committed today and had fewer mistakes.  Breanna looked really 'on' today, and Rafalca's piaffe is just wonderful.  Jan (Ebeling) handles the pressure of competition well and Rafalca is very solid."  Ebeling was thrilled with the consistent performance of his 17-year-old Oldenburg mount (Argentinius x Ratine by Rubinstein I), owned by Amy Ebeling, Anne Romney, and Beth Meyers.  "She was super and I was very pleased with our test.  I remember a few years back when we really had to work for the piaffe and she could only do a few steps at a time, and now I can take my leg off and she's just a machine.  It makes me happy to think about how far we've come." 

The afternoon's Intermediaire I Test turned into a sweep for Team Peters, as Steffen Peters rode away with the top two placings aboard Four Winds Farm's Rosamunde (2007 Rheinlander mare [Rock Forever x First Lady by Fidermark]) and Tracy Roenick's eight-year-old black Oldenburg mare Apassionata (Sir Donnerhall x Amelie by Friedenfurst) on scores of 75.833% and 71.842%, respectively.  In addition, Peters' assistant trainer Dawn White-O'Connor earned 71.447% aboard Carla Hayes' nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood Aristo (Olivi x Selina by Krack C), good enough for third-place honors.   "When you have a horse like Rosie that's so willing, supple, elastic, and good in the contact, it's a thrill to ride," said Peters.  "Usually you get that when they're eight or nine years old, but for her to be like this at seven is incredible.  Pia (Apassionata) is getting better and better, especially in her trot work - she's taken a giant leap forward from her CDI debut last month in Burbank.  And like last week, Dawn almost caught me again with Aristo.  I'm so excited for her to be doing so well with him."

Anna Buffini's collection of blue ribbons continues to grow as she once again topped the CDI Young Rider Individual Test with a score of 72.018%.  "He's such a hard worker, and even though he was a little more tired this week he gave me his best," said Buffini of her 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Sundayboy (Kennedy x Eezelma by Zevenaar).  "The Individual Test is more compact with a of movements happening very quickly, and it's tough because Sundayboy is a big horse, but I like the challenge."  Finishing second was Catherine Chamberlain and Verdicci (Dutch Warmblood gelding [Krack C x Nadine's Monday by Jackson]) with 69.386%.  Meanwhile, Hannah Beaulieu of Canada improved upon her previous day's performance to earn 65.044% with Pharoah (14-year-old Rheinlander gelding [Fidermark x Winzerin by Worldchamp], owned by Nancy Olson) in the Junior Individual Test.