Elizabeth Niemi and Wholio Win the Grand Prix at Windy Hollow Hunt Dressage Show
RELEASE: June 27, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Johnny Robb
Dressage trainer Elizabeth Niemi won the grand prix on Sunday at the Windy Hollow Hunt Dressage Show in New Jersey. Niemi rode Stan and Vivian Picheny’s strapping dark bay gelding Wholio to a score of 65.625% for the win.
Following a torrential downpour the night before, the show opened on Sunday to a crystal clear day that provided perfect footing for the competitors. After competing in torrid heat Saturday, Wholio gave Niemi a relaxed and focused ride, coasting into the Grand Prix victory on Sunday. When queried about the ride later that week, Niemi was still ecstatic, “Wholio was perfect. He was really concentrating on his work.”
The Picheny’s powerfully built 11-year old Hanoverian gelding by Warkant is a relatively new Grand Prix partner for Niemi. After posting Grand Prix scores of 64.7% and 64.9% in his last two shows in Wellington, FL, this score received from judge, Lois Heyerdahl, moved him well down the road to Dressage at Devon. Vivian Picheny was thrilled with her dark bay horse. “I was so pleased with the way he came together in the ring,” she said. “Watching him perform makes all the effort worthwhile.”
A second highlight for Niemi Dressage came when student, Dawn Bernardo, won her Fourth Level test on her talented horse, Welthyn, a horse Niemi purchased and trained for her. Although this was only the second time Bernardo rode Fourth Level she and her partner posted a healthy score in the mid-sixties, easily securing them first place. “He really was on his mark,” beamed Bernardo. “I was a little nervous and he took care of me.” Bernardo is looking forward to more shows with Welthyn this summer and the Region 8 Championships this fall.
Niemi’s full training and boarding services are geared toward the serious amateurs and professional dressage riders. With over two decades of experience, Elizabeth Niemi successfully runs her Niemi Dressage operation in the Equestrian Club in Wellington during the winter season and at Cogi Farm, Pawling, NY from May through November.
In the winter, she and her clients compete on the prestigious Florida winter dressage circuit. Elizabeth is also currently campaigning and competing Florencio, a 7-year old Dutch gelding warmblood, owned by Robert and Christina Baker of Greenwich, CT, and of course, Wholio, who continues to improve and shine in the Grand Prix under Niemi’s guidance.