Saugerties, NY - The 2011 New England Dressage Association Fall Festival of Dressage transformed the HITS on the Hudson grounds into a dressage Utopia. Within one short week, September 13-18, USDF Region 8 Dressage Championship, Breeders Championship New England, and the CDI Y/J Saugerties will take place.
The event of the weekend to watch will be the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships which will coincide with the international CPEDI 3* Saugerties. The FEI Jog began just after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday for the Para-Equestrians. Riders from the U.S.A., Canada, Bermuda, Ireland, and Mexico showcased their mounts in front of a gathering of spectators. The jog was the first event for the Grade Ia through Grade IV riders. Friday begins the Team Test, followed by Saturday's Freestyle, and finishing with Sunday's Individual Championship and the crowning of the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion.
The 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships is the event each year that Para-Equestrian Dressage riders look forward to. Last year the Championships were the final chance to qualify for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). This year riders are looking forward to building their team and earning top scores before the 2012 London Paralympics.
Within the jog were many familiar faces including Rebecca Hart who has earned the National Championship over multiple years including capturing the 2010 title. There was also 2010 WEG team members, 2010 National Championship competitors, and new faces in the crowd. United States competitors include Laura Goldman, Jonathan Wentz, Wendy Fryke, Kim Decker, Laurietta Oakleaf, Kim Jones, Eleanor Brimmer, and Mary Jordan to name a few. Many of the riders have brought multiple mounts including Jonathan Wentz who will once again challenge the competitors with his trusty gelding, NTEC Richter Scale who competed at WEG. In addition to NTEC Richter Scale, Wentz will be showing NTEC Jabriel. Wentz noted, "I am looking forward to showing Gabe this year. He is a 12 year-old Bavarian Warmblood who shows third and fourth level dressage. We are hoping to groom him for London this year." This will be the first time NTEC Jabriel has entered a CPEDI3* event with Jonathan.
Like Jonathan, tomorrow will be a day of firsts for horses, riders, parents, and even the first CPEDI3* event held at the exciting NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage.
For more information about the 2011 NEDA Festival of Dressage please visit http://www.NEDA.org.
For more information about the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship please visit http://www.USEF.org.