Lucky Seven - Olympians, Anne Kursinski and Bent Jensen Win the $25,000 Winsome Dressage /Jumper Spectacular
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
For a truly spectacular seventh time, Olympians, Anne Kursinski and Bent Jensen won the $25,000 Winsome Dressage/Jumper Spectacular at Wellington Dressage. Six other top teams paired up to steal victory from the dynamic duo, but once again Kursinski and Jensen proved it is no easy task to dethrone them.
The $25,000 Winsome Dressage/Jumper Spectacular is one of the most exciting and well-attended events hosted annually on Saturday afternoon at the Wellington Dressage show. In the high stakes event, dressage riders and jumper riders team up and switch roles. The jumper riders compete in Third Level Test Three, while the dressage riders compete over a 3’6” Hit and Hurry jump course. There combined scores determine the placing.
“The competition gets better every year”, said Jensen, “I know Anne will ride well no matter what. She’s just that good.” This year, Kursinski rode Jensen’s young stallion, Rockefeller to a second place finish in the dressage phase with a score of 64.592%. “He’s such a nice horse”, said Kursinski , “ I think I could have ridden him better, but as always it was the first time I ever rode him.” Kursinski said “as always” because in the 7 years that she and Jensen have partnered for the event, Kursinski has never ridden her dressage mount prior to the warm-up of the class. “This year Bent and I discussed practicing in advance, but we decided it might jinx us”. Apparently their formula works!
For the jumping phase of the competition, Jensen had the luxury of riding Splendid, the bold chestnut gelding that he competed and won with last year. Jensen’s jumping round was as fast and furious as ever. He galloped flat out to every fence and shaved every corner to the point of defying gravity. His gutsy run reaped him 25 points and secured the lead for their team. Jensen and Kursinski split the $8000 first place prize, bringing their totals earnings from the event over the past 8 years to almost $60,000.
But it’s much more than money that draws rider’s to the competition. “It’s a great class for everyone”, explains Kursinski, “Our show days get longer and longer and our shows are so competitive. It’s great to have an event like this that draws everyone together. It’s good fun and puts everyone in good spirits”.
Second place was a tie between the team of John Zopatti and Denis Lynch and Lauren Sammis and Eliza Shuford. Lynch dominated the dressage phase of the competition riding Zopatti’s Dutch gelding, Mitchell to a score of 67.333%. His beautifully executed ride even caught the attention of dressage icon, Robert Dover. Unlike Kursinski, Lynch spent the past two weeks training with Zopatti on Mitchell.
Fourth place was a tie between the team of Ed Borresen and Darren Graziano and German Olympian, Hubertus Schmidt and Yannick Patron. And sixth place also ended with a tie between the team of Karin Reid Offield and Clare Bronfman and the team of Monica Burssens and Maria Lithander. When teenaged, Monica Burssens took a spill on the jump course; Patrick Burssens jumped the wall and mended her bruised spirits with the big hug from Dad. A relived crowd gave them a big round of applause as another chapter in the Winsome Dressage/Jumper Spectacular drew to a satisfying close.
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Photo Credit; Winners: Anne Kursinski on Rockefeller and Bent Jensen on Splendid Photo by Susan Stickle