Wellington, FL (February 5, 2016) – Week Three of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival saw many victorious rides, with one pair rising above the rest to capture the highest score of the entire week’s competition. It was Merita Hagren with Belle Ami who won not only their Third Level Test 1 class, but also The Horse of Course High Score Award sponsored by The Horse of Course, Inc., the popular tack shop known for being one of the busiest places on the show grounds. The pair was thrilled with their 73.939 percent score— the highest score received by any rider all week— and was awarded a tri-color ribbon and embroidered cooler courtesy The Horse of Course.
After competing in the six-year-old division during last year’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Hagren and Belle Ami, a Westfalian (Belissimo M) mare co-owned by Dr. Cesar Parra of Piaffe Performance Farms and George and Brooke Feldman, returned to compete in Third Level. Even after their impressive score, Hagren remained modest. “She was super good today. There is always something to improve on, but I’m very happy.”
Originally from Finland, Hagren contacted Dr. Cesar Parra, a Pan American Games Gold Medalist, in hopes of having the opportunity to work and grow under Parra’s guidance in the sport of dressage. A year and a half later, Hagren is an essential team member at Parra’s Piaffe Performance Farm, and has improved tremendously.
Parra commended Hagren’s high score performance, stating, “She is a true horsewoman, and I am very happy with their performance. I am also so happy and grateful to be a co-owner of this horse and to have the opportunity to train her. We are lucky to have these two with our team, and we all pay a lot of attention to the development of these horses and riders alike.”
Hagren has a deep appreciation for Parra and the wealth of knowledge that she has gained since joining his team. “I am very, very happy with Piaffe Performance, I have been learning so much,” she reflected. “I hope to continue learning more and more every day, trying very hard, and staying for a long time.”
Beth Haist, CEO of The Horse of Course, said, “I am so pleased to present this award to Merita and Belle Ami. I like to be able to recognize horses and riders that are doing super well, so I’m glad to give this pair this beautiful award.”
The Horse of Course’s sponsorship of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show circuit will continue with The Horse of Course High Score Awards to be presented to top horse and rider pairs throughout the upcoming weeks. On the show grounds, The Horse of Course’s mobile tack shop offers a complete line of everything needed to compete. “We are so proud to sponsor the Adequan Global Dressage Festival,” Haist stated. “To watch our sport and its talent blossom each season, and recognize and encourage such talent, is our privilege. We are always looking to give back and support our dressage community.”
The Horse of Course has everything today’s fashionably competitive rider needs to dress for success in the arena. The shop serves a five-state area, including Florida, with its convenient mobile unit, attending and sponsoring horse shows. “Dressage riders from around the world have come to rely on finding our products, clothing, and saddles at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and we really have begun to feel like partners in many of their show careers,” Haist commented. The Horse of Course has a complete selection of tack and apparel for the English rider— including show clothing, stable accessories, training equipment, gifts, books, and equestrian sportswear. To learn more about The Horse of Course, visit www.thehorseofcourse.com.
Photo: Beth Haist (left) presents Merita Hagren (middle) with her trainer Dr. Cesar Parra (right) of Piaffe Performance, with The Horse of Course High Score Award at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Photo courtesy of JRPR – No photo credit necessary).