Zugel takes three wins at Wellington

  • 3 February 2013, 10:01

THE Wellington Dressage CDI-W at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Florida USA drew to a close today (Sunday) with an Irish win.

The featured class was the FEI Intermediare Freestyle. First place in the $6,000 FEI Intermediare Freestyle went to Ireland’s Sonia Zugel riding her mount Ungaro (Weltmeyer II x Wendekreis) with a score of 66.167 per cent. The pair were also successful in yesterday’s $5,000 FEI Intermediare I and Friday’s $3,000 FEI Prix St. George.

Zugel grew up in Ireland and moved with her family to California when she was 18. Based now in Holmdel, New Jersey, and Wellington, Florida, she trains with Vera Barisone. In talking about the 16-year-old bay BWP gelding, Zugel said, “We’ve been together for five years and he has brought me from the Third Level up to this so I’m real proud of him. His strengths are his changes and we are getting better at half passing. I’m learning to ride him better.”

Surprisingly, Zugel had only choreographed the routine last week. She admitted, “My timing was a little off. I went through it only once. But I really like the music and the pattern. I think it really works for him. I just have to fine tune it a little bit. I was really happy with it. It was a lot of fun.”

Zugel began foxhunting with her family then continued onto eventing, steeplechasing and show jumping. When she decided she was no longer interested in jumping, she decided to try dressage. “I loved dressage from having to perform it in eventing, so I decided to give it a try. I love it. It’s now become a family affair as my daughter has begun lessons,” she remarked.

With winning all the classes she has entered this week, she was overjoyed. “I am amazed! I’m really happy. I have a big team behind me. I’ve worked hard, but I have extremely knowledgeable vets, massage therapists, everyone.”

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