ONTARIO, Canada — The Adequan U.S. Para Dressage Team of Alanna Flax-Clark, Mary Jordan, and Laurietta Oakleaf, led by Chef d’Equipe Regina Cristo earned the silver medal at the Caledon Spring Jubilee CPEDI3* held May 31-June 1.
The U.S. earned a cumulative score of 183.275% after two days of competition, but was edged out by Canada which ended their team competition with a final score of 193.143%.
Riding in Grade II, Alanna Flax-Clark, who trains with Sara Schmitt in Califon, N.J. and El Paso, her 15-year-old NRPS gelding, earned a 67.576% in the Team Test to take first place. Riding high on Friday’s score, Flax-Clark and El Paso, lovingly called “Taco,” continued their winning ways in Saturday’s Individual Test with a 66.078%.
“The competition at Caledon Equestrian Park is going really well. My horse (El Paso) is fantastic, and we have progressed so much in our training since this winter,” said Flax-Clark after the team competition. “Yesterday [in Friday’s FEI Team test] we had a good, focused, forward ride that resulted well in the judges scores. I tried to continue that focus on day two [Saturday’s FEI Individual Test], and we just went for it. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s Freestyle.”
The Caledon Spring Jubilee CPEDI3* concluded on Sunday, June 2 with Flax-Clark competing as an individual in the Grade II Freestyle, where she earned a 69.611%.
Noting their progression, Flax-Clark praised Schmitt for her support and training, “My trainer, Sara Schmitt, plays a huge role with our team. She keeps us in the right mind-set so that we shine in the ring.”
The competition began on Friday with the Team Tests in their respective Grades, counting 50% towards the overall team score Grade V para-athlete Mary Jordan (Wells, Maine) and her own Rubicon 75, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, earned a 62.829% for second place in Grade V. Saturday’s Individual test earned the duo a 54.960%. This was Jordan and Rubicon 75’s first outing since the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Test Event CPEDI3* in April 2018.
Teammate Laurietta Oakleaf (Ocala, Fla.), who also rode in Grade II, with her 15-year-old Rhinelander mare Windsome, had an uncharacteristically slow start in Friday’s test earning a 55.354%. Oakleaf and Windsome’s Individual test on Saturday showed improvement, ending on a 59.755%. The Individual Tests counted 50% toward the overall team score.
“I’m proud of how our riders persevered and finished their tests; we were here [Caledon Spring Jubilee] as a team,” said Chef d’Equipe Regina Cristo. “There were many lovely movements in each test, and it was good to see improvements from all our riders. It’s a big commitment for these riders to sign up, travel, and have a team represent. Overall, it was a real delight to be here and would love to be invited back again for a team competition.”
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