Kassie Barteau Moves With Style to Big Tour from Young Riders

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Kassandra Barteau and Toscana.© 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kassandra Barteau and Toscana.© 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By JOANIE MORRIS

GLADSTONE, New Jersey, Aug. 6–The 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions got off to a flying start Friday as the Intermediaire I National Championship kicked off a competitive two weekends featuring the best dressage riders in the United States.

Highlighted by the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship which is also serving as the USEF Selection Trial for Dressage for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, these National Championships feature five divisions from Juniors to the Grand Prix.

The Young Rider Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Champion from 2009, has three chances in 2010 – and 22-year-old Kassandra Barteau of Maple Park, Illinois held her own in a division of far more senior riders. With two chances in the Intermediaire I and one in the “Brentina Cup” for young adults, she kicked off her championship weekend with Toscano and scored 70.00 per cent to win in the Prix St Georges, the first leg of the Intermediaire I Championship, in her first shot at the National title at this level.

“He’s been at Prix St. Georges and I-I for two years, I’ve had the ride all year. He’s a hot horse with a lot of energy, he’s a powerhouse but he’s a lot of fun,” she said.

A 10-year-old gelding by Jazz, Toscano, owned by Kristen and Stephen Cooper, handled the pressure and the atmosphere with ease. He excelled in the Prix St. Georges test with flamboyant changes and extensions but relaxed and confident walk and collected work.

“I am happy, lucky and very surprised to be sitting at this table,” said Barteau at the news conference. “I hope we can be good again for two more days. My horse was really with me, he was a really, really good boy.”

Barteau said she didn’t feel any pressure stepping up to the senior ranks and that is showed in her performance because she had nothing to lose.

“Going after Cesar, I was really, really nervous when I got that draw time,” said Barteau of following the top ranked horse/rider combination in the country at the Intermediaire level, Cesar Parra. “But I just went for it. My horse was really with me, I got lucky he was really on my aids.”

Parra went in the ring immediately ahead of Barteau but he finished up just behind her, and Parra was happy with his performance on Olympia. A Colombian expatriate, who is riding under the U.S. flag for the first time in 2010, Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, was thrilled to finally get a chance to compete at the Festival of Champions after coaching behind the scenes for so many years.

“I’m honored just to be here,” said Parra. “It’s my first year as an American, but we are looking further away, at the Pan Am Games, and to win gold there.”

Parra impressed the judges with the horse’s obedience and accuracy and the pair was rewarded with a score of 69.737 per cent, Parra was impressed with the horse’s composure because he is half-Thoroughbred and can be effected by the atmosphere, which clearly got the better of him in the prize giving.

Chris Hickey and Hilltop Farm’s Cabana Boy made a stylish recovery from two mistakes at the beginning of their test to end up third on a score of 68.105 per cent. Their opening halt wasn’t square and then Cabana Boy broke in the first extended trot but they recovered to get within two points of the lead.

“The long story is that I was in Germany for three months,” Hickey said. “I let him down when we came home from Germany and did some hacking to let him relax. I haven’t given enough time to get him peaking. He peaked in Germany. He doesn’t feel quite the way I would like him to and with that going on, I overrode him a little bit.”

Cabana Boy has grown up in the USEF Dressage National Championship program, he was both the five and six-year-old champion in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships in 2007 and 2008 and then in 2009 was the Developing Horse Champion sponsored by the Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International. He is only eight years old, and Hickey knows there is a lot left to accomplish in his career.

“I overrode the whole thing,” said Hickey. “But this horse has a lot to do for us, so I need to save him. It is a hard thing for us riders, knowing when do we rest them and how.”

Complete scores:

H: Lamping – USA C: Gurney – USA M: Rockwell – USA B: Yukins – USA
Rider Ctzn Horse E % Rk. H % Rk. C % Rk. M % Rk. B % Rk. T % Pl.
Barteau, Kassandra USA Toscano 72.105% 1 68.684% 2 69.211% 3 71.316% 1 68.684% 2 70.000% 1
Parra, Cesar USA Olympia 68.684% 3 70.263% 1 69.474% 1 70.000% 2 70.263% 1 69.737% 2
Hickey, Christopher USA Cabana Boy 68.947% 2 66.842% 5 69.474% 1 68.947% 3 66.316% 6 68.105% 3
Roffman, Caroline USA Bulgari 5 65.789% 8 68.158% 3 66.579% 4 68.158% 4 67.105% 4 67.158% 4
Festerling, Marisa USA Big Tyme 67.105% 6 67.105% 4 65.000% 10 64.737% 11 66.842% 5 66.158% 5
Williams, George USA Don Bailey 65.526% 10 65.263% 8 65.789% 6 65.263% 7 68.158% 3 66.000% 6
Barteau, Kassandra USA GP Delano 67.895% 4 65.263% 8 65.263% 9 66.316% 6 64.737% 9 65.895% 7
Mason, Heather USA Glen Emeril 66.316% 7 65.526% 7 66.579% 4 65.000% 10 65.789% 7 65.842% 8
Jackson, Cyndi USA Strauss 67.368% 5 66.316% 6 64.737% 12 64.211% 12 65.789% 7 65.684% 9
Barteau, Yvonne USA GP Raymeister 65.000% 11 65.263% 8 63.684% 14 66.579% 5 64.474% 11 65.000% 10
Marchand, Jennifer USA Don Principe 65.789% 8 64.211% 14 65.526% 8 64.211% 12 64.211% 14 64.789% 11
LeGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Rifallino 63.947% 13 64.474% 12 65.000% 10 65.263% 7 64.474% 11 64.632% 12
Taylor, Melissa USA Chicco Roslev 63.421% 14 64.474% 12 62.895% 16 65.263% 7 64.474% 11 64.105% 13
Batts, Tami USA Ranko 63.158% 15 65.000% 11 63.947% 13 62.632% 15 64.737% 9 63.895% 14
Rosencrantz, Mette USA Finally 64.474% 12 63.421% 15 65.789% 7 62.632% 15 62.368% 15 63.737% 15
Rosencrantz, Mette USA Taison 62.105% 16 61.053% 16 63.158% 15 63.421% 14 62.368% 15 62.421% 16