Gallant Reflection Ridden by Lisa Wilcox to USA 6YO Championship, Chase Hickok & Sagacious Take Under-25, Emily Miles & Wakeup Developing GP
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 23, 2015–Olympian Lisa Wilcox rode Gallant Reflection HU to the United States Six Year Old Championship Sunday while Emily Miles who won the same division on Wakeup four years ago rode the American Warmblood stallion to victory in the Developing Grand Prix Championship .
Both horses were bred in America–Wakeup by Wagnis out of a Macho mare and Gallant Reflection, a Zweibrucker stallion by Galant du Serein out of a Rohdiamant mare.
Chase Hickok on Sagacious HF won the Under-25 championship.
The titles were the last awarded in the U.S. Young Horse Championship that was combined with Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Under-25 divisions of the Festival of Champions presented by the Dutta Corp., the American national championships. The Intermediate and Grand Prix divisions will be staged in Florida in December.
Lisa of Wellington, Florida and Gallant Reflection scored 82.000 in the final class Sunday and combined with the preliminary class gave the pair a championship total of 81.360.
Emily Miles of La Cygne, Kansas placed second on Floretienne on a championship score of 78.360 and Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois on Edward was third on 77.400.
Lisa Wilcox, who returned to the U.S. after a successful career in Europe that included riding on the U.S. silver medal team at the 2002 World Games and the bronze medal team in Athens in 2004, trained Gallant Reflection for the breeder, Horses Unlimited of Albequerque, New Mexico.
“He’s ahead of himself,” she said although this was the horse’s first trip out Wellington, “way ahead of himself. He’s already bored with this particular test and is more at home schooling the Prix St. Georges.”
Lisa said that she prepared the horse as if getting ready for the Bundeschampionate, the German young horse championships where a score of eight was required to qualify.
Because of the size of the United States and no availability of consistent high level training in many parts of the country, there were differing levels of quality in the United States that put the country still in a developmental stage.
“We’re still aspiring,: she said. “We’ve got some good trainers. But the country is too large to do one or two clinics a year and maintain the continuity that is required. Riders should not wait for the occasional free clinic provided by the USEF but bring in trainers who work with young horses.”
She cited her own example of bringing Ernst Hoyes from Europe throughout the year and more frequently during the intense winter circuit in Florida.
“There are some very good horses but some of the riders are starting with a little deficit. They just don’t have the skill set to present the horse at a higher level.”
Chase Hickok also of Wellington added the U.S. Under-25 title to the list of titles awarded Sagacious HF, now 16 years old.
The first major award for the KWPN gelding was being ridden by Lauren Sammis on the American gold medal team and individual silver at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
Six years after that, Caroline Roffman also of Wellington became the first American to compete in the Under-25 division at the world’s most prestigious horse show, the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany.
Chase began riding Sagacious in early 2014 and this summer competed the horse in Europe.
“Another chip in the long, long history of his success,” was the way Chase described winning the American Under-25 title, “another trophy in his cabinet.”
As am amateur, she plans to compete in the middle tour in Florida this coming winter with the goal of moving up to senior Grand Prix–“another test for Sagacious to teach me.”
The Developing Grand Prix championship won by Emily and Wakeup will be their last stage in the Young Horse division as she plans to go to Florida this coming winter to work with Debbie McDonald, the U.S. developing coach who has become the trainer of choice for what seems a majority of American riders at or nearing the top level of the sport.
Emily and Wakeup posted a championship score of 69.934 with Marcus Orlob of Annandale, New Jersey second on Equestricons Et Voila with a score of 67.628 and Alice Tarjan of New Jersey on Elfenfeur third on 66.509.
Marcus, who competed regularly on the Florida winter circuit, loses the ride on the horse as the owner plans to sell it.