In 2003, Shirley Johnson, owner of A’Dashi, an exclusive equestrian apparel boutique, developed a new program to recognize adult amateur dressage riders- the Amateur Winter Dressage Championship series. Johnson solicited the help of other equestrian retailers and in 2004 Markel Insurance became the title sponsors for the series. This week more than 50 adult amateurs will share in over $5000 in prizes as the 2004 Markel Winter Championship winners are announced.
Weiss Family Chiropractic Center sponsored a special High Score Award for all levels. The 2004 High Score winner was Dr. Kristy Lund with a 3rd level score of 68.889 earned aboard her gelding, Fabio. Lund and Fabio also won the 3rd Level championship and the USEF level championship. Lund trains with John Zopatti at her, Blue Marlin Farms in Wellington, Fl. Lund also had success with her FEI horse, Nice Catch, finishing Res. Champion in the Intermediaire-I division. Last year, Lund won over $1200 in prizes in the series and was excited to be on top again in the 2004 standings. “I am really proud of both my horses”, said Lund “and I am grateful to John (Zopatti) for his training and instruction”.
The FEI level high Score went to Michael Shondel riding his impressive gelding, Wallaby. The pair captured the high score with a 67.9% at Intermediaire-I. That score also earned them the Intermediaire Championship for the series. This was Shondel’s first season competing as an adult amateur and his success is a credit to the quality of riders the Young Riders program is producing. Shondel and Wallaby also won the Prix St George Championship for the Markel Championships with at 67.763%.
Other top winners include 4th level Champion, Jennifer Brinkley, and 2nd level Champion, Debra Schoder on Ilona, 1st level Champion , Beverly Zimmer on Eurhythmic, training level Champion, Debra Gyulay on Ferrari and Grand Prix Champion , Emmy Adwers on Ali Baba.
“Thanks to Markel's participation, this year’s championships were an even bigger success”, said series creator, Shirley Johnson. Along with Markel, Johnson thanked thank the retailers who sponsored the Championships, giving special thanks go to Ashley’s, Beyond the Barn, Caracol Sterling Silver, Horse of Course, The Paddock, Tackeria, Van Dells The Video Guys, dressagedaily.com, Weiss Family Chiropractic Center and EuroAmerican Saddlery.
Retailers interested in supporting the 2005 Markel Adult Amateur Winter Championships should contact Shirley Johnson at A’Dashi at 561-784-8833.
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