Donna Tella Ridden by Belgian Wins USA 5-Year-Old Young Horse Title

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Donna Tella ridden by Werner Van Den Brande in victory gallop for USA 5-year-old national championship. © 2011 Ken Braddick/


WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 27–Donna Tella, an Oldenburg mare found in Holland but ridden by a Belgian, won the U.S. five-year-old dressage championship Saturday, while the four-year-old title went to Furst Fiorano ridden by Alyssa Pitts whose one-year break from college to ride horses has turned into 10 years so far.

Donna Tella, a chestnut mare (Don Picardi x Gesa x Glorieux) was the last ride in the class of 14 finalists and Belgium’s Werner Van Den Brande who now lives in Loxahatchee, Florida, pulled out all the stops to win the championship test. Combined with their second place in the preliminary, the pair took the national title with a score of 8.648. The mare was acquired last November in The Netherlands Hampton Meadows, LLC for whom Werner trains and competes their horses, but is registered Oldenburg.

San City, a Hanoverian stallion (San Remo x Bounty x Bolero), ridden by Caroline Roffman of Wellington, Florida, between competitions as an eventer, took the preliminary test and finshed third in the championship test but it was enough to be runnerup for the national title with an overall score of 8.588.

The American-bred Somer Hit, (Sandro Hit x Rhussia x Rotspon) with Lauren Chumley of Frenchtown, New Jersey, aboard placed third overall on 8.408, combining their third place score in the preliminary and second place in the championship test. Somer Hit was fourth in the 2010 four-year-old championships ridden by owner Alice M. Tarjan.

Donna Tella with Werner Van Den Brande aboard. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

Donna Terra and Werner Van Den Brande, aged 35, was awarded 9 for trot, 8 for walk and 8.9 that was the best in the class for the canter, 8.5 for submission and 9 for general impression in the championship test.

“In Thursday’s first test she was lovely in the ring,” said the rider who competedat the world breeding championships in Verden, Germany, 14 years ago. “But she was a little bit better today. She was more awake and relaxed.”
The victory was a dream come true,” said the Belgian who is engaged to marry Mary Cameron Rollins, assistant trainer at Hampton Meadows, next March.
Donna Terra with Werner Van Den Brande and Mary Cameron Rollins. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
San City, who also is a breeding stallion, will return to owner Linda Crabtree to compete in the five-year-old eventing championships in Fair Hill, Maryland, with her daughter Katie Wooten-Bryant.
Caroline Roffman who has been riding the horse for only a few months, said she was pleased with his performance throughout the weekend.
The pair were awarded 8.6 for the trot, 8.2 for walk and 8.6 for canter. However, some bobbles brought the submission mark down, 7.9, but general impression was 8.6.
“The first day he was the best he’s ever been. I am really proud because he came here as a 4-year-old and was 14th. He has just showed how much he’s grown-up and matured but also shown his rideability,” Caroline said.
San City and Caroline Roffman. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
Lauren Chumley, who qualified but passed up the opportunity to compete at Verden on Somer Hit, scored 8.48 to finish second in the championship test and ended up third overall.
Lauren improved her trot work and demonstrated quality canter and walk gaits for which they scored 8.8 and 9.0, respectively. Despite having only ridden the Hanoverian stallion for three months, Lauren rode Somer Hit to the highest U.S.- bred horse award.
“He is just really fun,” she said, “a high quality horse and great to work with.”
Somer Hit and Lauren Chumley. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
Another combination that qualified for Verden was Sanceo and Sabine Schut-Kery of Thusand Oaks, California, who opted for these championships instead and finished in fourth place with a championship score of 8.116. The German-born Sabine is now an American citizen.
Sanceo and Sabine Schut-Kery. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
For Ulla Parker who rode Biscaya (Johnson x Audrey x Argentinus), the championship was the least of her worries.
Her husband and baby were at home in Trappe, Maryland, and in the path of Hurricane Irene. She was on the telephone throughout the weekend staying in touch with her American family–she is Danish–and keeping a close eye on Irene.
Despite this, she and Biscaya placed fifth in the championship, and among only the five combnations to score 8 and above. The judges described Nancy Holowesko’s Biscaya as “very, very powerful” and gave the pair 8s for every category except the walk, 7.8.
Biscaya and Ulla Parker. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

In the four-year-old championship, Alyssa Pitts riding Melissa Mulchahey’s Furst Fiorano claimed top honors with a score of 8.5.

The Westphalen gelding (Furst Piccolo x Donna Lorenza x Donnerbube) demonstrated great cadence to score 8.5, with the highlight being the powerful trot work, earning 9.2, and 8.8 for general impression.
“Today’s ride went well,” said Alyssa who drove 35 hours with the horse from her home in Snohomish, Washngton. “He was very good in the trot but got tired in the canter. He’s the best horse I’ve ever ridden.”
After graduating from college and undertaking a master in landscape architecture, she decided to take a year off to pursue her passion–horses.
That was 10 years ago and she still has not gone back to school.
Furst Fiorano and Alyssa Pitts. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
And school is not in her agenda in the near term.
“I hope to be back here next year doing the five-year-olds,” she said.
Horizon (Hotline x Revue x Don Schufro) ridden by George Williams of Delaware, Ohio, for Elizabeth Juliano, was close behind on 8.48. Betsy, who owns Havensafe Farm in Middlefield, Ohio, and Wellington, Florida, paid €550,000 (US$727,000) for Horizon, at the Performane Sales International auction last December,
The Oldenburg mare showed great elasticity in trot and phenomenal reach in her walk, as well as scoring 8.5 in canter. Her willing and trainable demeanor led to a score of 9.0 for general impression.
Horizon and George Williams. © 2011 Ken Braddick/
George said of Horizon, “the first time I sat on her I had a real rapport. She is a dream to ride; very smooth and work comes easily to her.”
Regalo (Rosario x Dandiell x Nandino) ridden by Germany’s Lientje Schueler but who has worked for Steffen and Shannon Peters of San Diego, California, for six years, scored 8.3 on the strength of a fabulous walk. Lientje said of Pinky Robert’s Oldenburg gelding: “He’s a very fun horse. He gives it his all all the time.”
Back to George Morris Horsemastership School for whoever put on this wrap. The upside down flag is a signal of distress. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

Results Five-Year-Old Championship Test

C: Foy/Rockwell/Gribbons – USA
Rider Ctzn Horse T % Pl.

Van Den Brande, Werner USA Donna Tella
86.800% 1

Chumley, Lauren USA Somer Hit
84.800% 2

Roffman, Caroline USA San City
83.800% 3

Schut-Kery, Sabine USA Sanceo
82.200% 4

Parker, Ulla DNK Biscaya
81.400% 5

Hill, Debbie USA Showdown
80.200% 6

Bock, Amy K. USA Walk The Line
79.000% 7

Arts, Willy NLD Bakara
77.000% 8

DeGroot, Ashlyn USA DG Brendo
76.400% 9

Moran, Ignacio USA Belvedere
76.000% 10

Warlimont, Petra USA Romantico SF
74.400% 12

Hamar, Caitlin USA DG Bantana
73.400% 13

Hamar, Stephanie USA Bonameer DG
70.800% 14

Results Four-Year-Old Championship Test

E: H: C: Foy/Rockwell/Gribbons M: B:
Rider Horse % Pl.

Pitts, Alyssa Furst Fiorano
85.000% 1

Williams, George Horizon
84.800% 2

Schueler, Lientse Regalo
83.000% 3

Hamann, Jocelyn Casanova
79.000% 4

Benedict, Brandi Hot Mama
78.800% 5

Stanley, Craig Caliente DG
78.400% 6

Hill, Debbie Sir Sherlock
76.600% 7

Steffens, Adam Holeandra
75.800% 8

Nyssen, Jules San Regilio
74.400% 9

Gentry, Kim Leonardo
73.800% 10

Robertson, Alex Citation- ISF
73.200% 11

Danque, Erika-West Chancellor WAS
72.800% 12

Batchelder, Nora Barcelona RH
71.800% 13

Sydnor, Eliza Favulous
71.400% 14

Wanstreet, Melissa Petite Belle
70.800% 15