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Sonia Zugel and Ungaro Triumphant Once More at Wellington Dressage CDI-W presented by The Dutta Corp

RELEASE: February 4, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jessica Parlon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Sonia Zugel and Ungaro. (SusanJStickle.com)
Sonia Zugel and Ungaro. (SusanJStickle.com)
Wellington, FL
- The Wellington Dressage CDI-W presented by The Dutta Corp. at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) drew to a close today. The featured class was the FEI Intermediare Freestyle. First place in the $6,000 FEI Intermediare Freestyle went to Sonia Zugel (IRL) riding her mount Ungaro (Weltmeyer II x Wendekreis). The pair were successful in yesterday's $5,000 FEI Intermediare I and Friday's $3,000 FEI Prix St. George.

Today's judges were Wojek Markowski (POL) at H, Jennie Loriston-Clarke (GBR) at C, and Anne Gribbons (USA) at B. Zugel received a score of 63.125% at H, a 68.750% at C, a 66.625% at B, for a total of 66.167% and her third victory of the week.

Zugel grew up in Ireland and moved with her family to California when she was 18. Based now in Holmdel, NJ, and Wellington, FL, she trains with Vera Barisone (wife of Michael Barisone). In talking about the 16-year-old bay BWP gelding, Zugel said, "We've been together for five years and he has brought me from the Third Level up to this so I'm real proud of him. His strengths are his changes and we are getting better at half passing. I'm learning to ride him better."

Surprisingly, Zugel had only choreographed the routine last week. She admitted, "My timing was a little off. I went through it only once. But I really like the music and the pattern. I think it really works for him. I just have to fine tune it a little bit. I was really happy with it. It was a lot of fun."

Zugel began foxhunting with her family then continued onto eventing, steeplechasing and show jumping. When she decided she was no longer interested in jumping, she decided to try dressage. "I loved dressage from having to perform it in eventing, so I decided to give it a try. I love it. It's now become a family affair as my daughter has begun lessons," she remarked.

With winning all the classes she has entered this week, she was overjoyed. "I am amazed! I'm really happy. I have a big team behind me. I've worked hard, but I have extremely knowledgeable vets, massage therapists, everyone."

This is Zugel's second year competing at the AGDF. "This facility is awesome," she noted. "To me, there isn't a better facility in the world. I showed here last year and got a few CDI ribbons. It's tough because he's a littler horse compared to the fancier horses. But he tries his little heart out, so I can't ask for anything more."

Looking towards the future, Zugel wants to continue with the Small Tour. "Hopefully, I'll find a Grand Prix horse and move up sometime. Because I'm an Amateur rider, it's difficult to find that nice, fancy, and safe horse. I have some other horses that are coming along so we'll see what happens," Zugel reflected.

Today also saw the presentation of the Young Horse award, which went to Anna Marek riding Dilona (by Lord Leatherdale). The horse and rider combination were also the Overall High National scorers with a 82.000%.

The AGDF has concluded its first successful CDI competition and looks forward to hosting the Dressage National 2 Show on February 5-6, 2013, and then the Florida Dressage Classic, CDI-W, presented by The US P.R.E. Association on February 14-17, 2013. For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.