March 15, 2023 – Wellington, Fla – This week, dressage competition took to a new arena down the road at Wellington International. Previously known as the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington International is home to the longest running equestrian event in the world : the Winter Equestrian Festival. After the 1.40 meter jumps were removed from the International Arena, five judge boxes along with the dressage court were set in place for the CDI5*. A five-star is the highest star ranking for a CDI, making this week’s competition quite prestigious.

Codi Harrison & Katholt's Bossco
Codi Harrison & Katholt’s Bossco

This crossover is still new territory for athletes and show management teams. Wellington International hosted the U.S Dressage Team Olympic selection trials in June of 2021. Eight months later, they held the 2022 CDI5* Grand Prix classes during Adequan Global Dressage Festival week seven. The five-star last year was the last time dressage was seen at the hunter/jumper facility until this week. 

Dong Seon Kim & Galleria's Rossetti
Dong Seon Kim & Galleria’s Rossetti

All CDI5* classes will take place under the lights in the International Arena at Wellington International this week. Twelve combinations held their own in tonight’s FEI Grand Prix despite the new and buzzing atmosphere.

Frederic Wandres & Bluetooth OLD
Frederic Wandres & Bluetooth OLD

First place went to none other than Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD, scoring a 75.630%, Bluetooth OLD’s highest Grand Prix score. Hof Kasselmann’s 13-year-old gelding by Bordeaux 28 has now won every Grand Prix he has done this year. If the pair win on Friday, they will have completed an undefeated season.


Ashley Holzer aboard her own 13-year-old mare, Valentine (Sir Donnerhall x Ludwig’s Ragazzo), took home the red ribbon. This partnership has grown immensely since their discouraging World Championship results last summer, where Holzer then decided to give her mare downtime from the show arena. Tonight, a clean and harmonious test earned Holzer a 70.935%. Not only was this just their third CDI centerline of the season, but also their third podium finish.

Ashley Holzer & Valentine
Ashley Holzer & Valentine
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven & Devanto
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven & Devanto

Wrapping up the top three was Sweden’s multi-time Olympian Tinne Vihelmson Silfven. Silfven piloted Lovsta Stuteri’s 14-year-old gelding Devanto (De Chirico 3 x Lorentin) to a 70.630% – just .305% separating her and Holzer. Devanto’s piaffe/passage was a real highlight, along with his expressive canter work. This is Silfven’s first top 3 finish of 2023. 



Frederic Wandres – CDI5* Grand Prix Winner

On his test:

“We changed our training a little. Our tests have been good, but I knew they could be better. He was starting to feel a little tired in the middle of our tests. So we shorted our warm up in order to not ride all of his energy out. I needed to trust him and know that he is now experienced enough to do all the tricks inside of the arena. It worked out really well tonight – I had a great feeling. Even with a small mistake in our one tempis, which percentage wise can be an expensive mistake, we ended up on top.”

On the change in venue:

“I think he loved it. I love it! It is an incredible atmosphere here [Wellington International]. We only were allowed to school one time in the International Arena on Monday night, where it was very windy. So luckily tonight there was no wind and the temperature was nice to ride in. Global Dressage Festival is very nice, but it is always good after a season to change the venue. It is good for the horses too, to see something else. And for dressage on a Wednesday evening, the tent was very crowded ”

On his plans moving forward:

My music on Friday is different music than my two other freestyles before. The floorplan is nearly the same, but I look forward to riding with new music. This is the last show for Bluetooth – Friday’s freestyle under the lights and then he is done for the season. Then, hopefully I can bring him home safe and continue in Europe.”

Frederic Wandres & Bluetooth OLD
Frederic Wandres & Bluetooth OLD

CDI5* Grand Prix Results

Rider / Country / Horse / Score

    1. Frederic Wandres / GER /  Bluetooth OLD / 75.630%
    2. Ashley Holzer / USA / Valentine / 70.935%
    3. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven / SWE / Devanto / 70.630%
    4. Anna-Christina Abbelen / GER / Sam Donnerhall / 70.348%
    5. Sarah Tubman / USA / First Apple / 70.131%
    6. Dong Seon Kim / KOR / Galleria’s Rossetti / 67.978%
    7. Codi Harrison / USA / Katholt’s Bossco / 67.761%
    8. Anna Marek / USA / Fire Fly / 67.761%
    9. Caroline Chew / SGP / Tribiani / 66.891%
    10. Chris Von Martels / CAN / Eclips / 66.674%
    11. Patricia Ferrando / VEN / Honnaisseur SJ / 64.544%
    12. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Indeed / 64.087%

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