Wayne, Ill. - Saturday's itinerary for the USDF Region 2 Championships was full with 16 tricolor ribbons being awarded to the top horse and rider combinations. Riders were competing bright and early at the picturesque show grounds, and the awards ceremonies took place until dusk.
Adrienne Pot, of Barrington, Illinois, claimed the Grand Prix Freestyle on Elizabeth Bramsen's 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Something Special C. The pair's expressive passage and difficult choreography impressed the judges, who rewarded her with a 71.25 percent. Amy Grahn and Zabaco earned the reserve championship with a score of 67.25 percent.
"He's such a wonderful animal, and I'm humbled by the generosity of Elizabeth and James Bramsen, the owners of this horse," Pot explained. "I am very excited and very proud of him because he was afraid of music in the past. This is my first year doing freestyles with him, and since we made his freestyle he's become so much more relaxed in general in competition and he loves his music."
Her freestyle was designed by Karen Robinson with music from "The Grand Budapest Hotel." The music is a special reminder for Pot as she first watched the film with the gelding's owner, Elizabeth Bramsen.
"The best part of the test was the halt because he gets very excited and he wants to piaffe, so we never know if he's going to halt in the beginning," Pot laughed. "So that was definitely a highlight, and I also liked my passage and pirouettes. He was so good!"
Though her win today earned her a spot to compete at the US Dressage Finals, Pot, an FEI 3* and USEF 'S' judge, had already committed to judging the national championships. She hopes to compete Something Special C in more freestyles at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida next winter, and her other goal is to qualify for the World Cup in Omaha, Nebraska in March.
"I've been showing here at Lamplight for a long time," Pot said. "The footing is fabulous, and it's a very electric feeling venue, which I think is good for the horses to learn in the midwest. It's a beautiful facility."
The Intermediaire II Adult Amateur Championship went to Amy Leach and her own Radcliffe, an 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding with a score of 66.250 percent. Claiming her second reserve champion ribbon of the day was Amy Grahn and Zabaco with a score of 57.961 percent.
"I had a lot of fun in the ring today," Leach said. "I'm so proud of him and of our relationship because I've had him since he was three. I think the passage and piaffe were highlights today because he kept a lot of power in the transitions in and out of them."
Kayla Barteau had a fantastic day to cap off her last regional championships as a young rider winning both the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire II Junior/Young Rider Championships. She brought home the tricolor in the Prix St. Georges division aboard Raymond, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Rose Grant with a score of 68.684 percent. The reserve championship went to Alison Gerlt and Sir Lommel with a score of 67.368 percent.
"I've only been riding him for about four months," Barteau said. "The owner and I are really happy with him. The pirouettes were much better than they usually are, and the overall comfort and confidence he had in the ring was great."
The pair competed at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and hope to compete in the developing Grand Prix classes this winter. Barteau and Merlin, a 20-year-old Russian Warmblood gelding owned by her mother, Yvonne Barteau, claimed the Intermediaire II Junior/Young Rider title. This was a special win for Barteau as this is her last show with Merlin before his retirement. Barteau plans to compete in the open divisions next year and hopes to establish herself as a trainer in Illinois. "I'm very happy," Barteau smiled. "It was a clean test and he was a super good boy!"
Joan Gariboldi travelled from Kentucky to compete her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Bravo and the pair won the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship with a score of 69.333 percent. The reserve champion ribbon went to Lilla Mason and Statesman after they earned a 67.944 percent.
"It was very fun!" Gariboldi said. "The highlight of my ride was that my family was here to support me - that's never happened before. I'm very excited to be going to U.S. Dressage Finals." The small animal veterinarian has owned Bravo for six years and was actually at the barn the day he was born. She competed him at the Second Level Adult Amateur National Championships in Kentucky two years ago, and she's looking forward to returning.
"I had the good fortune of his previous owner matching him with me, and we have climbed through the levels together," Gariboldi explained. "He is a very happy horse and next season we hope to step up to the next level and continue to have fun doing it."
The 2016 GAIG/USDF Region 2 Championships will conclude on Sunday with eleven championships being awarded. For results and starting times, visit www.foxvillage.com. For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com.
Saturday, Sept. 24, USDF Region 2 Championship Results
Grand Prix Freestyle Championship
1. Adrienne Pot/Something Special C/71.25
2. Amy Grahn/Zabaco/67.25
3. Kayla Barteau/Merlin/65.00
4. Jenifer Gaffney/Fabio/64.375
5. Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn/Westerstorm/62.938
6. Nichole Smith/Ebikur/62.563
Intermediaire II Open Championship
1. George Williams/Uniqa/66.053
2. Patricia Becker/Freedom/65.526
3. Katie Foster/Sacramento/64.079
4. Heather McCarthy/Saphira/63.684
5. Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn/Westerstorm/60.066
6. Emily Brollier/Miramonte/58.75
Intermediaire II Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Kayla Barteau/Merlin/64.408
Intermediaire II Adult Amateur Championship
1. Amy Leach/Radcliffe/66.25
2. Amy Grahn/Zabaco/57.961
3. Jenifer Gaffney/Fabio/56.816
Intermediaire I Freestyle Championship
1. Judy Ethell/Richthofen 7/71.5
2. Susan Griffiths/Algebraic Expression/69.313
3. Brittany Burson/Jazz Dance/68.375
4. Kayla Barteau/GP Ubilee/67.688
5. Sarah Diggin/Don Camillo/67.563
6. Sheila Schils/Titus/67.313
Prix St. Georges Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Kayla Barteau/Raymond/68.684
2. Allison Gerlt/Sir Lommel/67.368
3. Isabella Zdolshek/Spar Trek/63.224
4. Karrah Wyckoff/Sparklin' Red/62.895
Fourth Level Open Championship
1. Jennifer Conour/Daisy Van Wittenstein P/69.056
2. Shannon O'Hara/Udor/67.722
3. Jennifer Roth/Reebok/66.444
4. Jennifer Conour/Katharina v.V./66.333
5. Elizabeth Gagliardi/Sammy D SF/64.944
6. Clare Chadwick-Ross/Fandango/63.00
Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship
1. Joan Gariboldi/Bravo/69.333
2. Lilla Mason/Statesman/67.944
3. Katherine Short/Improv/65.944
4. Catherine Jacob/Ayrus/65.944
5. Jill Dearing/Vignette/65.444
6. Chelsea Westra/Famos/65.056
Fourth Level Freestyle Championship
1. Rebekah Mingari/Elzarma/75.25
2. Reese Koffler-Stanfield/Town and Country Elancourt/70.75
3. Kayla Barteau/Raymond/70.167
4. Jennifer Roth/Reebok/67.833
5. Jennifer Conour/Katharina v.V./66.417
6. Jill Dearing/Vignette/66.083
Third Level Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Callie Jones/Don Philippo/67.628
2. Katelyn Mosle/Diavolino 5/66.859
3. Missy McGinn/Solitaire/65.897
4. Emma Kemink/Willow/64.744
5. Natalie Perkins/Cordoba/63.782
6. Sara Krebs/Ripito/63.397
Third Level Freestyle Championship
1. Jennifer Roth/Reebok/80.383
2. Jacquelynn Mackie/Weltrubin 5/77.417
3. Callie Jones/Don Philippo/77.10
4. Kelly Griffith/Agathon JP/75.667
5. Patricia McVary/Aureo/74.017
6. Lisa Lemke/Overgaards Pamanov/73.80
Second Level Freestyle Championship
1. Jennifer Conour/Emerald/78.50
2. Kaitlyn Twardzik/Onyx/77.35
3. Caryn Versperman/Diamond Dureza/77.167
4. Amy Walker/Basak/Duke/75.733
5. Kristen Becker/Amadeus/75.667
6. Barbara Bytwerk/Wanderfee/74.933
First Level Open Championship
1. Heather McCarthy/Au Revoir/76.397
2. Martin Kuhn/Frazier/73.75
3. Angela Jackson/Ferragamo TF/73.162
4. Nichole Avila/Won Ruby/72.794
5. Jacqueline Zimmermann/Garcia HM/71.691
6. Kristen Becker/Amadeus/70.147
First Level Adult Amateur Championship
1. Barbara Butman/Balalaika/72.574
2. Sara Stone/Gotham/70.294
3. Judith Nordstrom/Esteban/69.632
4. Paige Schlicksup/Baroque/69.559
5. Alison Otter/Sing A Song LC/69.485
6. Shannon Langer/Stiletto MRF/69.265
First Level Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Isabel Linder/Elvis/72.426
2. Alyssa Basak/Rivera/71.838
3. Nikki Steggerda/Remembrance FV/68.603
4. Brynne Varvel/Big Indian Creek/67.868
5. Missy McGinn/RA Santiago/66.176
6. Macy Mendyke/Nozem Fan De Lege Geaen/65.882
First Level Freestyle Championship
1. Rose Grant/Sundance/77.95
2. Alison Otter/Sing A Song LC/76.20
3. Jessica Starck/Maestoso Alfaya II/76.15
4. Anna Bath/Chips A Winner/75.833
5. Kathryn Rizzoni/Faraday/75.633
6. Alyssa Basak/Rivera/75.433