Ontario, Canada – The Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team of Mary Jordan, Alanna Flax-Clark, and Laurietta Oakleaf, led by Chef d’Equipe Regina Cristo earned a cumulative score of 183.275% after two days of competition, resulting in a second place finish behind Canada. Canada who narrowly bested the U.S., ended their team competition with a final score of 193.143% at the Caledon Spring Jubilee CPEDI3* on May 31-June 1.
“I’m proud of how our riders persevered and finished their tests, we were here [Caledon Spring Jubilee] as a team,” said Chef d’Equipe Regina Cristo. “There were many lovely movements in each test, and it was good to see improvements from all our riders. It’s a big commitment for these riders to sign up, travel, and have a team represent. Overall, it was a real delight to be here and would love to be invited back again for a team competition.
The competition began on Friday with the Team Tests in their respective Grades, counting 50% towards the overall team score. Grade V para-athlete Mary Jordan (Wells, Maine) and her own Rubicon 75, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, earned a 62.829% for second place in Grade V. Saturday’s Individual test earned the duo a 54.960%. This was Jordan and Rubicon 75’s first outing since their CPEDI3* Test event in April of 2018.
"My biggest focus was to produce the best score I could for my teammates. I really wanted to come up [to Caledon] to support my teammates, the program, and the show," said Jordan. "The Caledon Equestrian Park is a beautiful facility and show. Everyone was so welcoming. There was a great camaraderie. While we didn't get team score we wanted, we were a cohesive team and were there to support each other. I'm really grateful to the USEF and the coaches in taking the team in a positive direction and all their support."
Riding in Grade II, Alanna Flax-Clark (Granada Hills, Calif.), and El Paso, her 15-year-old NRPS gelding, earned a 67.576% in the Team Test to take first place. Riding high on Friday’s score, Flax-Clark and El Paso, lovingly called “Taco”, continued their winning ways in Saturday’s Individual Test with a 66.078%.
“The competition at Caledon Equestrian Park is going really well. My horse (El Paso) is fantastic, and we have progressed so much in our training since this winter,” said Flax-Clark. “Yesterday [in Friday’s FEI Team test] we had a good, focused, forward ride that resulted well in the judges scores. I tried to continue that focus on day two [Saturday’s FEI Individual Test], and we just went for it. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s Freestyle.”
Noting their progression, Flax-Clark praised Sara Schmitt for her support and training, “My trainer, Sara Schmitt, plays a huge role with our team. She keeps us in the right mind-set so that we shine in the ring.”
Teammate Laurietta Oakleaf (Ocala, Fla.), who also rode in Grade II, with her 15-year-old Rhinelander mare Windsome, had an uncharacteristically slow start in Friday’s test earning a 55.354%. Oakleaf and Windsome’s Individual test on Saturday showed improvement, ending on a 59.755%. The Individual Tests counted 50% toward the overall team score.
The Caledon Spring Jubilee CPEDI3* concluded on Sunday with Flax-Clark competing as an individual in the Grade II Freestyle, where she earned a 69.611%.
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