Region 7’s Amalia Boyles braved the cross country trip to the Finals from her home in Carlsbad, Calif. and was rewarded with a victory in the Fourth Level Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship aboard Donna Richardson’s Hanoverian gelding Welt Erbe (Weltmeyer x Solveig by Shogun) with 69.944%. “Yesterday he was really hot, so today I was hoping for a more relaxed horse and in the warm-up I think we did a better job to prepare,” said Boyles, who is a recent college graduate.
“He’s more experienced than I am but he’s also a little quirky – he has about a hundred different personalities all in one. You never know what you’re going to get, but he’s definitely made me a better rider. I’ve never competed in a facility quite like this and it certainly was a very tough competition, but I wanted to experience this and my parents and friends helped me get here. It was all definitely worth it after today.”
Nelson Long of Signal Mountain, Tenn. (Region 3) returned to the Finals for a second straight year and this time earned the division’s Reserve Championship for a Les Miserables-themed freestyle with his Dutch Warmblood gelding Be Cool Metall (Daddy Cool x Tannory by Metall) with 68.611%. “My horse is very green so when we first went in the arena he was pretty full of himself, but he settled down and went to work,” he explained. “We were here in 2014 for First and Second Level, and what a difference a year makes. He works very hard and it really was a delight.”
In the Intermediate I Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship, Colene Stevens of Canton, Ohio (Region 2) rode her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Bonifaz S (Brentano II x Windgame by Weltmeyer) to the win with 66.125%. “I love riding to the music in the Alltech Arena, it really enhances the whole experience,” she explained. “My gelding loves to show off in front of people, so it was fun. It was quite a process with a lot of laughs to find the right music for him – we tried song after song and even had votes at the barn to help choose the right ones, but ultimately it was my horse who picked the music.”
Earning her second Reserve Championship in as many days was Alexandra Krossen of Basking Ridge, N.J. (Region 8) who had another good performance with Heather Mason’s Hanoverian cross mare Damani (Duvall x Gqdiva by Gesandt, bred in the U.S. by Virginia Godfrey) for 65.958%.
The US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® will conclude on Sunday as the last group of 10 champions for 2015 are crowned. Follow the action through updates on the USDF Facebook page and the US Dressage Finals website, as well as watch live online streaming on the popular USEF Network. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.