Wellington, FL (January 30, 2015)— The third week of the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which ran January 22-25 in Wellington, Florida, was the largest competition that the show series has ever hosted. With a sixty-one percent increase in international rider combinations and a twelve percent increase in national competition entries from week one, week three of the competition was a truly spectacular week — and one that holds special significance for international dressage rider Shannon Dueck. Dueck became the most recent winner of Ann-Louise Cook’s People’s Choice Award.

Dueck, who competes for Canada but is currently based in Loxahatchee, Florida, was selected for the award based on her accomplishments in the areas of sportsmanship, horsemanship, and performance. The People’s Choice Award, presented by Cook, gives dressage enthusiasts at the Wellington show circuit this season the chance to have a say in which riders deserve to be recognized. Show staff, vendors, spectators, and competitors may be asked to vote. Cook, a successful Wellington-area realtor at Illustrated Properties— specializing in equestrian and luxury real estate— established the award as a way to give back to her dressage community. She presented Dueck with a ribbon sash and a beautifully engraved silver bowl.

Shannon Dueck and the Hanoverian gelding Cantaris (Complement x Egida), owned by Elizabeth Ferber, competed in three classes — FEI Prix St. Georges (the largest ever in Global Dressage Festival history), FEI Intermediate I, and FEI Freestyle Intermediate I. Dueck was very pleased with the performance of Chester (as Cantaris is affectionately known) throughout the CDI. “He probably did some of the best extended work that he’s done, so I was thrilled,” she said.

Marie Louise Barrett, who has been Chester’s trainer since Elizabeth Ferber purchased him as a four-year-old, says that the award is well-deserved. While Ferber also rides and occasionally shows Chester, Dueck has been working with him continuously for the past three years, bringing him up to the FEI Prix St. George level. “I think she is doing the most fantastic job,” said Barrett of Dueck’s achievements with Chester this season. “His canter work is so solid, and he is being so expressive during the trot. She has really figured out how to get him to turn his energy on in there for her. To be a horse that can compete at high levels with Shannon and also be ridden by the owner, he can’t be a super hot horse.”

Being ridden by both Dueck and Ferber, Barrett says, has made Chester “a very well-rounded character. We’re very happy with the whole arrangement,” she added. Chester is no typical dressage mount, as his owner Elizabeth Ferber pointed out. “He is very gifted in dressage, thanks to Mary-Louise and Shannon, but he also comes from a jumping line,” she said. “He jumps, he goes trail riding, we take him to hunter paces… he’s the all-around great horse.”

Although Dueck will be showing other horses over the next few weeks, she says she will bring Chester back into the ring very soon. “In another month, we’ll do another CDI. We’re trying to get scores — we’ve got our eyes set on representing Canada at the Pan Am Games this year.” Dueck won her first Pan American Games medal in 1999, when she placed silver with her self-trained horse Korona. Since those days, Dueck has trained and competed on a number of horses through the FEI levels. She also works with student riders, both at home and at shows.

“I’m just really impressed that you brought out another great horse,” said Ann-Louise Cook when she presented Dueck with the award. “You’re showing successfully, you’ve kept going with your career, and you also help out amateurs — being an amateur myself, I appreciate that you work with us too, and you give us something to look forward to in the ring. Thank you.”

Cook is also a sponsor of the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. This fourth annual Adequan Global Dressage Festival will run through March 29, during which twelve (three national and seven international) weeks of competition will take place. This will include eight CDIs (including five CDI-Ws, one 4*, and one 5*), weekly U.S. National events, and the only non-championship CDIO Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere. The show series offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world.

For more information about Ann-Louise Cook and her business at Illustrated Properties Real Estate, Inc., please visit

Photo: Ann-Louise Cook (left) presents the People’s Choice Award to Shannon Dueck (middle), with Hanoverian gelding Cantaris owned by Elizabeth Ferber (right) at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival

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