Ashlyn DeGroot in Only 2nd Show On Dalina DG Qualifies as 5YO USA Entry for Verden World Champs

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Ashlyn DeGroot on Dalina DG and Willy Arts
Ashlyn DeGroot on Dalina DG and Willy Arts

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Ashlyn DeGroot riding the five-year-old Dalina DG in only their second show pulled off one of the rides of her life at the age of just 19 years to win the United States West Coast trial on Saturday and qualify for the World Young Horse Championships in Germany.

Ashlyn, the grand daughter of Tony and Betty DeGroot, founders of DG Bar Ranch of Hanford, California and coached by the center’s longtime trainer, Willy Arts, took the winning ribbon and the chance to go to the championships in Verden when the pair were scored at 8.72 in the final competition after Friday’s preliminary result of 8.02 to give them a total of 8.44.

The performance at the Flintridge Riding Club in La Cañada-Flintridge, a small affluent Los Angeles community, catapaulted them to the second highest for U.S. national rankings for five-year-olds, from their 29th place before this weekend and far out of the top 15 to secure an invitation to the U.S. championships let alone the world championships.

Willy had competed Dalina in both four-year-old and U.S. national training level classes in 2012. Ashlyn took over the ride in February this year. The pair’s only other competition was earlier this month.

The pair easily trumped the score of at least 8.2 at this qualifying event in California or the East Coast trial at Leesburg, Virginia in two weeks that is required to be considered for Verden.

However, Ashlyn, who has been showing since she was eight years old, may skip the world championships in favor of the U.S. nationals scheduled for Wayne, Illinois in August.

Dalina DG, a KWPN mare (Jazz x Contango) was in second place behind another of Ashlyn’s DG mounts, Dancing Queen, after the preliminary test.

But in what U.S. Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler who was in California for the trials described as Ashlyn “riding beautifully,” she took over the lead with Dalina.

“This is what we need,” Scott said, “this kind of talent with different horses. What a beautiful rider.”

“It couldn’t be better,” Ashlyn told dressage-news.com. “We don’t have too much experience together. It was really awesome–an awesome trainer, an awesome barn.”

Daline, she said, is “very willing to work, challenging at times but never wants to stop working.”

Young Horse Dressage Western Selection Finals 5-Year-Olds
Pl   Rider  –  Horse  –  Prelim (40%) Final (60%) – TOTAL
1. Ashlyn DeGroot – Dalina DG – 80.200% 87.200% 84.400%
2. Ashlyn DeGroot – DG Dancing Queen 81.200% 81.600% 81.440%
3. Kathleen Raine – Finesse – 76.200% 77.200% 76.800%
4. Karen Ball – Calimero – 74.000% 75.000% 74.600%
5. Stacee Collier – déjà vu – 72.400% 74.400% 73.600%
6. Morgan Barrows – San Siro – 72.200% 74.200% 73.400%