Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 26, 2018 – Competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships, and the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals at the Lamplight Equestrian Center concluded on Sunday, crowning champions in each of the day’s five divisions.
Competitors in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship returned to the ring for the Grand Prix Freestyle to ride for the championship title. Following a strong freestyle performance, it was Charlotte Jorst and her own Kastel’s Nintendo who held onto their lead and took home the overall victory.
“I thought my freestyle went great. I had such a good time; it was the first time I’ve ridden to my new music and it worked out really well. It feels incredible!” – Charlotte Jorst
Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino Earn Tricolor in Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
To close out Sunday’s competition, Dawn White-O’Connor on Bailarino, owned by Four Winds Farm, earned the top tricolor in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship.
“This is my first time here [at the Markel/USEF Developing Horse National Championships] and it’s been amazing. I’m very happy with my horse today. I think it was a good group of people and there was a lot of really fun horses to watch. It was a really great experience; the facility is beautiful as well.” – Dawn White-O’Connor
Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS Earn Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
In the Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS (Idocus-Caliente DG, OO Seven) maintained their top position in the division to take home the win with an overall score of 8.98.
“It’s very surreal to think that I would even have the chance to have a horse good enough to achieve this. I have a picture of [Habanero CWS] as an embryo and I actually pulled him out of the mare myself so it’s been a long journey. It’s exceeded all of my expectations.” – Craig Stanley
From International Vaulter to National Champion, Miki Yang Earns Top Honors in USEF Children Dressage National Championship
From competing as the youngest member of the U.S. Vaulting Team at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy to winning a national dressage title, Miki Yang’s had quite a successful week in the USEF Children Dressage National Championship.
“I feel really proud and grateful for everybody that helped me get here, especially my mom [Akiko Yamazaki] for supporting me. It was so fun to be able to compete with her her; it was like a dream come true.” – Miki Yang
Sophia Schults Wins Gold at USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 Championship
Youth riders battled it out in the arena for the title of national champion in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 Championship. Following the competitive class, it was Sophia Schults of St. Joseph, Michigan riding Samour M who took home the gold medal and was named the new national champion.
“For me, it’s a huge honor to be here. I’m grateful. It’s the second time I’ve been able to do this competition and it turned out super well this year. To help prepare I have taken a lot of lunge lessons. I feel like those have really benefited how I sit and how I’m able to control the horse without just using my hands and my legs.” – Sophia Schults
For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.
Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 23, 2018 – Competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center continued on Thursday with winners named in each of the day’s seven divisions.
Competition for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions continued on Thursday afternoon, seeing Grand Prix and Intermediate I combinations compete for top scores. Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo claimed first place in the Grand Prix for the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with a score of 70.217 percent. In the Intermediate I for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship, Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero rode away with the win on a score of 72.853 percent.
“Nintendo has just had three months off so he is very fresh and he was really excited to be back in the ring. I think my piaffe and passage were really balanced and nice. Because he was a little fresher than usual, I had some mistakes but overall, he was on fire. We had a lot of fun and it was a great day.” –Charlotte Jorst
Codi Harrison and Ellanor Boehning Claim Blue Ribbons on Second Day of 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions
The USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship, presented by Dressage Today, had riders return to compete in their second class, the Grand Prix 16-25 Test. After a morning of tough competition, Codi Harrison and her own Katholt’s Bossco maintained their lead from Wednesday to walk away with the top score of 72.744 percent. In the Pony Rider Team Test for the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship, Ellanor Boehning and Kabam took first place with a score of 71.524 percent.
“I was so proud of him today and yesterday. I’m really happy with the overall feeling. He’s such a good boy. I hope he can continue this for Saturday. Today, the last piaffe took a little bit to get into it, but it was such a good feeling once I had it on the centerline.” –Codi Harrison
Emily Miles, Alice Tarjan, and Endel Ots Lead after Opening Day of Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships
Competition for the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships began in the Dunham Ring with Emily Miles, Alice Tarjan, and Endel Ots topping the leaderboard in their respective young horse classes.
In the USEF 4-Year-Old Test, it was Miles riding Sole Mio, owned by Leslie Waterman, who impressed the judges to secure the victory with a total score of 8.42. Tarjan and Fairouz took the lead in the USEF 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test with a total score of 8.78, while Ots on Max Ots’ Lucky Strike won the Prix St. Georges for the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship with a 72.794 percent.
“I was super happy with him today. The trot work is usually his highlight and it definitely was today too. I think the judges liked how supple and fluid he can be. It’s super because he had enough energy going around but he was relaxed and focused on me so I was really proud of him.” – Emily Miles
For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.
Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 22, 2018 – On the opening day of competition for the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, the USEF Dressage Medal Seat Finals and the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center, three divisions rode down centerline for their first test.
Competition on Wednesday morning kicked off with the FEI Prix St. Georges Test for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship at 8 a.m. with a full field of 15 competitors. Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero, her 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, topped the class with a score of 72.853 percent.
“It’s an honor to be invited as one of the top 15 in the country. This is something that I can’t miss and I do whatever I can to be here. It’s always run so well and Lamplight Equestrian Center has great footing. As a competitor, it’s always a great experience.” – Heather Blitz
Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco started off the week on the right foot, taking a victory in the FEI Intermediate II Test for the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship, presented by Dressage Today, with a 71.941 percent.
“I was really happy with Bossco today. He felt really good and really with me. I was happy with his piaffe and passage work in the ring. We haven’t shown since season so I’m thrilled that he felt so good.” – Codi Harrison
In the Young Rider Team Test for the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship, Callie Jones rode an expressive test on her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Philippo, to clinch the win with a 72.255 percent.
“My horse was really reliable as always. The trot work was excellent, so I was super happy with that. He did get a little fired up in the canter work so I had to remind myself to stay relaxed and calm so I could give him the confidence. I just hope that on Friday we put out another clean test. I want it to be a positive experience and no matter the outcome, I’ll be happy.” – Callie Jones
For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.
Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Gladstone, NJ (May 25, 2017) — Triple Crown® Nutrition, Inc., is proud to congratulate U.S. Olympic Dressage Team Bronze Medalist Kasey Perry-Glass for her most recent accomplishment – claiming the overall U.S. Dressage National Grand Prix Championship title at The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey this past weekend. As the official feed sponsor of the U.S. Dressage Team, Triple Crown is a longtime supporter of equestrian sports and the advancement of U.S. dressage. Dedicated to providing the utmost superiority in nutrition, Triple Crown continually fuels top-level equine athletes.
At the Festival of Champions at Gladstone’s historically beautiful Hamilton Farm, Perry-Glass and her Olympic partner Goerklintgaards Dublet kicked off the weekend by earning first place in the FEI Grand Prix with 73.7% on Thursday, May 18. After a challenging Grand Prix Special on Friday, they rose to the occasion, finishing second in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, May 21 with 73.325%. It was just what they needed to push their cumulative score to the top to earn them the title of the 2017 U.S. Dressage National Grand Prix Champion.
“I’m proud of him,” Perry-Glass said of the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x La Costa, Olympic Ferro), owned by her mother Diane Perry. Perry-Glass acknowledged that the weekend didn’t showcase their best personal performances, although they still outscored all of their talented competitors and led the victory pass round with Dublet sporting the blue blanket and tri-colored ribbon. “This was only our second year at Grand Prix. Our first year was kind of a whirlwind.”
Their first two years at the Grand Prix level have certainly included more than a typical horse and rider’s – Perry-Glass and Dublet’s accomplishments include winning the Grand Prix at the 2015 Palm Beach Dressage Derby, coming in second at the 2016 CDI-W Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida and, most notably, helping the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team to the Bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As a competitor at the top of her sport, Perry-Glass knows the importance of proper nutrition for her equine partners. She has been using Triple Crown products for the past four years. “I was working with a nutritionist who highly recommended Triple Crown because of their reputation, the quality of feed, and the science behind it. I began feeding it, and immediately noticed a big difference in my horses’ performance, weight, coats, and their overall health, so that’s why I stuck with it,” says Perry-Glass. She is currently feeding Dublet the Triple Crown Training feed, the 30% Ration Balancer, and the Alfa-Lox® Forage and will take her Triple Crown feed with her to Europe this summer to assure continuity in Dublet’s diet.
Perry-Glass understands the impact that nutrition has on performance perhaps even better than most, as she is not only an equine professional, but also an avid athlete in her spare time – particularly as a runner. “As a professional and also as an athlete myself, I feel that nutrition plays a huge part in performance and training. If you don’t fuel your body or the horse’s body correctly, it can affect everything – mood, stamina, and energy. I really believe that having a quality feed is just so important.”
Gladstone, N.J. – April 21, 2017 – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, hosted by the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation at historic Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey, is pleased to offer a very special “Olympian Experience” package to train with an Olympian and enjoy this year’s event, held May 18-21, as a VIP.
This opportunity of a lifetime, presented by Dressage Today, will include a training session with a U.S. dressage Olympian on Saturday, May 20, and the chance to ride a dressage test (of your choice) critiqued by an FEI international judge. Furthermore, participants will receive two VIP Patron tent seats and hospitality throughout the championships, two invitations to the competitors’ Welcome Reception on Wednesday, May 17, two invitations to the Olympic Celebration Cocktail Reception on Saturday, May 20, one VIP parking pass and a one-year subscription to Dressage Today. In addition, there will be a special “draw” for Olympian Experience participants at the Olympic Celebration Cocktail Reception.
The Olympian Experience packages are $5,000 and are very limited on a first come, first serve basis. For federal income tax purposes, the tax-deductible portion of your charitable donation to the USET Foundation is $3,800. The USET Foundation’s federal tax identification number is 22-1668879.
Please contact Maureen Pethick at 908-234-1251 (ext. 207) or email email@example.com for more information and to apply for the Olympian Experience package.
The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will draw top horse-and-rider combinations from across the country to compete for the three coveted champion titles. The prestigious ‘Brentina Cup’ for riders ages 16-25 attracts highly talented youth and their mounts for the opportunity to ride with other competitive athletes their age.
The event will also feature the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, the USEF Intermediaire I Championship and the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship, presented by Dressage Today.
For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org,
Anna Buffini and Sundayboy (SusanJStickle.com.com)
Wayne, Ill. – The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions came to a close on Sunday with the remaining divisions crowning their champions. Anna Buffini earned the National Champion and Reserve National Champion titles in the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today with Sundayboy and Wilton II, respectively. Following a fluid test, Julia Lee Barton and Bonnaroo took home the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship title.
USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today
Buffini (Escondido, Calif.) clinched the top two places in the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today out of the small but mighty seven-horse field. In Sunday’s FEI Intermediate II Test, Buffini finished one-two with her own Sundayboy and Wilton II, respectively. She and Sundayboy, a 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding, had a beautiful test that showed great harmony as well as quality piaffe and passage movements. They earned a score of 70.974% for the test, putting them at the top of the championship leaderboard with an overall score of 71.115%.
“He was really with me today. Like I said before, we are just best friends. Friday I was definitely a little bit nervous; I have never been kind of expected to do well before. I was the underdog at my last Festival [in 2014] but this time we were expected to do well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Buffini explained. “Today, I just really wanted to come out, enjoy it, and really have a lot of harmony with the horses. Regardless of the ribbons, I think if you have a connection with your horse and have harmony out there that is more important than anything, so I was really, really happy with him today.”
Buffini was especially thankful of the support the program, which has the purpose of assisting and encouraging U.S. Young Riders in making the transition to the senior Grand Prix ranks, has received from the late Parry Thomas, saying, “A huge thank you to Mr. Thomas who helped create this amazing program, because it would not be possible without him. Otherwise we would be out there struggling against Steffen [Peters] and Laura [Graves].”
Buffini earned the Reserve Champion title with Wilton II by delivering another solid test. She and the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding had nice trot work and good canter pirouettes but had minor bobbles in the tempi changes. They finished Sunday’s test with a score of 70.474% and an overall championship score of 68.981%.
“With Wilton, I’m just so proud of him. He can be such a bugger sometimes, but it was the hardest he has ever tried for me; he was just with me. Even though there were mistakes, he never stopped trying, never gave up. He was really, really content in there and stayed with me the whole time,” Buffini said.
Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) had better relaxation with Hampton Green Farm’s HGF Brio to have a respectable test that received a score of 65.553%. The improved cadence in the trot work of the 2005 Andalusian stallion helped them finish third in the championship with an overall score of 64.893%.
USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship
Julia Lee Barton (Lawrence, Kan.) delivered another smooth, relaxed test in the FEI Pony Individual Test with her own Bonnaroo to capture the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship title. Barton has worked up the levels with the 2009 Weser-Ems mare and their partnership showed when it mattered most. For their lovely test, they received a score of 67.439% to finish on an overall championship score of 66.220%.
“‘Bonnie’ was really fantastic today. She was really, really rideable which she usually isn’t. A lot of times she gets tense and hot, and it makes it hard to make corrections without her overreacting, but today and yesterday were the same; she was so rideable and so relaxed. I’m just so, so pleased with her,” said Barton.
Commenting on the experience of the USEF Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, Barton said, “It’s been really fun to watch all the up-and-coming horses, the same with the young riders, and just kind of get an idea of dressage’s future for both. I think it is a really interesting and exciting combination that they have here.”
Hannah Irons (Queenstown, Md.) claimed the Reserve National Champion title with Festival of Champions veteran Bohdjan on an overall championship score of 66.179%. She and Dressage4Kids, Inc.’s 1999 Dutch Pony gelding had a nice test aside from a bobble during an extended trot movement. Their solid performance earned them a score of 64.837%.
“‘Bobo’ was really awesome today. He went out there and really tried hard, sometimes a little too hard. He got pretty excited about being here again. In the middle of the [trot] extension, he tried to run away, but I’m super proud of him for coming back to me and getting through the test,” Irons explained. “He’s just a really amazing pony and I’m really thankful to be here and to Bebe Davis for donating him [to Dressage4Kids, Inc.], Lendon Gray for choosing me to be his next rider, and all the friends and family for their support.”
Irons also finished third in the championship with her own My Lucky Charm with an overall championship score of 65.296%, making her first Festival of Champions experience a memorable one. She has owned the 2009 Welsh Pony Cross gelding since he was a surprise foal from her first pony and trained him herself. Their partnership was evident as they performed a smooth test to earn a score of 66.220%.
Find more information about the championships at USEF.org.
Wayne, Ill. – Two divisions apart of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions determined their champions on Saturday. Bebe Davis and Feivel Mousekewitz claimed the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship title, while Jenna Upchurch and Greystoke earned top honors in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. In the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship division, Hannah Irons and Bohdjan took the early lead with a steady ride in the FEI Pony Team Test.
AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship
Davis (Wellington, Fla.) clinched the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship with Michael Davis’ Feivel Mousekewitz on the strength of an excellent performance to win the FEI Young Rider Individual Test with a score of 71.447%. She and the 2001 Hanoverian gelding had a powerful yet graceful test, allowing Davis, the 2013 AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Champion, to win another Festival of Champions title. They finished the championship with an overall score of 70.044%, besting the 11-combination field.
“I haven’t shown since I got home from Europe [after the USEF Dressage Young Rider European Tour]. Yesterday was more for me to get my confidence and get back into the mental mindset of showing and competing,” Davis explained. “I felt that yesterday was a really clean ride; I was really, really happy with it. Today he just showed a bit more extravagance and brilliance that I was lacking yesterday. I’m over-the-moon happy and couldn’t be more proud of him. It has been a great year and the European tour was such a great experience. I feel that I was able to learn so much from that experience that I was able to bring here. I couldn’t be happier.”
Rachel Robinson (Orlando, Fla.) finished third in Friday’s FEI Young Rider Team Test and delivered an improved test with Jeff and Lorraine Robinson’s Indira to finish second in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test on a score of 70.307%. The cleaner, more energetic test won Robinson and the 2004 Westphalian mare the Reserve Champion title with a score of 69.518%.
“Today we put in a much cleaner test than yesterday. Yesterday was pretty solid, but we did have a mistake in the fours and she was generally pretty tired. We had an extremely short warm-up; I was only out there for about 20 minutes. She had a lot more energy that carried through [the test], especially the canter work, and again really great pirouettes today; I think that was the highlight,” Robinson said. Turning to her experience at the USEF Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, Robinson stated, “I love it here. This is my third time here; I have been here twice for [USEF Dressage] Seat Medal Finals, so this is my first Festival. This is cool seeing all three championships; there is always so much going on. It is nice seeing Christine Traurig coaching so many of the top young horse riders. It is really nice seeing everyone at a central location doing so many different things and doing so well.”
Nicholas Hansen (Catawissa, Pa.) and his own Ritter Benno won Friday’s test and had another solid performance in Saturday’s test to earn a score of 69.342%. Hansen and the 2001 Westphalian gelding had a wonderfully smooth test with good energy and impulsion to help them finish with an overall score of 69.145%.
AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship
Jenna Upchurch (Chesterfield, Mo.) maintained her lead following Friday’s FEI Junior Team Test to win the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship with her own Greystoke. She and the 2005 Oldenburg gelding produced a lovely test with effortless movements marred only by a moment of resistance at the beginning of the canter work to earn a score of 69.123% for the FEI Junior Individual Test. After the two days of competition, they finished the championship with a score of 69.697%.
“My test improved a lot with the basic flow of the test. The one bobble that we did have we recovered from quickly, which was great. It was really happy with how it went,” Upchurch said.
Marline Syribeys (Atlanta, Ga.) and her own Hollywood also held on to their second-place position on the leaderboard with another great performance to earn the Reserve Champion title with a final score of 69.049%. Syribeys and the 2006 Hanoverian gelding had a great test with solid trot and canter work to score 68.684% to finish third in the class.
“I was really happy to have a clean ride. He seemed to be a little more energetic today, which was nice,” Syribeys said.
Juliet Hess (Atlanta, Ga.) and Julia Stainback’s Diano had a solid test, aside from an unfortunate error of course to finish third in the championship with an overall score of 68.500%. Hess worked on elongating the 2003 Belgian gelding’s frame and getting him to relax his jaw, which paid off since they received a score of 68.711% to finish second in the class.
USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship
Irons (Queenstown, Md.) is attending her first Festival of Champions but was poised in the small but mighty championship field of seven combinations. With the four-time Festival of Champions veteran, Dressage4Kids, Inc.’s Bohdjan, Irons had a fluid test to win the FEI Pony Team Test on a score of 67.521%. She and the 1999 Dutch Pony gelding had solid simple changes and trot work to lead the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship after the first test, with the remaining 50% of the overall championship score coming from Sunday’s FEI Pony Individual Test.
“‘Bobo’ was totally amazing,” Irons said with a smile. “Today he felt really good in the warm-up. He went out there and gave me his best. I thought he didn’t feel 100%, and it ends up he lost a shoe, but he went through the whole thing and tried his heart out for me and I couldn’t be happier with that.”
Emma Count (Columbia, Md.) and her own Wicked Games delivered a solid performance to finish second in the division. She and the 2009 New Forest Pony mare had an accurate test to earn a score of 65.342%, highlighting the progress of their partnership over nine months.
“I was so pleased with her. It’s been a long, long year. My favorite part of the test was the canter work because that has been not such a highlight the entire year. For tomorrow, I am hoping to improve the overall relaxation and suppleness. I’m just beyond amazed that we have come this far.”
Julia Lee Barton (Lawrence, Kan.) had a respectable test with her own Bonnaroo to receive a score of 65.000% to finish third. The 2009 Weser-Ems mare has a tendency to be hot and tense in the competition ring, but Barton rode well to produce quality work from her partner of three years, having one of their best tests of the year.
The USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today will also determine the overall champion on Sunday following the FEI Intermediate II Test.
More information about the championships can be found at USEF.org.
Cesar Parra and Blickpunkt 4 Cavallias placed fourth in the nation at the 2015 USEF Festival of Champions (Photo courtesy of JRPR).
Wellington, FL (December 18, 2015) – Before settling in the U.S., dressage rider Dr. Cesar Parra was a multi-time Colombian National Dressage Champion, and – since winning his first U.S. National title at the 2010 Festival of Champions – has qualified for every U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, competing six times on four different horses, with an additional four horses in the Young Horse Championships.
Parra’s impeccable horsemanship again rose to the occasion at this year’s USEF Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp., on December 9-12 at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, Florida. Competing Blickpunkt 4 in the Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship division for owners Eduardo, Gabrielle, and Rory Fischer of Cavallias, Parra took the chestnut to a closely-contended fourth place overall in the nation (just two points out of top seed) as well as third nationally in the Intermediaire I Freestyle, where he received scores as high as a 73.625 percent in front of 4* and 5* judges Umbach (LUX), Holler (GER), Rockwell (USA), Zang (USA), and Matthiesen (DEN).
Pan American Games Dressage Gold medalist Parra said, “Blickpunkt is a high-quality horse that is really starting to come into his own. He has super gaits and conformation for the sport, and is really an eye-catcher. I’m very happy with how he is coming along and has gained confidence in the ring. For us, the Festival was full of personal achievements. When I began showing Blickpunkt at the beginning of this year, he was really anxious in the show ring. To have him go in confidently and do his job is a huge victory!
“He has a lot of talent for piaffe and passage so we’re working toward Grand Prix,” Parra added. “We will stay Small Tour for now. He is schooling Grand Prix movements at home, but I really want to keep his confidence and have consistent clean tests in the Small Tour before he moves up.”
As for Parra, it’s time to move into competition season mode at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.
“It’s hard to believe that we are back in Florida,” said Parra, who travels with his team from Piaffe Performance from his New Jersey base to his Florida base every winter. “Every year brings new excitement, with new horses starting at new levels. I am especially excited for Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus x DeNiro) to start showing. He has made a huge jump forward in his training in the last few months, so it should be a lot of fun with him. Also we have a few new horses that should also make a splash,” Parra stated.
Dr. Cesar Parra provides top-notch training for riders and horses at his Piaffe Performance facilities in Jupiter, Florida and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and always welcomes new dressage riders to join his talented team. Learn more about Dr. Cesar Parra, Piaffe Performance, and training, lessons, and sales services offered at www.piaffe-performance.com.
Wellington, FL (December 18, 2015) – As a top athlete in his discipline, Steffen Peters will settle for nothing less than the best for his world-class horses. That’s why for the past two years, the dressage icon has trained his Olympic partner Legolas 92 and new rising star Rosamunde on arena footing provided by Premier Equestrian, the Official Dressage Arena of the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Dressage Federation. Once again, Peters’ meticulousness in his riding and equine partners’ care and training has paid off at the 2015 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, presented by the Dutta Corporation this past weekend at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, Florida.
After a four-year streak as the title Champion – winning in 2011 with Ravel and in 2012, 2013, and 2014 with Akiko Yamazaki’s Legolas 92 – Peters returned to the Festival of Champions this year with both Legolas and Rosamunde, Yamazaki’s eight-year-old Rhinelander mare that he began training in 2013 as a successor to Legolas. Both horses delivered outstanding performances during the three-day competition, overall capturing Peters both the Reserve Championship on Legolas and third place on Rosamunde in the Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship.
Of particular note was Peters’ show-stopping performance on Legolas in the Grand Prix Freestyle. The flawless routine earned the pair an impressive score of 77.675 percent, prevailing over Laura Graves and Verdades, who came in first overall in the Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship standings. “It was one of my best freestyles,” said Peters, adding that he felt the performance was even stronger than the freestyle that won him the Gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games. “It wasn’t just with the music, but with the footfall of every single beat,” he explained. “It was a very clean freestyle, and I’m extremely excited.” In the same competition, a score of 74.950 captured third place for Peters and Rosamunde, positioning the up-and-coming new talent just a hair’s width behind Graves’ and Verdades’ mark of 75.125 percent.
Overall, Peters said he was thrilled with both horses’ performances, having scored 74.22 percent with Legolas and 72.62 percent with Rosamunde in the FEI Grand Prix Open on Wednesday. In Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix Special Open, Rosamunde stole second place from Legolas with a score of 74.549 percent, promising to be a worthy successor for the top international mount, who placed third at 72.412 percent.
As the exclusive North American distributor for German based OTTO Sport-und Reiplatz GmbH, Premier Equestrian recently upgraded Peters’ facility with the advanced OTTO Sport arena system, which will be used next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The OTTO system centers on the OTTO Sport Perforated Mat, which provides maximum drainage, concussion mitigation, stability for horse and rider, and a proper and durable separation of footing and substructure. Concussion absorption and skid resistance protect the horse’s joints and tendons from debilitating, long-term damage. Peters currently uses solely Premier Equestrian footing products, including the new Premier HT textile footing, which uses hydration technology to dramatically reduce the amount of water needed to keep an arena properly maintained.
Since 2013, Peters has trained Legolas and Rosamunde on arena footing provided by Premier Equestrian, the global footing company that also provided the dressage arenas used at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival facility where the Festival of Champions was hosted. Peters researched footing extensively before making the decision to equip his own California facility with Premier Equestrian arena surfaces and the OTTO Sport Perforated Mat system, which is also the choice arena system of Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Legolas and Rosamunde. “Premier’s footing is the best we have ever ridden on,” said Peters. “It’s the perfect combination of materials and is very easy to maintain. The footing and mat system provides superior traction as well as cushioning, exceptional drainage and retains moisture while reducing dust. We couldn’t be happier. Premier Equestrian is simply the best!”
Premier Equestrian is proud to sponsor top professionals like Peters, who the company considers a true “Premier Equestrian.” For more information about this industry leader in providing outstanding arena footing and equipment, visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 1-800-611-6109.
Wellington, Fla. – National Championship competition came to a close this evening at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds in the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. In The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship, Christina Vinios and Folkestone OLD maintained their position atop the leaderboard, placing second in tonight’s Freestyle and capturing their second National Championship title of 2015. Winning two of the three classes in The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship was Laura Graves and Verdades, who added their first ever National Championship title to a year of remarkable success.
The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
A field of eight Small Tour combinations began the quest for National honors on Wednesday in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test, which contributed 40% towards their final scores. Vinios (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Folkestone OLD took an early lead, winning the class with a score of 70.632%. The following day the competitors performed the FEI Intermediate I Test for an additional 45% of their overall scores. Jane Karol (Concord, Mass.) and her own Sunshine Tour performed brilliantly to win the class on a score of 69.105%. Vinios finished closely behind Karol on day two and maintained her division lead heading into today’s Freestyle.
With mere fractions of a point separating the combinations at the top of the leaderboard, this evening’s Freestyle tests were eagerly anticipated as they accounted for the final 15% of the championship scores. A relative newcomer to the sport, Vinios and Folkestone OLD performed their pop medley Freestyle this evening for only the second time, scoring 71.000%, enough to secure the National Championship title by .200 of a point.
“It was really fun and I am so happy. I had a lot of fun with my horse this year and to end it like this is really special,” said Vinios. “It was intense, but really fun. I loved it.”
The pair has proven to be a force to reckon with, as it adds its second National Championship title of 2015 to their resume, having won the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship in August. The pair also swept the CDI Small Tour classes at Dressage at Devon in September.
Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and her newest partner, Patricia Stempel’s Rubinio, put the pressure on their fellow competitors all week. Placing second in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test on a score of 69.868% and third in the FEI Intermediaire I Test with 67.763%, the pair was wonderfully consistent in the quality of gaits presented. Showcasing great poise, the pair performed its Freestyle to music from “The Man from Snowy River,” impressing the judges to take a commanding win in the class on a score of 74.350%, moving them up one on the leaderboard to take Reserve National Champion honors.
“Rubinio felt much more with me [tonight],” explained Francis. “He really put out in the Freestyle; he tried really hard. It went well so I was happy and it was fun. He was excited about it and proud of himself.”
Finishing in third overall was Karol and Sunshine Tour. Karol rode a very determined test this evening, taking several risks that unfortunately did not pay off, scoring 64.825%.
The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Earning their first ever National Championship title were Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, who won two of the three division classes this week. The pair overcame some bobbles in day one’s FEI Grand Prix test to score a 76.460%, accounting for 45% of its championship title. On day two, in the FEI Grand Prix Special, the pair built on its lead with a fluid and dynamic test, winning with a score of 77.137%. Today the gelding showcased his great power, scoring 75.125% in a test that was not without its faults, finishing second in the class.
“He’s been feeling really good all week and tonight was a demonstration of how much horse I have now,” explained Graves. “I am still on a sharp learning curve and am still learning to ride that horse in that environment. This was our first outing [since the Pan American Games in July] and was a perfect opportunity to figure this out now going into our World Cup qualifiers. He is amazingly athletic and when he goes like that the feeling is unreal. We had some mistakes tonight, but I can’t hold that against my horse.”
Speaking to the feeling of securing her first National title, Graves said, “I’ve never been close to this position before so it’s a real honor. This is a really encouraging place to be as we begin 2016.”
Remaining closely behind Graves in the division standings all week was veteran competitor and winner of the last four Grand Prix National Championships, Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.), with his Four Winds Farms-owned mounts Rosamunde and Legolas 92. After disappointing performances for Peters on day one, he was ranked second with Legolas 92 and third with Rosamunde. Day two proved Peters’ masterful ability to rise to the occasion. Rosamunde performed beautifully through the FEI Grand Prix Special, scoring a 74.549% and moving up to second on the leaderboard. Stablemate Legolas 92 earned a 72.412% and dropped to third in the championship rankings by the slimmest of margins. Saturday garnered further positive results for Peters with Legolas 92 executing his crowd-pleasing Freestyle with music from U2 and Vanilla Ice to win the class on a score of 77.675% and take Reserve National Championship title.
“I was super excited. It was one of his best Freestyles. I am so familiar with the routine and I thought even tonight I wasn’t just with the music, but I was really with the footfall of every single beat.”
Rosamunde performed her second career Freestyle, handling the bustling atmosphere with grace to score 74.950% and place third overall.
All championship competition will be available on-demand on USEFNetwork.com.