Thermal, Calif. – Oct. 23, 2021 – Exhibitors got into the Halloween spirit during Saturday’s Adequan® Desert Dressage I CDI-W and Spooktacular National Dressage Show, presented by Platinum Performance, at the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP). As highlight classes took center stage under the lights in the International Arena, spectators and competitors alike dressed in their favorite costumes and enjoyed an action-packed night of competition ringside. Guenter Seidel emerged at the top of the leaderboard in the Elizabeth Keadle CDI3* Grand Prix Special riding Leatherdale Farms’ Equirelle, while Jan Ebeling and Status Royal OLD, owned by Ann Romney, took home first place honors in the Four Winds Farm CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle.

Guenter Seidel and Equirelle

The Elizabeth Keadle CDI3* Grand Prix Special kicked off Saturday evening’s action. After finishing in second place during Friday’s Hof Kasselmann CDI3* Grand Prix, Seidel and the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Florett AS – Orchidee T, Donnerhall) made their way to the winner’s circle. The duo rode to a score of 71.490% to earn their spot at the top of the leaderboard, receiving high marks for their collected trot and pirouettes. Seidel and Equirelle look forward to returning to the DIHP in November for Desert Dressage II before heading to Wellington, Florida for the winter show season.

Coming off of a personal best score of 71.391% in Friday’s Friday’s Hof Kasselmann CDI3* Grand Prix, Carly Taylor-Smith and Nikki Taylor-Smith’s Rosalut NHF (Rosenthal – Legacy, Salut) finished out Saturday evening in second place after receiving a score of 70.979%. Rounding out the top three was Ebeling aboard Vantage Equestrian Group II LLC’s Indeed (Hofrat – Gorklintgards Indeera, De Niro 6) for their score of 67.234%.

Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF

The Four Winds Farm CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle immediately followed to cap off Saturday’s competition. Marking back-to-back victories, Ebeling and Status Royal OLD claimed the blue after riding to a score of 71.065%. Just the day prior, Ebeling and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Statesman Old – Facette Royal, Rubin Royal Old) took home the win in the Four Winds Farm CDI-W Short Grand Prix. Ebeling started the test off strong with one tempis into a one-and-a-half canter pirouette directly in front of the judge at C. Adapting the freestyle routine from his other mount, Indeed, Ebeling was able to use the choreography to showcase Status Royal OLD’s strengths through a challenging piaffe pirouette. The pair was rewarded for their harmony and unique interpretation of the music choice, ultimately emerging as the clear winner for the class.

Jan Ebeling and Status Royal OLD

Taking home second place in the Four Winds Farm CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle was Missy Gilliland riding her own Toledano XXXI. She piloted the 14-year-old Andalusian gelding (Ambicioso XV – Toledana XII, Osado XIV) to a score of 66.555%. Her choreography featured two tempis on a curved serpentine line straight into a double canter pirouette. Gilliland only recently made her international debut with Toledano XXXI in the fall of 2020 at the DIHP.

Missy Gilliland and Toledano XXXI

Just before the Grand Prix competition, athletes gathered for the crowd favorite Costume Freestyle Exhibition Class, sponsored by The Putnam Family. The crowd showed their enthusiasm as Mia Rodier-Dawallo took the win aboard Cato, scoring a 67%. Sidney Duncan and her mount Guess Who were awarded the Best Costume for their Jack Skeleton attire.

Additional awards were handed out to conclude an exciting day of dressage competition at the DIHP. The Sara Eigner Memorial Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by the Friends of Lisa, was awarded to Stacy Winter on Fleur De Lis as the highest scoring adult amateur competing at Second Level during Friday and/or Saturday’s competition. The judges voted to award the CDI Sportsmanship Award, presented by Parlanti International, to Young Rider Katherine Mathews. She will receive her very own pair of Parlanti International’s brand new Evo ready-to-wear dressage boots. Annette Spinetti was the recipient of the National Custom Saddlery Sportsmanship Award for the Open Division, while Sophia Erickson received the National Custom Saddlery Sportsmanship Award for the Amatuer/Junior /Young Rider division.

Katherine Mathews and Soliere

The award for Best Decorated Halloween Barn Tent, sponsored by Alice Knox, was a tie between the festive efforts of Hoffman Dressage/Bettina Loy Dressage and Precision Farms. A thrilling day of festivities concluded Saturday evening with the Boo Bash, a complimentary exhibitor party, sponsored by Laura Maloney, Precision Farms & Peridot Equestrian. As a part of the Boo Bash, exhibitors were tasked with getting in the Halloween spirit to win the Best Team Themed Costume Competition, sponsored by Caldwell Dressage. In the end, it was the Three Blind Mice who took home the coveted silver cup trophy and bragging rights for the year thanks to their costume. Romeo the golden retriever won over the hearts of exhibitors to receive the award for Best Overall Single Costume donning his Superman suit and cape.

To view full results from the Elizabeth Keadle CDI3* Grand Prix Special, click here.

To view full results from the Four Winds Farm CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, click here.

Competition during the Adequan® Desert Dressage I CDI-W and the Spooktacular National Dressage Show, presented by Platinum Performance, will conclude Sunday, Oct. 24. Highlights include the Voltaire CDI3* Intermediate I Freestyle and the Equifit CDI2* Grand Prix.


Guenter Seidel – Elizabeth Keadle CDI3* Grand Prix Special winner

On his win:
“I thought the trot work was good with nice impulsion. The passage is a highlight — easy and loose enough, and the rest of the test was pretty good. I can’t complain about much! Last year during the Special she spun around each time in the piaffe and this year it has become much more settled because there is so much more experience in her now. I’m super happy with that. She is such a goer and she wants to do it so badly and that’s a good thing. It’s teamwork, the grooms, the owners, everyone together makes it work.”

On competing at the Desert International Horse Park:
“It’s really fun. The wind picking up was a little challenging for the horses but it was a fun experience. It’s run so well, the footing is great, everything is so great here so we really enjoy it. We will be back here in November and then we go to Florida in January.”

Jan Ebeling – Four Winds Farm CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle winner

On his Freestyle choreography:
“At the end I have a 360 pirouette at the piaffe and that is really hard. Usually I will do that to the right, but in the warm-up it really didn’t work to the right so I figured we would try to the left. [Status Royal OLD] was a bit distracted with the wind and I don’t think he has ever been to a horse show at night, so there were a bunch of firsts. I am pretty happy, I got a lot of things accomplished I wanted to, like the ones. I’ve been working with Karen Robinson for many years and she choreographed this routine with me.”

Jan Ebeling and Status Royal OLD

On Status Royal OLD’s Freestyle performance:
“This is really not a freestyle designed for him — it was borrowed from a different horse [Indeed], but it seems to work for him quite well. The lines are really good for him, and it’s relatively easy. My degree of difficulty is a little over seven which isn’t really all that high but it’s his first year at the Grand Prix. He did a couple of Grand Prix classes last season so I like to keep it really straightforward for him. I think the one and a half pirouette and the piaffe pirouette is enough of a challenge. He is really good at piaffe, so it’s a challenge but for him it’s relatively easy.”

On his partnership with Status Royal OLD:
“We’ve had him for a couple of years and we bought him from Hof Kasselmann. He has been a really super horse and fun in the training. He is a horse that turns on in the horse show. Today with the wind it was a challenge, there was one flower pot that had fallen over so it messed up my timing a little bit. He didn’t want to go in the corner so you cut the corner a little, but then the timing is off.”

On the Desert International Horse Park:
“It’s fantastic, the facility is great. The footing is dynamite, it is absolutely fantastic. As a rider and competitor you get a feel that you are really wanted here. They are bending over backwards and it’s really fun. I hope the show is going to be supported by more riders. We’ve lost a lot of CDIs here and now we have a dynamite facility and they are trying to make it really work for us, so I think it’s important that we come and support them.”