The 23rd Annual Dressage at Lexington opened with it's traditional Friday USDF Breeder In Hand and Materiale classes and quickly broke into the 80 percent boundary for several competitors over the weekend. Where most young horse shows are still suffering from a stagnant economy, Dressage at Lexington is on the rise in entries and boasts continued quality. “The breed show at Lexington is part of the Lexington tradition,” says Debbie Rodriguez, Breeders, riders and trainers use this show as a place to meet, compete and visit in a relaxed atmosphere.”
“We have seen the breeding trends of certain lines and types wax and wane over the years. In the mid-Atlantic region breeders have reduced the number of foals but not the quality. They still want to get their young stock out and seen. Having the breeders and trainers at the same venue interacting helps bring the performance goals into perspective for the breeders. And it gives the riders and trainers a better view of the thought and effort that goes into producing a good riding horse. Plus it is just fun to see all the mares and foals showing off!”
With 90 entries for its 2012 edition, the second largest breed show in the United States served as a preview to the traditional fall classic, Dressage at Devon, and also as a showcase for the future pool of USEF Young Horse candidates.
“The quality of horses showing at Dressage at Lexington in the Sport Horse Division continues to increase,” mentioned Rodriquez. “This year the foals of 2012 class for both the fillies and the colts was particularly strong. It is fun to see how the different breeders have really upped the ante.”
This year's entrants did not disappoint with Grand Champion honors going Mary McKenna's Flavius MF (Fidertanz) against deep company. Handled by Brendan Curtis and bred by Maryanna Haymon's Marydell Farm, the two-year-old scored consistently in the upper 70's.
“He's the future of the FEI arena,” states Haymon. “To watch him go in a performance-oriented home and against quality horses only second to Dressage at Devon is truly a dream come true.”
“I couldn't be more pleased not just with the results of Flavius, but the entire team over the weekend,” stays Haymon, whose Don Principe offspring Duet MF and David Bowie MF also took home top scores in their perspective classes.
Hassler Dressage, a leader in developing young horses to FEI horses, was also out creating success with their three Harmony Sport Horse stallions, Baroncelli (Bergamon), Davidoff Hit (Don Davidoff) and Wamberto (Rousseau) who all scored in the high 60's to upper 70's.
“Dressage at Lexington was a great weekend for Hassler Dressage in many ways!” says Scott Hassler. “The most rewarding for me was of course to see Susanne have so much success with the three stallions. She and Baroncelli have really become a true partnership. They had an absolutely beautiful freestyle designed by Marlene Whitaker.”
He continues, “Then Davidoff Hit, who we've developed since two, winning the Prix St Georges and is our up and coming Grand Prix Horse; and also Wamberto, the barn favorite and such a pleasure to show and shows a lot of talent for the FEI. Thank you to the Malones for these wonderful opportunities.”