Ten Titles Decided at US Dressage Finals
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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Nov. 9–Ten championships–six of them Freestyles–were decided Saturday at the U.S. Dressage Finals presented by Adequan with a handful of events scheduled for Sunday to wrap up the event that brought amateurs and professionals from across the nation to the Kentucky Horse Park.
The 300 entries led to several events being held outdoors despite temperatures of about 45F/7C, and among the champions was adult amateur Amy Swerdlin of Wellington, Florida and her Oldenburg mare Scholastica (Sir Donnerhall x Sir Sinclair) who claimed their first national title for Third Level with a score of 70.342 per cent.
“It was a big weather change for us because it’s still 90 degrees (32C) at home, but she acclimated and got comfortable,” Amy said. “She was really with me today and I couldn’t be happier.”
Kentucky rider Rachael Hicks earned her second Reserve Championship, this time with a score of 68.077 per cent in the Third Level Adult Amateur division with Fabio Bellini.
The Third Level Freestyle Championship was won by Emily O’Neill of Conestoga, Pennsylvania on the Friesian gelding Sir Lancelot (Sierk x Oege) on a score of 71.778 per cent. Jennifer Roth of Magnetic Springs, Ohio on her Hanoverian gelding Reebok scored 70.878 per cent for second place.
Linda Strine of nearby Versailles, Kentucky rode the striking black Friesian gelding Beerend W (Goffert 369 x Wicher 334) to a score of 68.333 per cent for the Fourth Level Championship. Wellington’s Kristy Truebenbach Lund and Akvavit were reserve on 67.889 per cent.
Kathryn Stoy and the U.S.-bred Andalusian cross gelding Maggio (Lepanto I x Peter Pan) scored 73.833 per cent to win the First Level Freestyle Championship followed by Claudia Novick of Gastonia, North Carolina on Marco von Laar on 72.333 per cent.
Joanne Coleman of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania and her Hanoverian gelding Fhreelancer (Florencio x Londonderry) claimed the Second Level title with a score of 73.678 per cent with Fie Andersen of Hamilton, Massachusetts and Rocazino second on 73.678 per cent.
The Grand Prix Freestyle Championship was dominated by Anna Marek of Williston, Florida on her black Dutch Warmblood gelding Unico G (Negro x Kleora by Animo) with a score of 75.135 per cent.
The win on the horse she has brought up from Training Level came a day after the pair was eliminated in the Grand Prix. “Yesterday was heartbreaking but the rules are there for a reason,” Anna said. “I love my horse and today I was just out to get the win back for him.”
Heather Mason of Tewksbury, New Jersey on Warsteiner was reserve champion on 70.667 per cent.
When Lucy Tidd of Germantown, Maryland arrived at the horse park Saturday morning she had no idea she would be competing her horse Ellert HB.
“We just arrived last night to prepare for Sunday’s Training Level class,” Lucy explained. “But I checked in at the office this morning and due to a scratch they offered me a spot in today’s First Level class. I was hoping I might get lucky and get in at the last minute, and I did.”
Lucy and Ellert, a four-year-old who hasn’t competed much, won with a score of 72.634 per cent. Adult amateur Erin Laurent of Morristown, New Jersey on Whasabi added a second reserve championship with a score of 72.419 per cent.
Debbie Hill of Gurley, Alabama on the six-year-old U.S.-bred Hanoverian gelding Boccaccio IOF (Bugatti Hilltop x Rubinstein I) earned her second national title by topping the field in the First Level Open Championship on a score of 75.484 per cent. Carrie Wilson of Carson City, Michigan and Scepter Fan Leandra posted 73.011 per cent to earn reserve champion honors.
The Fourth Level Open Championship went to Heather McCarthy of Prairie Grove, Illimois and the Oldenburg mare Saphira (Florencio x Chairman) on a score of 74.292 per cent. Karen Lipp of Ball Ground, Georgia and Baximiliana took the reserve title on 70.333 per cent.
“I wanted to be a part of the first-ever Finals, and it’s been wonderful,” Heather said. “I love everything about it.”
The Intermediate I freestyle was won by Heather Mason and Zar, a KWPN gelding (Iroko x Actueel) with a score of 72.125 per cent with Emily Wagner of La Cygne, Kansas and WakeUp runnerup on 72.125 per cent.