Australian Rider Jemma Heran and ‘Epic’ Mare Kick Off AGDF 8 With New Personal Best And First CDI Win

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A bumper 21 combinations lined up to contest the CDI3* Grand Prix, sponsored by Mission Control, on opening day of action during Week 8 at the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Flags of three nations adorned the podium, with the 27-year-old Australian rider Jemma Heran capturing the class with a new personal best on Saphira Royal 2. AGDF 2024 runs for 12 weeks, through March 31, and includes seven international shows as well as weekly national competitions.

Heran scored 70.717% on her own 15-year-old San Amour daughter, and landed her first international victory with the horse in the process. Her trainer Frederic Wandres (GER) had to settle for second, riding Dressage Family LLC and Elisabeth Morell’s Joy Game to 69.913% at the horse’s debut CDI. At just 10 years old, the Davino gelding was the youngest horse in the class.

Three of the top four competitors logged new personal bests in this test on their horses. These included the Canadian riders who filled third and fourth: Danielle Gallagher posted 69.239% on her own and Ellen Lazarus’s 12-year-old Lusitano Come Back De Massa (by Galopin De La Font), with Camille Carier Bergeron slotting into fourth with the 14-year-old Fidertanz mare Finnländerin (69.087%). 

Heran has owned Saphira Royal for just over a year. As a young horse, she captured the bronze medal at the 2013 Bundeschampionate under Kira Wulferding and another bronze at the 2016 World Young Horse Championships under Stefanie Wolf, who produced her to top level. The Rheinlander mare was then campaigned at grand prix level by Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Nicole Wego-Engelmeyer. 
“I saw her at a show in Europe and I thought she was spectacular,” explained Heran. “She was small-ish, elegant, super flashy moving, fine boned — my style of horse. Today she was amazing. She was full of energy, super fit and ready to go. We had a little mistake in the ones, but she looked up at the crowd and she’s just so epic. She tries her heart out for me like not many other horses I’ve ridden.”

Heran, who is stabled at Hof Kasselman at both their Wellington and Germany bases, has spent the past year mainly training Saphira Royal, and relishes the chance to get in the arena on multiple occasions at AGDF.  

Press Release AGDF | Jemma Heran & Saphira Royale 2, winners of the CDI3* Grand Prix, sponsored by Mission Control.  Photo © SusanJStickle.com

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