Shawna Harding & “Little Sausage” Rigo Win USA Developing Horse Qualifying Test

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Shawna Harding and Rigo. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Shawna Harding and Rigo. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WAYNE, Illinois, July 23–Shawna Harding’s “little sausage” of a gelding, Rigo, on Friday won the qualifying test in the first of two competitions in the U.S. Developing Horse Championships sponsored by the Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International.

The German-bred black nine-year-old Hanoverian by Rotspon out of a Weltmeyer mare and owned by Tonya Rowe is about pony size, between 15.1 to 15.3 hands (155-166cm) which is what led Shawna, of Aiken, South Carolina, to dub the horse her “wonderful dachshund” that won the first stage with a score of 69.386 per cent

Shawna specialized in working with horses like Rigo, in the seven to nine year old developing horse division when she lived in Germany. The pair was the U.S. national 4th level Horse of the Year in 2009.

Anne Whitfield Watkins of Fort Davis, Texas, and Cipriani, an eight-year-old Westphalen Casparino gelding, placed second with 68.246 per cent and Chelsey Sibley of Sonora, California, and Contester II were third on 66.404 per cent tied with GP Delano ridden by Kassandra Barteau, who finished the qualifying season at the top of the standings.

Weltino’s Magic, ridden by Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, opted not to compete as Steffen had gone to the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany to support American riders, and the cost of shipping the horse to this Chicago suburb was high.

Spectator attendance at the Young and Developing Horse Championships was a disappointment with sponsors, riders and owners saying they strongly supported the program and the way it was administered but complained of a lack of promotion, marketing and support by the USEF and its top dressage officials.

Fewer than 50 spectators were estimated to have watched the best of U.S. and foreign bred young horses compete throughout the second day in the annual championships, far fewer than previous years. Representatives of the U.S. Equestrian Federation–including the Technical Advisor, the manager of the dressage department and a marketing official–far outnumbered the media at the venue. The only media representative that could be identified as such was from dressage-news.com. A primary sponsor complained they had not been notified of a “sponsor appreciation” reception until receiving a telephone call from a reporter the day of the event.

Prospective sponsors questioned how the USEF could support expansion of the young horse and developing horse program to include developing Grand Prix championships in 2011 as has been announced with what they described as “lackluster” promotion for existing programs.

Complete Developing Horse qualifying test results:

Rider Horse E C M Total % Pl.
Harding, Shawna Rigo 259 262 270 791 69.386% 1
Watkins, Anna Whitfield Cipriani 260 257 261 778 68.246% 2
Sibley, Chelsey Contester II 256 251 250 757 66.404% 3
Barteau, Kassandra GP Delano 259 251 247 757 66.404% 3
Brock, Allison Rosevelt 257 251 240 748 65.614% 5
Lert, Tracey Udo 252 241 242 735 64.474% 6
Smith, Nichole Ebikur 251 242 240 733 64.298% 7
McCarthy, Heather Bellagio 240 244 236 720 63.158% 8
Darnell, Claire Calimar 243 234 234 711 62.368% 9
Oldenbroek-Tabor, Eva Uberlinus 237 230 234 701 61.491% 10
Barteau, Kim K. Volontaire 237 242 220 699 61.316% 11
Harris, Sommerville Udon P 229 231 230 690 60.526% 12