Recognizing the Inspiration: Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award Presented to John McGinty
Wellington, FL (April 18, 2013) – Dr. Cesar Parra, owner of Piaffe Performance Farms was proud to present the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award during Wellington Nations Cup CDI 3* to the man who originally inspired the award, John McGinty. John was chosen by an independent committee but Parra was very pleased have one of his own Piaffe Performance Team members recognized. Parra explained that there is nobody who deserves the award more than McGinty. “I think John is one of the biggest fans of our sport that I know,” Parra said. “He loves dressage. He breathes dressage. He’s all about dressage. Really, it’s amazing to see how hard he works and all the enthusiasm he puts into it,” Parra added. McGinty proved himself worthy of the award many times over during the past few months, racking up win after win throughout the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Florida. Then, he topped off his amazing season at the Nations Cup where he and his horse, Playboy, rode into first place in the FEI Prix St Georges Adult Amateur class with a score of 61.447%.
McGinty was pleasantly surprised by winning the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur award. “I’m just so grateful,” he commented, “I’m so amazed and I’m so happy!” He continued, “My goals seem to be coming along and I’m doing better and better, but I didn’t do this on my own. My horse is wonderful and my team is wonderful – and it does take a team to do this!” McGinty acknowledged and described the Piaffe Performance Team who he feels is responsible for his recent success, “There is Dr. Parra and his wife, Marcella, through whose help I was able to get my horse, Playboy, and then there is my wonderful coach, Katie Riley, and our barn manager, Jen Mandracia, and then there are Laura and Samantha who send Playboy into the ring looking his very best!”
McGinty said that he plans to finish the season with Playboy, his 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Jet Set D, in the Prix St Georges, and then determine their goals for the higher levels during the summer. In addition to being a dressage rider, McGinty is also involved in the hunter/jumper circuit as an FEI judge for jumpers, hunter equitation and hunter breeder divisions. However, he is still continuing to push the equestrian sports envelope by being a strong advocate for Adult Amateur dressage, and along with other people from Europe, he is putting forth an effort to get Adult Amateurs their own division on the international level.
It is this type of encouragement for Adult Amateur riders that Parra hopes to continue to inspire with the Piaffe Performance Award. Designed to recognize exceptional performances by adult amateurs, the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur High Performance Award was given out each week of the 2013 Global Dressage Festival. “Adult amateurs are the backbone of our sport,” comments Parra. “My team is made up of a number of young riders and adult amateurs, and their dedication to the sport and their horses is undeniable. I am proud to be able to recognize adult amateurs and their achievements on the AGDF circuit in this way.”
Photo: From right to left, Katie Riley, Samantha Rand, Dr. Cesar Parra, John McGinty, Jen Mandracia, Laura Pradells, and Marcella Oritiz Parra at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Nations Cup CDI. (Photo courtesy of JRPR—no photo credit necessary)
Parra and Van The Man Dance to the Top of
FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* for United States
Wellington, FL (April 18, 2013) - Dr. Cesar Parra, whose bridles have been known to sport red, white and blue brow bands, had patriotism riding high over the April 13-14 weekend during America's only event of its kind, the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO/CDI3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm at The Stadium at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds. On Saturday, Parra clinched the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* with a 74.375% score on Van The Man from judges Evi Eisenhardt (E), Maribel Alonso (H), Anne Gribbons (C), Linda Zang (M), and Joan Macartney (B).
The former Colombian 2004 Olympic as well as 2002 and 2006 World Equestrian Games veteran, who became an American citizen in 2008 and represented the US on the Gold medal-winning 2011 Pan American Games dressage squad, was also a member of Friday evening's Nations Cup reserve champion Team USA 2.
On the combined strength of their Grand Prix Freestyle and Sunday's FEI Grand Prix Special (72.208%) scores,put Parra in runner-up position in the Individual Rider Standings and top USA Individual rider. Van The Man is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Obelisk x Landjoker) acquired for Parra by sponsors Sarah and Michael Davis in 2011.
"I was very excited to take part in my first Nations Cup and to medal as a team and as an individual," said Parra. "I've been grateful for the opportunity to represent my country. I'd like to thank my owners, wife, groom, and Katie Riley, my eyes on the ground, and also to the USEF for selecting me as a member of the team. This horse has improved so much. I love him."
“I am so proud of my husband, so proud of all the Piaffe Performance riders, and all the members of our team. It has been an amazing weekend and season,” said Parra's wife, Marcela Ortiz.
Tuny Page of Stillpoint Farm praised the Nations Cup format and its contributions: “One crucial thing about this competition involves the opportunity to expose small tour horses to this kind of atmosphere and a patrons' tent. That's really important in the development of international sport. I hope that people in the world of dressage are paying attention to what's happening here because it's fantastic and will continue to improve."
As stylish outside the ring as within it, Parra thanked Page and the pillars of the dressage world that made a week-long dressage event like this possible in Florida: “Thank you so much [to Page]. She's not only a great rider with wonderful horses, but she's always trying to help the sport. It means a lot to all of us to have this place and I hope we can continue to enjoy it because it's really a pleasure to come and ride here. We are so grateful.”
Parra reserved his best praise for last, for his four-legged partner, Van The Man. “He was right on it, from the very first step. He's been, as most of my colleagues know, a 'clown' to say the least! He's humbled me more than a couple of times, so I just keep on working and today, he said 'Okay, I'll do it.' It was amazing from that first step. It's exciting to do the best you can and have it work out. I'm just so happy that I cannot describe it. I'm really, really grateful.”
As the Piaffe Performance team leaves Florida for its Whitehouse Station, NJ, facility, all eyes are on the horizon line for Normandy and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“My goal,” Parra concluded, “is to really make him my partner. I believe in him. I think he's a world-class horse. It's just a matter of getting him to trust me, to follow me, to believe, to become a great horse.”
Follow Van The Man and Cesar Parra's season together, and learn more about Piaffe Performance and its stellar stable of dressage prospects at www.piaffe-performance.com.
Photo: Dr. Cesar Parra and Van the Man during the Nations Cup CDI 3*. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)
Martin Sosnoff Beats the Odds at Wellington 5* National Show
Wellington, FL (April 12, 2013) – Martin Sosnoff recently beat the odds at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Wellington 5* National show by riding his gelding, Scirocco to a 60%, but defeating the odds is nothing new to the adult amateur dressage rider. “When I spoke to friends in the orthopedic field, they said I had a 1 in 100 shot to ever ride again, much less compete. But they're not riders, it's not in their blood,” said Sosnoff, referring to his determination to get back in the saddle. In 2012, the avid rider and founder of the private investment management firm Atalanta Sosnoff Capital, endured three back surgeries in the span of five weeks, enough to significantly sideline even the fittest equestrian. However with the help of Dr. Cesar Parra and the Piaffe Performance team, Sosnoff is now not only competing, but getting respectable scores in the Prix St. Georges.
Sosnoff will celebrate his 82nd birthday in August, and his Prix St. George horse, a Dutch Warmblood gelding named Scirocco, will turn 19. “I've done The Century Club. What's left to prove?” he chuckled. The Dressage Foundation 'Century Club' recognizes riders and horses whose combined age totals 100 or more. While Sosnoff and Scirocco's numbers also add up, the Rhinebeck, New York horseman checked the Centurion test off his bucket list while a youthful 76, riding his then 24-year-old Fourth Level horse, Big Red.
Sosnoff faced a greater test returning from the operating table to the saddle. “I don't think about winning or losing, I'm just happy to compete again,” he said of his journey, which began last November, literally, at the walk. “I wasn't strong enough to post. As weeks passed, I could post the trot, then canter, then sit the trot and finally, progress with the intensity that we could train to compete.”
“We” represents a team composed of his favorite horse, Scirocco, his upstate New York trainer, Wes Dunham and when in Florida, Piaffe-Performance owner and trainer, Dr. Cesar Parra. Sosnoff calls meeting Dr. Parra, “Pure serendipity.” He and Dunham were in Florida horse shopping when a friend called, recommending a 30-minute trip to Piaffe-Performance and assuring they would be pleased with what they found. Sosnoff not only found a horse. He found a friend and mentor whose expertise he continues to seek out as often as possible.
He bought his current PSG horse, Scirocco, five years ago as a First Level prospect: “We have a great relationship. A friend described our first meeting as 'love at first sight' and we do love one another. He's very congenial, affectionate, and intelligent.”
And as a riding partner? “He was very forward, and I like forward, but we had to spend the first two years getting him collected and packaged. He's been a fast learner and started PSG last year. He has some very nice changes, half-passes at the canter easily, and is good at the one- and two-tempis.
“Scirocco can easily do Intermediare-1,” said Sosnoff, who did not begin riding until his 40's. “I'm the one who needs consistent PSG scores in the 60's first. We did okay but can always do better. We could have been more forward and rode the first test fairly conservatively.” For a man who should have been given 100-1 odds of ever riding again, much less at an FEI Prix St George level, getting a 60.789% is a resounding, if conservative, success.
“I try to see Cesar as often as I can. And I try to ride at least three times a week. I'd like to ride four or five, but three I think is the minimum you can get away with without losing a competitive training edge.”
“Martin shows all of us at Piaffe-Performance how it’s done,” said Parra, who has also been in Wellington to ride for one of two U.S. Dressage squads competing in its CDIO Nations Cup. “For Martin, dressage is his fountain of youth, which is wonderful. I think every dressage rider hopes to be going strong after eight decades.”
Thanks to the horse as the great equalizer, dressage is one of the few Olympian sports where men and women, young and old, compete as equals. While his ageless friend seeks out more Prix St. Georges classes for Scirocco this season, Parra has several Piaffe-Performance stars on the rise, including two five year-old Oldenburg prospects that may lead him down the road to the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Photo: Martin Sosnoff and Scirocco at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)
Parra and Van the Man Selected to Ride USA II Team for Wellington Nations Cups CIO3*
Wellington, FL (April 9, 2013) – When the United States fields two dressage teams for the Wellington Nations Cup CIO3*, April 11-14, at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, among its Grand Prix combinations will be Piaffe-Performance Farm's Dr. Cesar Parra, who will ride Michael and Sarah Davis' 11 year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Van The Man, and join Susan Dutta of Wellington, on Tim Dutta Inc’s 13 year-old Oldenburg gelding, Currency DC, on USA II Team at the Grand Prix level. USA II Team’s Prix St. Georges riders will be Chris Hickey with Witness Hilltop and Justin Hardin with Wyatt Star. USA I Team will constitute Heather Blitz on Paragon and Shelly Francis on Doktor for the Grand Prix, and Caroline Roffman aboard Her Highness O and Kimberly Herslow aboard Rosmarin at the Prix St Georges.
“It is always an honor to represent the United States,” said the 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold medalist, whose international resume as a rider and trainer includes more than 300 FEI wins, as well as having competed in the 2004 Olympics, 2005 Las Vegas Dressage World Cup, and 2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games.
Parra, known to sport a dash of red, white and blue color on the occasional browband, is ready to ride: “Van The Man is an exceptional horse, and I always try to live up to the trust that Michael and Sarah show putting their beautiful horse in my hands. We will be proud to ride for America together.”
The 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for five international competitions, making it among the richest circuits in the world. The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Adequan GDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring five CDIs, including a 5*, the first non-championship CDIO Nations' Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and nine U.S. national events.
Cesar Parra, DDS, MScD, operates Piaffe Performance in Jupiter, FL and Whitehouse Station, NJ and was born in Colombia, where he began riding cattle horses in the Andes Mountains of his grandparents’ farm. Dr. Parra has worked with the best in dressage, including Herbert Rehbein, Siegfried "Bimbo" Peilicke, Hans Rueben, Herbert Kuckluck and Hubertus Schmidt.
Photo: Dr. Cesar Parra and Van the Man will represent the United States during the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s Nations Cup CDI 3*. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)
Article on Clinic given by Cesar Parra in Atlanta, GA on September 20-21, 2012
Another Accomplished International Teacher & Trainer Shares His Expertise With Us
In September Greater Atlanta had the opportunity to benefit from another committed trainer, teacher, and competitor. Cesar Parra shared freely with riders and horses of many levels his training philosophy and techniques. Although a native of Columbia, South America, and an adult immigrant to the US, he not only demonstrated a sincere desire to impart whatever he could to enrich the training, but also did so with true ability to communicate clearly.
His philosophy included recognition of the total horse and rider. Cesar emphasized the importance of noticing the body language of horse and rider while working on or around the horse. He stressed good manners, smiling (We’ve heard that before!), and even acknowledging the wisdom that some days it’s just best not to get on if you know things “aren’t right”. After getting after a horse for disobedience, he still recommends patting the horse – similar to concluding a disagreement with someone with a handshake. He mentioned that the end of the whip should never know anger. It’s not about arguing, but creating a leadership by a happy rider that develops a happy athletic horse. As other classical trainers, he believes in walking the horse about 15 minutes or so before the work begins, creating a horse that desires to move forward, and focusing on the quality of the gaits instead of movements. “Everything starts in the warm-up and your work at home. Expect your very best – not perfection. Ask, “How can I make it better?” That is the job of the trainer/teacher – not judging. His focus is on what is important – in life, as in training. His thoughts are to think of the journey, the process, and to stay in the correct direction. Other keys in his methodology are to stop when it’s good and to work on the challenging aspects first, so you can reward your horse by using his strengths as a sort of “play”. So you work on what needs improvement and reward with what is easy – thus saving your horse. Also, expose the horse to lots of different things – umbrellas, loud radios, balloons, chickens or whatever necessary to develop a SAFE horse that trusts you. If necessary, do so while the horse is on the lunge. In conclusion, it was evident that Cesar has been open to other forms of sports training methodology, personal improvement and even corporation teamwork philosophy.
The above generalities were simply interjected into the highly specific lessons. At all the levels the relaxation of the horse was maintained. One evidence of the relaxation is the flexibility and equal suppleness (while riding on both hands) of the nuki muscle which runs along the topline of the horse. The relaxation is encouraged by the consistant contact of the rider’s hands. Some common challenges for contact are the inconsistent, the “almost”, or the“pulled in” (which blocks the horse’s movement). It’s impossible for the horse to accept the contact if it is not consistant. – much less develop engagement. He used a longe and later a whip to show the effect of contact and the different levels of dressage (changed form). Other evidence of the relaxed horse is the back that is truly swinging and the rider should not sit the trot until it is clearly swinging. On the other hand, as the horse develops up the levels - especially to passage and piaffe – there is a level of positive “tension” or “collection”. As the rider gathers the horse’s energy to perform difficult movements, he suggested making the horse want to do them, by not permitting it until the rider allows the execution. This makes the horse want to do it, but it is only done when the rider feels it is for optimum quality (like those flying changes that need to be done and then you can quit!).
Different levels of training tips were given. For example, ride the volte on both hands to develop elasticity and balance much more - similar to other classical trainers. Use it between different movements (even flying changes) and in various locations. Practice the square halt at X before dismounting daily and if done well, finish the workout. Ride an intelligent horse with lots of variety – rein changes, ring figures, transitions, etc. to keep them interested. Make sure that the canter has the same speed with the front and back legs. Get the horse to listen to quiet legs – use the whip more if needed. Submission should be immediate – not negotiated. Improve the speed of the transitions within each gait. Find the right tempo for each horse, but keep the horse’s tempo the same. Prepare a flying change by having the horse look to the new inside with both reins several strides before the change- . Lower the horse’s neck a little at the beginning to help develop the mediums. And more were given….
Cesar mentioned that he was sharing what worked for him, not what was right or wrong. He emphasized, “You need to do what works for you. At his stable, anyone can help anyone else (including himself) with reminders while training. When riding Grand Prix, he rarely rides without someone on the ground. The description of the facility was of support, education, and teamwork.
A special thank you is in order for Shannondale Farm for all their many efforts to put on another clinic – not for profit, but for bringing continued international quality instruction to Georgia. They are providing “live” learning experiences (not books or videos) where amateurs and professionals alike can develop or keep their “eye” educated to current standards – without having to go to expensive shows.
At back to back shows at the Masters and the Gold Coast Opener, Performance Farm showed that their horses are riders are well prepared for the Florida season. At the CDI Gold Coast Opener, Van the Man Won the Grand Prix Special and Simply Nymphenburg shined in his 3rd level tests. Nadine Buberl and Borett won both of their classes. Katie Riley had outstanding tests with Leo and Beethoven. Carlos Munoz finished off the Masters weekend by winning the Intermediate I freestyle on Klouseau. John McGinty debuted with his Playboy in Prix St George with super rides at both shows. Bebe Davis, Nicolas Torres and Dominique Cassavetis also finished off in the top of their classes. We are all very proud and look forward to the rest of the season!
Cesar Parra’s Piaffe Performance Continues Winning Ways at 2012 Palm Beach Dressage Derby
Dr. Cesar Parra with Nicolas Torres and Silver Label at the 2012 Palm Beach Dressage Derby. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Cesar Parra)
Wellington, FL (March 23, 2012) – Piaffe Performance’s team of riders, headed by Dr. Cesar Parra, has already had many successes on Florida’s winter dressage circuit, and the group of riders and horses recently added a list of wins to their resumes during the 2012 Palm Beach Dressage Derby, held at Equestrian Estates. Piaffe Performance always has a large group of supporters wearing their colors, and during this year’s Derby the fan club had plenty to cheer about as Parra’s team took home blue ribbons in most of the major divisions, from Young Riders to Pony Tests to the FEI level classes.
Parra debuted a number of new horses during the prestigious CDI competition, including his new Grand Prix mount Van the Man and Simply Nymphenburg, a young prospect from Europe. Van the Man, who is owned by Michael and Sarah Davis, handily won the Open Grand Prix class and FEI Test of Choice with scores over 70%, while Simply Nymphenburg scored an 81% in the FEI 6-year-old test and won his 2nd Level class with a 74%. “Van the Man has such potential and our success at the Derby proves he is a horse to watch,” said Parra. “Simply Nymphenburg is one of the best young prospects I’ve ever seen, and I am thrilled to have the chance to bring him along in his dressage career.”
Katie Riley and Agastrofos, owned by Dave and Taunia Reed, placed second in the Intermediaire II and had a very nice Developing Horse Grand Prix test. The Reed’s other horse, Superman, ridden by Nadine Buberl had a very nice tour at Third Level with scores as high as 73%. Buberl also debuted Kingston, a brilliant 5-year-old owned by Apex Stables, who won his first class in the United States with a 77%. Kingston was the high score of the show and took home the High Score Hanoverian Award, starting off his US show career with a bang.
Bebe Davis and her two ponies, Poldy 10 and Bohdjan, earned excellent scores from Olympic judges to take the championship in the CDI pony divisions and another of Parra’s students, Nicolas Torres, arrived in Florida just in time to show. He placed second the first day and rounded out the show with wins in both the FEI Junior Rider Individual test and the Freestyle on Silver Label. Dominique Cassavetis kicked off her Young Rider career with nice tests and good scores with Charming Princess, placing in both the team and individual tests.
The Piaffe Performance Team’s strong showing at the Derby is highlighted by their support team of riders, owners, trainers, and grooms who collaborate to make the show experience a success for everyone involved. “We have a fantastic team here,” said Parra. “None of this would be possible without the owners, parents, and staff who contribute to Piaffe Performance. I am always thankful for the great support from of my team, my riders, students, and owners as we show and compete.”
Chase Hickok, a student at Piaffe-Performance Farm, riding Palermo at the 2011 USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Hickok won the Individual Silver in the Young Rider Freestyle and the Individual Bronze in the Young Rider Team test; Dominique Cassavetis, also a student at Piaffe-Performance, was part of the Junior Gold Medal winning team from Region 1. (Photo courtesy of Sue Stickle)Dominique Cassavetis and Chase Hickok, students at Cesar Parra's Piaffe-Performance Farm, mounted the medal podium at the 2011 USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, following an intense competition that included not only brilliant performances but severe storms as well. Despite the weather, the staff, friends and family at Piaffe-Performance were all smiles as Cassavetis rode away as part of the Junior Gold Medal winning team from Region 1 and Hickok won the Individual Silver medal in the Young Rider Freestyle and the Individual Bronze in the Young Rider Team test. While his students were winning in North America, Dr. Parra was wrapping up a successful European tour. Parra and Grandioso, owned by Sara and Michael Davis, racked up impressive wins overseas and proving that they are formidable competition at the international level.
Katie Riley, Senior Trainer at Piaffe-Performance, was thrilled with the young rider's results. "We are all so proud of Dominique and Chase. They really rose to their fullest potential and showed that they have very bright futures ahead of them," Riley said. "Dominique was part of the NAJYRC Junior team aboard Charming Princess, and they won the Gold Medal which was absolutely fantastic."
Hickok piloted Palermo, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood, to Individual Bronze in the Young Rider Team test and to Individual Silver medal in the Young Rider Freestyle, earning at 70.725%. "This was our first time to do this freestyle in competition and we rode to Latin-themed music," Hickok said. "The music is really great because it matches Palermo by having a lot of energy and personality. It also really showed off his gaits. He has the most heart of any horse I've known and really does his best for me everyday. I also have to thank Katie Riley, for coaching me at the show, as well as Kevin Kohmann and Laura Pradels for their work on my freestyle. But mostly, my parents for their support and encouragement."
Riley said that Hickok really dug in deep during the competition, earning great scores by trying extremely hard. "Chase and Dominique both have great competitive spirits and they really proved that this week," she added.
International dressage rider and trainer Parra was equally thrilled with the girls' wins. "I have always said that everyone at Piaffe-Performance is one big family, so if someone does well we all feel like we have won. Dominique and Chase did fantastic and I couldn't be prouder. I am also very lucky to have Katie Riley supporting the team while I am away," he said. "She is a lovely person and a fantastic coach, rider, and trainer."
Dr. Cesar Parra…Dressage at Red Deer Mane Eent
Dr. Cesar Parra
Thank you, Dr. Cesar Parra, for being a great ambassador for Dressage as our sport.
Dr. Parra focused on the horse ( and rider) as athletes, and I know that sometimes I go easier than I could when training. He said the week before his shows he prepares his horses the same way in the warm up that he would on the day of the show. He has the same expectations of himself and his mount as if competing. It must not have been easy to break into the top ranks of American dressage and earning a place (likely) on the next Pan-Am Games team as a Columbian ex-pat, now American citizen.
Cessar Parra ensured that in each clinic, riders understood what “forward” means. He had participants take their legs off their horses. None of the mounts that I saw ( including Roderick) took a step forward. He stressed that need to be “infront of the leg”. This means the horse moves before the kick comes. If they don’t move, “You have expensive spurs, kick him!”. “And again”. “And again”. Wow…you should have seen the horses come alive. He says, “How can you expect horses to passage and piaffe, if they are ded to your leg?” You know, he is right.
Grandioso and Cesar Parra Sweep CDI Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire Competition at IHSPB
Loxahatchee, Florida – Grandioso emerged a clear contender for a spot on America’s Pan American Dressage team after a clean sweep with scores over 70 percent in CDI Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire competition at the recent International Horse Sport Palm Beach Champions Cup, held March 24-27 at the Horse Park at Equestrian Estates. Grandioso, ridden by Cesar Parra, started his winning streak on Friday with a win in the CDI Prix St. Georges with a score of 71.579 percent. His next win came on Saturday with a score of 73.114 in the CDI Intermediaire I. And then on Sunday, the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding, owned by Michael and Sarah Davis, won the CDI Intermediaire Freestyle with a score of 73.950 percent.
Grandioso’s success could help Parra achieve his goal of riding for a U.S. team. Parra had much international success riding for his native Colombia but since becoming a U.S. citizen his dream has been to be on a U.S. team. “It was a privilege representing my native country in international competition,” Parra said. “But it would be a great honor and I would be very proud to represent my new country.”
Cesar Parra and Piaffe-Performance Students Make a Splash at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI
Wellington, FL (February 21, 2011) – International Dressage Rider Cesar Parra and his students at Piaffe-Performance made a big splash at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI, when Parra and all eight of his students rode into the winner’s circle. Despite rain that kept the sky cloudy and the rings muddy, the riders at Piaffe-Performance shone as they captured the blue in 11 classes at the show.
“I am so excited about this show and how all of my riders did. I am so proud of everyone,” Parra said. “We had eight riders and won 11 classes, which is truly wonderful. In addition to my students doing great, I feel like I rode two very special horses, Grandioso and Lindner, and was very pleased that both horses did their best and were successful.”
Parra said that although the rings were a mess and it was raining, he made the decision to ride. “It was raining like crazy and a lot of competitors were scratching but I made the decision to go ahead and compete and I am really glad I did,” Parra said. “I was able to ride and warm up like I always do and within five minutes the sun came out. I competed Grandioso in the Intermediaire 2 class, which is a more risky and more forward test, but Grandioso stepped up to the challenge and I am so proud of him.”
Parra and Grandioso won the FEI Intermediaire II class with a score of 70.526% and the FEI or Equivalent Test of Choice with a score of 73.158%. Parra recently returned from training in Europe with Grandioso, a nine-year-old Westfalen gelding owned by Michael and Sarah Davis. “In Europe we trained with Hubertus Schmidt; Grandioso is doing awesome and constantly improving. He is a huge horse, so strength is very important in order to carry himself and maintain his expressive gaits,” Parra said, adding that his goal with Grandioso is to continue his training with their sights set on the 2012 Olympics in London.
Parra also competed the Davis family’s new horse, Lindner, at the show, and was pleased with the five-year-old Westfalen gelding’s progress. Parra and Lindner won the USEF First Level Test 2 with a score of 69.310% and placed second in the USEF First Level Test. The Davis family was well represented at the show, when Bebe Davis, the daughter of Michael and Sarah Davis and a student at Piaffe-Performance, rode into the winner’s circle on Bohdjan in the FEI or Equivalent Test of Choice class with a score of 65.893%.
Other Piaffe-Performance students to bring home the blues included: Katie Riley on Rotano who won the USEF Fourth Level Test 2 class; John McGinty who won the FEI Prix St. Georges AA class on Chanel; and Nadine Buberl who won the USEF Training Level Test 1 class on Wellington Sandro Star, owned by Taunia and David Reed of Wellington Farm with a score of 72.917% and the USEF Training Level Test of Choice class with a 74.400%.
Kevin Kohmann won the USEF Developing Horse class with another one of the Reed’s horses, Agastrofos, with a 68.824%; Katie Riley won the USEF Third Level Test of Choice Class on Zanzibar with a 66.053%; and Chase Hickok won the FEI Young Rider Freestyle NAJYRC class on Palermo with a 68.250% and placed second in the FEI Young Rider Team PSG class.
Parra, a successful international competitor and well-known trainer who specializes in classical dressage methods, credited teamwork for the success of the Piaffe-Performance riders. “I believe in teamwork and everyone at Piaffe-Performance worked together at this show to make it a huge success and I am so grateful,” Parra said.
Team EnGaged and SUCCEED is hosting Dr. Cesar Parra October 29 and 30th, 2010 at Haylands.
This event is open to 10 riders and 40 auditors.
We are extremely lucky to have Dr. Parra.
International dressage rider, trainer and instructor Dr. Cesar Parra was one of Colombia's top international riders for much of his career, competing in the Olympics, riding in the World Equestrian Games and being named the Colombian National Champion multiple times. While Parra found great success in Colombia, his dream was to ride for the United States.
In 2008, Parra realized his dream and became an American citizen. Since then he has been thrilled to hear the Star-Spangled Banner played in the winner's circle many times. Parra, who owns Piaffe-Performance farm with locations in New Jersey and Florida, now has his sights set on one day representing the United States in international competition.
While Parra continues to work toward his goals, he is also focusing on developing the next generation of riders. Over the past few years, he has steadily built Piaffe-Performance into a sales and training facility that not only has a stable full of good, young horses with international potential but he also has a stable full of talented young riders.
We have 10 total spots with Dr. Parra at $275.00 per ride.
We welcome all levels and all breeds. The price includes your ride, your stall (with bedding) and meals.
Auditors are welcomed as well. Pre-registration charge is $30.00 per-day. At the door: $35.00 (per day). It includes breakfast and lunch.
Can't make an entire day? Team EnGaged offers AM/PM auditor sessions at $16.00 per day with the option of breakfast or lunch.
Cesar Parra and Olympia Ranked #1 in Small Tour
The pair has shown Prix St. Georges just over a dozen times and has consistently scored over 70%. Parra started showing Olympia a year ago at the Centerline Events Westbrook Hunt Club show and won with 75%. Last year, the pair won 8 out 9 CDI classes and Parra won the coveted High Score FEI Rider Award at Dressage at Devon aboard Olympia. This year, at the New Jersey Horse Park CDI on Memorial Day they continued their victory streak winning both classes.
Cesar Parra and Piaffe-Performance Students Wrap Up Winter Season with Dressage at Equestrian Estates
Loxahatchee, FL (April 15, 2010) – Dr. Cesar Parra, and his students at Piaffe-Performance, wrapped up a successful winter dressage season with an award-winning finish at the Dressage at Equestrian Estates show. Parra, a successful international competitor and well-known trainer who specializes in classical dressage methods, credited teamwork for the success of the Piaffe-Performance riders.
“It was a very good show and a very good season. I believe in teamwork and everyone at Piaffe-Performance worked together this season to make it a huge success. The Dressage at Equestrian Estates was a great way to end the season,” Parra said. “I was pleased with Grandioso, who won the Intermediaire II class. We have high hopes and expectations for this horse and I believe he is a great up-and-coming Grand Prix horse.”
Grandioso, a nine-year-old Wesfalen purchased for Parra by Michael Davis, won the class while Parra’s student Michael Schondel came in second on Silver Label in the Intermediaire II. “Michael also showed Silver Label in the Grand Prix. It was only the second time for Michael and Silver Label and they did really well. I give Michael a lot of credit because he has brought the horse up from a five-year-old,” Parra said. “I have had a lot of students this season really enjoying themselves, progressing and accomplishing their dreams, and for me that is a wonderful thing to watch.”
In addition to Parra and Schondel’s success at the show, Kevin Kohmann won the Fourth Level Test One. “Kevin won on Taunia Reed’s Swedish stallion Agastrofus, and I came in second on Rotano,” Parra said. “That was really cool. Kevin is very talented and I am pleased that he is part of the Piaffe-Performance team.”
Parra’s student Chase Hickok found success in the Young Rider Team Test Qualifier, placing second on Palermo. “I am always thrilled when my students succeed and have fun at the same time. Chase has been collecting ribbons in the Young Riders class which is wonderful,” Parra said. “Overall I think we have had a fantastic winter season. Some of our horses came to us late in the season so next year we will look forward to competing them in Florida. Throughout the year the most important thing is to take care of our horse’s welfare first and then our plan comes second.”
Eduardo Munoz, who also trains with Parra, recently won the South American Championship riding Flovino. Munoz has his goals set on competing at the Central American Games in Puerto Rico this year. “Eduardo purchased Flovino from Piaffe Performance and they have had a very successful year. I am extremely pleased with the pair,” said Parra.
Parra, who was headed to Colombia following the show to teach a clinic, said the Piaffe-Performance team will now head back to New Jersey. “We earned ribbons in all of the classes we showed in this winter and I couldn’t be happier,” Parra said.
Photo: International dressage rider Cesar Parra, and his students from Piaffe-Performance, had a successful winter show season in Florida. Parra and his students wrapped up the show season with award-winning results at the Dressage at Equestrian Estates show. (Photo courtesy of Phelpsphotos.com)
Cesar Parra Three for Three With CDI Wins at the NEDA Fall Festival CDI
Dr. Cesar Parra and Lori Washton’s 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Olympia proved that good things come in threes at the 2009 New England Dressage Association Fall Festival CDI-W/Y/J. The pair went three for three winning the Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I, and the Intermediaire Freestyle.
It's a New Song for Cesar Parra at Capital Dressage Classic CDI-W
On the Scene 2009 - CDI-W/Y/J Raleigh
Written by Lynndee Kemmet for DressageDaily.com
Sunday, 31 May 2009 21:44
Raleigh – It was a new song for Cesar Parra following his CDI Prix St. Georges win at the CDI-W/Y/J Raleigh and Capital Dressage Classic, held May 29-31 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. It was the first CDI win for Parra since becoming a U.S. citizen, which meant that this time, the song he heard in the winner's circle was the American national anthem. Read full story
Dr.Cesar Parra has been a popular and successful competitor and trainer on the international dressage scene since 1995.
As an international rider and trainer, Dr. Parra has trained with the best in the sport, including Herbert Rehbein, Siegfried "Bimbo" Peilicke, Hans Rueben, Herbert Kuckluck and Hubertus Schmidt.
Dr. Parra has had the honor of competing in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as well as the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2005 and World Equestrian Games in Aachen Germany in 2006. Also winner of the prestigious Devon Show.
Back at home Dr. Parra enjoys teaching as much as he does riding. He and his team at Performance Farm have enjoyed many regional and national championships. Dr. Parra resides in Whitehouse Station, NJ April through December and in Jupiter, FL for the winter season.
"I believe that my horses deserve nothing but the best. That is why I use the Equilite
line of products. They are all-natural, but super effective. Garli+C has helped so much, especially with the horses' transition to Florida. I love Sore No More Horse Liniment. Unlike other liniments, I know I can use Sore No More Horse Liniment under wraps without fear of blistering, them and without compromising results. The Sore No More Massage Shampoo keeps the horses' coats glistening! I don't know any other line of products that can compare to Equilite." ... Dr. Cesar Parra Visit Equilite Website
October 21, 2008
Symposium with Balkenhol, Heuschmann and Carde at Maplewood Farm. See
Evening of Freestyles at Hawk Hollow Ranch
Performance Farm family with Dr. Volker Moritz, Marilyn Payne and Randy Leoni
Photo: Lisa Tannehill.
Dr. Parra riding Stravinsky, Julie McKean's horse, scored 80% in the Intermediare 1 Freestyle
Photo: Lisa Tannehill.
Nicole Uphoff Coming to America in June for the 2008 Potomac Valley Dressage Association Ride for Life Benefit Horse Show.See
16 Olympians Participate in Olympic Tribute
at PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y.See