Shoemaker and Screnci Score Twice in CPEDI Competition at World Equestrian Center – Ocala

March 30, 2024 - Ocala, FL

Kate Shoemaker and Colijn went two for two in the Grade IV classes.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
Cynthia Screnci and Sir Chipoli won Saturday’s Grade V class.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
With For Memory 4, Screnci placed second in the Grade V class.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
The Perrigo U.S. Para Dressage Team – Roxanne Trunnell, Beatrice de Lavalette, Kate Shoemaker and Rebecca Hart with Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline – had top scores at this week’s CPEDI3*.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

International para dressage competition sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage continued at World Equestrian Center – Ocala (WEC) on Saturday, March 30. Winning on both Friday and Saturday in their respective divisions were Kate Shoemaker and Cynthia Screnci. Shoemaker won twice with Colijn in Grade IV, while Screnci split the two Grade V classes with her rides Sir Chipoli and For Memory 4.

U.S. Paralympian Kate Shoemaker and Colijn, a 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Son de Niro x Ulster) owned by Fiona Howard, won the Grade IV FEI Para Grand Prix Test B CPEDI3* with a score of 70.766%. Finishing in second place with a score of 56.937% was Kyla Sorensen (CAN) and Gandalf, her own 11-year-old gelding by Gid Up Winchester x Radjah Z.

Originally purchased for her student Fiona Howard, Colijn began flourishing more in the Grade IV tests under Shoemaker.

“We play musical horses right now because we are based part of the year in Germany at Hof Kasselmann and the other part of the year in Florida,” explained Shoemaker. “That left me without a horse to compete in the CPEDIs in the U.S. It worked out really nicely that the opportunity to ride Colijn came about. I really enjoy riding him, and I’m super thankful for the opportunity.”

While Shoemaker has competed at WEC – Ocala before in national shows, having a CPEDI for the first time at the venue has been “a real blessing” for the U.S. Para Dressage program.

“It’s so amazingly horse friendly,” said Shoemaker of WEC – Ocala. “You maybe wouldn’t think that because it’s so big and grand, but horses have the sense that they’re in a good place. You get atmosphere, but horses gain confidence. The last time we had a CPEDI at new venue was, I think, in 2017 in Tryon. It’s been a long time since [para] horses in the U.S. have had an opportunity for a new show venue, and we are incredibly thankful for it.”

Shoemaker is aiming to make her second Paralympic Games this summer in Paris, and she has made an effort to ride and compete in Europe. She first rode at Hof Kasselmann in December of 2021 and has been based half the year in Hagen, Germany, ever since. She is currently a legal German resident, thanks to the Kasselmann family, which allows her to travel freely between continents and not worry about how much time she has stayed in Europe.

“If someone had asked me when I was 12 and dreaming of riding a horse in Germany that someday a place as amazing as Hof Kasselmann would help me be a German resident and ride and train for the Paris Paralympics, I would have been like, ‘Pinch me, that isn’t possible,’” expressed Shoemaker. “The Kasselmann family started this whole amazing journey with my first horse Quiana. I have been amazingly blessed to ride there since then. You can’t do this sport without amazing support, and there are so many people. There are days when you’re homesick, but having special people around you makes all the difference.”

Cynthia Screnci (USA) took the top two spots in the Grade V FEI Para Grand Prix Test B CPEDI3*. Riding Sir Chipoli, her 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Carabas), she won with a personal best score of 69.123%. She and For Memory 4, her own seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Dance x Destano) were second with 64.649%.

Screnci has been paired with Sir Chipoli, who competed with Canadian Olympian Chris von Martels, for three years. The “unique, quirky horse” took some time to adjust to the para tests and movements but in the past year has started to understand his new job.

“We’ve really started to gel,” said Screnci. “He’s a grand prix horse all the way, and it’s sometimes challenging bringing grand prix horses into a para program. The scores have started to climb, so we are really excited.”

While it wasn’t the best day with her young horse For Memory 4, Screnci used it as a learning opportunity. “Today was a little bit rough with some major mistakes in the test,” she admitted, “but it’s days like today that open our eyes to new ideas and things we can change to really affect our ride and make it that much better. It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for, but it was a really positive learning experience. The comments from the judges have been phenomenal; they love him. We have to get through the baby moments, and he will be a real super star.”

Screnci agreed with Shoemaker on the setting at WEC – Ocala being beneficial for their horses.

She said, “It’s fabulous, and the stadium is beautiful. It’s such an electric atmosphere, but the horses light up in a positive way. They walk into the stadium, see the bleachers and background, and it’s open. It’s not frightening, but it brings out the best in them. This is the perfect place to practice for Paris, because that [venue] is out in a big open space and very similar. This is as close as you’re going to get.”

Rebecca Hart (USA), a four-time Paralympian, took first and second places in the Grade III FEI Para Grand Prix Test B CPEDI3*. She and Floratina, a 16-year-old Hanoverian mare by Fidertanz 2 x Rubin Royal OLD owned by Rowan O’Riley, scored 72.833% for the win, while El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Riley’s 15-year-old KWPN gelding by Wynton x Goodtimes, received 70.667% for second place. Third place went to Marta White (USA) and Aniko, an 18-year-old American-bred Oldenburg gelding owned by Lisa Hellmer, with a score of 64.000%.

Fiona Howard and Diamond Dunes, a 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by De l’Or x Wolkentanz owned by Hof Kasselmann, won their second class in a row with a score of 74.111% in the Grade II FEI Para Grand Prix B CPEDI3*. Beatrice de Lavalette (USA) and Sixth Sense, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Sir Donnerhall I x Florencio I owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas de Lavalette, finished second with a score of 68.167%. Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and My Moment, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare by Furst Romancier x Hotline owned by Annette Grant, scored 63.056% for third place.

Roxanne Trunnell swapped places with her two mounts from Friday’s class, winning the Grade I FEI Para Grand Prix B CPEDI3* with Dolton, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I x Londonderry owned by Karin Flint and Flintwoode Farms LLC, on a score of 74.861%. She scored 74.236% for second place with Fan Tastico H, a seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding Fuerstenball OLD x Weltmeyer owned by Karin Flint. Marie Vonderheyden (FRA) picked up another third place with a score of 70.417% on her own Bombastic d’Arion, a 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Benicio x Baroncelli.

CPEDI3* competition concludes on Sunday, March 31, as para dressage riders will contest freestyle classes in all five grades.

Full Show Results and Ride Times

All prize lists, ride times and results will be posted and published on the 2024 dressage schedule page HERE. For all questions regarding upcoming dressage competition, contact Teresa.Uddo@wec.net.