Tanya Strasser-Shostak Overall Winner Florida International Youth Championships
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 22, 2014–Canadian Young Rider Tanya Strasser-Shostak won the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships Saturday with the highest total score in the four divisions.
The 18-year-old Tanya, a bronze medalist at the 2013 North American Rider Championships, accumulated a total score of 136.403 aboard her Action Tyme, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding in the Young Rider division of the event presented by Dressage4Kids.
Katrina Sadis, 15, of Ann Arbor, Michigan was champion of the Pony division with an overall score of 133.992 aboard Poldy 10, an 18-year-old German Riding Pony gelding owned by Kristen Verhey.
Bebe Davis, 16, of Bedminster, New Jersey on Fievel Mousekewitz was champion Junior, scoring 134.029. Fievel Mouskewitz is a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Michael Davis.
Melanie Montagano, 23, of Edge Water Park, New Jersey rode Ga Deva, her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, to capture the Brentina Trophy for victory in the Intermediaire B for 16 to 25 year old riders. She finished on 116.06.
“[He’s taught me] so much. I’m so lucky that one day he can let me do the Grand Prix stuff, the next day we can go back to Young Riders, and the next day we can go hacking. Nothing fazes him, so he’s taught me everything.”
Katrina Sadis is enrolled in Dressage4Kids’ Winter Intensive Training program with trainer Lendon Grey. “WIT is amazing. Lendon’s a really amazing instructor. It’s so great because we learn so much more than just riding. We have lectures from different people, and it’s such a great experience,” she said.
Bebe Davis competed Poldy last year and was happy to see him take another rider to the winner’s circle.
“It’s any rider’s dream to be able to see their horse going well with a new rider and still out there winning, being his usual wonderful self,” she said. “She’s having a great time with him and they’re getting great scores, and I couldn’t ask for anything better for him.”
Bebe’s winning mount is still relatively new to her, but she’s enjoying the process of getting to know the gelding. “It’s going really well. He won today and he was second on Thursday, so I couldn’t be happier. We’re just improving, and our partnership is getting better. He’s just such a fun horse. I couldn’t ask for a better horse.”
Like her fellow young riders, she has figured out a way to continue her education while remaining competitive on the show circuit. She currently attends Palm Beach International Academy, where she has enjoyed the unique experience of having all-equestrian classmates. Her teachers have started to get the equestrian bug as well.
“I’ve been with them for the past two years, and they’ve started to follow dressage now,” she said. “My teachers are really interested in it, which is really cool. It’s a great experience. It’s a lot of fun.”
Melanie Montagano has trained Ga Devat from First Level to Grand Prix over seven years.
We’ve done it together,” she said. “It’s a really special journey for me.”
Melanie trains with Canadian Olympian Jacqueline Brooks and credited her trainer with much of their success. Competing each weekend of the Global Dressage Festival under Jacqui’s tutelage has been an important ingredient to her progress.
She recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a pre-veterinary degree, but decided to delay applying to veterinary school for the moment.