USA’s Paralympic bronze-medal team member Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40, who she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker, took a second victory at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in the CPEDI3* FEI para individual Grade IV class with an overall percentage of 74.146%.
“I feel like he’s finally growing up,” she said of the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion by Sandro Hit, out of a De Niro mare. “It’s been really cool this week. He walked off the trailer and just walked nicely next to me, which he has not done ever. I think he’s just really starting to look at me and say, ‘Okay we can do this together,’ and it’s the most incredible feeling.”
Soli’s more poised demeanor carried over into his tests as well. While Shoemaker has spent a lot of time with him working on the power in his gaits, this week they were focused on their harmony and showing off Soli’s strong points. Their plan was successful with judges France’s Anne Prain at E, Portugal’s Carlos Lopes at C, and USA’s Adrienne Pot at M unanimous in their determination.
“I was really pleased that the judges were happy with us this week, because I couldn’t be happier with my horse,” said Kate. “He just gave me the most incredible special feeling, and I loved it.”
The pair represented the USA at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, before going on to Japan, which proved to be a landmark in their progression.
“Since Tokyo was so far away compared to WEG,” said Kate. “It really taught us a lot about each other and allowed me to trust him that much more. It showed me that when I want to go for it, that I can, and he’ll be there for me.”
Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla and Rigaudon Tyme finished in second place. They improved on their performance in the CPEDI3* FEI para team test Grade IV, this time scoring 69.919% with an impressive walk tour. Third place went to USA’s Genevieve Rohner, the youngest globally classified rider at 14 years of age, who finished her test on a positive note after an unfortunate error of course aboard Sam Bartlett’s Phoenix Gwyngalet for an overall score of 57.020%.
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