Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

First Western Dressage National Champion Honored at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Photo courtesy of Rachael Harze)

Raleigh, NC (October 13, 2017) – For the first time since its inception, the Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Show offered Western Dressage as a championship class. Triple Crown® Nutrition was proud to reward Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Maranello x Abaskiss), with the coveted Triple Crown Excellence Award.

The Triple Crown Excellence Award is presented to a rider who demonstrates exceptional horsemanship on a fit and healthy mount. Rapier and SB Heritage+, nicknamed “Cricket,” were a shoo-in for the honor as they were also named Western Dressage Basic Level National Champions during the weeklong show held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The pair garnered the national championship with an average score of 69.4%. The impressive performance came after a nearly two-year layup.

For “Cricket,” the win was fitting recognition for his journey from a debilitating illness to being named a National Champion at the Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.

In 2015, Cricket was diagnosed with EPM after having finished in the Top Ten in Dressage Training Level ATR with his owner, Liliana Nabhan. When Nabhan decided to put him back to work, she sent him to Rapier. “I used western dressage as a way for him to come back,” Rapier said.

“I’ve always called him a comeback kid. He’s seen the worst of the worst and he’s just has the heart and fight to not give up,” she said. “Because he didn’t want to give up, his people didn’t give up and now he’s a national champion.”

Rapier described the event as a whirlwind, especially since the decision to enter Cricket was made the day entries closed. The 10-year-old chestnut gelding had only been in Rapier’s training program for four months.

“It was the perfect combination; everything came together,” she said. “He had one shot and he cleaned up.”

Cricket is currently up for sale and Rapier will keep him in training and progressing him up through the levels until he has new owners. “His future depends on if he stays here with me under new owners or moves on with new owners,” she said. “There is nothing holding this horse back at this moment. He is strong, ready and waiting for next person to take him and continue climbing.”

In addition to winning the national championship aboard Cricket, Rapier also showed WKF Ebony Phoenix, a horse she co-owns, and was the Western Dressage Level 1 Reserve National Champion and finished third in Western Dressage Level 2.

While Rapier trains and competes in a variety of disciplines from sport horse under saddle to traditional dressage, hunters and ranch events, she starts every horse in western dressage. “When they start with that foundation, horses can go in any direction that is chosen for them,” she explained.

Winning the Triple Crown Excellence Award, which includes a tri-colored ribbon and an engraved silver tray, was an affirmation to Rapier’s commitment to maintaining healthy and fit equine partners. Coincidentally, all of the horses in Rapier’s program thrive on Triple Crown feed. Rapier has been exclusively feeding Triple Crown products for well over two years and can’t say enough good things about them.

“I’m absolutely in love with all of their products,” she said.

Based in Wayzata, Minnesota, Triple Crown® Nutrition was the first company to add prebiotics, probiotics, and organic minerals to horse feed. Today, the company continues to deliver the very best in equine nutrition with its revolutionary formulations and premium quality ingredients. Triple Crown is proud to honor success stories like Rapier’s and Cricket’s with the Triple Crown Excellence Award.

To learn more about Triple Crown, the official feed sponsor of the U.S. Dressage Team, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and the Hermes U.S. Show Jumping Team, go to www.TripleCrownFeed.com, call (800) 451-9916, or visit the company’s Facebook page or Instagram @TripleCrownFeed.

Contact: Kelly Payne
Triple Crown Nutrition
(800) 451-9916
kpayne@triplecrownfeed.com

What Do Medium Trot and Canter Feel Like? by Jane Savoie

Here’s what you should feel in a medium trot and canter:

  1. The SAME tempo as collection (although it might “feel” slower than the collected gaits because the strides are longer). Try counting it out loud.
  2. An uphill balance like an airplane taking off.

The success of your medium gait totally depends on how much you collect and engage the hind legs on the short side.

So give connecting aids and keep them on for most of the short side. Then just soften your hands a bit forward when you start the medium.

During the connecting aids, you’re coiling the spring of the hind legs and getting your horse “bubbling over” with compressed energy so he can express that power over the ground in the medium.

To apply connecting aids, close both calves as if asking for a lengthening. Close your outside hand to recycle that power. Vibrate the inside rein to keep the neck straight. The connecting aids can last for a couple of seconds or even for the entire short side.

If your horse goes wide behind in the trot, it shows a lack of engagement. Use a long set of connecting aids and also as an exercise, do the following:

Ride a few steps of shoulder-in. Then do a few strides of medium. Then collect the trot after the medium by stepping back into shoulder-in.

The shoulder-in engages the hind legs. Stepping into shoulder-in BEFORE he gets wide behind teaches him to keep the hind legs stepping under and not start pushing backwards.

Stepping into shoulder-in to collect AFTER the medium insures that you don’t rely too much on your hands, which would stop the hind legs.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Victory for Jessica Jo Tate and Cayman V at Tryon Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W

Jessica Jo Tate and Cayman V. Photo Credit ©RichardMalmgren.

Mill Spring, NC – September 17, 2017 – Competition concluded at the Tryon Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a win for Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Cayman V in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W presented by Adequan®. The pair bested competition in the George Morris Arena, earning a score of 65.294%.

Tate and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Comeback II x Damgaard’s Brunetee x Lobster), owned by Joseph Tate, ended their week of competition on a high note, finishing ahead of Alexandra Duncan (CAN) and her own Vitall, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro x Jarelle x Aram), who earned a 60.608% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W presented by Adequan®.

“This was my first CDI with Cayman V,” said Tate. “I am just starting out with him in this kind of electric environment. On Friday I just didn’t have him quick enough and didn’t have him connected enough. The connection wasn’t as good as it can be, so, I went home and watched the video. Today I felt like we definitely improved that. He just tried his heart out for me today, so I was really thrilled.”

Tate, of Landrum, SC, purchased the horse with the idea of getting back into the Grand Prix CDI competition arena.

She continued, “It’s exciting that things are moving in the right direction with Cayman because he is still a beginner out here. We love coming to Tryon because it’s so close. It’s a great place to gain experience with an international feel. The facility is beautiful and well thought out, and footing is world-class. It’s one of the best horse show facilities I’ve ever been to.”

Tate also collected a victory in the FEI Intermediaire I presented by Adequan® piloting Summersby, a 2007 Hanoverian mare (Sir Donnerhall x St. Pr. Hauptsutbuch Roxanne x Rosenthau), owned by Joseph Tate, on a score of 69.548%. Second place position went to Emily Miles (USA) and Sir Sherlock, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Shari), owned by Leslie Waterman, with a score of 64.333%.

Of Summersby, Tate commented, “Summer was tired today, but I’ve just been incredibly proud of her this weekend. She’s ten this year, and she can be pretty firey and emotional. She just showed up this week and had her game face on. I was thrilled with her consistency and her quality, as well as her complete focus on me.”

Tate will head to Dressage at Devon in two weeks to compete, and then will begin to make preparations for the winter circuit at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.

Riders made their way down centerline for their FEI Para-Freestyles, the final classes of the week in the FEI CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan®, running in conjunction with the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte.

The Grade V Para-Freestyle was won by Mary Jordan (USA) on her own Rubicon 75, a 2005 Oldenburg gelding (Royal Hit x Edelkarin x Absinthe), with a score of 70.458%. Second place was captured by Katie Jackson (USA) aboard Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Kai Handt, on a 70.167%.

Top honors in the Grade IV Para-Freestyle were earned by Angela Peavy (USA) piloting Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenberg mare, owned by Rebecca Reno, with a score of 76.458%. Second place went to Pamela Hardin (USA) and Quarterjack, a 2005 Brandenburg gelding (Quarterman x Medea II x Rohdiamant) owned by Hardin, on a score of 72.708%. The third-place position was earned by Michele Bandinu (USA) and his own Soulman 13, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Swarvoski x Lovestory vii) finishing with a score of 67.042%.

The Grade III Para-Freestyle saw a win for Riley Garrett (USA) and Piston, a 2003 Canadian Warmblood owned by Garrett, on a score of 69.778%. Second place was collected by Meghan Benge (USA) and Zoey, a 2007 Welsh mare (The Key x Kurbaums Future), on a 65.667%.

The Grade II Para-Freestyle was won by Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) aboard Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349), with a score of 71.389%. Sharon Buffitt (CAN) and Elektra II, a 2005 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Radjah z x Nikita x Rastar) owned by Buffitt, with a score of 67.556%. Third place was captured by Jason Surnoski (CAN) aboard Bella de la Noche, receiving a score of 61.500% to finish off a strong weekend of competition.

First place in the Grade I Para-Freestyle was awarded to Margaret McIntosh (USA), aboard her own Heros, a 2004 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Hertug x Lotus x Lucky Light), scoring 71.833%. Coming in second to McIntosh was Jody Schloss (CAN) and Lieutenant Lobin, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Farine) with a score of 71.278%. Third place was captured by Winona Hartvikson (CAN), and Ultimo, a 2007 PRE gelding (Invasor iii x Gala xxi x Teodoro), receiving a score of 70.778%.

Angela Peavy, who represented the United States at the 2017 Paralympic Games, piloted Royal Dark Chocolate to top honors, winning the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte.

Commenting on her week and her National Champion title, Peavy said, “I’ve been very pleased with Cocoa all weekend, but was exceptionally happy with her today. We’ve been developing our Freestyle at each competition. The music excites her and today she just felt right on with me. She’s used to this amazing arena now, so we can just go and show everyone what we can do.”

Peavy continued, “Every day she gets more comfortable with the venue. It has such an international feel, and I wasn’t nervous, but I was pretty excited to ride it today. You never know how it’s going to go until you have it down pat, and we’ve only had it for a month or so. When that music started, I just felt right on.”

The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve National Champion title went home with 2016 Paralympian Margaret McIntosh, aboard her own Heros, a 2004 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Hertug x Lotus x Lucky Light).

“I didn’t know what to expect here today,” said McIntosh. “I bought Heros in June and rode her for a little while in England. She was imported at the end of July and was in quarantine for three weeks. I really was not sure what to expect, but Heros improved with every test. She’s been a model of exemplary behavior. The freestyle is old. I didn’t have time to make a new one with her. It felt like putting on an old shoe and Heros just fit right into it,” she concluded.

The third-place winner of the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte was Laurietta Oakleaf piloting Niekele Fan Busenitz. “This arena and facility is amazing. We’ve had a solid week of competition and we progressed every day. He was pretty spot on. We have a couple things to work on, but I’m really happy with him,” said Oakleaf.

For a full list of results and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Paris and Countess Impress in Their First FEI CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Competition at TIEC

Molly Paris and Countess.

Mill Spring, NC – September 16, 2017 – Day two of the Tryon Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W continued at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), featuring both Small Tour and Large Tour competition in the George H. Morris Arena. Molly Paris (USA) and her own Countess, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos), rose to the occasion in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Adequan®, earning a 68.375% to achieve the victory.

“This is our first CDI-W Grand Prix together and it’s been so amazing!” said an exuberant Paris. “She’s an amazing horse. She’s been great all week. It was a great place to win. We are from Charlotte, so we absolutely love competing in Tryon!”

She continued, “I’ve had Countess for about two years, and we bought her simply because I needed a horse to move up on. We’ve done the U-25 together and Chris Hickey said, ‘You have the horse, now go do the Grand Prix,’ so here we are!”

Paris, currently ranked at number 29 with Countess on the FEI Youth Dressage U25 list, is well known for her unique freestyle music, in which this edition features an alternative tune called ‘Move’ by Saint Raymond.

Moving forward the 21-year-old plans to continue competing in the Under 25 division. Paris concluded, “I eventually want to come back to the Grand Prix, but we want to end up back at the U25 Championships first.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W presented by Adequan® was awarded to Elizabeth Austin and Steeped In Luck, a 2003 Irish Draught stallion (Mount Diamond Flag x Steeple View) owned by Keith Douglas, with 67.350%. Third place went to Debbie Hill (USA) and Zarcita, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood mare (Parcival x Sarita x Ahoy) owned Leslie Waterman, with a score of 66.525%.

Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Summersby, a 2007 Hanoverian mare (Sir Donnerhall x St. Pr. Hauptsutbuch Roxanne) owned by Joseph Tate, bested the competition in the FEI Intermediaire I presented by Adequan® with a 68.526%.

Second place went to Kelly Layne (AUS) and her own Fürst Amante, a 2006 Rhinelander gelding by Fürst Piccolo, on a score of 65.763%. Capturing third place in the FEI Intermediaire I, was Emily Miles (USA) aboard Sir Sherlock, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Leslie Waterman, earning 64.342%.

Competition at TIEC also welcomed the FEI CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan®, featuring riders from around North America and running in conjunction with the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte.

Top honors in the Grade V Para-Individual Test were earned by Katie Jackson (USA) and Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Kai Handt, on a score of 66.746%. Second place was awarded to Mary Jordan (USA) on her own Rubicon 75, a 2005 Oldenburg gelding (Royal Hit x Edelkarin x Absinthe) scoring 65.714%.

The Grade IV Para-Individual Test was won by Angela Peavy (USA) aboard her own Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenberg mare, owned by Rebecca Reno, with a 70.122%. Peavy was also third place aboard Lancelot Warrior, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry x Waroness x Warkant) owned by Rebecca Reno, with a score of 67.480%.

Commenting on her successful rides thus far, Peavy said, “I’ve been very happy with both horses these past two days. The first day Lancelot Warrior felt so focused. He really listened to me and was so supple. He’s fifteen years old this year, so I thought that the Paralympic Games in Rio would be it for him, but he had some time off and now he’s just come back even better.”

Peavy continued, “With Cocoa, we are still getting to know each other so every experience is a learning opportunity. I can really feel our relationship getting stronger. She goes into the arena and trusts me, and today that really showed. She went from an amazing warm-up and kept that momentum up the whole time, and that’s all I can ask of her.”

This is Peavy’s first time competing at the venue and commented, “I absolutely love it here. I always thought that Global Dressage Festival was amazing, and it is, but this is just incredible. All of the shops, the restaurants, it’s all so good for the horses too because it all has such an international feel.

“The arena is wonderful and the footing is perfect. I want Cocoa to be my next FEI World Equestrian Games™ horse, so this is incredible experience for her,” concluded Peavy.

Katie Shoemaker (USA) captured second place with a 69.350% aboard her own Solitaer 40, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x De Niro).

Rebecca Hart (USA) clinched yet another win, this time in the Grade III Para-Individual Test, riding Rowan O’Riley’s El Corona Texel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel), as the pair finished on a 68.275% for their second winning score of the week. Riley Garrett (USA) took second place with Piston, a 2003 Canadian Warmblood owned by Garrett, on a score of 66.716%. Third place was collected by Meghan Benge (USA) and Zoey, a 2007 Welsh mare (The Key x Kurbaums Future), on a 62.108%.

First place in the Grade II Para-Individual Test was Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) aboard Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349), earning a 68.529%. Coming in second to Oakleaf was Sharon Buffitt (CAN) and Elektra II, a 2005 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Radjah z x Nikita x Rastar) owned by Buffitt, with a score of 66.225%. Third place was awarded to Jason Surnoski (CAN) aboard Bella de la Noche, a Warmblood mare, receiving a score of 64.755%.

The Grade I Para-Individual Test was won by Margaret McIntosh (USA), aboard her own Heros, a 2004 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Hertug x Lotus x Lucky Light), with a score of 70.476%. Second place went to Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Daytona Beach, a 2002 Westphalian mare (Don Bedo x Weindame) with a score of 70.476%. Third place was captured by Winona Hartvikson (CAN), and Ultimo, a 2007 PRE gelding (Invasor iii x Gala xxi x Teodoro), receiving a score of 69.286%.

To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Dressage Continues at USEA American Eventing Championships

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

First Set of Divisions Takes to Cross-Country

Mill Spring, NC – August 31, 2017 – The 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® continued with the second day of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), featuring both dressage and cross-country competition throughout the day.

USEA Adequan® Gold Cup Final Advanced

Marilyn Little and Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous (Carry Gold x Richardia) currently lead the Adequan® USEA Gold Cup Final Advanced division by less than two points on a 27.8. Little and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare are considered to be nearly unbeatable on the flat and have won their last three starts at the three-star level, including The Fork earlier this spring, which ran over the same cross-country track riders will tackle.

“She was a little fresh today, a little more fresh than normal,” said Little. “It’s her first run back so it was exciting to get her back and she was very enthusiastic. The trot work wasn’t as subtle today as it could’ve been, but I was fully pleased with the effort she made with the canter and the changes were nice. It’s good to see them this enthusiastic. She’s in a bit of a transition phase and I think that we saw some of that today, but I think that in the next few months with her we can get that resolved and bring the impulsion in with the quietness that she lacks.”

“I’ve done a couple of schools with her, and I was quite shocked by how bold she was, how brave she is,” said Little of how RF Scandalous has been on cross-country since competing in her first four-star at Luhmühlen in June. “I’m hoping that she is going to be as rideable as I would like her to be, but there is a fine line because I also want her to continue to come out and say, ‘We got this!’ She’s really enthusiastic this week and I don’t want to take that away from her, and hopefully she continues to just let me drive.”

The only other pair to break into the sub-30 marks was Jennie Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Cambalda (Balda Beau x Cathys Lady), who are sitting in second place on a 29.6.

“It was an interesting preparation for this particular horse for this event,” said Brannigan, who just returned from competing at Millstreet International Horse Trials in Ireland. “This is Cambalda and he’s super, but I haven’t gotten a chance to really work on the test. I flew in and did a jump school and then came straight here. I didn’t get to go over any of the movements. I always seem to run him in CIC three-stars and I’ve only done that test once on him and it was at the Wellington Eventing Showcase, so I definitely felt like I couldn’t go in and completely nail it necessarily, but he’s such a good boy.”

Hot on their heels and tied for third place on a 30.7 heading into cross-country are Phillip Dutton with Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lupicor x Jarda), and Jordan Linstedt with her own and Barbara Linstedt’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, RevitaVet Capato (Contendro I x Annabelle).

“It went okay today,” said Dutton of his ride on I’m Sew Ready. “I made plenty of mistakes and there are always areas that I can improve on, but overall he’s a good moving horse with a nice outline, so when things don’t go perfectly he does still get decent scores.”

“After such a great test at Bromont, and [with] his dressage getting better and better recently, the plan was definitely to go in and be very competitive, which he can be consistently,” said Linstedt. “Although coming from the West Coast is exhausting on the horses and riders, and I think that took a little bit of a toll on him. I didn’t feel like he was quite as bright or it wasn’t maybe my best test yet, but with the break that he had coming back after Bromont I thought that it was still a very fairly scored test, and obviously it’s competitive, so to be up in the top three. I’m thrilled.”

Novice Amateur

Bailey Snyder aboard her own Corina earned the lowest score of the week thus far, a 20.5, for first place in the Novice Amateur division. “She has been really good settling in all week, and she went in today feeling awesome, despite the rain, and really did her job,” said Snyder of the 7-year-old Holsteiner mare by Acorino out of Phaedre. “She had her head down and her brain turned on. It was awesome.”

Snyder and Corina’s partnership began Snyder’s freshman year of college when Corina was an unbroken 4-year-old. “With my trainer, Angela Bowles, we taught her everything [about eventing] once we had her saddle broken.”

Snyder’s thoughts on the cross-country course? “The course looks great! The plan is to just keep her confident and relaxed the whole way around, keep her enjoying what she’s doing, and keep her head focused.”

Eleanor Wassenberg with her own 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Matapeake, who finished second in the Beginner Novice Master Amateur here last year, and Savannah Welch and her own Langcaster, an 8-year-old Oldenberg gelding (Languster x Galiffi), are tied for second place on a score of 21.8.

Novice Master Amateur

Megan Northrop and her own Fleur de Lis scored a 24.5 to lead the Novice Master Amateur division. Northrop said she felt very pleased with the 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare, who she originally purchased as a resale project.

“I still feel like there is room for improvement, she could’ve been a little more relaxed. She’s always been very obedient, she’s very deliberate with her footsteps and lets me put in an accurate test,” she said. “Our time together has been a little bit inconsistent. We have one show under our belt and one this spring, but we had a little trouble this summer with training, so I’m thrilled that she’s back on top again.”

Annette Reals and Knight’s Tale, her own 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, sit in second place on a score of 26.3 and the third-place pair, Sarah Wildasin aboard James Wildasin’s 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Totally Awesome Bosco, are half a point behind on a 26.8.

Novice Rider

Lauren Chumley and Melissa Dowling’s 6-year-old Sport Pony, Nikolas (Novalis T x Capina Mia) swept the Novice Rider division with a score of 23.8. “He was a little tight in the beginning but we just hacked around and that was the ticket,” said Chumley. “He was really soft and loose and obedient. He’s been to a lot of shows and he’s been here before too, so this isn’t too busy of a venue for him.”

Chumley imported Nikolas from Germany as a 2-year-old and broke him herself. “I’ve been riding him his whole life. He’s actually a dressage horse. I brought him here last year and he did really well in the Beginner Novice, so we moved him up this year.”

“He’s a really good cross-country horse,” she concluded. “Tomorrow I hope to go clean and fast, and I hope to not do anything stupid!”

Second place in this division went to Claire Solomon and George Wintersteen’s Ballyneety, an 11-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, on a score of 25.0 with Di Stebbins and her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Spot On Cosmos by Travellers Gallaxy), close behind in third on a 25.5.

Novice Horse

Booli Selmayr and Thomas Duggan’s 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Kildare’s MHS Tampa (Quintender x Lady Ligustra), lead the 42-horse Novice Horse division on a 24.3. “She was super workman-like,” said Selmayr. “She’s always had this great workman-like way about her, and honestly this atmosphere lifted her, so she was even more impressive, and still rideable – she’s a real competitor, and I was so happy with how today went.”

Duggan imported Kildare’s MHS Tampa from Ireland in January of this year, and Selmayr began riding her in April. “She’s going to go to the 5-year-old [USEA Young Event Horse] Championships at Fair Hill in the fall, and she’s a real class mare and could just keep going up the levels if that’s what Tom wants her to do.”

Selmayr is looking forward to the cross-country course. “The fences are actually nice sizes for her, because she can actually jump them versus just trotting over them. She has an amazing jump so I think the way they’re decorated is going to set her up to have a nice jump over the whole course.”

Just 0.2 points behind Selmayr and Kildare’s MHS Tampa with a score of 24.5 are Ashley Giles and her own Chayenne, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare by Elfado out of Charima. Taylor Blumenthal and Martha Woodham’s 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Saxon Mills (Fitz x Criss Cross), round out the top three 0.3 points behind them on 24.8. Less than four points currently separate the top 15 combinations in this division.

Junior Novice

The top three spots in the Junior Novice division after dressage all went to riders who hail from Texas. Sunny Courtwright and her own Around Midnight are leading the field of 59 on a 23.5.

Courtwright and the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare got caught in a downpour right as they began their test, but she said it was the best test she feels they’ve had in a while. The pair has only been together for nine months.

“Lately she’s been a little stiff, but I had my trainer’s assistant work with me to keep her moving, but it magically clicked,” commented Courtwright. “Then we went in and we had to go past the box a couple times, but it was really nice, and she was really great.”

“My game plan is to go fast – I’m pretty slow on the time, so I’ll have to tell myself to be brave,” said Cartwright of her game plan for the cross-country. “It’s a pretty windy course, so I’ll just have to focus on the minute marks. When I have a chance to get going, I’ll have to go really quick.”

In second place are Suzanne Stevens and her own Smokin’ Boots, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare (More Smoke x Miss Boot Scoot) on a score of 24.8, and two points behind them in third place are Chloe Johnson and DaVinci, her own 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Byars out of Super Mount.

Preliminary Rider

The Preliminary Rider division saw a new combination rise to the top of the leaderboard as Coti Hausman and Quantico, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quite Easy I x Little Black), took over the lead after the second phase of competition and head into show jumping on a score of 32.6 after cross-country.

“It started out nice and fast up top. He’s always ready to go when he leaves the start box, despite the fact that he’s pretty quiet in warm-up,” commented Hausman. “He rode around the course great, I planned on doing more strides with most of the combinations, but as he rode around he got stronger and stronger so we ended up doing the faster lines. We did the five in the combinations behind the barns, so he trucked around really great. I was a little nervous about the hill, but I balanced him and he rocked it, jumping whatever was in front of him.”

The division will conclude with show jumping and Hausman will look to keep her grasp on the lead ahead of Denise Goyea and Highlife’s Je T’aime, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Der Dollar x Jeunesse D’Or) owned by Madeline Hartsock, who are currently in second place with a 32.6 and Caitlin Silliman and Q-Brook Stables LLC’s Ally Kgo, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare (Hirtentanz x Anabel Lee), sit in third place on a 33.2 after cross-country.

Preliminary Amateur

Cindy Buchanan and her own Flying Candles, a 11-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Icognito x Flying Pidgeon) climbed to the top of the Preliminary Amateur division, mastering the track and maintaining their dressage score of 35.1 to hold top honors leading into show jumping.

“Today was awesome,” commented Buchanan. “My mare is pretty good in the mud because she’s done a lot of foxhunting. She’s a homebred and we live in Unionville, so she’s been doing a lot of foxhunting and showjumping. I started eventing her about three years ago.”

Kathy Cain piloted her own Legal Limit, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Secret Prince x Cheese Blintze), to second in the standings, collecting an additional 1.6 time penalties for a score of 35.4. Victoria Miller and her own Like Magic, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Ghostly Minister x Dancing Trieste) secured third place after crossing through the finish to sit on a 35.6.

Preliminary Horse

The Preliminary Horse division saw Bella Mowbray and Ruth Bley’s En Vouge, move up from second to first place after Thursday’s cross-country run with 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl x Laurena). The pair finished with a total score of 25.5 total, adding two time penalties to their dressage score.

“I had a great ride,” Mowbray commented. “I’m really lucky to be riding such a sure-footed horse with the weather that we had. I had a lot of fun out there. The course was awesome. It was a really forward-testing course but it rode beautifully. I have a sure-footed horse, so I was just a little more cautious downhill and on some of the turns, but everything rode to plan, definitely.”

Jennie Brannigan moved into second place with Balmoral Oakey, a 10-year-old Warmblood mare (Falchrich x Diamond) owned by Grayson Wall, with a 26.1. Third place is currently being held by Leslie Law aboard Beatrice Rey-Herme’s LCC Vogue, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, on a score of 26.8 penalties.

Junior/Young Rider Preliminary

Kathrine Knowles and her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Cillnabradden Ceonna (Creevagh Grey Rebel x Willow Garden), overtook the lead in the Junior/ Young Rider Preliminary division after a dashing trip around the cross-country track. The pair will look to secure top honors in the division after the completion of the final phase and will move forward on a score of 28.2.

Knowles has been riding the mare for two years now and commented, “My horse was perfect. She’s always perfect, but this time I was able to be supportive enough to really help her out. I just keep kicking and she really helps me out. I thought the course was really fun and the footing seemed to really hold up, so I think it went well!”

Ali Scannell and her own Faolan, a 13-year-old Irish Draught Sport Horse gelding, are currently placed within striking distance on a 29.2, while Adriana Beruvides and Consensus, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Contucci x Miss Me Not) owned by Julie Norman, secured third place with a 30.7.

Professional’s Choice Training Amateur

Carolyn Johnson held her lead aboard her own Black Label, a 6-year-old Thoroughbred (Judith’s Wild Rush x Lovely Keri), in the Professional’s Choice Training Amateur division after cruising around cross-country to remain on their score of 26.6.

“I think the course is great. There were definitely some trickier moments out there. I think it’s a lot for a young horse to take in, so it’s been quite the experience for him this year,” said Johnson. “I thought the jumps were very nice and it was the stuff around the fences that caught his eye. I thought that he was super honest and quite good to the fences and did his job.”

With the possibility of maintaining her lead through each of the three phases, Johnson noted that she is excited for duo’s final day of competition in the George H. Morris Arena. She said, “My plan is to just stay relaxed and make it a positive experience for him. I came down here to get him some experience, so that has been my goal the whole time. It’s icing on the cake that he’s doing so well.”

Brittany Hebets and MTF Bugatti, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (W x Jessica) owned by Leigh Hazel-Groux continue to hold second place on a 27.1, while Sandra Holden and Cano Cristales, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Conteur x Konny) sit in third on a score of 28.0.

Professional’s Choice Training Horse

The Professional’s Choice Training Horse division saw Megan Sykes and her own Classic’s Mojah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chabertin x Hauptstutbuch Senna), make the most of their day on the cross-country track in the Professional’s Choice Training division, to move forward on a score of 21.1.

“Today my game plan was to go fast. I thought that was going to be the hardest factor. He’s kind of a lazy horse, but the cooler weather and the rain really helped us because it kept him a little fresh, so we were able to go out there really going for that time.”

The division leaderboard is tight as Chris Talley and Aura CF, a 6-year-old Oldenburg mare (Belissimo x Aussprache) owned by Nancy Holowesko, held their second-place position on a score of 24.1 after running their cross-country phase, while Courtney Cooper and Caia Z, a 6-year-old Zangersheide mare (Calato Z x Djerba Z) owned by Caia Z Group, are only a few tenths behind as they sit in third on a 24.8.

As for her strategy, Sykes concluded, “Hopefully to jump clear is the game plan! I’m excited to see the course, and he’s not always the most careful, so I’ll plan to get in there and ride well. Hopefully he’s spunky and we’ll have a good round.”

Professional’s Choice Training Rider

Jordan Good and Danito, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik) owned by Ruth Bley, maintained their lead in the Professional’s Choice Training Rider division after a solid day of cross-country competition. The pair added no time penalties or faults to their dressage score of 28.0.

“Everything pretty much rode according to plan. He was super sure-footed going down hills. He picked his spots and was awesome. Previously we’ve had a little bit of brake issue, but he was really listening today and he was bold to the fences. Everything rode wonderfully,” beamed Good.

Good is prepared to go for the win as she plans to give Danito a confident ride in hopes of capturing top titles in the division. She explained, “My plan is to go fast again. I want to give him a really good confident ride. I think it’s really important for us to stay patient to everything. He’s a really forward moving horse. I need to stay patient and it should all go according to plan hopefully.”

The second and third place positions saw a change as Erin Liedle and her own Fernhill Boodle, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, moved up from seventh place to secure second place moving into the show jumping competition. Brynn Littlehale and her own Lagerfeld, a 6-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Last Man Standing x Bonja) also jumped up the leaderboard from eighth place and now are within striking distance of the lead on a 30.9.

Professional’s Choice Junior Training

Twelve-year-old Madeline Hartsock and her own 8-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, Prinz S.W. (PR. H. Principal Boy x St. Pr. St. Hauptstutbuch Bienchen) continued to dominate in the Professional’s Choice Junior Training division, jumping double clear to continue on into the final phase on their dressage.

“Out of the box he got a little sassy, but he went right out and stayed forward and didn’t even think about stopping,” said Hartsock. “At the water he jumped right in, because he is such a perfect pony. He was really consistent and didn’t feel tired. He gave it his whole heart.”

Hartsock has her game plan ready for show jumping. “Tomorrow, I really need to keep his canter up and down instead of fast and strung out, and to keep his attention on me and not on how big the arena is.”

Second and third places in this division remained unchanged, with both Isabel Finemore and her own 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Craig Mor Tom, and Isabella Gunningham and her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Leroy (Lucio Silla x Hetty), jumping double clean around the track to both continue forward on their dressage scores.

For more information on the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®, please visit www.useventing.com and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Legendary Todd and Leonidas II Take Over Dressage Lead at Burghley

Photo: Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II. (FEI/Libby Law)

Dressage day two influential as Sir Mark Todd (NZL) leads from USA’s Lauren Kieffer and Michael Jung (GER)

Nearly 40 years after the legendary Sir Mark Todd (NZL) first rode at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) he is in the lead after dressage with Leonidas II on a mark of 36.7. In a star-studded line-up, the double Olympic champion heads the USA’s Lauren Kieffer on Veronica II by just 0.3 of a penalty, with world number one and FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung now in third on La Biosthetique Sam.

The tall, lean New Zealander, 61, who last triumphed at Burghley in 1999, made an elegant picture on the German-bred 13-year-old, the bay gelding remaining obedient yet lively and light in his paces as well as beautifully supple.

“I may have won Burghley five times, but I haven’t won it this century! Finally, this horse is starting to grow up. When I got him as a six-year-old he was so impetuous, but now he knows what he’s meant to do and I’ve got every confidence in him.” — Sir Mark Todd (NZL), overnight leader going into cross country

Kieffer and the mare Veronica have a second place at Kentucky 2016 and 17th at Badminton this year under their belt, but it is their first visit to Burghley.

“Most of the American riders are sitting on thoroughbreds, so we’re pretty happy about tomorrow’s cross-country, but Burghley is something that’s in a class of its own and we have all studied it pretty carefully.” — Lauren Kieffer (USA), second after dressage

Two more senior riders, Andrew Nicholson (NZL), 55, on Nereo and Britain’s Kristina Cook, 46, on Calvino II, scored under 40 penalties and are in close contention in fourth and fifth places. Nicholson, currently fourth in the FEI Classics™, has also won Burghley five times, although never on the 17-year-old Nereo, his winning mount at Badminton this year.

Cook, a multiple winner of team medals, including at the recent FEI European Championships in Poland, is renowned for her skill as a cross-country rider but has never won a CCI4*, and her mark of 39.6 may give her the best chance yet.

“I don’t really do dressage in the 30s! So I’ll be going for it tomorrow. Calvino is only small-framed but he has the heart of a lion.” — Kristina Cook, fifth after dressage and highest-placed of the home side

Cook will be first out on the cross-country course on Star Witness, currently 40th after dressage.

Follow all the action with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

USEA American Eventing Championships Begin with Successful Day of Dressage at TIEC

Mia Petersen and Parc Cooley. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – August 30, 2017 – The 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® began with a full day of dressage competition, welcoming the Preliminary and Professional’s Choice Training divisions to Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

Nearly 770 entries will compete in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping phases throughout the week, as riders from across the United States vie for top titles in their respective divisions. The competition will highlight the Beginner Novice through Advanced divisions and continue through Sunday, September 3.

Preliminary Amateur

Mia Petersen piloted her own Parc Cooley, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cavalier Royale x Wellfields Allegro), who she has owned for four years, to the top of the Preliminary Amateur division leaderboard, earning a score of 31.7. “I’ve had Parker since 2013 and he’s coming along very nicely. He can be a little spooky, but he’s a really sweet horse,” commented Petersen.

Of her dressage ride, Petersen commented, “I was thrilled with the ride. Some days he struggles a bit with the tension, but today he came out and was very relaxed. It was just a matter of making sure that I had him uphill enough, but once we got that nicely in warm-up, he really had a great flow.”

“We had a couple of bobbles, but there is always something that you want to fix. I got a little crooked with my second leg-yield, so I didn’t ride it as neatly as I should have. Overall though, I just came out and was really thrilled,” she added.

Jill Bobel and Big Time, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Zagor x Rullah’s Zee), are trailing just behind Petersen, as they scored a 32.3. Kathy Cain and Legal Limit, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Secret Prince x Cheese Blintze), earned a 33.8 and currently hold third place.

Professional’s Choice Training Horse

The Professional’s Choice Training Horse division saw the top dressage score of 21.1 awarded to Megan Sykes and her own Classic’s Mojah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chabertin x Hauptstutbuch Senna).

“I was really happy with my ride,” exclaimed Sykes. “He was very relaxed. He didn’t seem to mind the atmosphere. He used to be a dressage horse, so he does pretty well in the dressage. We usually get good scores. It was very rideable and a great ride.”

Sykes said, “I think that the cross-country course is going to be a time challenge, just observing how tight it is, but I think that he’ll handle it well. I think that it’s something he’s never seen before. It’s bright and it’s new, so it’ll be a good challenge. I’m looking forward to it.”

Following Sykes and Classic’s Mojah is Aura CF, a 6-year-old Oldenburg mare (Belissimo x Aussprache) owned by Nancy Holowesko and ridden by Chris Talley, sitting on a 24.1. Courtney Cooper and Caia Z, a 6-year-old Zangersheide mare (Calato Z x Djerba Z) owned by Caia Z Group, rounded out the top three after dressage and will head into the second day of competition on a 24.8 after the first phase.

Preliminary Rider

Another sub-thirty score on the day was recorded in the Preliminary Rider division after Denise Goyea and Highlife’s Je T’aime, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Der Dollar x Jeunesse D’Or) owned by Madeline Hartsock, completed their test on a 27.5. “She stayed really relaxed and forward today,” said Goyea. “She can get a little shy in the dressage arena, but she didn’t today and that was really nice to have her feel calm but still ground covering.”

Goyea, who made the 17-hour drive from Massachusetts, was able to break up the trip, which made it more enjoyable. “I ride with Sharon White so I was able to stop and cross-country school in Virginia before coming here, which was a nice way to break it up,” she continued, “We love being here at the AEC. We were here last year and right when we left, my clients were trying to make housing reservations for this year because we knew that we wanted to come back. It’s a fantastic venue and it’s a great place for the riders, as well as the spectators.”

Caitlin Silliman will leave the start box in the second-place position with Q-Brook Stables LLC’s Ally Kgo, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare (Hirtentanz x Anabel Lee), on 31.2 penalties. Trailing by only four-tenths is Rachel King riding Ziggy, a 21-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Ziggy’s Boy x Berry Blush), owned by Rachel Jurgens, after receiving a score of 31.6.

Professional’s Choice Training Amateur

Carolyn Johnson rode her own Black Label to first place position, after finishing on a score of 26.6. Johnson and the 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Judith’s Wild Rush x Lovely Keri) bested competition in the dressage ring, putting in a solid first ride of their AEC experience in the Professional’s Choice Training Amateur division.

“I thought he was really good today,” commented Johnson. “I was a little nervous about how he would react to the atmosphere. This is the first time he has been in a big atmosphere like this, and he handled it really, really well. I was pleased with all of it.”

Johnson purchased the horse at the Penn National Race Course through the Thoroughbred rehoming program, CANTER Pennsylvania, with the help of Chris Talley. “I bought him from Chris as a 3-year-old and I have just been working with him slowly and bringing him up the levels,” she said. “This is his first year out at Training, but he has been really good. He has taken to it and likes eventing.”

Johnson continued, “He is a ham for sure. Definitely a barn favorite – gets himself in trouble quite a bit. I’ve been taking a lot of time at the basics and spending a lot of time on his rhythm and connection has definitely been my biggest focus with him. As a 3-year-old I took him to a lot of shows just to get on the grounds and to get him to relax. He has such a great brain – he wasn’t too difficult to bring along.”

Trailing behind Johnson is Brittany Hebets aboard MTF Bugatti, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (W x Jessica) owned by Leigh Hazel-Groux, with a 27.1. Sandra Holden is currently sitting in third place with her own Cano Cristales, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Conteur x Konny), on a score of 28.0.

Preliminary Horse

Holly Payne-Caravella and CharmKing rode into the lead in the very competitive Preliminary Horse division. The 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x O-Heraldika) owned by FARM CharmKing LLC, held strong to their first-place position, besting second place by more than two points on a 21.3.

“He hasn’t been in such a big atmosphere before,” said Payne-Caravella. “He was here at TIEC for The Fork in the spring, but he didn’t go in the main arena for the dressage. He’s usually pretty consistent on the flat, but today he definitely felt a little bit more up than normal. I kind of put in a conservative test for him, but he’s really obedient, tried really hard and handled the atmosphere great. I was really pleased with him.”

Commenting on her plan moving into day two, Payne-Caravella continued, “I’m used to riding a lot of Thoroughbreds and he didn’t race, so he didn’t really know how to gallop. He’s a good jumper, but I’ve been taking him out with my other Thoroughbreds and making him gallop and train with them. He has a good gallop in him, it’s just wasn’t brought out as a three and four-year-old like the other horses. I think that this track is hard and derby like with lots of twists and turns, so I think the course will suite him well.”

“My goal is to go out and make the time with him. He’s at that place now where I can push him a bit, so I’m going to see how much he has matured over the summer,” she added.

Bella Mowbray and En Vouge, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl x Laurena) owned by Ruth Bley, are currently sitting in second place heading into cross-country after earning a 23.5, while Kelli Temple and Metallica, a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Kara Angulo, rounded out the top three with a 23.6.

Professional’s Choice Training Rider

Jordan Good and Danito, an 8-year-old Hanoverian (Dancier x Wie Musik) owned by Ruth Bley, currently sit atop the Professional’s Choice Training Rider division, as they look to cross-country on a 28.0.

“It was a really good ride. My horse is just really great. As soon as he goes in the box he just does his thing and does well. I just try to stay out of his way,” she said.

Good would like to continue with their consistency throughout the rest of the competition and is excited to be at TIEC for the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®. She concluded, “It’s amazing. I absolutely love it here. The footing is amazing and it’s so cool to be on grass. The venue is a world-class facility, so it’s really awesome to be here. We came out early for the jumper show and it’s been really fun.”

Christina McKitrick and her own Lotte Lenya Q, a 6-year-old Hanoverian mare (Loerke x Feiner Star) hold second place on a 28.9, while Darrin Mollett and Beverly’s Get Even, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Bustique x Acordia) owned by Beverly Equestrian, secured third place with a score of 29.8.

Junior/Young Rider Preliminary

Audrie Stanka and her own Coughar, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Camaro M x Cortina), lead a competitive Junior/Young Rider Preliminary division on a score of 25.1, topping 41 other entries. Adriana Beruvides and Consensus, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Contucci x Miss Me Not) owned by Julie Norman, have a tight grasp onto second place with a 26.7, while Katherine Knowles and her own Cillnabradden Ceonna, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Creevagh Grey Rebel x Willow Garden), rounded out the top three on a 27.4.

“He was perfect. He was really forward, which is good, because that’s what we’ve been working on all summer. He was super responsive and did everything I asked him to do and more,” she explained.

The pair has been partnered for less than a year and Stanka feels positive as they prepare to tackle cross-country for their second day of competition. Stanka continued, “My goal for tomorrow is to be as accurate and quick as possible.”

Professional’s Choice Junior Training

The Professional’s Choice Junior Training saw Madeline Hartsock and her own Prinz S.W., an 8-year-old German Sport Horse Pony (PR. H. Principal Boy x St. Pr. St. Hauptsutbuch Bienchen) take top honors in the dressage phase of competition. Isabel Finemore and her own Craig Mor Tom, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, currently hold second place on a 26.1. Isabella Gunninghham piloted Leroy, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred (Lucio Silla x Hetty) owned by Lisa Gunningham, to third place on a 26.8.

Hartsock and Prinz S.W. earned fantastic score of 25.0 to hold the lead moving into the second phase of competition.

“He definitely felt a lot better-very good. He didn’t break in his lengthenings and felt more connected than normal,” she commented. “I’ve had him for two years now. He went up to the equivalent of Training in Germany, so that’s been my goal with him.”

For more information on the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®, please visit www.useventing.com and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Michael Jung Tops Dressage after Day One at Burghley

Photo: Michael Jung with La Biosthetique Sam FBW. (FEI/Libby Law)

GBR’s Gemma Tattersall in overnight second with Arctic Soul and Mackenna Shea (USA) third on Landioso

World number one Michael Jung (GER) has yet again set the target with a beautifully ridden dressage test on his old friend La Biosthetique Sam, now 17, to take an early lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, sixth and final leg of the 2016/2017 FEI Classics™.

The double Olympic champions, winners here in 2015 and current FEI Classics™ series leader, impressed the ground jury — Martin Plewa (president, GER), Katarzyna Konarski (POL) and Harry Payne (GBR) — to earn the only sub-40 mark of the day, 38.9 penalties, and lead over British national champions Gemma Tattersall and the former racehorse Arctic Soul by 4.1 penalties.

“Sam is on good form. You have to be 100% perfect in all es to win and this was not our best dressage performance, but I think the cross-country is tough enough to change the result.” — Michael Jung (GER), first-day dressage leader

Tattersall, fifth individually at the FEI European Championships in Poland recently, has worked hard at containing the sensitive thoroughbred Arctic Soul in the dressage. This represents a considerable improvement on their mark of 55.8 at Badminton when brilliant performances in the jumping phases elevated them a remarkable 60 places to eventual seventh.

“I’m chuffed to bits. Arctic Soul is very shy, so the key is getting him to feel confident, rideable and relaxed. Today he allowed me to place him so that all his movements were correct.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), second after dressage

American rider Mackenna Shea, 24, has made a great start to her first run at Burghley and is in third place on a score of 46.1 on Landioso, a 15-year-old Dutch-bred gelding that she has produced since he was four. Shea has based herself this summer with British rider Rodney Powell, but their campaign started late due to Landioso suffering from shipping fever.

“‘I didn’t realise what a big step Burghley would be after Kentucky. Just walking the course takes so long!” — Burghley first-timer Mackenna Shea (USA), third after dressage

Jung may have an unassailable lead in the FEI Classics™ — his nearest rival, Maxime Livio (FRA) is not competing — but has he left the door open in the dressage for Burghley honours?

A host of stars could challenge for the lead. These include Zara Tindall (GBR) and High Kingdom, the pair that finished third behind Jung (on fischerRocana) at Kentucky (USA) in April, and American rider Lauren Kieffer on the lovely mare Veronica.

A quartet of New Zealanders is also likely to feature at the top of the leaderboard: Badminton winners Andrew Nicholson on Nereo, five-time Burghley winner Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas ll, 2010 winner Caroline Powell with Onwards and Upwards, and Tim Price (Ringwood Sky Boy).

Nicola Wilson (GBR), currently third in the FEI Classics™, does not have a Burghley ride and looks vulnerable to being overtaken in the series by the likes of Nicholson, fourth on the leaderboard, Price, eighth, and Tindall, ninth, all three holding obvious chances to take the prize money on offer for third.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Woodard, Parra Named Champions at USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage Nat’l Championships

Patricia Becker and Freedom, Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Champions. Photo: SusanJStickle.com.

Wayne, IL – The final two division titles of the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships were determined as competition came to an end at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Andrea Woodard and Ravenna maintained their top position following Friday’s test to earn the Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, following the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test. Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD also held onto their lead from Friday’s test to claim the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship. The tests counted 60% towards their overall score. The remaining 40% came from Friday’s preliminary tests.

Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

On Sunday, the judges were impressed with the quality and overall delivery of the tests by the young horses. However, they ultimately awarded Woodard (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Oldenburg mare Ravenna the Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. They had a superb preliminary test on Friday, winning the class with a score of 7.9. The combination only improved, scoring the only 8 in the final test and winning handedly with an 8.3 and overall score of 8.1.

The highlights of their test included the canter. With a normally expressive trot, Ravenna also showed the lightness and smoothness of this gait. With a careful plan for young horses, Woodard has cautiously aimed for the championships this year, allowing her mare time to grow up and mature.

“It feels wonderful of course. This is what I have been building up towards for such a long time now,” said Woodard. “I’ve had my eyes on this championship. She actually qualified as a five-year-old, but I didn’t feel like she was mentally ready to take this long trip. This year, I felt like she was much more prepared and mentally ready, so I went for it and it paid off. I am super excited and very happy with her.”

Ravenna also received the Oldenburg Award, given to the highest scoring Oldenburg of the class by the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society.

Placing second in the preliminary test on Friday with a 7.8, Werner Van Den Brande (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Flyby FLF, Linda Sommer’s Hanoverian stallion, put in an impressive final test, scoring a 7.9 and keeping them in second for the final test and overall reserve. With more energy in their second test and an improvement in the strength of the trot and canter work, the combination scored a 7.9 overall.

“We have been working for this for the last couple of months to get ready,” said Werner. “We did it and it, of course, feels really nice.”

Additionally, Flyby FLF was awarded the U.S.-Bred Award as recognition of the top U.S.-bred horse in the class.

Michael Bragdell (Colora, Md.) and Anne Howard’s Oldenburg stallion Finery kept their poise, finishing third overall with a score of 7.6. The combination finished third in Friday’s preliminary test with a 7.6, replicating their score and position in the final test to finish in the top-three.

“He held it together and stayed focused through the test,” said Bragdell. “I really couldn’t have asked him for anymore. I was just so proud of him. It is fun to come here and be here with all the great competitors. It really gives it a championship feel. I am just so proud that we made it this far and competed here.”

Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Maintaining the top position, Parra (White House Station, N.J.) and Fashion Designer OLD, his own and Martin Sosnoff’s nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding, scored an overall score of 67.30%. Fashion Designer OLD is a true product of success from the USEF Young & Developing Horse Program, competing and placing first in the 5-Year-Old division in 2013, third in the 6-Year-Old division in 2014, and second in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges division over the years.

“First of all, I am super, super happy to get another title here at the national championships,” said Parra. “I am very, very proud of my horse. I am super grateful, too. It takes a whole village to make it out here; from the owners, from the farrier and the grooms – there are so many people that helped us to get here. Expectations are very high. You want to do well for the horse, for the team, for yourself. I am very, very happy. The footing was excellent, and I think we had a good panel of judges. I am very happy.”

The combination also earned the Oldenburg Award, given to the highest scoring Oldenburg by the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society. Parra and Fashion Designer OLD scored a 69.56%, winning Friday’s FEI Intermediate II Test and a 67.30% in Sunday’s USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test, placing third.

Winning Sunday’s USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test with a 66.25%, Patricia Becker (Wadsworth, Ill.) and Dr. Anne Ramsay’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom were the reserve champions of the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with an overall score of 66.68%.

Tying for second in Friday’s preliminary test with a 67.32%, Becker was pleased with Freedom’s attitude and work ethic moving into the final test.

“Freedom is always a bit more tired towards the end of a big competition. Today, he felt very good in his body going in. He was very much with me. He really tried and gave me all of his focus and I was super proud of him,” said Becker.

Freedom was also the recipient of the U.S.-Bred Horse Award, given to the highest scoring U.S.-bred horse of the class.

Perhaps riding the most talked-about horse of the show due to her coloration, James Koford (Lexington, N.C.) expertly navigated his final test aboard Adiah HP, Sherry Koella’s 10-year-old Friesian/Dutch Warmblood mare. Moving from fifth place with a score of 66.84% in Friday’s preliminary test to second place in the final test with a 66.04%, Koford and Adiah HP claimed the overall third position in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with a 66.36%.

Koford’s relationship with Adiah HP is special and they never take themselves too seriously.

“She is three-quarters Friesian and a quarter Dutch Warmblood – she is just a horse that makes me happy every day,” said Koford. “She looks at me and it’s like she’s smiling. Every day the highlight of her day is when she goes to work.”

Koford’s expectations coming into the championship were to perform their best, giving Adiah HP an opportunity to shine.

“[Adiah HP] is new to the Grand Prix, and I just want her to feel like a champion every time she goes in,” said Koford. “I want her to be happy, have the best time, and feel really good about herself. In that way, it was a win. Honestly, she gives me chill bumps when I ride her – she makes me happy. The whole day, the whole week was really fun.”

Relive memorable moments from the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships with photo galleries, rider video clips, and much more on the USEF Network.

By Julian McPeak, US Equestrian Communications Department

Werth Wins Ferocious Battle for Dressage Freestyle Gold

L to R: Sonke Rothenberger GER (silver), Isabell Werth GER (gold), Cathrine Dufour DEN (bronze). (FEI/Richard Juillart)

Isabell Werth (45) secured her third Dressage gold medal of the week when topping the individual Freestyle at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. But she had to pull out all the stops to pin German team-mate Sonke Rothenberger (22) into silver medal position while, mirroring the result of the Grand Prix Special, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (25) took bronze.

Multi-medalled Werth was under no illusions about the quality of the performance she needed to produce.

“We all pushed each other today. When I went in, both Weihe and I knew there was no little mini-mistake allowed, and that made it very exciting!” — Isabell Werth GER

That’s because Rothenberger is on the rise, producing stunning rides from his 10-year-old gelding Cosmo all week, joining Werth to take team gold, and then chasing her home in the Grand Prix Special to finish just over a mark behind. Sweden’s Therese Nilshagen produced the first over-80% score with the stunning stallion Dante Weltino before Britain’s Carl Hester and Nip Tuck fractionally improved on that to change the lead. But when Dufour, third-last to go, posted 84.560 with Atterupgaards Cassidy, the real battle commenced.

Rothenberger is a young man on a mission, oozing confidence and pizazz. Mastering the most difficult movements with the greatest of ease, he marched down the final centreline to throw down a massive score of 90.614 which really put it up to his compatriot.

But Werth thrives under pressure, and she had her game face on as her Freestyle music began. Weihegold listened to her all the way, producing a flawless performance that the crowd really enjoyed. But the tension on the German rider’s face as she waited for her mark to light up the scoreboard said it all. She knew it was going to be dangerously close.

“I was really hoping it would be good enough because Weihe was a good as she could be; it was her best test so I was happy and hoping it would be enough – and it was!” she said, having edged ahead by just 0.368 marks. In fact all three medallists produced personal-best Freestyle scores.

Werth, who also steered Weihegold to victory at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha (USA) in April, couldn’t hold back the tears on the medal podium. “I was full of adrenaline when I went in to ride, so it’s a mixture of all the emotions you have during the week – I’m really grateful and thankful for what this week has brought me,” said the lady who has experienced more golden moments in her extraordinary career than any other athlete in the history of equestrian sport.

Rothenberger looks like a real threat to her supremacy, however. Holding his silver medal he said with a smile, “If you look closely, it’s silver with a golden edge!” — Sonke Rothenberger GER

However, Werth remains the queen of all she surveys, her latest golden haul still just another good week at the office. It’s exactly 10 years since she first took European Freestyle gold at La Mandria (ITA). That was with another of her super-star rides and, looking at her final medal of the week, she said, “Satchmo would be proud!”

Sonke Rothenberger GER (silver), talking about his attitude to competition and his horse, Cosmo: “I don’t go into a test thinking of what others can do and then try to be better. I go into the test trying to show in the ring everything we practice outside and today was really a day where we made a plan and we trained outside in the warm-up, and today was a day when he gave me back exactly what I was asking for and that’s just what I do it for. He is a character of a horse and I just love him the way he is; he has this shiny edge and with his ears to the front he does the most difficult movement and I get goosebumps every time!”

Replying to a question about the Dutch connection in his family: “Maybe there’s a slight touch of orange to this medal!”

Cathrine Dufour DEN (bronze): “Cassidy was more calm today he really did everything he could, and I knew I had to be no 1 when I left the arena because I knew these two were coming. So I was really happy when I saw my score at the bit-check, and I knew these two would really ride for their lives and I’m very very happy!”

By Louise Parkes

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