Understanding a Winning Ride

Adiah HP

This dressage test from Adiah HP and Jim Koford at the US Dressage Finals is stunning. The pair are so fluid, so focused and so elegant. But is the commentary that really makes the whole experience so remarkable. Kathy Connelly explains what the judges are looking for and how the pair executes the movements.

With this winning performance, Adiah and Kofor won the US Dressage Final Grand Prix Freestyle Championship for the third straight year with a score of 75.108%. The pair also won the Grand Prix. Yes, I agree with those people who says she seems locked up in her neck. I’m by no means an expert, but I think that’s partially a result of her conformation. She does look like she’s having fun while in the ring and there’s none of the ringing tail tension that you often see in horses.

For those who haven’t seen Adiah HP before, she’s quite a phenomenon. The 12-year old Fresian-Dutch warmblood mare has broken the traditional dressage star mold — her breeding, her color and her fantastic movement really set her apart.

According to this post on Noelle Floyd, Adiah is quite the diva.

Getting up and at ‘em is really not her thing,” Dad [Jim Koford] says about me. “She likes to sort of lay about on the couch and sort of watch the goings on. She looks like she’s been out clubbing all night because she has hay in her hair and she’s just sort of bleary-eyed in the morning.” Let’s put it this way: if I were a human, I’d have one of those tacky mugs that says, “Don’t Talk to Me Until I’ve Had my Coffee”.

As Adiah becomes a dressage celebrity, she’s done a great job of introducing others to the beauty of dressage. Recently she was featured as the exhibition ride at the Washington International Horse Show. For many people, that was likely the first time they’ve seen a dressage test and I’m sure it inspired some to go home and learn more.

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