Gladstone, NJ – The 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions continues this week with Young Adult “Brentina Cup” and Intermediaire I competition and the conclusion of the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship. Riders will again perform their tests in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena at the USET Foundation Headquarters in front of an international judging panel.
National Grand Prix Dressage Championship
Competition heats up in the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship as riders vie not only for a National title but also for a chance to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games. This championship also serves as the USEF Dressage Selection Trial for the US Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. Just as last weekend competitors will perform the FEI Grand Prix Test and the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special Test, with each test counting for 25% of the championship average.
Gladstone, NJ (June 12, 2012) – With the gorgeous USET Foundation Headquarters as a backdrop for the 2012 USEF National Dressage Championships, pony rider Barbara (Bebe) Davis added to the setting by putting in solid tests on both of her ponies and riding away with the National Pony Rider Dressage Championship and Reserve Championship. Davis, of Bedmister, New Jersey, rides with Dr. Cesar Parra and Katie Riley of Piaffe Performance Farms.
Davis, 14, rode into the arena first with Bohdjan, a 13-year-old Dutch pony gelding. The duo captured the National Pony Rider Dressage Reserve Championship last year and this year’s score of 63.615% and 67.561% helped them defend their title with a combined score of 65.588%. “Bobo was more relaxed this year and I was thinking throughout my ride instead of just ‘show’ riding,” Davis said.
While Davis was pleased with her performance on Bohdjan, she returned to the ring with Poldy 10, a flashy 16-year-old German Riding Pony who stole center stage and the lead with top scores of 66.974% and 70.341%, for a combined score of 68.658%. “It’s been a really nice journey with Poldy,” Davis said. “I have had him less than a year but I did show him in Florida a lot and he is a great pony and I am lucky to have him.”
Gladstone, NJ – Day two of the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions produced the first three National Champions of 2012 in the Young Rider, Junior, and Pony Rider Divisions. It also featured the Grand Prix National Dressage Championship which also serves as the USEF Selection Trial for the 2012 Olympic Games – which finishes next Saturday.
Steffen Peters refused to loosen his grip on the Grand Prix title with Legolas 92 – repeating yesterday’s winning effort to close out the first half of that championship. Peters’ student, Brandi Roenick, who won the 2008 National Junior Dressage Championship with Pretty Lady, returned four years later to take the Young Rider National Dressage Championship with her beloved mare.
Ayden Uhlir won the USEF National Junior Dressage Championships with Sjapoer – holding on to her lead from yesterday. Barbara Davis won the final championship of weekend one, claiming victory in the National Pony Rider Dressage Championship.
Three Rising Stars Are Halfway to National Titles at the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions
Gladstone, NJ – The first portion of four USEF National Dressage Championships got under way at the USET Foundation Headquarters Saturday. The Grand Prix National Dressage Championship got the day started in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena. All eyes were watching because this Championship also serves as the USEF Selection Trial for the US Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Ground Jury of Axel Steiner, Linda Zang, Hilda Gurney, Uwe Mechlem, Janet Foy and Natalie Lamping rotated throughout the day to judge the competitions.
The storied facility, which has been used for both training and competition for decades, hosts current champions, as well as future – the Young Rider, Junior and Pony Rider National Championships all got under way on day one of the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions.
Gladstone, NJ – Over the next two weeks a total of six USEF National Dressage Champions will be crowned, along with the U.S. Dressage Team taking a step closer to the London Olympic Games. The first week of the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions got underway Friday with the Veterinary Inspections and all 47 horses were deemed fit and sound to compete. Competitors in the Grand Prix, Young Rider, Junior Rider and Pony Rider division will compete June 9-10 in the Dick and Jane Brown Dressage Arena at the historic USET Foundation Headquarters.
National Grand Prix Dressage Championship
In addition to crowning a National Champion, the Grand Prix division also serves as the USEF Dressage Selection Trial for the US Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. These horses and riders will compete this weekend and return to the Brown Arena June 15th and 16th to conclude their competition. Both weekends they will contest the FEI Grand Prix Test and the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Test, with the score from each test counting towards 25% of the overall average.
Gladstone, NJ (September 27, 2011) – Rebecca O’Connor has certainly found herself surrounded by Lusitanos lately; she recently became the proud owner of a beautiful Lusitano bred by Interagro Lusitanos, and following her trip to Gladstone she is also the happy recipient of a copy of the book The Lusitano Horse – Basic Lineages by Dr. Paulo Gonzaga, founder of Interagro Lusitanos in Brazil, which is the largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano horses in the world. O’Connor, who is from Canton, Georgia, won the book in a raffle at the Lusitano booth during the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey.
O’Connor was thrilled to win the book and said she is looking forward to her Lusitano arriving at her home. O’Connor purchased Allure Interagro from Char Ann Ireland at The Dressage Center in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. “I have now completed my pre-purchase of Allure and am most excited as he is on his way from Pennsylvania to his new home in Atlanta,” she said. “I purchased him because I think Interagro’s Lusitanos make lovely dressage prospects because they have good steady minds that focus on their rider and they have gaits I can actually ride – and not see the chiropractor afterwards!”
O’Connor said her trip to Gladstone was an exciting experience. “To see such quality in both horses and riders is an experience I will not forget. Winning the raffle at the Interagro Lusitano booth was an added bonus!” she said, adding that she is also excited about bonding with her new Lusitano. “My plans with Allure include a long period of getting to know one another, which will work out well since the show season is almost over. I plan to compete him starting next season and attend various clinics to improve our skills. Even though I don’t know him well, there is something special about his attitude. I looked up his grandsire Apolo Do Mirante in The Lusitano Horse — Basic Lineages, and it was interesting to note that his offspring are known to have good temperaments, elevated movements and a lot of personality.”
Gladstone, NJ (September 19, 2011) – Dr. Cesar Parra, the international dressage rider who has made no secret about his love for the United States of America, realized a dream come true during the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions when he was named as a member of the 2011 United States Dressage Team headed to the Pan American Games in Mexico. Parra also made history with his Pan Am goal, becoming the first Latin American rider to compete on a United States Dressage Team. The Intermediaire I Championship served as the USEF Selection Trials for the upcoming Games, and Parra rode Michael and Sarah Davis’s Grandioso to third place in the division and to a spot on the team.
Parra, a former dentist from South America who went on to become one of Colombia’s top international riders, moved his family to the United States in 1999 and became an American citizen in 2008. Last year at Gladstone Parra recognized his first dream of becoming an American champion when he rode Lori Washton’s Olympia to the National Intermediaire I Championship. Parra’s second dream, to represent the United States by being a member of the U.S. Dressage Team, has now also become a reality.
“This past weekend was very emotional and exciting for all of us. We had set as a goal to make the USA team for the Pan Am Games, so to accomplish that is wonderful. I feel very blessed to be representing the country that has given my family and I such a wonderful new life,” Parra said. Parra is no stranger to the Pan Am Games as he placed fourth individually at the 2003 Pan Am Games riding for Colombia. As a Colombian rider he also competed in the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games and was named the Colombian National Champion multiple times.
Gladstone, NJ (September 16, 2011) – Dressage rider Caroline Roffman added another prestigious title to her growing resume, cementing her place in the history books of dressage riders by winning the Young Adult Brentina Cup Championship aboard Beemer at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey. Roffman’s Brentina Cup victory comes on the heels of a successful 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in which she rode away with three Reserve Championships aboard San City, Bon Chance and Pie.
As dressage’s reigning “it girl,” Roffman piloted Beemer to a close victory over Olivia Lagoy-Weltz and Riffalino. Roffman said she was thrilled to ride Beemer, a sales horse owned by her trainer Lars Petersen and Global Dressage, and that the 13-year-old gelding has given her a great introduction to the Grand Prix ring.
“I had dreamed of competing at Gladstone in the Brentina Cup for years, ever since the class was developed,” Roffman said. “To win this award was so exciting, but it was mostly icing on the cake. Just being there and being part of it was thrilling.”
While Roffman has been riding Beemer throughout the year, she wasn’t certain if he would be available to compete in the Brentina Cup since he was for sale. “The opportunity Lars gave me to ride Beemer was incredible and gave me so much experience. I am so lucky and I cannot thank him enough,” Roffman said. “Beemer will now be marketed for sale and with several people already inquiring about him I doubt he will be around for long.”
Gladstone, NJ (September 14, 2011) – The inaugural USEF National Pony Rider Championships may have been a small division at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey, but for Massachusetts resident Barbara “Bebe” Davis it was a big experience and one she will remember the rest of her life. Competing on her pony Bohdjan, Davis captured the Reserve Championship in the new National Pony division, but also experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in one single weekend.
Riders in the USEF Pony Rider Championship are the future of dressage riders for our country, and Davis said she would use her experience at Gladstone to grow and as a stepping-stone for future national competitions. Davis grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and her family bought a home in New Jersey to be close to their trainer, Dr. Cesar Parra, and his Piaffe Performance Farm. “Bohdjan did really well the first day. We came in second with a score of 63.611% while Allison Cyprus came in first with a 63.944%, so I felt confident with such a close race,” Davis said. “During the awards ceremony my pony got scared and he never settled down the rest of the weekend and was certainly nervous during our second test and didn’t perform well. I was disappointed, to say the least, because I didn’t want to let my trainer Dr. Cesar Parra down.”
Parra, who trains Davis out of his Piaffe-Performance farm in New Jersey, praised the 13-year-old rider and said disappointment was the furthest thing from his mind. “I was really proud of Bebe. It’s very special to ride at Gladstone and coming up the hill to the arena, knowing there is a crowd of people on both sides can be intimidating,” Parra said. “Bebe handled it really well and it was a great and growing experience for her. A show like the Festival of Champions makes you a better and stronger rider mentally and no one can ever take the experience, and what you gain from it, away from you.”
Gladstone, NJ – Steffen Peters went six-for-six at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions at the USET Foundation Headquarters. First, he swept the Intermediaire I on Weltino’s Magic (earning a place on the team for the Pan American Games in the process) and then dominated the Grand Prix National Dressage Championship on Ravel – scoring 77.660% in the Grand Prix, 80.083% in the Grand Prix Special, and 81.100% in the Freestyle to average 79.247% to win by more than six percentage points.
On a day when the nation remembered September 11, 2001, the national anthem played proudly in Gladstone, NJ.
Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding cruised to a title that they last won in 2008. Ravel was tired after putting in a tremendous effort in the Grand Prix Special on Friday but America’s dressage superstar hung in there and, despite some mistakes, what he did well – he did very well.
“Interesting, obviously a little tough on the finish line,” said Peters. “There was the one piaffe that didn’t happen and that makes me not think about the other movements that were good… the changes and pirouettes were better than Aachen.”
Ravel always tries, but Peters knew based on how well behaved his superstar was in the prize giving, that the horse is ready for a vacation. He has had a busy few years, competing and winning at the biggest shows across the globe.