December 8, 2015–The Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds will host some of the country’s top dressage talent this week as the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. takes place December 9-12. This annual championship brings athletes from across the country as they seek to secure coveted National Championship titles in Grand Prix and Intermediaire I divisions.
The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
A field of 17 will contest the Grand Prix National Championship, which gets underway on Wednesday with the FEI Grand Prix Test, accounting for the first 45% of championship scores. The championship continues on Thursday with competitors earning an additional 40% of their overall score in the FEI Grand Prix Special. Competition concludes with the Freestyle Saturday evening, as competitors earn the remaining 15% of their overall scores.
Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) will look to secure his fourth consecutive National Championship title, brining Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92 and Rosamunde. This summer, Peters and Legolas 92 represented the U.S. at the Pan American Games, winning both Team and Individual Gold medals. A rising star in Peters’ barn, Rosamunde has had an impressive career thus far, finishing in the top two in all of her CDI outings including this summer at CDI3* Munchen-Riem and CDI4* Achleiten. Fellow Pan American Games teammate Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) will bring her own Verdades as she looks to improve on her 2014 National Championship performance, where she earned the Reserve Champion title. Graves and Verdades have had a successful year, finishing fourth in their first Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final appearance and earning Team Gold and Individual Silver medals at the Pan American Games.
The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
Eight talented combinations will look to earn a National Championship title in Small Tour competition. Like their Big Tour counterparts, they will perform across three days of competition. Wednesday will see the first 40% of championship scores earned in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test. On Thursday, competitors will ride the FEI Intermediaire I Test for 45% of their overall scores. The final 15% of the Intermediaire I championship scores will be earned in the Freestyle on Saturday evening.
Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) brings Patricia Stempel’s Rubinio to the gelding’s first National Championship. Francis debuted Rubinio in the CDI arena this winter and finished in the top ten in every outing during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. A veteran National Championship competitor, Francis will have a busy week as she also competes Stempel’s Doktor and Danilo in Grand Prix competition. Coming off a highly successful summer, Christina Vinios (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Folkestone will look to add a second National Championship title to their resume, having secured the 2015 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship in August. The pair most recently swept the Small Tour classes at the prestigious CDI3* at Dressage at Devon in October. This will be Vinios’ first time competing at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp.