Category Archives: Championships

Five Things to Know about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott were the 2017 USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champions. Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Get up to speed for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship on April 26-29

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE), which also hosts the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, kicks off this week. This iconic American sporting event, which takes place April 26-29, annually draws top international horses and riders to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. for world-class eventing competition. We’ll be streaming all three phases — dressage, cross-country, and show jumping — live on USEF Network, so be sure to check out the broadcast schedule and tune in for all the action.

Here are five things to know about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event as you head into the event.

  1. Land Rover is the new title sponsor.

Land Rover served as the Kentucky Three-Day Event’s longtime Official Vehicle and was Presenting Sponsor for five years before increasing its support by signing a four-year agreement last October to become Title Sponsor. Land Rover also continued its support of US Equestrian, extending its deal with the federation through 2020. Land Rover’s participation also includes the “Ultimate Stable experience,” including a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment, as well as live farrier displays, open in the sponsor village to all attendees. Land Rover also brings back its popular “Land Rover Tailgate Challenge,” in which Land Rover owners compete for an exclusive prize for the most creative and best-catered tailgate party. And ticket-holders can also test-drive the newest Land Rover models on a specially designed off-road demonstration course during LRK3DE.

  1. The event will also crown the 2018 Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion.

The highest-placed U.S. rider will be named the year’s Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion. US Equestrian President Murray Kessler will present the rider with the Roger Haller Trophy bronze for the first time this year. The trophy is given in memory of Haller, an internationally respected eventing official. Friends and family of Haller came together to commission the bronze trophy, which is designed by 1987 Kentucky Three-Day Event winner and 1996 Olympic individual bronze medalist Kerry Millikin. The national champion also receives a silver picture frame and a champion cooler.

  1. LRK3DE is one of only six CCI4* events in the world.

LRK3DE, which offers $400,000 in prize money, is also the only CCI4* event in the Western Hemisphere.

  1. Several past national champions are returning to the 2018 LRK3DE.

Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, and Kim Severson are all multiple-time national champions and have talented mounts who could help them add a title to their resumes again this year. Dutton, who has captured the title five times so far, will try for back-to-back titles this year after earning it last year with Mr. Medicott.

  1. USEF Network will be covering all three phases of the event — and the new Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix.

Check out USEF Network for broadcast schedule updates, live stream, and links as we cover dressage on April 26-27, cross-country on April 28, and show jumping on April 29. We’ll also be streaming the weekend’s new grand prix events: the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup 1.45m on Friday, April 27, at 6 p.m. ET and the $225,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix 1.60m on Saturday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

by Glenye Cain Oakford
© 2018 United States Equestrian Federation

Impressive Field Ready for 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship Up for Grabs

Lexington, Ky. – The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) is set to begin at the Kentucky Horse Park following the first horse inspection on April 25. A total of 46 athlete-and-horse combinations from nine nations will vie for top honors at America’s only CCI4* event, which also serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete. The Roger Haller Trophy, honoring the late, internationally respected eventing official, will be awarded to the national champion.

The 2018 field is full of talented combinations, and several returning national champions hope to stake their claim on the overall and national title. Defending Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) already has the most titles at five, but he could add another to his resume with I’m Sew Ready or Z. Dutton rode I’m Sew Ready, Kristine and John Norton’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a 10th-place finish at the 2017 Kentucky event in the horse’s CCI4* debut. This year, they finished fifth in The Fork CIC3*/FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG) Eventing Test Event to prepare for the LRK3DE. Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, will make his CCI4* debut with Dutton. The pair comes to Kentucky in fine form after winning The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event.

Looking ahead to cross-country day, Dutton said, “We have been around the course this morning and, as we expected, it is big but fair, so I’m sure it will be a great competition.”

Three-time national champion Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) has three mounts at the LRK3DE: Carlevo, Copper Beach, and Park Trader. Park Trader, Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his fifth appearance at the LRK3DE, while stablemate Copper Beach, Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his third consecutive appearance. Carlevo, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Carlevo LLC, makes his CCI4* debut in Kentucky and is coming off a second-place finish in the Chattahoochee Hills CIC3* with Davidson.

Two-time national champion Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) brings two mounts to Kentucky: Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Jacqueline Mars’s 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred cross gelding, and Vermiculus, Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding. Both horses collected top-15 finishes in CIC3* competition this spring in preparation for the LRK3DE.

Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.), a three-time Kentucky Three-Day winner and national champion, will aim for a strong showing with Cooley Cross Border, The Cross Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. The pair finished second in The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event behind Dutton and Z and won the 2017 SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* in England last fall.

Rising stars of the sport hope to gather more experience at the CCI4* level. Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program participants Savannah “Woodge” Fulton (Finksburg, Md.) and Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) plan to tackle the LRK3DE for the second time. Fulton brings her 2017 mount, Captain Jack, Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, while Martin has two mounts: The Apprentice, Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Spring Easy, Sherrie and Caroline Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.

“I think this weekend speaks for itself, how much Leslie and the program have helped my riding,” Martin shared when asked how the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program has helped her development. She added, “Being able to have a camaraderie with all the other riders is great. I wouldn’t know Mackenna Shea [an Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program alum] if it wasn’t for the program.”

Dressage begins Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET with Davidson and Park Trader.

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Hamilton and Makari Design Defend Their Title at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship came to a conclusion on Sunday with the cones phase at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE). The athlete-and-horse combinations had to face Barry Hunter’s tough cones course to determine the ultimate winner. Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design kept their cool in the final phase to win back-to-back national champion titles.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design began the national championship by winning the dressage and marathon phases with scores of 48.09 penalties and 81.92 penalties, respectively. They drove a great cones round to add 2.96 time penalties to their score and win the final phase. Hamilton and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton claimed their second national champion title after finishing on an overall score of 132.97 penalties.

“The cones course drove very well, but it was pretty technical and tough to make the time on,” Hamilton explained. “It was great because it is the kind of course that will make you better.”

Commenting on how Makari Design performed throughout the competition, Hamilton said, “He is definitely more connected than he has ever been, which allows me to ask for more. With more work and work on getting him stronger, he is going to be even better in a few years.”

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco earned the reserve national champion title due to their strong performances. They were in third place after Friday’s dressage phase with a score of 52.89 penalties and then moved up to second place after tallying 82.53 penalties in Saturday’s marathon phase. Arnold piloted Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding around the cones course to have one ball down for 3.00 penalties. In their first year competing together, Arnold and Uminco garnered an impressive finish on an overall score of 138.42 penalties.

Barbara Chapman (Metamora, Mich.) and Meara Beval were third in the national championship with an overall score of 149.25 penalties.  Chapman and her 14-year-old American Warmblood mare scored 53.96 penalties in the dressage phase to sit in fourth before rising to third place following the marathon phase that added 88.34 penalties to their score. They closed out the national championship with two balls down and time penalties for 6.95 penalties in the cones phase.

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Hamilton and Makari Design Maintain Their Lead at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship continued on Saturday with the marathon phase at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE). The athlete-and-horse combinations headed out on the Carolina Horse Park’s grounds to tackle Barry Hunter’s marathon track. Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design held onto their lead to stay atop the overall leaderboard heading into the final phase on Sunday.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Defending national champions Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design continued their quest for back-to-back titles by blazing around the marathon course. The duo won the marathon phase with a score of 81.92 penalties, having the fastest times in two of the seven obstacles. Hamilton and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton head into the cones phase with an overall score of 130.01 penalties.

“[Makari Design] was perfect,” Hamilton said. “It was a wonderful course; Barry Hunter is a great course designer. The course drove very smooth, but there were two water hazards, so it was a tough course.”

Hamilton also had high praise for the combinations in the national championship. “It is a great field of competitors. Today was a good effort on everyone’s part. We all work together studying courses and sharing routes; it is a great group to be a part of.”

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco moved up from third place to second place overall on the strength of a strong marathon round. Arnold piloted Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding to the fastest times in four obstacles and finished the phase with 82.53 penalties. The combination heads into Sunday on an overall score of 135.42 penalties.

Barbara Chapman (Metamora, Mich.) and Meara Beval climbed from fourth place on the leaderboard to third following Saturday’ phase. With her 14-year-old American Warmblood mare, Chapman finished the marathon course with 88.34 penalties. She and Meara Beval sit on an overall score of 142.30 penalties.

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Hamilton and Makari Design Lead after Day One at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE) began Friday with the dressage phase. Thirteen athlete-and-horse combinations headed down centerline to perform their tests, but Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design stood out to the Ground Jury. The defending national champions lead the field heading into Saturday’s marathon phase.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design had a lovely test to impress the judges with well-executed movements and a nice flow. Their steady performances this year have set them up for success at the Carolina Horse Park. Hamilton piloted the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton to a score of 48.09 penalties to take the early lead in the national championship.

“I thought [my test] was very good. [Makari Design] was strong and rhythmic today,” Hamilton said. “I am really happy with the way he is progressing; I wanted to bring him along slowly. He is just 10, so I think in another two years, he is going to be terrific.”

Gary Yeager (Ocala, Fla.) and Spring Brooks Galipso are in second place in the national championship after scoring 50.84 penalties in the dressage phase. Even though the duo only began competing at the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) level last fall, they have been consistent performers. Yeager and Sigrid Edwards’s seven-year-old American Dutch Harness gelding had a solid test in a strong field of competitors to position themselves well for the next phase.

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco round out the top three after receiving a score of 52.89 penalties. Arnold is coming off a win at Live Oak International with Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding and aims to continue their momentum at the national championship.

The exciting marathon phase is up next for the competitors.

“The marathon course looks great,” Hamilton explained. “It is gated really smooth, and I found really good routes. Today, [Makari Design] was really in my hand, so I hope to pick up speed and do it again tomorrow.”

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Coco Fath Takes Top Honors in George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship

Coco Fath and Class Action. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2018 – Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT topped the field aboard Class Action, an entry of Hillside Farm LLC, in the 11th Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship. The class was held in the International Arena at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center under the lights on March 23 at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Alexandra Worthington captured second, Ava Stearns secured third, and Daisy Farish finished up on the leaderboard in fourth place.

Seventeen-year-old Fath, who was fourth in the class last year, was leading both rounds going into round three with an 88.5 and a 90.5, for a grand total of 179 points. Worthington, Stearns, and Farish joined the young Connecticut native in the ring for final testing, of which final scores were not announced.

Although Worthington entered the test in fourth place aboard her mount, Outshine, with a 79.5 and 89 in the first two rounds, the pair took full advantage of the opportunity to highlight their finesse and finished with reserve honors. Following a masterful counter-canter to the first fence, the pair tackled the hand gallop, and impeccably executed the halt and back before returning to the line-up. Stearns finished in third with a total of 172.75 points, and Farish tested second to last to finish in fourth with 169.5. Fath was the last to face the challenges set in round three and secured her position at the top of the class.

Show Jumping’s Future Star Horses Compete in Classics

The $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper 7 Year Old Classic featured some of the top young jumpers in the nation. Out of an opening field of 23 entries, six were clear to advance to the jump-off over a course designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, who was a co-course designer at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The fastest of three double clear rounds was Gerlos (KWPN gelding by Der Senaat 111 out of Honolulu 111 by Cicero Z van Paemel), ridden by Andrew Ramsay (USA) for Shalanno Farms LLC. They finished in a time of 39.267 seconds for the win. James Chawke (IRL) and Stonepine Stables’ Grasshopper (KWPN gelding by Phin Phin out of Believe In Me, bred by A. Vos Ekkelkamp) were second in 40.691 seconds. Third place went to Chic Chic (Westphalian stallion by Comme Il Faut out of Contendra by Contendro I, bred by Norbert Borgmann), ridden by Stephen Moore (IRL) for Vlock Show Stables LLC in 42.351 seconds.

In the $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper 6 Year Old Classic, it was a familiar face in the winner’s circle. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Khaleesi (KWPN mare by Gaillard de la Pomme out of Wendy by Sir Corland, bred by W.A.M. Tilbeke), owned by Ariel Grange & Lothlorien, took the win and repeated a victory after winning the 5 Year Old classic in 2017.

In this year’s classic, Coyle and Khaleesi were one of 11 double clears out of 12 in the jump-off and 24 in the original starting order. They stopped the timers in 34.821 seconds for the win.

Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Calina (Danish Warmblood mare by Ci Ci Senjor ASK out of Camelicius by Cornet Obolensky, bred by Lauritzen), owned by One Oak Equestrian, were second in 35.757 seconds. Third place went to Jimmy Torano (USA) riding Elizabeth Eaton’s Cowboy (German Sport Horse gelding by Cardento out of Urnike by Heartbreaker, bred by Redfield Farm), and they finished in 37.658 seconds.

The winner of the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Developing Jumper 5 Year Old Classic was Coppertone, ridden by Lexy Reed (USA) for Littlewood LLC and Ginny Burton. The Hanoverian gelding by Viscount out of Alisa by Acord II (bred by Gunter Wellmann) was the only double clear in the class and recorded a jump-off time of 40.518 seconds.

Five other combinations made it through to the jump-off, and second place went to Emmy Tromp (USA) riding Yolanda Knowlton’s Ibaltic BH (KWPN gelding by Baltic VDL out of Vavanta v/d Renvillehoeve by Burggraaf, bred by F. Buma). They had one time fault in 50.022 seconds. Adam Cramer (USA) and Equi-Sport LLC’s Iris E.S. (KWPN mare by Val de Loir-Imoo out of Bellissima ES by R. Johnson, bred by Equi-Sport LLC) were third with four faults in 45.977 seconds.

Rocksy Music Rocks the Derby Field for First International Win

Only two riders managed to skim under the 40-second mark in the jump-off for the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumper class, with Ireland’s Richie Moloney bettering his 38 rivals. Eleven combinations made it through to the jump-off over Germany’s Olaf Petersen Jr.-designed track, with nine of those managing to pull off a second clear round on the manicured grass of the derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival).

This win for the Irish rider, in week 11 of the 12-week 2018 WEF, was the first international victory for Moloney and Rocksy Music, Equinimity LLC’s 10-year-old gelding by ARS Vivendi.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Chester Weber Claims 15th USEF Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship Title

Photo: Chester Weber (Picsofyou.com)

Four Intermediate Champions Also Unveiled

Ocala, Fla. – The Live Oak International came to its exciting conclusion on Sunday with all five USEF Combined Driving National Championship divisions completing the cones phase. Chester Weber earned his record 15th USEF Four-In-Hand Combined Driving National Championship title with an overall score of 166.69 penalties, while four combined drivers earned inaugural USEF intermediate national titles. These included: Scott Adcox in the pair horse division with 185.39 penalties; Jennifer Keeler in the single pony division with an overall score of 144.70 penalties; Jennifer Thompson in the intermediate single horse division with 140.94 penalties; and Katie Whaley in the pair pony division with 140.29 penalties.

Advanced Four-in-Hand

USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship

Weber (Ocala, Fla.) added another championship title to his massive list of accolades on Sunday. With a big lead after the dressage and marathon phases, he was able to take it easy in the cones phase. He maneuvered his KWPN geldings, First Edition (eight years old), Boris W (11 years old), and Asjemenou (12 years old), along with Jane Clark’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Splash (14 years old) and knocked one minor ball, adding three penalties to his overnight total.

“I was very pleased with the horses in the warm-up. We have only driven this combination in one other competition. Live Oak is always a little confusing for them because they have the World Cup Qualifier [jumping course] with flowers and everything built in the arena, which isn’t typical in our sport. But they handled that. I think this is a team that can consistently go clear,” said Weber.

Commanding the same team in Thursday’s dressage phase, the unit performed a seamless test to start the competition with 40.11 penalties. Weber substituted Splash for Reno, his eight-year-old, for the marathon and the team earned the fastest time across all seven hazards adding 123.58 penalties to his score.

Weber, who serves as Co-President of the Live Oak International with his sister Juliet Reid, stepped up to add the intermediate USEF Combined Driving National Championships, and they were a resounding success.

“From an organizer’s standpoint, we were really pleased to [offer the intermediate championships]. To have them in this group has been great, and to see entries come from everywhere to support the championships has been well worth it for us as an organizing team. I’m really proud of all the people who came out and contested those medals,” added Weber.

Lisa Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) and her and Willow Star, LLC’s team of Dutch Warmblood geldings (Anesco 4, 12 years old; Ulco, 16 years old; Olando, 21 years old; and Enzo, eight years old) followed Weber as the division’s reserve national champion, despite an inconsistent cones test, accumulating 9.34 penalties. They began competition in third place following dressage with 53.15 penalties and jumped to second after marathon with 127.72 penalties.

“Cones was difficult today because of the atmosphere. I loved my team [at Live Oak]; this was my ‘A’ team, and I had a lot of fun,” said Stroud, who returned this team of horses to competition for the first time since June’s Bromont International CDE. “I’m really fortunate because I have really great people working for me, and we only have solutions. When you have that sense of confidence in the day it makes a big difference and reflects in the performance.”

Intermediate

USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship

As the only competitor finishing in the intermediate pair horse division, Adcox (Myakka City, Fla.) earned the division’s national championship. Electing to continue with his KWPN gelding’s Nupafeed Auto Pilot (13 years old) and Pepe (six years old) for the cones phase, they added nine penalties to their overall score. Adcox borrowed Tom Warriner’s Harley, a 14-year-old Saddlebred/Friesian gelding, to help with the dressage phase. Along with Pepe, they finished with 60.88 penalties. The young Pepe stayed with the veteran Nupafeed Auto Pilot through the intimidating marathon course to add 105.07 penalties.

“It’s been great that we’re starting to recognize the lower levels and what they accomplish. We need to try and encourage the lower levels to move up and encourage more people into our sport, so we have a sport in the future. That’s key,” reflected Adcox. “So when you start to acknowledge the work everyone has to do to be here then people outside the sport start to realize that it’s a real sport and it’s tough.”

USEF Intermediate Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Despite 0.21 time penalties after the cones competition, Thompson (Lodi, Wis.) and her seven-year-old Funnominial C.G. retained their two-phase lead for the division’s national championship. She and her Dutch Warmblood gelding delivered a polished dressage test to take the lead early on Friday, collecting 53.84 penalties. Although they didn’t win Saturday’s marathon phase, their nice dressage start helped them maintain their lead, adding 86.89 penalties to their dressage score.

“To be in this position, with this horse who still is young, is just amazing and knocking my socks off,” said Thompson, who has only been to Live Oak as a spectator and volunteer. “We came this year for the experience, to learn what Live Oak is about, so that when we get in the ‘big time’ we know what we’re getting into. I never anticipated being in this position.”

Taylor Bradish (Windsor, S.C.) and Katrina Becker, owner of Bradish’s horse Katydid Duchess, decided to introduce the nine-year-old Welsh Pony Cross to intermediate competition at Live Oak. The decision paid off as they obtained the division’s reserve national championship title with 145.24 penalties. Sitting in second place after two phases, they dropped one ball on the cones course, adding three penalties. They began the competition in fourth place following dressage with 59.04 penalties. Although the youngest competitor in the national championship divisions, Bradish drove Katydid Duchess like a pro. She navigated the relatively inexperienced mare, quickly and efficiently, winning the marathon phase, adding 83.20 penalties.

“It feels good [to win the reserve championship] because it is at Live Oak, and you want to do well here. For [Live Oak] to serve as the national championships is even more exciting. Of course, I would have loved to win, but I am happy [as reserve] because this is her first intermediate,” said Bradish. “I thought we were going to have a lot of issues because of this atmosphere, but she went into today’s cones course ready to go.”

USEF Intermediate Pair Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Whaley (Paris, Ky.) chose to continue with her Welsh Pony Cob’s Tommy (14 years old) and Tanner (11 years old) for the cones phase. They completed a clean round to retain their overall lead for the intermediate pair pony title. She partnered Tommy with her youngest Welsh Cob Teddy (five years old) for Friday’s dressage test, collecting 61.76 penalties. After sitting in second following dressage, Tommy and Tanner blazed through the marathon course, adding 78.53 penalties.

“I’m so thrilled that USEF has decided to acknowledge [intermediate] levels on a national stage. It’s going to enhance the driving in this country. Everyone works hard on every level, and to be recognized in the intermediate is exceptional,” said Whaley, who usually doesn’t compete intermediate. “I have a pony that has never been in a three-day event, so I thought perhaps this would be a good start. It’s really exciting for the sport that [Live Oak’s organizing team] had the foresight to bid for [the intermediate] championships. This really shows good things to come for the sport of driving.”

Boots Wright (Ocala, Fla.), using Marko and Rio for cones added three penalty points in the cones phase. With only two entries in the intermediate pair pony division, she won the division’s reserve title with 146.37 penalties. She gave an amazing dressage performance with her German Riding Pony geldings Marko (11 years old) and Mista Q (11 years old) for the division lead on Friday with 50.64 penalties. She dropped to second place following marathon with 92.73 penalties after driving Mista Q and Rio, her 14-year-old Welsh ‘B’ Pony gelding.

“I remember when Live Oak was a tiny horse show and seeing [this show] evolve into what it has become has been quite spectacular. It’s really the best driving show in America, and a lot of thought has been put into it. The hazards [in the marathon] are wonderful,” said Wright, who has competed at every Live Oak competition since it began 27 years ago.

USEF Intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Keeler (Paris, Ky.) drove a clean and cautious cones course with Zeppo to win the intermediate single pony title. Her six-year-old Hackney gelding made the leap to the intermediate at Live Oak and showed his strong potential, delivering three exceptional phases. They started with a steady dressage test to finish third with 62.40 penalties on Friday. They shot to first place due to a flashy marathon round for 82.30 penalties on Saturday.

“I had always hoped that I would be in this position winning a national championship. I think it’s safe to say if you had asked anyone, they would have expected it to be with our other pony [Amazing Grace]. To say that it’s unexpected to win this with Zeppo, it’s the most incredible fairy tale possible,” said an emotional Keeler. “This is a pony who was too small, too afraid …. and it’s just incredible that he was able to do what no one thought he could do. I’d also like to thank Chester and everyone that makes Live Oak possible. I always say, ‘there’s no place like Live Oak.’ I’m so proud to win this here on the toughest stage in our country.”

Janelle Marshall (Williston, S.C.) and Kennebec Joyce, John Merritt’s 10-year-old Morgan mare, earned the division’s reserve national championship title with 145.89 penalties. They began dressage with 67.04 penalties and rebounded in the marathon with the fastest time on course, adding 78.85 penalties. Although, she drove a clean cones round, it was not enough to move to the division lead.

Complete Results

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Youth Comes to the Fore and Baumert and Handsome Complete a Clean Sweep at AGDF

Natalia Bacariza riding Dhannie Ymas. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL — March 18, 2018 — The sixth annual Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC) were the highlight of competition on the final day of week 10, Sunday, March 18, of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

The 2018 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships — presented by Terri Kane, Hampton Green Farm, Sarah Davis, USEF Owners’ Dressage Task Force and Dressage 4Kids — took place alongside senior competition in week 10 at the AGDF. It featured competition for riders in the Under-25, Young Rider, Junior, Children and Pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on the big stage and showcase their talent at one of the world’s largest and most high-profile dressage competitions.

There were five youth division winners, with 16-year-old Natalia Bacariza from Spain winning the overall trophy for the highest average score. She beat six other Junior riders, winning all three classes with over 71% on the Yeguada De Ymas’s 11-year-old Don Crusador gelding, Dhannie Ymas — former ride of her trainer Juan Matute Guimon and his kür gold medal-winning 2015 Junior European Championships partner.

“I am super happy about winning; I’ve wanted this for a very long time and I’m really happy that we finally did it,” said Bacariza, who is from Madrid and is the daughter of Cristina Danguillecourt and Javier Bacariza, owners of the Yeguada de Ymas. “I’ve been riding Dhannie for three months. He was ridden by Juan before, so he already knows his job, but you still have to ride him and not make any mistakes. Our best test was the individual [71.716%] and I’m very excited about our journey together.

“Our highlights were probably the changes and the trot work. We’re finished with the Wellington season now and then we’re going to be competing in Europe — first in Spain then Germany and maybe France,” added the teenager, who has big career aspirations. “I hope to improve my riding and continue my career in dressage and hopefully become another big champion.”

It was another win for Spain in the Under-25 division, with Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes and Van The Man leading the field of 10 entrants. The horse is owned by Cesar Parra, who rode the now 16-year-old gelding by Obelisk at grand prix at AGDF in 2013, 2014 and 2015 before handing the reins over to his young pupil.

Fuentes won only one of the three young rider tests, with Natalie Pai (USA) winning the other two on Unlimited, but his average score of 68.094% edged out Pai’s 67.746%.

“I was very happy with the horse; I felt he was truly with me and gave 100%,” said the 22-year-old Madrid native, who was competing at AGDF for the first time. “There are of course still some things I could improve, as always, but I’m truly happy with his attitude and he’s getting better test after test.

“This result means a lot. Just to compete at this level is great, but to win is better! I work really hard to get the opportunities to accomplish my goals, I’m really far from home and I sacrificed a lot,” added Fuentes, who left home at 18 looking for further riding opportunities in Europe before meeting Juan Matute, who invited him to the USA. “He really helped me, and the family opened the doors of their house for me. I learned a lot and its thanks to them, and also to Dr. Cesar Parra, who has treated me like his own son. He’s taught me not just about horses, but also how to be a better man.”

It was Canada’s Beatrice Boucher who came out on top of the 17 competitors in the Young Rider division. Riding Gilles Bergeron’s 15-year-old Del Piero gelding Delfiano, she averaged 69.415% across the three tests.

“The horse belongs to Camille Bergeron’s father and I wasn’t expecting to compete him at all, but I am so happy we can now do the young rider championships,” said the 20-year-old from Quebec, who picked up the ride when Camille no longer had enough time for Delfiano as well as her other horses. “I’ve only been riding him for a year but he’s such a puppy dog and always in your pocket — he’s so nice to be around. He’s never negative, he’s always your team mate and he’s so consistent. He’s a real pleasure and he gives his best all the time.”

The youngest division winner came in the form of 13-year-old Tori Belles from Pennsylvania riding PJ Rizvi’s pony Prince Z to an average score of 67.498%.

“I’ve been riding him for a month,” she said. “He’s been to the European Championships [he was a Dutch team medal winner under Febe van Zwambagt in 2011] and it’s a privilege from PJ Rizvi to show and compete him. He gives you the best feeling ever and supports you — even if you have a little mistake he tries to support you and help you out. I’m hoping to carry on showing him and also go to Lamplight festival of champions.”

The final winner was another to hail from Canada. Lily-Rose Lemaire, 14, rode the former broodmare World Lady, 18, to the Children’s title.

“My ride was very good this weekend and I’m so happy. My horse was with me and I think it’s my best ride with her,” said Lemaire, who only took up riding three years ago and began the partnership with World Lady six months ago. “This was my first CDI in Wellington as I had only done national shows before. This is my first season in Wellington and it is a beautiful place.”

Sponsor Terri Kane of Diamante Farms, who sponsors the under-25 division throughout AGDF and supports FIYDC, said: “This is the future of dressage and if these kids aren’t out there competing, then our sport will die. It’s very important for people in the dressage community to show that we support them and that we care.”

Of the entries from six different nations, she added: “It’s exciting. Just like for our national and international athletes, it’s very important for these athletes to compete against other countries to make themselves better. We had a huge junior group this year, so hopefully they continue riding and go into the u-25 and hopefully a lot of these riders will go on to become professionals and continue to compete after they age out of the u-25.”

Jennifer Baumert made it three wins from three starts on Handsome in week 10. PBIEC is a lucky venue for the American duo, who have won a staggering eight classes this season.

Baumert posted 75.2% on Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Juliano’s 13-year-old Hochadel gelding, with fellow American Jodie Kelly-Baxley on Caymus, by Sir Sinclair, slotting in to second (74.175%) and Canada’s Brittany Fraser filling third with Jill Irving’s Sir Donnerhall gelding, Soccer City (72.875%).

“He’s awesome,” grinned Baumert. “I was pumped in there because Debbie [McDonald] psyched me up to get him really in front of me and taking every opportunity I could between movements to push him up in front and come into every movement with a lot of power. And we did that!

“She was amping me up because I’m one of those people that wants everything to be really pretty and harmonious and nice, and she pushes me to shake it up and come out of my comfort zone. This is a great way to close, as it’s our last show at Global. We’re hoping to go to Tryon [for the test event CDI in April] and the national championships at small tour.”

Baumert, who was competing Handsome at the AGDF for the second successive year, usually returns to her Ohio base in April, but is staying on in Wellington this year.

“We’re going to stay until the team goes off to Europe to take advantage of Debbie’s help until then, so I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “That’ll probably be until June, when it’s really hot here in Florida, but Havensafe Farm has lots of trees and a covered ring and it always feels about 10 degrees cooler there, so I’m hoping that’ll work out for us.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Adcox and Weber Take Division Leads in USEF Combined Driving National Championships

Photo: Scott Adcox (Picsofyou.com)

Ocala, Fla. – The USEF Combined Driving National Championships got underway with the first of three phases at Live Oak International. Two of the five championship divisions completed their dressage tests; Scott Adcox takes the early lead in the Intermediate Pair Horse division with a score of 60.88 penalties. Chester Weber tops the leaderboard in the four-in-hand division with a score of 40.11 penalties.

Intermediate

USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Adcox (Myakka City, Fla.) and Shane Doyle (Hillsborough, N.J.) broke in the arena footing as the Intermediate Pair Horse division opened the first day of competition. Adcox, who returned to combined driving this year after taking a year off from competition, finds himself in the lead with Harley, Tom Warriner’s 14-year-old Saddlebred/Friesian gelding, and Pepe, his six-year-old KWPN gelding.

“Dressage is not my strong suit. I borrowed Harley from Tom Warriner a week ago to see if we could do a bit better and help with my other horse’s [Pepe’s] weak points. However, in a week there is not a lot of time to change that, but he tried. [Harley] is such a steady eddie, so I can count on him to do his job, whereas [Pepe] the six-year-old I had to manage a little more.”

Doyle follows with a score of 66.64 penalties with his geldings Valentino, a 15-year-old KWPN, and Bono, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood.

Advanced Four-in-Hand

USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship

The 14-time USEF Four-in-Hand National Champion Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) carries the early lead in the four-in-hand division. He and his KWPN geldings, First Edition (eight years old), Boris W (11 years old), and Asjemenou (12 years old), along with Jane Clark’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Splash (14 years old), executed a near flawless test to finish on 40.11 penalties.

“I was very pleased with my horses today; they are coming together. Tryon [FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018] is our goal in September. We had two minor errors in the walk, and without those we may have been in the 30s, but I was pleased with them and how they showed up,” said Weber, who also serves as Co-President of the Live Oak International alongside his sister Juliet Reid. “The [USEF Combined Driving] national championships, whether the first or 14th, mean a lot. It’s one of the two goals we go after every year. It’s important to me, and I would like to see us get it done.”

Following Weber is the 2017 USEF Four-in-Hand Reserve National Champion Misdee Wrigley Miller (Paris, Ky.) and her KWPN geldings Beau (11 years old), Bravour 54 (10 years old) and Bolino D (11 years old) and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Calipso 86 (10 years old) with 46.84 penalties.

“The history here at Live Oak [International]; we know we are going to get the best America has to offer when we come to compete,” said Wrigley Miller. “I took a bit of a gamble today and used a new leader [Bravour 54] to see how he reacted to the atmosphere. I was really pleased with him until towards the end of the test at our last extension near the television screen. He saw himself on the screen, so that unsettled the team a little bit.”

Allison Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Willow Star, LLC’s Dutch Warmblood gelding team of Anesco 4 (12 years old), Ulco (16 years old), Olando (21 years old) and Enzo (eight years old) sit in third place with 53.15 penalties.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Five USEF Combined Driving National Championships on the Line at Live Oak International

Photo: Chester Weber (Picsofyou.com)

Ocala, Fla. – Combined driving athletes will descend upon the majestic Live Oak Plantation this week for a shot at a USEF Combined Driving National Championship title. Live Oak International, running Thursday, March 15 through Sunday, March 18, returns as the host for the USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship and welcomes four new USEF Intermediate Combined Driving National Championship divisions.

Advanced Four-in-Hand

USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship

The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ individual silver medalist and 2012 FEI World Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand individual silver and team bronze medalist Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) looks to extend his USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship record. He will harness his powerhouse team of Splash, Jane Clark’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, and his First Edition, an eight-year-old KWPN gelding; Boris W, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Asjemenou, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding; and Reno, an eight-year-old gelding, as he chases his 15th national title at his home farm.

However, the 2017 USEF Advanced Combined Driving Four-in-Hand Reserve National Champion Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Paris, Ky.) will be in hot pursuit with her Beau, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Bravour 54, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding; Bolino D, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Calipso 86, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Daan 8, a 10-year-old KNHS gelding; and Saco, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Both join championship veterans James Fairclough (Newton, N.J.), 2012 FEI World Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand team bronze medalist, Paul Maye (Fairfield, Va.) and Allison Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) as well as newcomers Wiebe Dragstra (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Mary Ruth Marks (Verona, Wis.), who will attempt to win their first title.

Intermediate

USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Scott Adcox (Myakka City, Fla.) and Shane Doyle (Hillsborough, N.J.) will go head-to-head for the USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship. Adcox has competed in single horse combined driving events for the past several years. He will compete in his first pair horse division for at Live Oak, entering Nupafeed Auto Pilot, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding; Nupafeed’s Leap of Faith, a 14-year-old mare; and Pepe, a six-year-old KWPN gelding.

USEF Intermediate Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

In the largest combined driving division at Live Oak International, 11 athletes will vie for the USEF Intermediate Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship. Taylor Bradish (Windsor, S.C.) won the preliminary single horse division at the Palm Tree Combined Driving Event at Little Everglades in January with her own Katydid Duchess. She makes the leap with Katrina Becker’s nine-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare to the intermediate division aiming for her first title. However, she can expect tough competition from veteran drivers including 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles individual silver and team bronze medalist Bob Giles (Morriston, Fla.), 2010 FEI World Singles Driving Championships competitor Robin Groves and her husband Wilson Groves (Brownsville, Vt.), Anna Koopman (Middleburg, Va.), Cathy Thomas (Verona, Wis.), and Marcie Quist (Vass, N.C.). Robin Groves won the FEI Single Horse Division at Live Oak International in 2009 and placed second in 2011, while Quist placed second in the FEI Single Horse CAI2* at the 2017 Live Oak International.

USEF Intermediate Pair Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Katie Whaley (Paris, Ky.) and Esther “Boots” Wright (Ocala, Fla.) will battle it out for the USEF Intermediate Pair Pony Combined Driving National Championship. Whaley is the 2016 and 2017 USEF Advanced Pair Pony Combined Driving National Champion. She will compete with her own Welsh Cross pony geldings Tommy, 14 years old, and Tanner, 11 years old. She also brings along her five-year-old Teddy to give him experience as he is not old enough for Fédération Equestre Internationale competition.

USEF Intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Six entries make up the USEF intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship division. Jennifer Keeler (Paris, Ky.) has won every single pony combined driving event she has entered and aims to keep that streak alive with a title victory. She brings her Zeppo, a six-year-old Hackney gelding. Janelle Marshall (Williston, S.C.) has only finished outside the top three twice out of 13 single pony combined driving competitions. She brings Kennebec Joyce, John Merritt’s 10-year-old Morgan mare. Others competing in the division include Nancy Dimick (Randolph, Vt.), Jackie Kane (Hudson, Mass.), Tayler Roundtree (Auburn, Calif.), and Kristin Whittington (Edinburgh, Ind.).

From the US Equestrian Communications Department