Wayne, IL - Combinations competing for the USEF Children Dressage National Championship got their first shot in the ring on Friday to open the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. The judges saw a promising group of athletes with close scores across the board. Abby Fodor and Slip and Slide hold the top spot with a score of 67.889%. Today’s tests counted 50% towards their overall scores.
Fodor (Bloomsbury, N.J.) exceeded her own expectations winning the FEI Children Team Test. She and Marie Fodor’s Slip and Slide entered the ring last but lept to the top of the pack with outstanding trot and canter work. The 14-year-old Quarter Horse/Haflinger gelding performed on point to guide Fodor to the victory gallop.
“I was happy with today’s ride. The simple changes went well, but I was not expecting to win. I am grateful to be here. It’s really good that they decided to bring this division [to Lamplight],” said an emotional Fodor following her win.
Beatrix Leffingwell (Lake Villa, Ill.) and Luke Skywalker put in a nice test full of great simple changes to place second with a score of 66.389%. Leffingwell and the 17-year-old Hanoverian mare recovered from an early mistake, but made up for it later in the test with the simple changes and trot work to remain in contention for the title.
“It’s an honor to be here and that they came up with this division because it’s hard competing against young riders and juniors when they are a lot older, said Leffingwell. “It’s special to be able to compete against people my age.”
Ellanor Boehning (Battle Ground, Ind.) and Kabam, Ann and Ellanor Boehning’s 14-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, placed third with a score of 66.056%. The 11 combinations will conclude the division on Saturday with the FEI Children Individual Test.