Wayne, Ill.—While Endel Ots and Lucky Strike maintained their lead in the USEF Intermediaire I National Championship, six new leaders made themselves known across six divisions: Lauren Asher and West Side, Lucienne Bacon and Bonnaroo, Michele Bondy and Sonnenberg's Kain, Emily Miles and Sole Mio, Kathy Priest and Damon's Fantasy, and Nick Wagman and Don John. Four more divisions will begin on Friday.
USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship
The USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship continued with the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Test. Outside of the ribbons on Wednesday, Lauren Asher (Wellington, Fla.) and West Side, Select Equine International’s 16-year-old KWPN gelding, made the necessary adjustments to win the test with a score of 69.026 percent.
“The test went so much better today. I was super happy with the piaffe work. Yesterday, he was looking a bit and spooky, so I had some very expensive mistakes, but to come back from that and have the ride that I had today, I’m thrilled,” said Asher. “He’s a bit of a look-y horse in general, and he just flew from Holland where I’m based, so it was a long trip, and to come into a new arena not having done too many shows over the summer, I think he was a bit impressed by the atmosphere. Today, I was like,‘C’mon we have to do it,’ and he was there for me, so that was wonderful.”
Claire Manhard (Cardiff, Calif.) and Wilfonia, her 16-year-old KWPN mare, placed second with a score of 67.564 percent, and Hope Cooper (Concord, Mass.) and Hot Chocolate W, Mary Mansfield’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, placed third with a score of 67.103 percent.
Following the FEI Intermediate II Test and the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Test, Lauren Asher and West Side have the overall lead for the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship. The national champion will be determined on Saturday following the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Freestyle.
Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship
Kathy Priest (Versailles, Ky.) rode Damon’s Fantasy to the win in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test of the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship. Priest and her eight-year-old Oldenburg mare bested a competitive field with a score of 72.745%. Their test’s highlights included quality trot work, canter half-passes, and flying changes.
“I was really happy with her. She is getting really solid, really nicely forward-thinking on her own now, so it was fun,” said Priest. “It was steady and I wanted to have a good, clean test and she tries real hard so that makes her really special for me.”
Emily Miles (Paola, Kan.) and Java Dulce, Leslie Waterman’s eight-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, finished in second place with a score of 72.549%, while Mike Suchanek (Blaine, Minn.) and Duchess L, Louise and Doug Leatherdale’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare, came in third place with a score of 70.980%.
FEI Prix St. Georges Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score. The championship concludes on Saturday with the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Test counting for 60 percent of the overall score.
USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship
Lucienne Bacon (Atherton, Calif.) and Bonnaroo lead the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship following the FEI Pony Team Test. She and her 10-year-old Weser-EMS Pony Mare earned a score of 68.810 percent.
“This year, we have been focusing on being a team in the arena and taking what we have in the warm-up into the competition arena, so to go in and feel her with me and to know that she’s trusting what I’m saying is incredible,” said Bacon.
Hannah Devine (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) and Masterpiece, Christina Devine’s 15-year-old Swedish Sport Pony gelding, placed second with a score of 67.476 percent. The 2018 USEF Children Dressage National Champions Miki Yang (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) and Garden’s Sam, Four Winds Farms 12-year-old New Forest Pony gelding, complete the top three with a score of 67.190 percent.
The FEI Pony Team Test counts 50 percent toward their overall score. The USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Champion will be named on Friday following the FEI Pony Individual Test, making up the remaining 50 percent.
USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Nick Wagman (San Diego, Calif.) and Don John hold the early lead in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship following the FEI Grand Prix Test. Wagman and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer, earned a score of 72.630 percent.
“It took us a few movements to get into the swing of things. Once we locked and took a deep breath, the piaffe-passage and transitions were some of our best to date. The pirouettes felt really nice. I think the canter work was the strongest part of the test. I think the piaffe-passage is what ended up helping us recover from the shaky start.”
Anna Marek (Williston, Fla.) and Dee Clair, Diane Morrison’s 11-year-old KWPN mare, placed second with a score of 68.630 percent. Jennifer Schrader-Williams (Yelma, Wash.) and Millione, Millione Partners LLC’s 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, earned a score of 68.543 percent, placing third.
The FEI Grand Prix Test counts 45 percent of their overall score. They will compete in the FEI Grand Prix Special on Friday, which counts 40 percent towards their overall score. The division concludes on Sunday with the Grand Prix Freestyle, making up the remaining 15 percent.
Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
Michele Bondy (Wilsonville, Ore.) rode Sonnenberg’s Kain to top honors in the USEF Four-Year-Old Test of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. Bondy helped display the lovely movements of Sonnenberg Farm, LLC’s four-year-old KWPN gelding to earn a score of 8.46 from the judges.
“We had a super nice, supple, soft ride,” said Bondy. “He was just great. Really there was nothing I could complain about. He just went in there and did his job, which is the most I can ask for him. He was super.”
Alice Tarjan (Oldwick, N.J.) and Summersby II, her four-year-old Oldenburg mare, were second with a score of 8.18, while Jackie Ahl-Eckhaus (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Kitalis MVS, her four-year-old KWPN gelding, were third with a score of 7.92.
Thursday’s USEF Four-Year-Old Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score. The championship concludes on Saturday with the FEI Four-Year-Old Final Test, which counts for the remaining 60 percent of the overall score.
USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and Lucky Strike maintained their lead for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship. He and the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Max Ots earned a score of 73.853 percent in the FEI Intermediate I Test.
“I was very happy with this test. It was clean, and he was very with me today. I was really happy with his effort. After [everything] that happened [before the Pan American Games], I have been doing [light work] to make sure he feels the best he can. That is a goal all three days, just to have clean, nice rides. He did that yesterday and did that today, so I was very happy with him.”
Rebecca Rigdon (Cardiff By The Sea, Calif.) and La Fariah, her and David Blake’s 10-year-old Rhinelander mare, placed second in the test with a score of 72.941 percent, and Anna Marek (Williston, Fla.) and Einstein JP, her 10-year-old KWPN gelding, followed with a score of 71.008 percent. The championship will be declared on Saturday following the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle Test.
Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
Emily Miles and Sole Mio wowed the judges and spectators with a phenomenal FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. Leslie Waterman’s five-year-old Hanoverian stallion demonstrated his light but powerful gaits with Miles in the irons to earn a score of 8.90.
“I felt like there was a little pressure; there’s high expectations. It’s a lot easier to be like, ‘Nobody knows me and go and ride my test.’ I felt like people were going to watch him,” said Miles. “I didn’t put the pedal to the metal like crazy, but I was super happy with how fluid he was and how light he was and that he stayed with me, just super solid. I think the judges did an awesome job of seeing his potential. … I was a little bit nervous for this test, but I was super proud of him, and I should have known he would be there for me because he’s that kind of guy.”
Nadine Schwartsman (Eagle, Idaho) and Jhocolate R, her five-year-old KWPN stallion, placed second with a socre of 8.26, while Rebecca Rigdon and Jagger, Ad Astra Collective, five-year-old KWPN gelding, placed third with a score of 8.02.
Thursday’s FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score. The championship concludes Saturday with the FEI Five-Year-Old Final Test, counting for the remaining 60 percent of the overall score.