Erin Silo (CAN) was feeling the pressure on Saturday ahead of the FEI Intermediate I CDI1*, sponsored by Bonnie Brae Farm, at the Touch of Class Dressage Show. Hot off an international win in Friday’s Prix St. Georges CDI1*, her first with the nine-year-old KWPN gelding Jett, and contesting their second ever CDI1* event, expectations were high for the green pair. And their first-in-the-order draw didn’t help.
“It was definitely more pressure today!” said Silo. “And then even more pressure being the first in the ring. You’re the initial one laying down the track and clearly, you want to do well.”
Her trainers, Canadian Olympian Leslie Reid and USDF Gold Medal Rider Shelley Lawder (CAN), offered encouraging words and strategic advice to help focus the 39 year old rider.
“I had a good pep talk [in the morning] with both Leslie and Shelley with regards to not overthinking it,” she continued.
Reid’s advice: “Ride every step and don’t forget that the parts between the movements need to be ridden as focused and as structured as movements themselves.”
Silo put their combined wisdom to practice, executing a fluid test with Jett to earn a second personal best score of 69.951%—and her second win—of the week.
“I was really proud of how focused Jett was and how he stayed with me in that big environment. Yesterday, he had a big spook in the test, whereas today he really felt like he was with me and tried really hard for me,” she noted.
“Jett is still green in the arena. He still needs a lot of miles and a lot of experience to get really confident. But I would say that having had a day in there yesterday and then returning to it today, he felt more settled.”
There was one hiccup outside the arena though…
“Ironically enough my horse pulled a shoe in the warm up arena, but I did not know until after the test. So we did the entire test with only one shoe on the front foot!” laughed Silo.
“So that’s horses. You have to learn to be adaptable and go with it, because you can never be as prepared for things as you want to be.”
Silo’s coach Shelley Lawder (CAN) took second aboard Balancee on a score of 68.137%. Dominique Buckland (CAN) and Spangkaergaards Ramulus finished third on a score of 67.843%.
Touch of Class Dressage continues Sunday with the CDI Freestyles. Catch all the action on tbird TV.
FEI Intermediate I CDI1* Results
Rider / Nation / Horse / H / C / B / Total
1. Erin Silo / CAN / Jett / 71.029 / 69.118 / 69.706 / 69.951
2. Shelley Lawder / CAN / Balancee / 67.941 / 67.206 / 69.265 / 68.137
3. Dominique Buckland / CAN / Spangkaergaards Ramulus / 67.206 / 69.412 / 66.912 / 67.843
4. Eiren Crawford / CAN / Hendrix / 67.647 / 68.235 / 67.206 / 67.696
5. Kelly Irving / USA / Fresco I.D. / 66.629 / 66.618 / 67.941 / 67.063
6. Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar / CAN / Iko / 66.471 / 67.500 / 66.176 / 66.716