PIKKO DEL CERRO HU WINS USA DEVELOPING HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 28–The American-bred Pikko del Cerro HU, an eight-year-old Hanoverian stallion and ridden by Lisa Wilcox, won the U.S. Developing Horse Championship Sunday, eking out the victory over Pie ridden by Caroline Roffman.
Pikko del Cerro, (Pik L x Rohweena x Rohdiamant) bred and owned by Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico, came second in the championship test behind Pie, but their score in the qualifying test that was 40 per cent of the total, gave them a combined score of 70.482 per cent, a margin of victory of 0.829 per cent over Pie, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
Pikko del Cerro also won the award for the highest scoring U.S.-bred developing horse in the championships that are sponsored by Dutta Corp. of North Salem, New York, and Performance Sales International of Germany. The Developing Horse Championships are for horses aged seven years to nine years.
Pie (Worldly x World Lady x World Cup I) and Caroline of Wellington, Florida, scored 69.653 for the reserve championship while Wrigley (Son Deniro x Pinomia x Rohdiamant) and Sharon McCusker of Ashby, Massachusetts, were third with a final championship score of 69.205 per cent.
“He has a lot of talent and is a horse for the future,” she said. “He really put his best foot forward.”
Just 18 months ago, he was performing training level and and now is handling small tour with the U.S. Intermediaire Championships as the goal for 2012.
Sharon McCusker said she acquired Wrigley two years ago. He is steady, positive and “businesslike.” Wrigley likes to work and has lots of talent for the Grand Prix, she said, but will take it easy and let the horse tell her when to move up to the next level.
The six-year-old championship provided the most excitement of the show.
Emily Wagner of La Cygne, Kansas, and her American Warmblood stallion Wakeup (Wagnis x Maiden Montreal x Macho), the winners of Friday’s Preliminary Test, were the last pair to compete.
They rode their way to third place in the Championship Test scoring an 8.64, which earned them an overall score of 8.736.
Four horses earlier, Caroline Roffman rode her Bon Chance (Bellisimom x SPH Wintersong DE x Weltmeyer) to a score of 8.88. With scores from Friday counting for 40 per cent of the overall, Bon Chance finished on a score of 8.736.
After consulting the rules, Wakeup was crowned national champion of six-year-olds. as a U.S.-bred horse prevails if there is a tie.
Emily said she was pleased with her horse’s performance Sunday for which he earned 9 for submission and 8.7 for general impression.
“I was really happy with him,” Emily said. “Today, the thing was he was tired. At the end of a five-day horse show, he was just lacking flair. His flying changes and half pass were great.”
For the third time in the week, Caroline claimed Reserve Champion honors.
“I am so happy, you don’t dream that will ever happen,” Caroline said. “I hoped to get one Championship or Reserve throughout the weekend. I am on cloud nine.”
Bon Chance was last year’s five-year-old champion. This year, he displayed a ground covering walk, for which he received 9.2, and an uphill canter that was rewarded with 8.8. The canter score would have been significantly higher without mistakes in the flying change.
However, Caroline was elated with the Hanoverian gelding who, she said, “shows off, he loves to do this. He’s always fun to ride; ambitious, fun and spirited. He’s everything.”
Third place overall went to Faye Woolfe’s Aesthete (Trento B x Unusual x Gribaldi) with an overall 8.728. Silva Martin of Cochtranville, Pennsylvania, guided the KWPN gelding to a score of 8.8 Sunday, earning second place in Sunday’s class.