Lexington, KY – The final Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Selection Trial was held over the past weekend in conjunction with the VADA/NOVA Summer Dressage show in Leesburg, Virginia. A field of eight horse entered the competition, three in the five-year-old division and five in the six-year-old division, to try and earn a spot on the USEF Young Horse Dressage Short List. At the end of the weekend, two horses from the six-year-old division managed to score better than the required 7.8 and earn that spot on the short list which in turn could grant them an automatic invitation to the 2012 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships. Horse/rider combinations on the USEF Young Horse Short List who have earned an 8.2 or higher could also be invited to compete in the FEI World Breeding Championships on August 5-10 in Verden, Germany.
Six-year-old division winner Biscaya (Johnson-SPS Hauptstutbuch by Argentinus) was superbly ridden into the top spot by Ulla Parker. Together the pair managed to score an 8.24 on the Preliminary Test, which counted for 40% of the total, an 8.28 on the Final Test, which counted for the remaining 60%, and end up with a final score of 8.26. Nancy Holowesko’s Oldenburg mare won the division and secured herself a position on the USEF Young Horse Dressage Short List. The overall 8.26 will also count as the qualifying score for the 2012 FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage. The weekend was an unquestionable success for Biscaya, but she was not the only young horse that had a good couple of days.
Alice Tarjan’s Hanoverian stallion Somer Hit (Sandro Hit-Rhussia by Rotspon), who finished fifth place in the 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships, finished the six-year-old division in last weekend’s event with a 7.94 that secured the second place position behind Biscaya. This score will also earn Somer Hit a spot on the Young Horse Short List.
Tarjan also rode her own Oldenburg mare Elfenfeuer (Florencio-Unknown by Sion) to a top finish in the five-year-old division. Elfenfeuer fell fractions of a point away from the short list, but improved from preliminary to final test with scores of 7.34 and 7.72 respectively.
Finishing second in the five-year-old division was San Regilio (San Schufro-Rowina by Rohdiamant). Ridden and owned by Jules Nyssen the Westfallen Gelding kept the competition very close with test scores of 7.36 and 7.66.
Overall, it was a weekend that saw some very good individual performances and showcased promise for the future of U.S. Dressage and the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program.
“It’s fun to see riders with new horses,” said USEF Young Horse Dressage Coach Scott Hassler, “and it’s really great to see horses [like Biscaya and Somer Hit] that have competed over the years in the four, five, and six year old divisions.”
For complete results, click here.
With Biscaya earning a score high enough to qualify for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Dressage, the U.S. now has several horses qualified. The number of invitations for the United States to the 2012 FEI World Breeding Championships is determined by the FEI and World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (‘WBFSHF’). Selectors could have a tough decision to make if they don’t receive enough invitations for all qualified horses. But, as Coach Scott Hassler reflects, “it’s a good problem to have.”
For further information on the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program, please visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldressage/NatlYHProgram.aspx.
To learn more about the 2012 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Selection Trials and the USEF Young Horse Dressage Short List, visit: http://usef.org/documents/disciplines/dressage/WBCSelectionProcedures.pdf.