Ilse Schwarz and Don Joseph Post the Highest Score at Global Dressage Festival

Transplanted Australian dressage rider Ilse Schwarz and Don Joseph, a six-year-old Oldenburg gelding, were the High Score Award winners on Tuesday, as they received a score of 72.591% in 1st Level Test 3 Open on the first day of the Global Dressage National 2 Horse Show at the at the Stadium show grounds of the Global Dressage Festival.

Ilse Schwarz and Don Joseph by Susan J. Stickle

Schwarz, based in Wellington, and Don Joseph (Don Kennedy x Calmera x Santander) have been an outstanding pair, with many wins in the past few years.  Don Joseph is owned by Gaye and Joseph Scarpa of Magnolia Farm.  He was bred by Mrs. Scarpa and named after Mr. Scarpa. They bred the horse in Germany and imported him as a three-year-old.

He has been trained from the start by Schwarz, who moved from Australia to the United States in 1998 and trains and competes several horses, including her own, up to Grand Prix.  As a testament to their success, Don Joseph is currently leading the list for Horse Of The Year in First Level with the USDF.

“I am very, very happy with him today,” said Schwarz.  “His test was smooth and the most balanced he has ever been.”

Jennifer Griger of Wellington, FL with Dehlia was Reserve High Score winner with 70.541% in 1st Level Test 2 Open. 

Dressage competition at the Global Dressage Festival National 2 Show continues on Wednesday, April 4 at 8:00 am. For more information and ride times, please visit the Global Dressage Festival website at: under the link of dressage show information and ride times on the main homepage.

Please visit or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

About the Global Dressage Festival

The GDF is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits. The remainder of the circuit features a CDI3*, a CDI5*, and the first non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere. 

The GDF is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for the five international competitions making it one of the richest circuits in the world. In addition to the CDIs with national competitions, the GDF will feature four separate national shows to be held at the newly constructed venue.

The GDF encompasses almost 60 acres of the former Palm Beach Polo Grounds. The facility includes four outdoor arenas with world class footing and 200 permanent stalls. Future planned improvements include a covered arena, permanent covered spectator seating for the central outdoor arena and a permanent Global Pavilion. There are also plans for another 100 permanent stalls.