Five years after her win in the Brentina Cup Championship as a young rider, Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco reigned victorious once again at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. This time, in the Neue Schule/USEF Grand Prix National Championship.
In Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle, Harrison and Bossco scored a 75.675% for third place, which made their combined score over three days of competition 71.898%, earning them the championship title. “The freestyle is my favorite. When I did the U25 here in 2018, I had borrowed a freestyle from Lars [Petersen], which was a mix of country and rock. I think it matched [Bossco] so well,” Harrison said of the music composition. “He loved he high energy, the rock part of it. So when I made my own for him, I think I’ve had it about a year and a half now, I went with rock.”
Lehua Custer and F.J. Ramzes were the freestyle victors, receiving a 76.350% from the judges. She and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding had an overall score of 70.536%, making them reserve champions. “I was like, ‘We’ve got nothing else but this.’ So I just smiled through it and tried my best for him,” said Custer. “And he’s a trooper. He always says yes. So I knew if I rode well, he’d be there for me.”
Katie Duerrhammer and Paxton, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding, scored a 75.775% for second place in the freestyle and third overall with a combined total of 70.124%.
Return to the Festival of Champions
Harrison and Bossco’s win marked their second major victory at the Festival of Champions in their two times visiting the HITS Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois. “It’s fun to be back and be more secure in our Grand Prix movements. When I came in the Brentina Cup, [Bossco] had just piaffed for the first time in the warmup before we went in,” Harrison admitted with a laugh. “So now it’s a little bit exciting to have something that’s a little more finished and comfortable.”
When Harrison and Bossco began their partnership in 2015, she worked for Olympian Lars Petersen, during which time he worked with the duo to train them up to Grand Prix. “I was lucky enough to have a trainer who did not want me to buy a made horse and would not make the horse for me, but taught me how to create a Grand Prix horse,” said Harrison. “Bosco and I learned together. That was in 2015, and now it’s 8 years later. I learned my first Grand Prix on him, and he was my first one that I taught to do it, so it’s pretty fun to be able to have him through the Young Riders, U25 and now the Senior Grand Prix.”
Throughout the three-day championship, Bossco’s passage and piaffe were the highlight of their tests. In her freestyle, Harrison made sure to capitalize on his standout movements. “I always love that extended canter to piaffe turn,” she remarked about one of her favorite parts of the test. “In both the Grand Prix, the Special and in my last line in the Freestyle, I love that passage-piaffe-passage finisher. He was great.”
The music, as well, complimented those movements. “It’s so fun with the different changes of tempo. It lights him up. Get a little more energy in there. I had it picked it for him, and it’s fun because I get to highlight his good things such as piaffe and passage,” said Harrison. “And, do the things I don’t like only one time,” she joked.
In the 2023 Adequan®/USEF Young Adult Brentina Cup Dressage National Championship, Quinn Iverson earned her second consecutive overall champion title aboard Beckham 19.
Placing second in Saturday’s Freestyle with a 68.504%, Iverson noted, “Today actually was not quite our day, but the [Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special] were really solid. He was with me, and in the past we’ve had lots of bobbles here and there, and we’re finally starting to smooth it out. I’m glad that we could show things that we’ve learned over the year from last year.”
Winner of the Freestyle with a 69.155% was Emma Asher and Elegance N.
Sabine Schut-Kery Back in the Spotlight
Olympic dressage team silver medalist Sabine Schut-Kery brought two horses to the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and finished by winning both championships. On Friday, Schut-Kery and Gorgeous Latino won the Markel/USEF Seven-Year-Old National Championship. Saturday she was victorious with Sonnenberg’s Jersey in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges. Both of these horses have an amazing future ahead of them.
For full results of the Grand Prix Freestyle, click here.
For full results of the Brentina Cup, click here.
Thanks to Cosequin for our coverage of the 2023 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, including rider interviews, competition reports, photos, videos and more!