Wellington, FL (April 1, 2017) – Team Canada topped the leaderboard following the Intermediare II competition during the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO 3*, held during the last week of the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Just about the entire winning team from Canada entered the international arena with the same bridle, the Tota Comfort System, and left with a Nations Cup medal.
For the team’s two anchor riders, the husband and wife team of Jaimey and Tina Irwin, comfort and cutting edge tack design paid big dividends, leading them to a one-two finish in the Intermediare II Nations Cup class. Tina Irwin, with her 2007 Oldenburg gelding Laurencio (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall) continued their winning ways in the small tour by topping the class with a 73.273%. Jaimey Irwin and the 2008 KPWN gelding Donegal V (Johnston x Remy X Gribaldi) slid into second with a 69.263%. Rounding out the scores for Team Canada and Team TCS, Jill Irwin and her 2002 Hanoverian gelding Degas 12 (De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni) rounded out the top three scores with a 69.588%, securing the Team Gold.
CLICK HERE to watch a video of the top ride from Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio!
Of her Nations Cup performance and use of the Total Comfort System, Tina Irwin stated, “I’m very lucky to have a horse like Laurencio. He’s very special. The Nations Cups are a great experience, and I have had a very positive experience using the Tota Comfort System with my horses. Laurencio became much steadier in the contact and seemed a lot more content when I switched nosebands. I really felt a dramatic change in him and we started our winning streak soon after.”
That winning streak, that now includes Nations Cup Team Gold, was highlighted by the pair’s 78.708% in the FEI Intermediare I Freestyle CDI 1* during the 7th week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The score currently holds the record high for the year in the division.
In addition to Team Canada’s near sweep with the Tota Comfort System, Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang made history in the TCS noseband by winning Individual Silver and Team Gold in the first ever CDIO U25 Nations Cup. A reflection of the strength of the up and coming talent in the sport, Keasler and Lux delivered a supporting score to boost Team USA A to victory and a Gold Medal in the Intermediare II Team competition, and scored 71.675% to place second in the CDIO U25 Freestyle.
“Lux felt great in the Freestyle,” said Keasler. “The highlight for me was just after the first canter tour and an extended trot, as we were coming through the short side I felt him really start to swing to the music and relax into the rhythm. In that moment I felt like ‘Ok, this is what its all about, this is riding a Freestyle,’ and that was a great feeling.”
A patent pending, revolutionary bridle and tack design intended to improve comfort for the horse and connection for the rider, the Tota Comfort System Noseband creates stability in the jaw, reduces poll pressure, and alleviates stress on the tempromandibular joint (TMJ) and facial nerves. Improving lightness and harmony in the contact was the inspiration behind its inception, as Olympians Ashley Holzer and Sue Blinks sought to improve unsteadiness caused by traditional bridle designs. The unnecessary pressure applied to the poll, facial nerves, and TMJ decreased the horse’s comfort and ability to step freely into the bridle, detracting from overall performance. Holzer and Blinks brought their ideas on improving the traditional bridle structure to Charles Tota of The Dressage Connection, and together the three devised a curved cheek piece and stabilizing chin strap to alleviate pressure and increase the horse’s comfort. The FEI and — USEF approved the Tota Comfort System just before the 2016 winter circuit in Wellington, Florida, and the benefits of the advanced bridle design has brought improved comfort and connection to dressage arenas around the world. Available as a complete bridle system or noseband attachment, the Tota Comfort System is offered exclusively through its website and retail partners.
Story and some images by Equinium Sports Marketing