Orlob and Berktold Claim Developing Horse Championship Titles to Wrap Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Week 11

Orlob and Berktold Claim Developing Horse Championship Titles to Wrap Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Week 11

International action for the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) 2023 season in Wellington, Florida, wrapped up on Sunday, March 26. The grand champions were crowned in both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Buffalo Wild Wings Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series. AGDF 2023, which hosts seven weeks of CDI competition, runs through April 2.

These classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young FEI horses, giving them exposure to benefit their development with the biggest of world stages in mind.

Competition was extremely hot in the small tour ranks, with the top three in the field of eight starters all scoring over 71% — particularly impressive as these are young, green horses at the level.

It was the 41-year-old German-born American rider Marcus Orlob who rode Alice Tarjan’s JJ Glory Day (by Kastel’s Grand Galaxy Win x Deemster) to victory with a commanding 73.705% — including a high score of over 75% from one judge. At seven years old, Glory Day was the youngest horse in the class — the only seven-year-old — and the only stallion. This was just his second ever Prix St. Georges test.

“I’ve had this horse for three years and since then I’m quite amazed by him,” said Orlob, who is based between Annandale, NJ and Loxahatchee, FL. “Every time I ride him it’s a joy. He wants to work. I thought a couple weeks ago I would do this just for fun and he was really afraid the first time.

“Now I think he did quite a clean test and the judges seemed to like it, so I’m really happy. The changes are more confirmed [than they were a few weeks ago], and he was more mature, with better balance and straighter.”

Orlob and Glory Day have had a highly successful dip into international competition at this year’s AGDF, contesting the FEI seven-year-old Preliminary and Final classes earlier in the month, and winning them both with scores over 80%.

He praised the inclusion of these developing horse classes on the show’s schedule, adding, “I think it’s so important we have classes like this, especially for the younger ones to see the fancy stadium. It can be quite intimidating for the younger horses, but I think the judges are a little more forgiving if the horses are spooking here and there, they don’t hold it against you.”

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