Tag Archives: Donna Crookston

Crookston and Weber Score Selection Trials Division Wins at Kingdom of the Sun CDE

Donna Crookston and Viktor (Picsofyou.com)

Lexington, Ky. – The winter competition season in Florida came to a close over the weekend at the Kingdom of the Sun CDE in Ocala, Fla. Single Horse and Four-in-Hand drivers aiming for the 2016 FEI World Driving Championships competed in the CAI2* divisions, which served as Selection Trials. Donna Crookston climbed the leaderboard to win the CAI2*-H1 division, while Chester Weber won the CAI2*-H4 division.

Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) had a respectable dressage test with Viktor to receive a score of 61.96 and sit in third place following the dressage phase. She and her 2008 Dutch Harness gelding had a spectacular marathon phase, finishing first at all seven obstacles. They handily won the phase and added 81.77 penalty points to their score to sit second in the overall standings. Crookston and Viktor had a single ball down at 5C for 3.00 penalty points to win the cones phase and secure the win with a final score of 146.73.

“Our dressage is coming along nicely. He just started at the Advanced level in January, so I am quite happy with his progress so far,” Crookston explained. “Marathon was absolutely super! He is really turning into a great marathon horse; we were first in each hazard. He was also very good in the cones phase. He just turned eight in February, so he is a young, enthusiastic horse that I am very excited about.”

Barbara Chapman (Metamora, Mich.) and Meara Beval, her 2004 American Warmblood mare, finished in second place at just 0.02 penalty points behind Crookston and Viktor with a final score of 146.75. Leslie Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and Uminco, her 2001 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding, rounded out the top three with a final score of 152.02.

Chester Weber (Picsofyou.com)
Chester Weber (Picsofyou.com)

Weber (Ocala, Fla.) drove some newer talent as part of his and Jane Clark’s KWPN team, but still had top performances in the CAI2*-H4 division. He and his team had a solid dressage test to earn a score of 50.16 and finish second in the phase. They had an excellent marathon performance to win the phase with a score of 114.44 and move into the overall lead. Weber and his team added 4.44 time penalties to their score in the cones phase to win the phase and claim top honors in the division.

“I was really pleased with the team. We left some fire power at home and had two new additions since January for this competition. I was happy with how the line-up performed,” Weber said. “With the World Championships being in September, it makes for a long season, so we are trying to find a balance with resting the more seasoned horses and allowing the newer horses to get more experience as part of the team. All of the horses are training very well and we plan to head to the Royal Windsor Horse Show next.”

Allison Stroud (West Grove, Pa.) and Willow Star LLC’s Dutch Warmblood team finished in second place with a score of 181.43, while Craig Grange (Delmar, Iowa) and his team finished third on a score of 228.85.

View complete results.

By Kathleen Landwehr

US Finishes 10th at 2014 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles

Jacob Arnold and Hotspur’s Red Rowl (Janos and Zoltan Varaljai)

Arnold Seventh Individually; Crookston Earns Bronze in the Cones

Izsak, Hungary – The United States closed out the 2014 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles on a high note with strong performances in the cones phase. Jacob Arnold and Donna Crookston were among only seven competitors to produce clears on Sunday, while Leslie Berndl also left all the balls in place, just collecting a handful of time faults. With its strong performance on Sunday, the U.S. finished the championship in 10th place on a score of 301.68.

Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) turned heads in his first World Championships driving Karen K. Chandor and John C. Merritt’s 10-year-old Morgan gelding, Hotspur’s Red Rowl, expertly throughout the weekend. After winning the marathon on Saturday, the 2011 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year returned with another strong performance in the cones to add nothing to his score, finishing in seventh place overall on a score of 136.95.

Donna Crookston and RG Cowboy's Black Cadillac (Janos and Zoltan Varaljai)
Donna Crookston and RG Cowboy’s Black Cadillac (Janos and Zoltan Varaljai)

Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) and her 18-year-old Morgan gelding, RG Cowboy’s Black Cadillac, made their fourth World Championship appearance in Hungary, and closed it out with a proficient clear in the cones to earn the Bronze medal in the final phase. They finished in 46th place overall with a score of 164.73.

After being forced to retire on the marathon due to equipment problems, Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and her own 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Uminco, rebounded in the cones, leaving all the balls in place and incurring just 3.09 time penalties.

Germany clinched Team Gold on a score of 266.93, with France claiming Silver on 269.87, and Switzerland earning Bronze on 273.82. In the Individual standings, Wilbrord Van Den Broek of The Netherlands earned Gold on a score of 130.46, while Germany’s Claudia Lauterbach (133.69) and Marlen Fallack (133.85) earned Silver and Bronze, respectively.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about FEI World Driving Championships for Singles, visit: http://www.izsak2014.hu/.

Follow the U.S. Driving Team here.