Jennifer Williams and Joppe K Score First Big Tour Win and Personal Best in Langley
Jennifer Williams (USA) and Joppe K logged their first CDI3* win on Friday in the Touch of Class CDI Dressage show at Thunderbird Show Park. It’s news that will surprise exactly no one who has been following their career. They’ve been a formidable partnership since the start.
Williams discovered Joppe K as a coming five year old in The Netherlands in 2018 and was immediately taken by his willingness to learn. “Even when I tried him, he just really spoke my language and understood. We clicked right away,” she recalled.
The KWPN gelding was originally purchased as a sales prospect. Once imported to the U.S., however, it became apparent to Williams that Joppe K had more to offer.
“We quickly discovered that he was very special in the way that he learned and the way that he presented himself. The gaits were [always] nice, but as he developed strength, he started to show really super characteristics and movement and just had a really great knack for sitting and piaffes and all of that,” she continued.
“So we decided very shortly after the purchase that we wanted to keep him and develop him for the future.”
Come spring of 2020, they made their international debut in Wellington, FL and won the CDIYH Six Year Old Final—on a massive 85.600% score. The American rider and striking chestnut have been steadily climbing the training scale and dressage ranks since, earning a pair of top finishes—and an 85% for quality—in the CDIYH Seven Year Old Finals in Wellington in 2021 and podium finishes up to the CDI3* level in 2022 and 2023.
On Friday at the Touch of Class CDI at tbird, Williams and Joppe K danced to their career highest win and personal best score in the FEI Grand Prix CDI3*, sponsored by Wendy Christoff of Delta BC, earning a 70.087 from the judges.
“I feel like today he was really with me. It was a pretty mistake-free test. And he felt more like he does day to day in the training than he has yet in the international ring,” said Williams, who trains with Christophe Theallet and Oded Shimoni.
“I was really proud of just the ride-ability and I thought the changes were quite lovely—the two [tempis], the one [tempis]. He sat and kept the pirouettes very nice and tight and active. I was really happy with that. It was a consistent, quality test. He felt confident and happy throughout. And that was really what I wanted to accomplish today.”
At just nine, there’s plenty more to see from Joppe K, said his rider.
“Everything about him has been very easy mentally. He’s just a very happy horse that loves to work and loves to be a partner,” said Williams.
“He stepped up to the Grand Prix in August of last year as an eight year old and I think he scored a 73 nationally! It’s a big jump to go from national to CDI and our goal is just to keep making him feel confident and loving what he’s doing in the ring.”
And if they happen to qualify for the Pan American Games this fall, that would be okay too, smiled Williams.
Williams and Joppe K will next contest the Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Saturday at tbird.