Dances Under the Stars
Sidelines Magazine June 2008
Wellington, FL - Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Elizabeth Niemi is featured in two videos recently posted on the popular website YouTube.com. Niemi rode two horses, Wholio and Florencio, in the exhibition Grand Prix freestyle competition, Dressage Under the Stars. The competition was held Friday nights during the winter season in Florida at The Players Club. Spectators were able to enjoy lively Grand Prix dressage exhibitions from the patio of The Players Club's bar and restaurant over looking the arena. Now, viewers can watch Neimi's performances at any time via YouTube.com.
Niemi is a dressage professional with over 20 years of experience. She competes and trains horses of all levels, yet Niemi says, "Some of my proudest moments in the sport are not only my own, but rather the success of the clients I've had the pleasure of preparing and coaching."
Wholio is Niemi's relatively new Grand Prix partner. The 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding performs wonderfully in the spotlight in the Dressage Under the Stars competition. Wholio shows balanced canter- pirouettes, expressive trot extensions, elegant passage, on-the-spot piaffe, and a relaxed extended walk in an atmosphere that would frighten many horses. After the test, judges commented on Niemi's ride. One judge said, "We got the opportunity to see real dressage. It was beautifully done. Congratulations." The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjwpjvCnbgg&feature=user.
Florencio is a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Robert and Christina Baker. Because Florencio is so young, Niemi did not ride a Grand Prix test. Instead Neimi rode exhibition movements to showcase his talent. With his elastic and lively gaits shown in the video, it is certain Niemi sees great potential with Florencio. The judges seemed to enjoy the pair as well. German judge, Michael Klimke remarked, "I am deeply, deeply impressed. You had a wonderful ride. Your riding was beautiful. You have a wonderful horse." He also said, with a smile, "If you want to sell him, give me a call. This horse has all potential to be a real international, top class horse." Florencio's performance can bee seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v068vpetk1I&feature=user.
Niemi competes Wholio and Florencio, and her other horses in Wellington, Florida during the winter season and in the Northeast from May through November.
Photo: Elizabeth Niemi and dressage star, Wholio, can now be seen on U-Tube. (PhelpsPhotos.com©)