Shelly Francis and Danilo Break 81% With Spectator Favorite FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*
The “Friday Night Stars” shined during Week 10 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Shelly Francis and Danilo received the gold medal in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The pair broke eighty-one percent with a score of 81.840%. “I’ve been making personal best the last three or four shows in a row. I’m kind of excited,” said Francis of her season with the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel.
Francis’s music especially draws in the crowd at her last centerline. She commented, “I think at that point he’s already ready to make that piaffe and passage up the center line at the end. When the crowd starts clapping and cheering he starts doing a little more. I just sit there and try to turn real careful in that pirouette, because he’s already so active and going. It feels awesome, and in that last bit of passage he feels on fire with feather-like control. The crowd picks him up a little and they pick me up. He likes this freestyle.”
The silver medal went to Yvonne Losos De Muniz and her partner Aquamarijn, a 14-year-old KWPN mare, with a score of 75.240%. “I’m still in shock from the last one [freestyle] I did. She doesn’t usually at all go like that,” commented De Muniz on her mare’s strong performance. “She’s just really come around and I have control. It’s kind of a neat thing to have with her because I’m usually hanging on for dear life. It’s kind of nice to have the control now, and I have to learn how to really take advantage of it.”
Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo secured the bronze medal with a score of 75.200%. “This was a brand-new freestyle for me, and I’ve never ridden it before, even in training. It was super fun to be out there and try it with Nintendo,” said Jorst of her freestyle test with the 16-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Kastel Denmark. “I executed to my own surprise the pirouette into the piaffe, and that was fantastic for me. Once I get it really dialed in, I think it’s going to be such a fun freestyle. I can’t wait to do it again.”
The Spanish company Dressage and Music put together Jorst’s freestyle. She commented, “I like music that is easily recognizable and that you can sing along with. For me, this was it. It has taken me a long time to figure out what music to use. I’m looking forward to perfecting it a little more, so it isn’t so brand new. Now I’m going to go back and really work it.”