The field of 12 junior riders completed their FEI Junior Individual Test to collect the remaining 50% of their championship score. Seventeen-year-old Cassie Schmidt rode a great test with Velasquer to earn a score of 69.342%. The Aledo, Texas native and Leslie Schmidt's 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding had a very nice extended trot and good changes. Today's performance sealed the deal for the pair to receive the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship title with a final score of 68.685%. "I am so happy," said Schmidt with a smile. "Our test went very well and we improved from yesterday." Schmidt and Velasquer improved from a fifth-place finish in the 2013 AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. "I couldn't be happier. It is something I have been dreaming of," Schmidt said of winning the championship. "I'm on cloud nine right now."
Sixteen-year-old Bebe Davis (Bedminster, N.J.) and Rotano had a nice test with great canter work to claim Reserve Championship honors with an overall score of 68.160%. She and her father Michael Davis's 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding painted a lovely picture, only marred by Rotano breaking into the canter during the extended trot, to score 68.184% in the class.
"The first part of our trot work was super great. Unfortunately he broke in the extended trot which was totally rider error," Davis explained. "Even though we have been together for a while, I feel we have more of a partnership each time out."
With a final championship score of 67.948%, 18-year-old Cameron Dauterive (Folsom, La.) and Don Giovanni were third in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. She and her own 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding had a very smooth test to earn 68.868%.
In today's class, Davis won with Feivel Mousekewitz on a score of 71.237%, while Schmidt and Velasquer were second and Dauterive and Don Giovanni were third.
Watch the remaining championship divisions unfold with on-demand footage from today and Thursday and live streaming on Saturday and Sunday on the USEF Network. Go to http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014usdfoc/
Find out more information about the event here.
Photos provided by Susan J Stickle - the Official Photographer of The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp