Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

Unprecedented Year for International Para-Dressage Athlete Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA.

Wellington, Florida – January 21, 2021 – Paralympian and Para-Dressage World Equestrian Games Athlete Roxanne Trunnell had a fantastic finish to the 2020 calendar year. United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation awarded Roxanne Trunnell the 2021 Whitney Stone Cup and US Equestrian Federation awarded Dolton, owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint, the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award.

The duo of Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton started the 2020 year as the first para-dressage pair to break the 80th percentile in the team or individual test since Sophie Christansen (GBR) in the 2012 London Paralympics. Trunnell and Dolton accomplished this at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* with a Grade I team test score of 81.131%, an individual score of 81.964%, and a freestyle of 83.167%. The pair would go on to earn top scores in the following Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and further national shows. With the duo’s outstanding scores in 2019 and 2020, Dolton and Trunnell helped lead Team USA to #1 in the world in Para-Dressage. Dolton was also individually ranked #1 in the World in all grades of Para-Dressage. This was the first time in history a U.S. athlete or Team held a world #1 position in Para-Dressage. The pair remained undefeated in 2020.

The 2012 Hanoverian Dolton (by Danone I x Lady, Londonderry) was purchased by international para-dressage athlete Kate Shoemaker as a two-year-old in Germany and later licensed as a Stallion by the German Oldenburg Verband. As a 3-year-old, Shoemaker elected to pursue his sport career, gelded him, and imported him to the United States. His first dressage show as a 4 year-old he won open high point with Shoemaker riding. By the end of his fourth year, he began being groomed as a Grade One Para-Dressage horse. At the beginning of his sixth year, Shoemaker brought him to Wellington to be evaluated by Michel Assouline, USEF Head of Coach Development & Para Dressage Technical Advisor. Roxanne Trunnell was invited to ride him the following day where the perfect combination was made. Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint then joined as a sponsor to give Roxanne and Dolton an opportunity towards the World Equestrian Games team. Two months later, in April, Roxanne and Dolton entered their first CPEDI3* and FEI World Equestrian Games test event where they finished with the overall high score. After scoring the high score at the final mandatory outing in July they secured an individual spot on the team for the 2018 FEI Longines World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon. At the WEG, after helping the team reach their highest placing in history, 5th, Dolton then brought home a medal for the USA in the Freestyle Test putting him among the first U.S. horses to medal in the Para-Dressage freestyle at a championship. He was the youngest para-dressage horse to win a medal at a major international championship. Following his medal win at the 2018 WEG, Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint purchased Dolton.

With very successful 2018, 2019, and 2020 years Trunnell and Dolton aimed at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. In March 2020, the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee officially announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics would be postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the Paralympics has been postponed. The pair will have the next six months before the June 17-20, 2021 Tryon CPEDI and final Paralympic Observation Event which takes place before the Tokyo Paralympic Games August 24 – September 5, 2021.

Roxanne Trunnell was honored to receive the Whitney Stone Cup. “It was such a surprise to win the Whitney Stone Cup; I hadn’t even expected it. I am always cheering on my teammates because I know how hard all of this is especially as a para-dressage athlete. It is an honor to be recognized among so many great equestrians.”

Trunnell also was thankful for the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award. “I was very proud of Dolton. It takes a special horse to become an outstanding Para-Dressage horse and Dolton at only eight years old has proved to be a very special horse. I would like to thank my parents Sid and Josette Trunnell for moving from Washington to Texas (where Trunnell trained with former Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt) and finally to Florida for me to be able to pursue this horse adventure. Thank you to the owner of Dolton, Karin Flint, for trusting me to pilot her special boy to become a superstar in the Para-Dressage world. Thank you to Anna Forbes, Dolton’s groom, for taking the best care of him and my trainer Andrea Woodard for helping me and Dolton to become great partners. I also want to give a big thank you to the USDF, USEF, USET Foundation, and USPEA for working together to help get USA Para-Dressage into the spotlight. Let’s show the world what the USA Para Dressage Team is made of.”

Hope Hand added, “Both awards were quite an honor to a well deserving pair. We also want to thank US Equestrian President Murray Kessler and his wife Sarah Kessler for their continued support of Para Dressage. This support helped us secure Gold medal coach Michel Assouline and provide competition opportunities for elite riders. These factors made USA Para-Dressage successful at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.”

Hand continued, “I also want to thank Laureen Johnson USEF Director of Para Dressage and Vaulting for her efforts in nominating Roxanne Trunnell for this award.”

Trunnell is the first para dressage rider and only the eighth dressage rider to receive the Whitney Stone Cup in its 40-year history.

The Whitney Stone Cup is awarded annually by the USET Foundation Executive Committee to an active competitor whose consistent excellence in international competition and whose standard for sportsmanlike conduct and contributions as an ambassador for the sport and for the USET Foundation exemplify the Team’s highest ideals and traditions. Roxanne Trunnell joins a long list of outstanding competitors who were previously recognized with this honor.

The Whitney Stone Cup, which was presented to the Team by the Officers and Directors of the USET Foundation, is given in honor of the late Whitney Stone who served as President and Chairman of the Board of the USET, and who was instrumental in the creation of a civilian team when the Army retired from competitive horse sports after 1948.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir Conclude Week One of AGDF with Personal Best

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 17, 2021 – Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir danced to yet another victory on Sunday, January 17, concluding week one of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with their personal best score, an 81.545% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W presented by Lövsta.

Second place in the class was awarded to Yvonne Losos de Muniz (DOM) on Aquamarijn, her own 16-year-old KWPN mare by United (78.165%), while third place went to USA’s Anna Marek on Dee Clair, Diane Morrison’s 13-year-old KWPN mare by Sir Sinclair, who earned a 76.100%, another personal best.

“It’s great to get a personal best,” LaGoy-Weltz began. “Whenever you’ve been out for a long time – it’s been since February 2020 for us because of COVID – you always wonder if you’ll remember how to do it. You’re a little rusty, the test riding needs polishing, and the horse has to settle. It’s nice to be coming out this strong, and that makes you feel good about the whole program.”

Riding to pieces of the Simon and Garfunkel hit “Cecelia” with freestyle music created by Marlene Whitaker, LaGoy-Weltz and the 17-year-old Danish Warmblood by De Noir 3 owned by LaGoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail perfected some of the suggestions given to them during the Grand Prix CDI-W on Friday.

“Last night I went over my test in detail,” explained LaGoy-Weltz, “and went over judges’ feedback from the last test to figure out where we are in the evolution of trying to allow more of this horse out, to look at the things I held back on Friday. For example, feedback on my last test was ‘Open up more in the changes,’ and I knew I could do that this time around. Here and there, taking the feedback and making the best of it is really important.”

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval Notch Back-to-Back Wins at AGDF

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 16, 2021 – Day three of Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, January 16, with a second victory for Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval, this time in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses.

Lyle and the Duval Partners LLC’s 13-year-old KWPN gelding (by Rosseau) earned a 74.830% for their day’s performance. The pair landed three percentage points above second-place finisher Jennifer Williams, who earned a personal best score (72.192%) with Millione, an 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Milan owned by Millione Partners. Third place went to Susan Pape (GBR) on Harmony’s Eclectisch, Harmony Sporthorses’ 12-year-old KWPN stallion by Zenon, who received a 71.724% from judges.

“He felt much more comfortable in his own skin today,” said Lyle of the gelding. “I was really happy with him. He felt much softer in his back, and the connection through the ride was a lot better than in our test on Thursday. He was really able to show off some of his highlights today, and I’m thrilled with the overall performance.”

“He’s always had a lot of talent for the collected work,” she continued, “the piaffe, passage, pirouettes. When he’s nice and supple and happy like he was today, he really shows it off nicely. With him, we’re always trying to find ways to keep him relaxed mentally in his work. He tries very hard, and we always work to keep a very clear understanding between us about what I’m asking of him.”

After two successful competition weeks (AGDF 1 and competition at the AGDF venue in December), Lyle does not have a definitive plan as to when the pair will compete next, but intends to give Duval a chance to have a bit of fun. “He has done so well, and we won’t train super hard in between shows,” she said. “He gets to go home and have a little bit of fun!”

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir Dominate Day Two of AGDF

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 15, 2021 – Day two of the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Week at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival concluded on Friday, January 15, after Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir bested an impressive lineup of riders in the day’s FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Lövsta.

In their first international competition since February 2020, LaGoy-Weltz and the 17-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (by De Noir 3) owned by LaGoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail came out on top, earning a score of 73.978%. Second place in the class went to Great Britain’s Susan Pape on Harmony’s Don Noblesse, Harmony Sporthorses’ 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion by Dancier, who ended with a 73.022%. Third place was awarded to Yvonne Losos De Muniz (DOM) on Aquamarijn, her own 16-year-old KWPN mare by United, earning a 71.717%.

“I’m really happy with how this has started off,” began LaGoy-Weltz. “We went out and rode in a national competition last week, and it was harmonious, but plain. It served its purpose to go out and ‘shake out the bats,’ and that’s part of the strategy. We’ve been trying to push it to the next level with Lonoir. I’ve kept him quiet for so many years, but there is a lot of horse in there. The goal was to push that more today; we did, [but] we had a few costly bobbles in the zigzag and in the pirouette. We can fix that next time. I know that [coaches] Debbie [McDonald], Ali [Brock], and Charlotte [Bredahl] say that he has never looked better. That’s a good place to start, so we want to keep going from there.”

LaGoy-Weltz and the gelding enjoyed some downtime this summer when major shows were put on hold, hacking and waiting for competition to resume. “After everything came to a screeching halt last year,” she explained, “we finished in such a good place and were like, ‘Now what?’  With a 16, coming 17-year-old horse, we didn’t want to keep him in that spot all summer long, so we did a lot of working on things but also a lot of hacking and hills, with a goal to ramp back up slowly down here. So far it seems to be going okay!”

As the duo prepares for the remainder of the season and beyond, LaGoy-Weltz is planning accordingly with her team, including coaches Debbie McDonald and Allison Brock. “The plan is to keep options open and pick what is right for Lonoir,” she said. “You never know what is going to happen these days [due to COVID], so we are keeping it open. We will switch over to some Grand Prix Specials eventually. We just have to determine whether it’s for the four star, or if we are going to wait for the five star, and then decide what we really want to do.”

She concluded, “Ali stops by in the afternoons once a week, and we take that and check in with Debbie, so Debbie is very much still a part of our work. They’re both amazing and work so well together. Everyone ultimately wants the same thing: more up, more sit, more hind legs, more electricity, more perfection!”

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Tenth Edition of AGDF Commences with Top Honors for Adrienne Lyle and Harmony’s Duval

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 14, 2021 – The 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) kicked off its tenth season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL on Thursday, January 14, with a victory for Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval in the FEI Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses.

Lyle and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Rosseau owned by Duval Partners LLC have been dominating in the Global Stadium at PBIEC lately, coming off of a double victory weekend in December.

“I was quite happy with him,” said Lyle of the day’s performance, which resulted in a score of 71.304%. “He’s a little more nervous than I was anticipating. I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather or what, but he was a little on edge, which is interesting because we’ve shown here plenty of times before. There was a bit of a different horse in there today. We lost a few points in our piaffe and passage, were lacking a bit of harmony and elastic energy, and that can be such a highlight for him. Now we take this, and we move on to the Grand Prix Special. That’s a test that really counts for us, but this was a good starting place.”

The gelding has now marked six wins in his last 13 starts, and Lyle hopes to continue on and refine their work this season. “With him,” she explained, “this is his second year at the Grand Prix. He knows his stuff now, but we’ve been trying to polish it all up. We’ve done a lot of halt rein-back, a lot of cantering and halting, [and] just a lot of work with halts because he’s not a huge fan of them, so we’ve worked on those moments where he could possibly get distracted and lose points.”

She continued, “We’re focusing on the Special with him this year. We’ve chosen not to focus on the Freestyle or World Cup Qualifiers in hopes of making the short list to go to Europe with him. We have a wonderful group of owners who are supporting us, and we’ll just keep on enjoying the season for now.”

Despite plenty of training time at home due to the global pandemic, Lyle is excited to have Duval back in competition, and admitted that the break wasn’t as beneficial for him as it was for others.

“We had time to train at home due to COVID, but it wasn’t a big advantage because he is a horse that needs to be exposed, out, and doing something,” she noted. “To sit at home all summer, it was a bit difficult to get his mind back into it, but his strength in the collection work is continuing to improve. His overall rideability has always been the biggest focus with him because he can get a little distracted.”

For more information on AGDF, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Bianca Tota and Susan Dutta Claim Large Tour CDI3* Victories during Global Dressage Fall Festival I

Bianca Tota and Cadento V ©Sue Stickle Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 15, 2020 – International dressage competition returned to Equestrian Village for the Global Dressage Fall Festival I CDI3* from November 12-15. The Global Fall Festival II will bring dressage exhibitors back to Wellington from December 10-13, 2020, during which time CDIW, CDI3*, and CDI1* classes will be featured ahead of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival that begins in January.

Over the weekend, Bianca Tota (USA) on her own Cadento V and Susan Dutta (USA) with her Don Design DC shone the brightest as the winners of CDI3* classes in the Large Tour. Tota and Cadento V (Charmonix V x Lobster) earned back-to-back victories in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI3* and Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*. Sunday was Dutta’s and Don Design DC’s (Der Designer x Sir Donnerhall) day as they rose to the top of the scorecard in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*.

“He is absolutely special, one of the most special horses I have ever sat on,” commented Tota of Cadento V. “I remember when I went to try him in Denmark and he wasn’t fit and was doing Second Level, but I sat on him and thought, ‘Oh my god, I have to have this horse!’ So here he is now!”

In the Grand Prix CDI3*, Tota and Cadento V, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding, commenced their weekend of showing on a high note thanks to a score of 68.761% from the panel of five judges that earned them the blue ribbon by more than a full percentage point in the first CDI3* class of the horse show. Returning the next day for the Freestyle, the partnership improved on their performance to add another top result to their collection as they took the win with a score of 73.190%, once again riding to first place by more than a full percentage point.

The combination has been paired together since 2014, and Tota has personally brought the horse up the ranks since then. She noted, “I’ve had him since he was eight. It’s been a really fun journey to get here. It’s been a lot of hard work, which was always fun, but it’s so nice to see it pay off. He is an amazing horse, and I’m really lucky to have him. We will see how far we can get! We will keep on keeping on.”

Grand Prix CDI3* competition concluded Sunday with the Special with a new victor in Dutta and Don Design DC. Dutta and the 2010 Hanoverian gelding, the horse she co-owns with her husband Tim Dutta, rode to a score of 67.872% to capture the win.

“I’m on a really high-quality horse,” remarked Dutta. “He is still young, and I think there is a lot more in there. We had a really steady test with just one small bobble. I hope that he is a team horse someday. That is my big long-term goal, but right now I am just trying to get him some experience and mileage. This is the first horse show this season, and we were a bit rusty. He is still a bit green, but it was a super start.”

Dutta has trained Don Design DC herself along with trainer Adrienne Lyle since he was a five-year-old. The training seems to be paying off, as the pair also earned a score of 67.239% and a fourth-place result in the Grand Prix CDI3* on Friday. Like many competitors, the partnership returned to the show ring at the Global Fall Festival I for the first time since the early conclusion of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in March.

“It feels amazing to be here. I feel very lucky that we are able to do this,” said Dutta of being back in the show ring in Wellington. “Even though we are taking all these COVID precautions, I feel super blessed that we are able to do our sport and keep going. Wearing a mask is something we should do anyway, so I think it’s fine. I want to keep the horse shows going. All of us are training really hard, and we have a lot of sponsors behind us. For me, I have The Dutta Corp. and they want to see this horse go. We don’t want to sit, so we will do whatever we have to do.”

For a full list of results for the Global Fall Festival I, please click HERE.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Day One Dressage Leads Unchanged in CCI 4*-L and CCI 2*-L

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2020 – Day two of Dressage wrapped up the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division with a continued lead for Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, besting the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship thus far on a score of 21.50. Gaining second after earning a 24.50, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp piloted Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner, grabbed third heading into Cross-Country on a score of 26.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, keep their top placing to sit in fourth, also tied with Tamra Smith (USA) and Danito, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wolkenstein II) owned by Ruth Bley.

“There’s always pressure,” Little admitted about the atmosphere surrounding the CCI4*-L National Championship, “but truly the only pressure I feel is pressure I’ve put on myself. I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies! We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like – but of course the stars have to align!”

Erin Sylvester-Kanara and Paddy the Caddy Easily Dominate CCI 4*-S Dressage Phase

Erin Sylvester-Kanara (USA) and Paddy the Caddy produced a score of 24.60 to handily dominate the sandbox in the CCI 4*-S Division, followed in second by Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, receiving a score of 27.00. Third currently belongs to Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, after their performance earned a score of 27.40.

Sylvester-Kanara and the 2007 Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Unknown) owned by Frank McEntee are only contesting the Dressage phase this weekend and will not continue on in the CCI 4*-S, she revealed, after improving upon a previous score with the same test a few weeks ago at Plantation Field International.

“I was really, really happy with his test. I did that same test at Plantation and we just had some trouble getting into a rhythm with that test. It has a different flow in the trot work, and it’s a little bit more technical right at the start,” she explained. “You don’t have any mediums to kind of get out in a forward rhythm, so I set it as my goal to get that test a lot better, because I really didn’t have a good enough performance or score at Plantation. I actually intended to finish his season that weekend, and he was super in the Jumping phases, but I felt like I just needed to finish off with one more improved Dressage test.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Holds Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Lead after Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA), Otta B Quality and their day one lead were untouched after the conclusion of the Dressage phase in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L Division, sitting on a score of 25.20. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged after day two: Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third stays with Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy admitted that while she believes the next two phases of competition will be extremely influential for the division, she’s hopeful that her spot remains intact going forward if she’s able to navigate the White Oak Cross-Country Course according to plan: “With the scores being as tight as they are, I think tomorrow and Sunday will be hugely influential. I believe that we’ll see it shuffle around a bit here and there, just hopefully not with me!”

To view full Dressage results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Coleman, Murphy, and Little Lead in MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event Dressage Day One

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 12, 2020 – The CCI 3*-L Division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event was the only FEI division to see all competitors down centerline at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), with Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS scoring a 25.70 to lead the division heading into Saturday’s Cross-Country phase. Just behind with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

Coleman and the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC recently topped the Open Intermediate Division at TIEC’s Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global, and are looking to repeat their win in the CCI 3*-L Division. Due to schedule changes after significant rain saturated the White Oak Cross Country-Course, Coleman and the CCI 3*-L competitors will have an off day before challenging the Captain Mark Phillips course design on Saturday.

Coleman reported that their flatwork was hindered by a few bobbles, but not enough to knock them from the top position. “My horse is very talented, especially on the flat, and I think he carried me a bit today. We had some really, really good work in the test, and then we had a few moments where we had trouble. I forgot my test at one spot, which is sort of inexcusable, but does happen,” Coleman admitted, “and we had a little spook in another place. Other than that, I thought he performed well. He’s a lovely horse, and I’m just lucky to have him.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Leads Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after Day One of Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, currently lead the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division on a score of 25.20 with 15 pairs still to show in Dressage on Friday. In second, Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third currently belongs to Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy has been partnered with Otta B Quality since he was three years old, and called him a “really lovely horse” who “did everything he knows how to do” in Dressage to claim the tentative lead. “He was very well behaved, and did his best job, so I was thrilled with him today. He did the best test he could do for where he is, and he’s well-prepared to be here.”

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Hold BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division Lead Following Dressage Day One

Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders along with Jacqueline Mars, produced a comfortable lead after the first half of Dressage to kick off the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, scoring 21.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, sit in second with a 26.60, while Boyd Martin (USA) holds third with On Cue, the 2006 Anglo-European mare (Cabri D’elle x Primitive Rising) owned in partnership with Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner. The remaining 39 entries in the BUCKEYE Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division will ride down centerline starting at 8:00am EST on Friday, November 13.

For full results after day one, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Cindy Screnci Wins US Para Grade 5 Dressage National Championship

Cindy Screnci Riccione (Lindsay Y. McCall photo credit)

Wellington, Florida (November 12, 2020) – Reigning USEF Grade V Para Equestrian of the Year, Cindy Screnci of Wellington, Florida, has been promoted to the Para Dressage Pathway Development Athletes roster following multiple victories on Eragon VF and Riccione at the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championships at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in October.

After being named to the US Team last month, Screnci secured the US Para Grade V National Championship on her 11-year-old KWPN gelding, Eragon VF,(aka ‘Danny’), and won the Grade V Freestyle in front of judges Adrienne Pot, Elke Ebert, and Carlos Lopes. She also earned Reserve Champion honors with her KWPN mare, Riccione, posting the top two scores in both her Team and Individual classes. The fairytale week just kept getting better for Screnci, after making the US Team and winning the US National Championship, she was also unanimously nominated by her peers to receive the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship Award in recognition of high standards and virtues of integrity, honor, team spirit, good temper, and unselfishness. Screnci was overcome by with the award.

Just don’t say “Break a leg” if you want to wish her luck. Because her road to Tryon and (she hopes) to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games began 26 surgeries and a couple of riding lifetimes ago.

As a girl, barrel racing and pole bending left her unscathed from injury, but years later, when her own daughter showed interest in horses, she joined her in the hunter/jumper ring, only to suffer a freak accident in a jumper class at Wellington that shattered her ankle and ultimately changed the direction of her life.

It was a pool not a horse that redirected her to the para equestrian world. “In my zeal to return to the ring after breaking my ankle I decided, on my own, to start physical therapy ahead of the suggested schedule and use my pool at home. I didn’t know I shouldn’t have gone into water so soon.”

She contracted an aggressive bacterial infection in the pool water, leading to a 26-surgery battle against osteomyelitis, an infection and inflammation of bone and bone marrow caused by bacteria or fungi entering bone tissue through an open or unhealed wound.

“I am so grateful, to this day, for the amazing support I received from the surgeons and staff at Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute in Royal Palm Beach. They put my ankle, and me, back together.”

Repaired and ready to ride, she bought Sally L, a former jumper of Murray Kessler’s. “My friend, Nataly Liebowitz told me that Robert Dover said that Sally L should be in the ‘para program’ because she had extensive dressage training.  I said, para what?”

Shortly after, she attended a para dressage clinic at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee and “was so impressed by the community that I truly fell in love.”

“I don’t miss jumping at all. Dressage is so cognitive! Every step means something,” she said. “This is my full-time world now, and I do believe my husband, Stephen, will be sainted someday for bearing with me.”

She praises Sharon Decker, the Chief Operating Officer at TIEC and the TIEC team who helped make Tryon’s indoor arena available to all the para equestrian athletes to train in. “The support Sharon and her team at TIEC showed the Para Dressage Program is truly remarkable. We are all so thankful for everything they have done for us and continue to do.  The new indoor facility at Tryon is incredible and they stopped everything and got it ready for our National Championships in a matter of days!”

The pair had never performed the freestyle, produced by Tom Hunt to the music of Les Miserables, in an arena or in front of judges, when their choreographed performance was given a winning score in the 70s.

“The Tryon CPEDI received great results,” said Michel Assouline, USEF Head of Coach Development and Para Dressage Technical Advisor. “We are very proud of the continued progress of our Para Dressage athletes and horses.”

The new Virtual Coaching Program is working, the chef d’equipe said, as proven by riders, like Screnci, earning higher scores and breaking the “magic 70% benchmark” at levels like this CPEDI3*. “This is all due to a hard-working campaign of daily training with coach support, as well as live-stream remote sessions and video analysis.”

Screnci is the only para dressage rider among eight Developing Athletes on the Para Dressage Pathway list to do so with two horses, Eragon VF and Riccione. The Para Dressage Pathway’s three levels (emerging, developing, and elite) identify and assist athletes on track to becoming medal contenders at the Paralympic and World Championship level.

“Breaking my leg turned out to be a blessing. It made me settle down and develop a deeper relationship with my family, and it has given me this opportunity – at my age – to have a goal of competing in Tokyo.”

The 2020 Summer Paralympic Games have been rescheduled for August 24 – September 5, 2021 in Tokyo. Follow Cindy Screnci and her horses on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/cscrenci.

Young Para-Dressage Rider Andie Sue Roth Receives United States Dressage Foundation Grant

Andie Sue Roth on Centeno XIII. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA.

Alamo, California – November 6, 2020 – Four young riders received grants from The United States Dressage Foundation’s Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund. Para-Dressage young rider Andie Sue Roth from Alamo, California, was one of the recipients. Roth is 15 years old and recently competed at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Roth rode in the 2020 Para Dressage Emerging Athlete Competition sponsored by USPEA which was held in conjunction with the CPEDI3* and USEF Para Dressage National Championship October 22-25, 2020, in Mill Spring, NC.

Roth is aiming for the Paralympics. She began as an Eventer and was an accomplished Pony Club rider before switching to para dressage. Roth and her sister, Kaysie Li, were adopted from China at 15 months and six years, respectively, each with a severely deformed lower limb requiring amputation, multiple surgeries, and specially fitted prosthetics.

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) was pleased to announce that grants from the Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund were awarded to four riders after receiving a record number of grant applications.

TDF’s Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund provides financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage. Grants are being used for educational experiences that are not within the horse and rider’s typical training plan. The grant selection committee was pleased to receive a record number of applications and stated that the quality of the applicants was exceptional.

Roth has also been awarded $500 to continue training with Brenda Beare.

From Roth: “I am so grateful to TDF for this very generous grant. I have been working to get my horse, Blue, up the levels in dressage so that we can compete at the standard needed for the USEF Paralympic Emerging and Developing athlete lists, but I need extra training on a horse who is confident at the higher levels. That is where the beautiful ‘Exclusively Sunny’ comes in. Being able to extend my training with Brenda and Sunny for another month is invaluable as I am hoping to compete in another para dressage competition in Wellington in January. Thank you so very much for this opportunity.”

The Cynthia Aspden Fund Grant application is available on The Dressage Foundation’s website with a deadline of September 1st of each year. For more information about this Fund, visit www.dressagefoundation.org or contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs, at (402)434-8585 or sara@dressagefoundation.org.

The Dressage Foundation

The Dressage Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt, donor-driven organization that is dedicated to educating, supporting, and advancing the sport of dressage. The organization solicits contributions, appropriately allocates the donations, and awards grants and scholarships to dressage riders, judges, instructors, breeders, high performance teams, and nonprofit equestrian organizations. For more information, please visit www.dressagefoundation.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.