Wayne, IL – Custom Saddlery MVR (Most Valuable Rider) Catherine Chamberlain ended her time as a Young Rider with the remarkable achievement of winning the Young Rider division at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, on August 19-23. “It’s actually my first national title – what better way to go out?” said Chamberlain. “This whole Young Rider experience has been an amazing opportunity and an amazing journey. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve finished very last at the North Americans (NAJYRC), I’ve finished first at North Americans, and everything in between. It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride.”
Chamberlain and Avesto van Weltevreden (owned by Kimberly Pribble) were in their best form over the weekend of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. By the end of the second day, they had earned an overall average of 69.43 percent to take home the title in the AGCO/USEF FEI Young Rider National Championship. For Chamberlain and Pribble, the choice to bring Avesto van Weltevreden to the competition was a last-minute decision—a decision they’re incredibly glad they made. The Dutch Warmblood gelding recently toured with the United States’ first-ever Young Rider team in Europe, where he and Chamberlain had several successful rides. They then traveled to Kentucky, where the pair helped their region to Team Gold and won an Individual Silver medal at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). “We thought he might be too tired,” said Chamberlain before the Festival of Champions. But Avesto van Weltevreden proved to be a champion both in and out of the ring, as he took the traveling extremely well and was more than ready to compete after his excursions. “He came home and was super fit and feeling good. At the last moment, we decided to take a chance and bring him,” explained Chamberlain. “Obviously it’s gone really well. I’m thrilled!”
Chamberlain is thankful for her journey through her Young Rider career, and is looking forward to what lies ahead of her in dressage as she moves out of the 16-21-year-old division. “Each new step teaches you something, and I think you have to learn to become open to the whole process. To finish out with a highlight means so much to me,” Chamberlain expressed. “I’m thankful to everyone – the whole team behind me, the sponsors of this event, and especially the horse. I really owe a lot to him.”
One supporter cheering Chamberlain on was her sponsor Custom Saddlery. Alis Carbone, a saddle fitter for Custom Saddlery, praised the young rider, “Congratulations to Catherine on an amazing weekend at the Festival of Champions, winning the Young Rider division and placing 6th in the U25! She has worked so hard for this and is always such a pleasure to work with.”
Chamberlain rides Avesto van Weltevreden in a Wolfgang Constanze Custom Saddle. Custom Saddlery provides comfort and excellence for both the rider and horse through carefully crafted saddles. The Aiken, South Carolina based company currently offers twenty-two innovative, one of a kind dressage saddles as well as professional fitting services to ensure the perfect fit for each individual horse and rider. To learn more about Custom Saddlery, visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.