The California Dressage Society (CDS), celebrating its 45th Anniversary this year, proudly congratulates West Coast horses and riders which have qualified for the upcoming 2012 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships to be held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, August 24 - 26. Since the national young horse program's inception more than a decade ago, California horses have successfully represented the West Coast on the national and international stage, and this year is no exception with eight horses ranking in the top 15 of their age divisions to earn championship invitations, as well as three designated alternates. One program in particular can boast of a proven track record for identifying and rewarding talented youngsters, helping build the foundation for future success: the California Dressage Society's Young Horse Futurity.
When Alice Womble's brown Hanoverian stallion "Sanceo" (San Remo x Rivera by Ramiro's Son II) trots into a ring and silences the crowd with his elegant presence, he is a resounding example of the talent showcased by the CDS Young Horse Futurity.
Bred in Germany by Gerhard Dustmann and trained through the levels by Sabine Schut-Kery of Thousand Oaks, CA, "Sanceo" recently represented the U.S. at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championships in Verden, Germany, competing with the best young horse talent the world has to offer. Earning both the four-year-old and five-year-old CDS Futurity crowns in 2010 and 2011, "Sanceo" and Schut-Kery are now the top-ranked combination in the country for the six-year-old division Markel/USEF National Young Horse Ranking List.
Also qualifying as a six-year-old is "Bakara", ridden by Gundi Younger of Walnut Creek, CA for owner Peter Younger. This Dutch Warmblood mare (Sir Sinclair x Thea by Idocus, bred by in the United States by Janice Kissel) placed seventh in last year's National Championship, as well as fourth in the 2011 CDS Five-Year-Old Futurity.
The top two five-year-old finishers in May's Markel/USEF Young Horse Western Selection Trial at Flintridge have also punched their tickets for Illinois. The lovely U.S.-bred Dutch Warmblood mare "Caliente DG" (OO Seven x Satina by Contango, bred by DG Bar Breeders Inc., owned by Brenda Linman) was ridden by Craig Stanley of Madera, CA to win both the 2011 CDS Four-Year-Old Futurity and Cal-Bred Championship. This pair finished sixth at last year's National Championships before returning this spring to claim the Selection Trial Reserve Championship as a five-year-old.
Finishing third in the nation at Lamplight in 2011, Oldenburg gelding "Regalo" (Rosario x Dandielle by Nandino, bred in Germany by Ulrich Henschke) returned to California with rider Lientje Schueller of San Diego, CA to finish right behind "Caliente DG" at last year's Futurity, before turning the tables at Flintridge this year to earn the overall Five-Year-Old Selection Trial title for owner Pinky Roberts. These two up-and-coming stars may be joined at this year's National Championship by Hanoverian gelding "Daumling" (De Niro x Lady by Likoto), ridden by Sara Sasso for Pamela Nelson of Hollister, CA, as well as Heidi Gaian's "Fynnemann" (German-bred Rhinelander gelding Fidertanz x Royal Tough by Royal Angelo), ridden by Jaclyn Meinen.
In the four-year-old division, two California horses are ranked among the top four qualifiers in the nation. Sabine Schut-Kery has earned a second national championship invitation with the dynamic Westfalen stallion "Rohan" (Rock Forever x Florin by Fidermark, bred in Germany by Stefan Kupitz) owned by Alice Womble. Also qualifying for a chance to earn championship honors is veteran young horse rider and trainer Willy Arts of Hanford, CA, riding Debra Pulver's Dutch Warmblood mare "Dalina DG" (Jazz x Satina by Contango, bred in the United States by DG Bar Ranch Breeders, Inc.) which is a half-sister to 2011 Futurity Champion "Caliente DG".
This year, the CDS Young Horse Futurity will once again be offered in four, five, and six-year-old divisions during the 45th Anniversary CDS Championship Show Presented By HorseShow.com at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, October 4-7, 2012, held in conjunction with the Great American/USDF Region 7 Championships and Breeders Championships West Coast Series Final. In addition to bragging rights, competitors in the CDS Young Horse Futurity have the opportunity to win lucrative cash prizes. Utilizing a nomination system for all horses, 100% of these nomination fees are channeled into payouts for the Futurity divisions, with total purses able to exceed $9,000. In addition, CDS offers a unique state-bred incentive program, with California and Nevada-bred horses eligible for a possible $6,000 in additional prize money.
It's not too late for owners to nominate their young horses to the Futurity. For more information, including rules and nomination forms, please visit the California Dressage Society website www.california-dressage.org.