Joppe K Carries Confidence Forward, Earns Second Personal Best at Touch of Class

Langley, BC — American dressage rider Jennifer Williams had one focus in mind for Joppe K heading into Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, sponsored by Wendy Christoff of Delta BC,  at the Touch of Class Dressage Show: fitness.

“I think, at this point, he really just needs to be fitter in the test,” she said of the nine-year-old chestnut gelding.

“For some reason, the last five years, I’ve always had a day off in between the Grand Prix and the Special and all four of [the CDI] shows I’ve done with Joppe, they’ve been back to back and it’s a lot.”

Joppe K rose to the occasion at Thunderbird Show Park. The pair returned to the 20 x 60 “sandbox” on Saturday and reclaimed the top spot on the CDI3* leaderboard with a personal best score of 70.638%. Williams and Joppe K also won Friday’s FEI Grand Prix CDI3* with a personal best score.

“I did feel that he was a bit more tired today, but he was very honest in the work. And he just was getting better and better at the test went on,” said Williams.

“I really felt like the confidence from yesterday carried through to today, and I didn’t find myself testing him as much to make sure that he was with me. I just knew that he was with me.”

The highlights of the test for Williams were the piaffe and the passage and “a clean, quality test.”

“He was 100% honest. I had the feeling that he was willing to give me more [in the piaffe and passage] if I would have asked for more. And that is a great feeling, especially on the final centerline. I was really proud of his effort.”

Joppe K is owned by the Joppe Partners, a group that includes Bob and Tina Desroche, Lisa Norling and his rider. Williams believes the KWPN gelding has championship potential.

“He’s a horse that I really believe in for the future. So whether he’s ready this year [for the Pan American Games] or not, we’re just going to keep doing our thing and keep him confident and happy and healthy. If things work out, great. And if not, we just keep going,” said Williams, who trains with Christophe Theallet and Oded Shimoni.

For the immediate future though, Joppe can look forward to some time off.

“The horses live outside 24/7 at our place in Washington. He’ll get a few days off in the paddock,” she continued.

“I think the downtime for him is just as important as trying to make him fit. So we’ll keep some fitness routine going that’s outside of the dressage ring, because when he’s just having fun and fresh he is just such a blast to ride and I want to keep that in him.”

Pia Fortmuller (CAN) and Frieda took second in the Grand Prix Special CDI3* on a score of 67.771%. Sara Pocock (CAN) and Connaisseur, third on 65.596%.

FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* Results
Rider / Nation / Horse / E / H / C / M / B / Total 

1. Jennifer Williams / USA / Joppe K / 71.277 / 71.489 / 70.319 / 70.319 / 69.787 / 70.638
2. Pia Fortmuller / CAN / Frieda / 67.774 / 68.404 / 67.774 / 68.511 / 66.391 / 67.771
3. Sara Pocock / CAN / Connaisseur / 65.426 / 67.553 / 65.000 / 65.106 / 64.894 / 65.596
4. Rochelle Kilberg / CAN / Florentino / 65.638 / 65.213 / 65.745 / 63.617 / 61.489 / 64.340