Ashley Holzer Dances Her Way to the Top 10 at Palm Beach Derby CDI-W

Ottawa, Ont. March 10, 2015 ­­– Ashley Holzer and Dressed In Black danced their way to a top 10 finish at the prestigious Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W, held March 4-8 in Wellington, Fla. as part of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF).

Riding to a musical arrangement composed by Tamara Williams in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W on Mar.

6, Holzer and Dressed In Black (Dresemann x Sweetheart), her 10-year-old Westphalian gelding, led the Canadian line-up to tie for seventh place on a score of 72.35%.

“I was thrilled with my ride on Friday,” said Holzer, a four-time Olympian for Canada. “Dressed in Black was so much fun to ride.  To feel a horse try his best is always the ultimate prize in this sport. This was his first time competing in this electric atmosphere against some of the best in the world.”

Fellow Canadian Olympian, Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, Ont. and D Niro (D-Day x Napoleon 625), a 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Mary Brooks of Brookhaven Dressage Inc., was the next best placed Canadian in 13th place (69.825%). Dressage veteran, Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, Ont. scored 66.875% for 14th place riding Devon L (De Niro x Wolkenstein II), a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding co-owned by D.W. Leatherdale and Leatherdale Farms.

In the Grand Prix CDI-W on March 5, Megan Lane of Loretto, Ont. scored 68.5% riding Caravella (Contango x Riverman), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare she co-owns with Cathy Lane, resulting in a 13th place finish. Holzer and Dressed In Black rounded out the top 15 with a score of 68.24%, with Creech and Devon L right behind in 16th place on a score of 67.42%.

Making his mark in the small tour was Chris von Martels of Ridgetown, Ont. His success began in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI1* on March 5, where he took second place against a huge starting field of 48 competitors after earning a score of 73.395% with his 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Zilverstar, sired by Rousseau. The duo also earned ninth place in the FEI Intermediate I on March 7 with a score of 69.158%. Topping his weekend off on an incredibly high note, von Martels rode Zilverstar to the top of the leaderboard, winning the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI1* on March 8 with a score of 74.95%.

“I’m thrilled with my results this past weekend at the Palm Beach Derby CDI-W,” commented von Martels, who was recently named the Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for January. “Zilverstar was in top form and performed very well amongst a huge class of very strong international combinations. I am very excited for the future with him.”

Long-time CET member and six-time Canadian Olympian, Christilot Boylen, who currently resides in Wellington, Fla., was right behind von Martels in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI1*, taking second place (72.05%) aboard Donatella 79 (De Niro x Canaster I), a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Windhaven Farm and Jill Irving. The duo also earned sixth place in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI1* with a score of 70.868%, and seventh in the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* (69.711%).

Tina Irwin of Stouffville, Ont. also saw success in the small tour, riding Fancy That (Donnerschweg x Freiherr), a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Christine Faux, to eighth place (70.737%) in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI1*. They followed up with a seventh place finish in FEI Intermediate I on a score of 69.579%, before finishing fourth in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle on a score of 71.775%.

For complete results from the Palm Beach Derby CDI-W, visit

Photo: Ashley Holzer and Dressed In Black took seventh place in the prestigious FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W with a score of 72.35% during week nine of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla.

Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle

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