September 24, 2013--U.S. Team Dressage Gold Medalist Heather Blitz completed the NEDA Fall Festival show at Saugerties in upstate New York with two wins and a second on Oak Hill Ranch's five year old Approved Danish Warmblood Stallion Ripline (Hotline x Blue Hors Cavan - Rambo) this weekend. The young stallion proved invincible and was all business throughout the three days of Third Level competition, which began with a 69.024% on Thursday in a field of 20. The following day Ripline produced a test that was worthy of 75.641% to finish second among 23 starters and on Saturday he beat a field of 15 to win again with a score of 71.711%.
Blitz also rode her client Cindy Dix' Picasso's Bleu into the winners circle in the FEI Intermediare I with a score of 67.368, and Blitz' Assistant Trainer Katie Robicheaux finished second in four classes riding Leonardo Da Vinci and Avignon at Third and Fourth level respectively.
"The show was great this weekend," said Blitz, "it was a big show with over 650 horses so there was a lot going on and 'Rip's' ability to tolerate all that activity was impressive for a five year old stallion who has been shown for just a year. He handles the environment with no stress or nerves whatsoever. This is the second show he's done at Third Level and it's pretty easy for him. It's young for a horse to do this level but I've chosen to move him to that level because there's been no stress on him at all; he finds it very easy and it's preparing him more for a solid season of Third Level in Florida this winter. We'll think about regional championships next year and continue a steady training program with no pressure at all as he's already ahead of the game.
"Katie did really well with Cutler Farm owner Donna Cameron's Hannoverian gelding Leonardo Da Vinci and he had some nice scores. She also did well with Avignon who was out to get some experience in the ring. He's really developing with more strength and obedience, and his submission is really coming along so he's becoming a lot more mature in the ring." He scored 73.125% when finishing second in Saturday's Fourth Level test.
"Angela Peavy is my Para-Equestrian student and she competed in two FEI Para tests; the Grade III individual and team test on Stuart Little; a horse that she's come a long way with in the past couple of months." They scored 64.408% in the team and and 77.941% in the individual test. "She had previously decided not to show him any more because she didn't think he was quite the horse for her but has worked really hard and ended up showing him this weekend and getting nice scores so she's really pleased with that. Angela is interested in qualifying for the World Equestrian Games next year.
"Cindy Dix' Picasso's Bleu was a very solid competitor and stayed completely on track. He's a Grand Prix horse but I took him out at Intermediare as I haven't known him very long and I just wanted to see him in the show ring for Cindy. He has a great temperament and is really hard working. He gave me a really good response in the ring so I'm excited about his future with Cindy."