Thursday, July 22, 2010

Congratulations Catherine!

Catherine Haddad, top US dressage rider, has qualified for WEG selections on two horses! We are very happy for Catherine, a Mushroom Matrix sponsored athlete, as well as her horses. Catherine is headquartered in Vechta, Germany where she challenges herself to the highest levels of international competition available in the European continent.
Congratulations Catherine!

Photo by Julia Wentscher.
July 20, 2010

Catherine Haddad has announced that she will only bring one Grand Prix horse—Winyamaro—to the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Championship and Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Dressage Team.

“W” is ranked 13th on the final ranking list of qualified Grand Prix horses with an average score of 66.76 percent. Haddad has another ranked horse, Cadillac, who is ranked fourth with 68.06 percent.

“I had to make some tough choices in the last few days. I really only have enough money to travel with one horse. For me, both Cadillac and Winyamaro are equally talented. Cadillac has the advantage of reputation. He won eight Grand Prix tests last year. In a sport where the scores tend to be influenced by past performances, that gives him an advantage over W. I LOVE to ride Cadillac. The feeling is more than grand. But he was injured in the spring and is only a hair’s breadth away from a full recovery. I cannot have him fit enough to do two shows back to back in Gladstone. I would need four to five more weeks for that level of fitness,” explained Haddad.

“So I decided to leave my juggernaut at home rather than risk a lukewarm test or, even worse, a new injury. And that problem isn’t really a problem because my “back-up” horse, W, has surprised everyone, including yours truly, by far exceeding all expectations over the last eight weeks.”

Winyamaro, a 10-year-old Hanoverian (Walt Disney—Taiga, Trapper), started competing at the Grand Prix level in 2009. He won a national level Grand Prix in Sittensen, Germany, and placed third in a competitive national Grand Prix freestyle in Berlin, Germany, on 71.4 percent.

He made his first international start in 2010 at the Hamburg CDI*** in Germany and placed second in the freestyle (70.0%). He went on to place in every one of his eight international Grand Prix starts in the past two months.

“Winyamaro is arguably the most confident horse I have ever ridden. If I had to describe him in one word it would be either ‘cheeky’ or ‘exuberant’ depending on the day,” said Haddad. “He has no weak points, and he is getting stronger and more expressive in his work by the hour. Most people will think that I am bringing my second choice. That is true, but only because in my heart I wanted to show the USA what Cadillac and I have created together. Instead, I am bringing my best horse who is still a work in progress. I’m betting on our American judges to evaluate him on his performance, not his ranking going into Gladstone.”

Haddad, a U.S. citizen who lives in Vechta, Germany, will fly out on July 21, with Winyamaro. The selection trials will take place in Gladstone, N.J., Aug. 6-8 and Aug. 13-15.

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