Tag Archives: Bebe Davis

Yowan and Deslauriers Garner Gold in Individual Jumping at NAJYRC

Jumping Junior Individual Gold medalsit Vivian Yowan and Vornado Van Den Hoendrik (SusanJStickle.com)

Davis and Moreira Laliberte Win Freestyle Medals, and Team USA Golden in Para-Dressage

Lexington, Ky. – Show jumping competition at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North came to a close on Saturday with the awarding of the Individual medals. Riding away with Gold were Vivian Yowan in the Junior division and Lucy Deslauriers in the Young Rider division.

The USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championships also concluded on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park with the Dressage Freestyle competition. Bebe Davis earned the Gold medal score in the Junior division and Naima Moreira Laliberte took the top position atop the podium in the Young Riders.

Para-dressage awarded the first medals in the discipline’s inaugural year at NAJYRC with the presentation of Individual and Team medals. On Sunday the riders will vie for Freestyle medals. The final of the four disciplines competing on Saturday, eventing, completed the cross-country phase, and eventing riders will return on Sunday for their show jumping phase.

Vivian Yowan Victorious in Junior Individual Show Jumping Championship

During the USHJA North American Junior and Young Rider Show Jumping Championships at the NAJYRC, Individual show jumping riders compete over five total rounds. By the end of the final round, Vivian Yowan (17, Lexington, Ky.) had managed to complete all five courses without a single rail rolling out of the cups with Vornado Van Den Hoendrik, securing her the Junior Individual Gold medal.

Yowan, of Zone 5, crossed the timers on Saturday with one single time fault. This added with her 3.08 coefficient score from the first round gave her a final total of 4.08. Her consistency throughout the three days of competition is something that Yowan worked hard on following her first NAJYRC appearance last year.

“Last year maybe wasn’t my best year here; it was my first year, so this year I knew what it took,” Yowan said. “You have to be consistent to even medal, so coming into this, and even in today, I knew that I just had to keep being consistent to get here.”

Also showing great consistency throughout the week was Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez (17, Guadalajara, Mexico). Albanez kicked off the week by winning Wednesday’s opening round, and on Saturday he rode to a final score of 8.00 to win the Silver medal.

“This is good, but I think next year I’m going to do Juniors again,” joked Albanez. “I want to have that [Gold medal] around my neck. The first year I was 10th, and last year I was seventh, so I’m moving up. I hope next year to get the Gold.”

At 17 years old, Albanez will have another go at the Junior Gold next year, as will this year’s Bronze medal winner, Sophie Simpson (17, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.).

“I was close, but the luck wasn’t really in my favor today,” Simpson said. “My mare was incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m happy standing next to good competition with a medal around my neck.”

Deslauriers Clinches Gold in Close Finish

In the Young Rider Individual Championship, the race for the Gold medal came down to less than one single time fault. Going into the fifth and final round of competition, Brittni Raflowitz (20, Palm City, Fla.) and Noel Fauntleroy (20, Manakin-Sabot, Va.) sat neck-and-neck with scores of 4.15 and 3.49, respectively. Sitting in third with a score of 8.04 was Lucy Deslauriers (16, New York, N.Y.) who had moved up from the fifth place position going into the day.

Jumping Young Rider Individual Gold medalist Lucy Deslauriers and Hester (SusanJStickle.com)
Jumping Young Rider Individual Gold medalist Lucy Deslauriers and Hester (SusanJStickle.com)

As the riders came back in reverse order of their standings, Deslauriers and her mount, Hester, delivered. They crossed the timers with just one time fault, giving them a total score of 9.04 and guaranteeing that they would finish no worse than Bronze.

After already turning in an impressive three clear rounds throughout the week, Raflowitz and Baloumina Du Ry finished the final round with five faults. Those faults positioned her nearly just one-tenth of a point behind Deslauriers, finishing on 9.15 and guaranteeing her a medal.

The 20-year-old was leading going into the final round, but she would have to settle for Bronze as two rails hit the ground, giving her a total score of 11.49. A Bronze at the NAJYRC is still an extremely impressive achievement, particularly as this year marks Fauntleroy’s first NAJYRC appearance.

“I honestly had no expectations coming into this,” Fauntleroy said. “This was my first time here so I’m just happy with yesterday, and having another clear round today was more than I could have asked, so I’m happy.”

Similarly, Raflowitz was thrilled with her and her mare’s incredible performances throughout the week that put her in the Silver position.

“My mare literally gave me everything she could today. I’m so happy with her,” Raflowitz said. “I never thought that I would jump three clean rounds this week with her. I could not have asked for any more of her.”

As for Deslauriers, the Gold medal makes the perfect addition to the Individual Silver medal she claimed last year, and she could not be happier.

“It’s really incredible. I really didn’t think going into this that this would be the end result. Especially going into this today I knew I was kind of the underdog coming back in fifth place,” Deslauriers said. “My horse jumped incredibly. He’s really a dream. He’s honestly the greatest horse that I’ve ever ridden for sure.”

Bebe Davis and Rotano Ride to Individual Junior Freestyle Gold

The top 18 Junior Individuals advanced to the Freestyle Championship on Saturday where they were judged by Brenda Minor at E, Marian Cunningham at H, Jayne Ayers at C, Anne Prain at M and Mercedes Campdera at B.

Bebe Davis (17, Wellington, Fla.) of Region 3 earned the highest Junior Freestyle score of the day with a 71.825% and secured the Gold medal.

“I had a previous [Freestyle] that I won Bronze with here in 2013. So I decided to change it,” Davis said. “I have all new music and all new choreography. I have a very difficult pattern in my canter tour. I have a half pass to the left and four changes on a 20-meter circle every seven strides. Then I have to half pass back to the right to the centerline. It went absolutely perfect today. So after that movement I was completely over the moon.”

Davis continued, “[Winning the Gold] is amazing. It’s been a long journey. This is my last year of juniors; I’m aging out this year. I’ve been working toward this moment for a very long time. It’s amazing to see that my hard work has finally paid off. All of the hours and all of the long days and early mornings have led to this. I’m extremely happy.”

Helen Claire McNulty (15, Holland, Mich.) of Region 2 and Checkmate earned the Silver medal with a score of 71.725%. McNulty turned in a solid freestyle test, despite admitting to a slight change of plans part way through.

“I picked up the counter canter, and when I asked him to do the changes on the quarter line he threw in a couple one-tempis. That sort of messed up what I was going to do with it, so I sort of had to just play along. The canter work that I wanted to use would have been harder than what I did use, but that was okay. It turned out pretty good.”

The Bronze medal went to Camille Carier Bergeron (15, Mascouche, Que.) of British Columbia-Quebec. She and her mount Delfiano rode to a score of 71.375% in their freestyle test set to upbeat African-style music.

Naima Moreira Laliberte Leaves with Second 2015 NAJYRC Medal

On Friday, Naima Moreira Laliberte (18, Montreal, Que.) earned the Young Rider Individual Bronze medal, and on Saturday she returned to claim the Young Rider Freestyle Gold medal.

Laliberte and her mount, Belafonte, earned a score of 71.825% in one of their first times performing their freestyle test together in full.

“I won’t lie. I only rode it once and qualified,” Laliberte said. “I just know the music and know the patterns. That’s kind of my style – just feel the groove, practice every day, and build up. You practice a little piece here and a little piece there. It’s much easier when you put the music together yourself because you know when you make the cues and the timing. You know your music.”

The judges for the Young Rider class were Gabriel Armando at E, Lorraine Stubbs at H, Janet Foy at C, Ulrike Nivelle at M, and Cesar Torrente at B.

The ground jury scored the combination of Hannah Bauer (16, Purcellville, Va.) and Trustful with a 70.000%, securing them the Silver medal.

“I’m super excited,” Bauer said. “My freestyle went pretty well. There are some things where you think, ‘oh if I just could have fixed that,’ but I’m super happy. My horse was in a good mood; I was in a good mood. I think I’m most happy with that feeling of it.”

The Bronze medal went to Kerrigan Gluch (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) who earned a score of 69.050% on Vacquero HGF.

Team USA Gets the Gold in Inaugural NAJYRC Para-Dressage Championship

While the Team Para-Dressage championship took place on Thursday, the winners received both their Team and Individual medals on Saturday after also completing their Individual tests. Topping the podium in team competition was Team USA, with Team Canada taking the Silver.

The U.S. team finished with a team cumulative score of 380.191. The team is composed of:

Kate Shoemaker (Glendale, Ariz.) on Pacifec M – Grade III
Cambry Kaylor (Lehi, Utah) on Markgard Donnewind – Grade 1b
Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) on Wentworth – Grade 1b

Beyond just being happy with their performances, all members of Team USA were excited to see para-dressage added to the disciplines offered at the NAJYRC.

“I’m just really excited to be here, since it’s the first time ever that [para-dressage] has been in the NAJYRC,” Kaylor said. “I’m just honored to be here, and we’re thrilled.”

Kaylor finished with the Individual Silver medal in the Grade 1b competition, earning scores of 62.65% in the Team test and 61.509% in the Individual test for a 124.16 total. Earning the Individual Gold medal in the 1b competition was Kaylor’s teammate, Collier. Collier received scores of 67.65% and 67.112% for a cumulative total of 134.76.

“I feel ecstatic about it,” Collier said. “I was here [at the Kentucky Horse Park] about three years ago with Jonathan Wentz, doing our demonstration of our freestyle, and it just really feels like Jonathan is right here with is. It’s such an honor to be here as a team, and I’m so impressed with my teammates and incredibly happy with our horses.”

The third member of Team USA, Shoemaker, received the Individual Gold in Grade III with scores of 66.02% and 68.079% for a 134.099 total.

“I just really wanted to thank the whole team that helped get us here,” Shoemaker said. “USEF, USET, Adequan; a whole bunch of people who are unnamed that made everything behind the scenes happen. It was huge, and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing sponsors, and not to mention our individual help from our families and everybody that helped with our horses.”

Riding for Team Canada are:

Nel Godin-Keating (Dartmouth, N.S.) on Mr. Itchy – Grade 1a
Sarah Cummings (Cranbrook, B.C.) on West Bay – Grade II
Madison Lawson (North Bay, Ont.) on Lawrence – Grade IV

Godin-Keating and Mr. Itchy earned the Gold in Grade 1a on scores of 63.315% and 61.902%, Cummings captured Gold in Grade II with West Bay on scores of 61.397% and 61.464%, and Lawson claimed the Gold in Grade IV on Lawrence, earning scores of 66.815% and 65.298%.

Para-dressage riders return on Sunday to complete their Freestyle tests and vie for Freestyle medals.

Area II Retains Team Lead after Cross-Country at 2015 USEA North American Junior and Young Rider Eventing Championship

Heavy rains the previous night made for wet conditions but did not cause problems. Riders uniformly said the course was fair, well designed and rode as they expected. In the CH-J 1* Team competition, Area II retained its lead after cross-country and will head into Sunday’s stadium phase with a total score of 129.0

The Area II team roster is:

Camilla Grover-Dodge (16, Lancaster, Pa.) on Remington XXV – 38.3
Morgan Booth (18, Charlottesville, Va.) on Twizzel – 41.8
Amanda Beale Clement (16, Phoenixville, Pa.) on Peter Pan – 48.9
Skyler Decker (16, Mount Airy, Md.) on Inoui Van Bost – 56.8

Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV (Brant Gamma Photos)
Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV (Brant Gamma Photos)

Grover-Dodge, who had only competed at the CCI1* level once before, said her horse, Remi, was “really good. He was a little excited. He felt so great, so rideable to everything. All the combinations and everything rode really well.”

Booth said that when she left the start box aboard Twizzel, Will Coleman’s former four-star mount, “I felt like I was riding a hurricane because he thought he was at Rolex. I just let him go through the first three because I knew that those were just galloping fences. He was amazing. It was probably the cross-country ride of my life, so I was really happy.”

In the Individual competition, Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV lead the field, followed by teammate Booth and Twizzel. Sitting is third is Madison Temkin (14, Sonoma, Calif.) of Area VI and Kingslee with a score of 45.2.

In the CCIYR2* division, Diane Portwood (19, Marrieta, Ga.) of Area III moved into the Individual lead Saturday on Cinerescent a double clear cross-country round, maintaining their dressage score of 60.5. Nicole Doolittle (17, Reddick, Fla.) and Tops, who led the after dressage, slipped into second individually after 20.8 time faults on cross-country, for a total of 68.5. Paige Pence (16, Louisville, Ky.) and Class Action, with 18.4 time faults, stand in third (78.0 total).

The show jumping phase of eventing takes place tomorrow, the final day of the competition, followed by the medal ceremonies.

For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.

From Phelps Media Group, Inc./USEF

Bebe Davis Says Goodbye to America’s FEI Dressage Pony Star

Bebe Davis and Poldy 10. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL (October 1, 2014) — “From the second he walked into the arena, I was in love,” said Barbara “Bebe” Davis, recalling the first time she saw the German Riding Pony Poldy 10. Every rider searches for that once-in-a-lifetime equine, and once found they are remembered forever. Sixteen-year-old Davis found that perfect match in Poldy 10, and achieved major victories with him in the show ring before eventually donating him to Dressage4Kids to give more riders the enjoyment of Poldy’s talent and affection. Now, Davis and all of Poldy’s admirers must say a final goodbye to their beloved pony, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 18.

Davis, a champion dressage student at Piaffe Performance Farm, first met Poldy 10 in Germany in 2011. The two clicked immediately, and by 2012 were together raking in dressage wins across America. The pair’s accomplishments include being named 2012 U.S. FEI Dressage Pony Champion.

“I knew that he would make a huge impact on my competitive career the first time I sat on him while we were in Germany,” Davis remembers. “He was nothing like any pony I had ever ridden. He was so willing and pleased to work and he genuinely enjoyed his job. Every time we went in the arena together he gave me 100 percent, and I am so grateful for that.”

As Davis began to outgrow Poldy in the fall of 2013, she knew that he was too special of a pony to even consider retiring his career. Instead, Davis donated Poldy and her other pony Bohdjan, who was also named the 2012 US FEI Pony Reserve Champion, to Dressage4Kids, a foundation that promotes dressage education and horsemanship for riders ages 21 and under. “We were looking for an opportunity for both of the ponies to find new homes where they would be appreciated for their immense talent,” Davis explained.

Appreciation for Poldy is certainly what was found. The sweet equine helped grateful young riders reach their goals, including winning the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship with rider Katrina Sadis. Davis was happy to see her Poldy, who has been titled America’s most successful FEI Dressage Pony, brighten other equestrians’ lives as he had done for her.

“Everyone who had the chance to know Poldy fell in love with him,” Davis smiled. Davis, along with everyone who had the good fortune to have Poldy 10 as a part of their lives, will greatly miss the pony. “Poldy taught me many things, but most importantly he taught me that no matter what the outcome of a show is the most important thing is to love your horse,” Davis stated. “He gave me countless wins, but those are not the times that come to my mind when I am asked about him. The things that I think about the time we spent together at the barn. Those are the times that bring you from a horse-and-rider combination to a true partnership. He was amazing to work with and captured everyone’s heart. He was the pony of a lifetime, and I am so grateful that he was a part of my life.”

For more information about young dressage rider Bebe Davis and her current achievements, visit www.bebedavisdressage.com.

Contact: Bebe Davis

Bebe Davis Is “Paying It Forward” with a Donation of a Lifetime to Dressage4Kids

Bebe Davis and Bohdjan. (Photo courtesy of Debby Witty)

Bedminster, NJ (Novmeber 13, 2013) – As the “Season of Giving” approaches, 15-year-old Barbara ‘Bebe’ Davis is not asking what she can get but instead what she can give. This season, Bebe Davis donated her two top FEI dressage ponies to a foundation that promotes dressage education and horsemanship for riders 21 years and younger, Dressage4Kids LLC.

The famed ponies, Poldy 10 and Bohdjan, earned Davis record breaking dressage scores like her 75.9% score in the FEI Pony Individual Test in 2012 and in 2012 a Champion and Reserve Champion placing at the USEF Festival of Champions.

“I wanted to donate them to Dressage4Kids because I wanted to give others the the opportunity to do what I did. A lot of people are not as fortunate as I am and I want to share my blessings with them. I hope that our donation helps to strengthen and grow the pony program here in the United States,” stated Bebe Davis.

Bebe Davis along with her father, Michael Davis, are members of the Piaffe-Performance dressage team, under the tuteledge of Dr. Cesar Parra. The Davis Family is an avid supporter of the dressage sport not only as competitors but also as sponsors of Parra’s successful slew of horses, including Van the Man, Simply Nymphenburg, Borett, Linder, Fiderhit OLD, and Grandioso, who Parra rode to 2011 Pan Am Games Team Gold.

“It’s a lifestyle for our family and being able to compete along side, and maybe even one day against, my daughter is a true gift,” commented Bebe’s father, Mike Davis.  “As we were considering the alternatives for the ponies, as a family we agreed that building our dressage riders from within is important and by donating these two ponies we would be giving back to and helping to improve this sport that we all love.”

Now, Bebe Davis and her new mount, Rotano, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding are compting on the FEI Junior dressage circuit and most recently won the coveted ACGO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship.

Bebe Davis and Poldy 10. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)
Bebe Davis and Poldy 10. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Looking back over her years with her first ponies, Bebe commented, “The ponies helped me tremendously, and I am so grateful to them for that. I grew as a rider as well as a person. I think that all of the work that I did with ponies helped me have a seamless transition between the FEI Pony and FEI Junior divisions.”

Dressage4Kids welcomed the ponies, Poldy 10 and Bohdjan, into their program and plan to educate the next generation of riders with their two new FEI level dressage stars.

For more information on Dressage4Kids or to make a donation, please access: www.dressage4kids.org.

To follow Bebe Davis’ continued success and learn more about dressage training, please visit www.bebedavisdressage.com.

Michael Davis
781 844 2172

Bebe Davis and Rotano Named 2013 ACGO/USEF Junior Dressage National Champions

Barbara “Bebe” Davis and Rotano during their victory gallop at the 2013 Festival of Champions.  (Photos courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Bedminster, NJ (October 19, 2013) – Last year’s USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Champion and Reserve Champion has entered the Junior ranks as a force to be reckoned with.  Barbara ‘Bebe’ Davis, of Bedminster, NJ, and Rotano, the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by her parents, Michael and Sarah Davis, impressed judges at the 2013 USEF Festival of Champions, October 8-12, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and delivered the kind of brilliance in their half-passes and trot extensions to earn a 69.00% in their FEI Junior Individual Test and ultimately, the coveted ACGO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship, on an overall score of 68.771%.

“Moments like this make all of our training and all of our riding totally worth it,” said Davis, 15, a student of Nations Cup and Olympic Dressage veteran, Cesar Parra of Piaffe-Performance Dressage. “It feels unreal to be the U.S. Champion; I am on Cloud Nine and could not be more grateful to everybody who stood by me and believed in me. I could not have done it without their continuous love and support.”

The newly crowned champion especially praised her partner, Rotano: “He was such a good boy. He was really there for me, trying and listening to my aids.”  The gelding, a son of Rotspon, was acquired as a seven-year-old through Parra.  “Rotano was my Christmas present. It had always been our idea that he would be the perfect horse for me for Juniors. I started riding him full time in Fall of 2012 and started showing him in the Juniors in March.

“Ever since then our relationship has improved exponentially. I trust him so much and he trusts me; we depend on each other. He is a total ham and loves the attention he is getting! I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to my parents for allowing me to ride this amazing horse. He is a gift from God.”

Davis says the secret to this big-time milestone to her riding career was in starting off showing in the Pony divisions:  “When I showed two weekends ago at Devon, it was my last ride in the Pony division. I got a little bit emotional on centerline, but I am very happy to see how far ponies have come.

“Ponies have helped teach me so much over the years and I continue to learn from them every day. They have taught me important values as a rider as well as an individual, such as patience, perseverance, persistence and the value of hard work. I think that all of the work that I did with ponies helped me have a seamless transition between the FEI Pony and FEI Junior divisions.”

Not that the teen wasn’t still a little ‘star-struck’ (and loving it). “I had an incredible time. I enjoyed the Celebrity Mounted Games fund raiser and rode on Robert Dover and Debbie McDonald’s team, and it was an absolute blast! I had an incredible time riding my own horse; we had two amazing rides and there is no feeling quite like hearing the National Anthem being played and having a blue ribbon around your horse’s neck. It is truly a beautiful moment.”

What’s next for America’s newest dressage wunderkind?  “Right now I plan on competing in the Juniors for another year,” says Davis.  “I cannot wait to get back into the show ring.  We also have some really amazing young horses right now who are coming up through the ranks and, who knows, one of them might be a right fit for me.

“Competing in Europe has always been a personal goal. If the opportunity arises I would love to go.  My parents have been more than supportive. In Summer 2010, we came to New Jersey to train with Cesar for a summer and three years later, we are still here. We gave up our home and where I grew up in the pursuit of my dream, and I will be forever grateful to them for allowing me to follow that.

The team at Piaffe Performance is so supportive and helpful; it is really like they are my second family. When somebody does well or wins, the team celebrates like it is their own personal success. Cesar is an amazing coach and incredible trainer; he is always there for me. He is also there making sure that the horses are healthy and well taken care of because their welfare is the most important thing. (Piaffe-Performance senior trainer) Katie Riley has also been there for me since day one. She is my rock; she is there no matter what. She is so encouraging and positive — I owe her huge thanks for believing in me.”

The support, at home and at Piaffe-Performance, this former pony rider finds is giving her free rein to continue to dream big:  “I have always wanted to represent America in the Olympics, as well as the World Equestrian and Pan American Games. I would love to represent my country overseas and compete in Grand Prix and small tour as a professional.

“But first,” says the pragmatic teen, “I am looking forward to finishing high school.  Then continuing my education, as an equestrienne and as an academic.  I also would like to thank my parents, Michael and Sarah, my coach and trainer, Cesar Parra, the entire Performance Farm team, and all of my sponsors: Cavalleria Toscana, Kep Italia Helmets, Trilogy Saddlery and Pana Cavallo.  Without them my success would not be possible.”

Follow Bebe Davis and Rotano’s continued success and learn more about dressage training, lessons and sale prospects available through Piaffe-Performance Dressage at www.piaffe-performance.com.

For more information contact:
Michael Davis
(781) 844-2172

Peters, Herslow, Davis, and Redston Earn National Titles to Close Out US Dressage Festival of Champions

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (SusanJStickle.com)

Lexington, Ky. – The 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp came to a conclusion on Saturday with the final four champions crowned. In The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, Steffen Peters claimed his seventh title in the division under the lights, while earlier in the day Kim Herslow and Rosmarin claimed their first National Title in The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship. Barbara “Bebe” Davis won the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship title in her first attempt at the annual competition, while Alison Redston and Tony 47 led the victory gallop in the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Grand Prix competition came to a conclusion under the lights of the Rolex Stadium as the eight competitors rode their Freestyle tests to earn the remaining 15% of their championship score.

Peters (San Diego, Calif.) scored a repeat victory with Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, as he cruised to an unprecedented seventh National Title in the Grand Prix division. The Olympic veteran pulled out all the stops with the 11-year-old Westphalian gelding as he produced strong piaffe and passage, as well as improved one-time changes. The talented combination concluded their Freestyle with an impressive pirouette in piaffe directly into halt on the centerline as they scored 79.450%.

“This was the best freestyle for sure. He felt great in the warm-up and I just hoped I could do that in the ring,” said Peters of Legolas 92. “Right off from the first step he felt as supple as in the warm-up. He stayed right with the music. I couldn’t be happier.”

The pair finished on a championship total of 76.476%.

Looking toward the future and preparation for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Peters will rely on advice from Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Robert Dover in planning for the future months.

“I have not thought about it,” said Peters. “California, Florida, we’ll think about it and I’m sure Robert will weigh in on that.”

Earning second place in the Freestyle and Reserve Champion honors overall was Guenter Seidel (Cardiff, Calif.) and Coral Reef Wylea. Coral Reef Ranch’s 13-year-old Westphalian mare earned a 76.450% in the Freestyle to finish on a championship score of 72.404%.

Despite a mistake in the two-time changes, Seidel was extremely pleased with the mare and believes she improved from Friday night’s Grand Prix Special.

“I thought she was great; there was the obvious mistake in the twos but it worked out great. In general, I thought she was better than the night before. Definitely, she felt good.”

Earning third place in the championship was Kathleen Raine (Murrieta, Calif.) and her own, Jennifer Mason, and David Wightman’s 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Breanna. The pair finished the Freestyle with a score of 70.225% and earned a championship score of 71.213%.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship

Herslow (Stockton, N.J.) and Rosmarin narrowly missed sweeping the three tests of Intermediaire I Championship, placing second in Saturday’s Freestyle but scoring a decisive victory in the National Championship. Kiroli Enterpirse Inc.’s eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding’s score of 75.200% counted for the remaining 15% of the pair’s championship average of 75.701%.

Kim Herslow and Rosemarin (SusanJStickle.com)
Kim Herslow and Rosemarin (SusanJStickle.com)

“I went easy on my horse yesterday and just did a really basic ride,” Herslow noted. “Today I wanted to have more horse and I think I had a little more than I have had for a little while, but that’s okay. I also have to learn how to ride that tension and I felt like I had him a little more up in his shoulders and I had him in a little more expressive frame. But I was a little on edge because we haven’t really been going there. But I’m thrilled.”

Herslow expressed how proud she’s been of Rosmarin and how’s he’s dealt with the pressure of such difficult competition.

“I’m amazed that he came back to showing after having the whole summer off and stepped up to the plate even more than in Florida this past season. I’m really looking forward to the season in Florida this winter and we’ll be moving up to the Grand Prix as soon as he’s ready.”

Caroline Roffman (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Her Highness O finished first in Saturday’s Intermediaire I Freestyle test, earning 76.625% and finishing on an overall total of 73.504% as the Reserve Champion. Roffman and her 10-year-old Hanoverian mare performed a powerful test in the Rolex Arena.

“For me, today was the perfect ending to Intermediaire I,” Roffman said. “She (Her Highness O) showed she’s able to compete with the best in the country. She was a blast to ride and it was the perfect way to end, in my mind. Today was perfect.”

Emily Jucsher Wagner (La Cygne, Kan.) and Wakeup, her own eight-year-old AWR stallion, finished third in the championship on a score of 69.612%.

AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship

Bebe Davis and Rotano (SusanJStickle.com)
Bebe Davis and Rotano (SusanJStickle.com)

Davis (Bedminster, N.J.) had another top performance on Saturday morning to claim victory in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship with her impressive mount Rotano. She and her parents’ (Michael and Sarah Davis) 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding had a lovely test with excellent trot extensions and half-passes to score a 69.000% in the FEI Junior Individual Test. The pair finished the championship with an overall score of 68.771%.

“My ride this morning was really amazing. I couldn’t be more thankful for my horse, and for my trainers and my parents for always being there for me,” stated Davis. “Moments like this make all of our training and all of our riding totally worth it. He was just such a good boy. He was really there for me and just really trying and listening to my aids.”

Davis credits riding at the Pony level with enabling to reach the level she has in her riding. Last year she won the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship and has moved up to Junior ranks this year finding much success. Davis believes she has learned a great deal about patience and perseverance while riding the intelligent little creatures.

“I showed two weekends ago at Devon and it was my last ride in the Pony division. I got a little bit emotional on centerline, but I am very happy to see how far ponies have come,” Davis said. “I did it the first year when there were only two and this year it is five times the size. It really makes me so happy to see that, that kids are really wanting to do it because I would never be where I am today if I didn’t do the ponies.”

Lindsey Holleger (Whigham, Ga.) had an improved test with Friedensfurst from Thursday, having beautiful trot extensions, strong canter half-passes, and a nice walk tour. She and the 11-year-old Trakehner gelding scored a 68.079% in Saturday’s test to finish with a 67.324% overall in the championship.

“I loved my ride today,” said Holleger. “He gave me everything and he was really relaxed, and that’s what I wanted to fix from the last ride. He did that and even more and I am really ready for Young Riders next year.”

Mallory Kent (Birmingham, Ala.) and Okiedokie slotted into third place in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship with a solid effort, receiving a 66.842% in the FEI Junior Individual Test. She and her own 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding completed the championship with a 66.219%.

The girls thanked their families, trainers, and sponsors, as well as being appreciative of the show management and volunteers.

USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship

Redston (Needham, Mass.) swept the Pony division with her own Tony 47. She demonstrated a solid test with the 13-year-old German Riding Pony gelding to score 66.683% in the FEI Pony Individual Test. The pair won the National Championship with an overall score of 66.303%.

“I thought our test went pretty well,” said Redston. “Throughout the test he was more relaxed, especially compared to the awards ceremony the day before. I felt like it let out some of his energy and it also had a feeling that it was more like a regular show. He was much more relaxed and could be himself.”

Alison Redston and Tony 47 (SusanJStickle.com)
Alison Redston and Tony 47 (SusanJStickle.com)

Redston is thrilled with her results and has no regrets about getting into the discipline of dressage after this weekend.

“I got into dressage because whenever I would jump, I would fall on my face, which was never fun. I always like to watch it (dressage) and I would be like, ‘Wait, how did they do that?’ and I wanted to learn about it and learn how to do it like those people who do things that seem impossible.”

Finishing in second place in the division were Madelyn Guthrie and Jordy. Guthrie (Westmont, Ill.) and her own 15-year-old Welsh Pony gelding presented a solid ride to score 64.026%.

“Our ride had a lot more energy than yesterday,” Guthrie commented. “After our last test we knew we needed to improve the energy level a little bit to improve all the movements as well. I think some of our highlights today were the medium and extended trot as well as the canter and we just really upped our game and knew we wanted to strive to be better. Jordy did really well and was there for me.”

Savannah Rose Franklund (Boulder, Colo.) rode into third place with CF Godiva Chocolate. She and her own 13-year-old American Quarter Pony gelding finished with an overall score of 63.384%.

USEF Network will be streaming Friday and Saturday’s competition live at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2013FestivalOfChampions/. Retired FEI 5* judge Axel Steiner will provide commentary during the broadcast.

Find out everything you need to know about the championships at http://www.usefconnect.com/festival/.

By Helen Murray, Kathleen Landwehr and Eileen Schnettler

Herslow Maintains Lead as Uhlir and Davis Surge to the Head of Their Fields at US Dressage Festival of Champions

Kim Herslow and Rosmarin (SusanJStickle.com)

Lexington, Ky. – Two divisions kicked off competition on Thursday at the 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp, while Intermediaire I competitors completed their second tests of the weekend. Kim Herslow and Rosmarin continue to hold the lead in The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship following a solid effort in the afternoon. In the first test of the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship, Ayden Uhlir and Sjapoer powered to top honors. Earlier in the morning, Bebe Davis and Rotano began their National Title quest with a win in the first of two performances of the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship

The 12 Small Tour competitors returned to the Rolex Stadium on Thursday afternoon to complete the FEI Intermediaire I Test and earn a further 45% of their championships score.

Herslow (Stockton, N.J.) and Kiroli Enterprises Inc.’s Hanoverian gelding were the winners of Wednesday’s FEI Prix St. Georges and continued to impress in their second test of the weekend. Rosmarin once again demonstrated stunning ground-covering gaits to score 75.789% to win the FEI Intermediaire I test and continue to lead The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship.

“I’m thrilled with my horse. I had a couple bobbles, but overall I’m thrilled,” said Herslow of her performance on Thursday. “There is so much more horse there; we’re just scratching the surface.”

Despite only being eight years old, Rosmarin is already quite experienced in the competitive arena, including being part of the winning U.S. team at the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. Herslow believes the gelding continues to improve with each competition and thoroughly enjoys his job.

“I feel like he gets into the groove each show; he gets better and better. He studies his work,” said Herslow. “He lets you enjoy the ride. I’m lucky to have him.”

Caroline Roffman rode the 2012 USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp and Performance Sales International winner, Her Highness O, to a second-place finish for the second consecutive day. The pair, which competed in Small Tour competition at the Aachen CDIO5* this summer, performed a solid test that was just marred by too many two-time changes to score 73.053%.

“Yesterday I had mistakes in the changes. Today I had great changes; I just did too many,” said a pragmatic Roffman of her test with her own 10-year-old Hanoverian mare. “There were a lot of highlights for me. I was really happy.”

Roffman and Her Highness O stand second in the championship with one test remaining.

Sarah Lockman (Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.) and Pamela Munson’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding Vinterpol have risen to third place in the championship after earning a 70.553% and third-place finish on Thursday.

The Intermediaire I Championships comes to a conclusion on Saturday as the Small Tour combinations perform their Freestyle Tests and earn the remaining 15% of the championship score.

AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship

Uhlir (Kirkland, Wash.) stormed into the top spot of the Young Rider Championship with Sjapoer, scoring 68.237% in the FEI Young Rider Team Test. She rode her own 14-year-old KWPN gelding to a 2.763-point lead heading into Friday’s FEI Young Rider Individual Test.

Ayden Uhlir and Sjapoer (SusanJStickle.com)
Ayden Uhlir and Sjapoer (SusanJStickle.com)

“Today, since it’s our first day of competition, I was trying to be more reserved in my riding,” Uhlir said. “I didn’t want to push him too hard. I was testing some of his buttons in the warm-up to see if he was listening to my aids and he seemed to be listening quite well. My test was very nice. I think I messed up on one of my tempis, but I recovered and I got the rest of them, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. Overall, it was a pretty solid test for the first day.  I’m really excited for tomorrow.”

Uhlir won the USEF Junior Dressage National Championship last year. She and her trainer, Jeremy Steinberg, have been working on some specific details since winning the FEI North American Young Rider Individual and Freestyle Championships at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC).

“We’ve been working on getting some passage steps and he seems to be clicking into them more.  We’re just fully building him up to the next level. I would love to do “Brentina Cup” on him.”

Standing second in the division are Rachel Chowanec and Embrujado XI. Chowanec (Columbia, Conn.) utilized the 15-year-old PRE gelding’s impressive gaits to score 65.474%.

“Overall he felt pretty solid and we went for it with a lot of things,” said Chowanec. “With the tempis, we pushed them a little bit to get them all bigger and it felt very good.”

Chowanec competed in the 2012 USEF Young Rider National Championship and finished in fourth place. This year she is focusing on how to manage Embrujado XI when he is easily spooked.

“Over the years it’s kind of been what works with that day,” Chowanec explained. “Some days I really have to slow him down and get him thinking about me and rely on my aids. Other days, like today, he was really behind me so I had to push him forward and push him through the spookiness, not go around it.”

Kaitlin Blythe rode Daverden into third place. Blythe (Rougemon, N.C.) and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding produced a solid effort scoring 65.053%.

The AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship competition continues Friday, with riders performing the FEI Young Rider Individual Test, which will count for the remaining 50% of the overall average.

AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship

Barbara Davis and Rotano (SusanJStickle.com)
Barbara Davis and Rotano (SusanJStickle.com)

Experience led the way in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship as Davis (Bedminster, N.J.) and Rotano jumped out to an early lead after earning a 68.541%. Davis was the 2012 National Champion in the Pony division and looks to add another Championship title to her resume with the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Michael and Sarah Davis. The pair displayed an accurate and forward test highlighted by an accurate canter tour.

“I had a really super ride,” Davis said. “This is my first year in the Juniors, so I kind of came into this as it’s my first year just to learn, so I am really excited to be doing this. I was very, very pleased with my test. It had some really nice moments.”

Davis was able to utilize her experience from previous competitions to produce one of her best performances when it really mattered today.

“I would like to say my canter work was definitely a highlight. He was super, just really willing today. I could feel it that he was really with me and really paying attention.”

Cassie Schmidt rode Leslie Schmidt’s Velasquer into second position in the Team Test. The impressive 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding put forth an expressive performance to score 66.703%. Schmidt and Velasquer have bonded over the past year and are quickly building an affinity for each other.

“I was super happy with my test today,” Schmidt commented. “Everything felt really good. He was so easy, he was so willing; he just did such a good job. This is my first year to come to the Festival of Champions. I have been in the Juniors for four years now and I was just so happy with everything. He was just so super.”

Lindsey Holleger (Whigham, Ga.) trotted into third place riding her own Friedensfurst, an 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, to a score of 66.568%.

The AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship competition continues Saturday, with riders performing the FEI Junior Individual Test, which will count for the remaining 50% of the overall average.

The day concluded with all 11 entries in the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship being accepted at the Horse Inspection.

USEF Network will be streaming Friday and Saturday’s competition live at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2013FestivalOfChampions/. Retired FEI 5* judge Axel Steiner will provide commentary during the broadcast.

Find out everything you need to know about the championships at http://www.usefconnect.com/festival/.

By Helen Murray and Eileen Schnettler

FEI Pony Dressage Rider Bebe Davis Wraps Up a Record Breaking Dressage Season

Poldy 10 and Barbara (Bebe) Davis earned the record breaking score of 75.987% twice in the FEI Pony Individual Test. (Photo courtesy of SueJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL (April 11, 2012) – Barbara (Bebe) Davis, a 14-year-old dressage rider who competes in the FEI Pony Division, has wrapped up an amazing winter show season with her two ponies, Poldy 10 and Bohdjan. While she may not be old enough to drive a car, Davis was still able to pilot her equine partners into the winner’s circle time and time again while competing on the prestigious winter show circuit in Wellington, Florida.  Davis and Poldy 10 earned a personal and record high score of 75.987% at two different shows in the FEI Pony Individual Test.  Their score is the highest any declared pony rider has received since the Pony Division was included for the first time at the Festival of Champions in 2011, according to the United States Equestrian Federation.

“The last three shows were really great,” Davis said. “They started out pretty good and I didn’t think they could get any better, but they did. I competed at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and at two shows at the Global Dressage Festival.”

Continue reading FEI Pony Dressage Rider Bebe Davis Wraps Up a Record Breaking Dressage Season