2012 Festival Of Championship Kicks Off this Weekend!

Heather Blitz and Paragon one of 15 to compete in the Grand Prix (Photo: Susan J. Stickle)
Heather Blitz and Paragon one of 15 to compete in the Grand Prix (Photo: Susan J. Stickle)

Gladstone, NJ - Over the next two weeks a total of six USEF National Dressage Champions will be crowned, along with the U.S. Dressage Team taking a step closer to the London Olympic Games. The first week of the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions got underway Friday with the Veterinary Inspections and all 47 horses were deemed fit and sound to compete. Competitors in the Grand Prix, Young Rider, Junior Rider and Pony Rider division will compete June 9-10 in the Dick and Jane Brown Dressage Arena at the historic USET Foundation Headquarters. In addition to crowning a National Champion, the Grand Prix division also serves as the USEF Dressage Selection Trial for the US Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. These horses and riders will compete this weekend and return to the Brown Arena June 15th and 16th to conclude their competition. Both weekends they will contest the FEI Grand Prix Test and the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Test, with the score from each test counting towards 25% of the overall average.

A strong-field of 15 line-up to compete in the Grand Prix, including the four U.S. team members from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games; Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, and Todd Flettrich.
Konyot is pleased to be back at the venue where she claimed the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship in 2010.
"It's beautiful and it's just an honor to be here. It's a great venue and a wonderful competition." Konyot also believes her 2010 National Champion, Calecto V, is poised for another good performance in Gladstone. "He feels great and he's in great shape."

Peters will be looking to defend his 2011 National Champion title that he won with longtime partner Ravel. This year he rides Four Winds Farm's Legolas 92.
To learn more about the field in the National Grand Prix Championship visit www.usefnetwork.com