CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Young Dressage Horses Take Center Stage at CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

The USEF Markel Young Horse Eastern Selection Trial for the FEI World Breeding Championships drew an impressive group of five and six year old horses for the final of three U.S. selection trials. “The quality here is very exciting,” said Markel’s John Seger.

Both the five and six year old class winners from Saturday’s preliminary test (weighted 40% for the championship) not only held their lead, but widened their margins in Sunday’s final (weighted 60%). In fact, all eleven five year olds were more settled in the coliseum today, and scores from the judging panel of Ann Gribbons, Natalie Lamping, and Jane Weatherwax reflected this.

Teresa Butta-Stanton’s Unitas (Niagara - Nellyzora X Harald) was uphill, balanced and powerful to earn a 9.3 on his trot and a 9.0 on general impressions for a final average of 87.6.

“He felt even better today,” said Butta-Stanton. “He was right with me the whole time.”

Butta-Stanton, a full time trainer based in Maryland, bought the horse off a video tape two years ago on the advice of friend and importer Mike Norwood. She gets occasional help from Scott Hassler, but said Unitas has been easy. “He really wants to do it, he’s always trying.”

Peter Ruig's Up To Date, a Dutch gelding by Flemming H, was reserve champion five year old with Jan Brons of Florida riding. His scores, all mid to high 80’s, were as consistent as his performances. The judges admired the horse’s balance and collectibility.

Twelve qualified six-year olds scratched down to six by showtime, but the division was certainly not lacking in quality. Tim Dutta Corporation’s Currency DC earned a 9.0 on his loose and fluid trot to help boost his overall score to 87 on his finale test. The judges remarked “This is a fabulous talent for the future. The highlight of the test was the lateral work, wonderful shoulder-ins.”

It was a good day for Dutta’s German business partner, Guido Klatte and his wife Britte. Both the champion and reserve champion six year olds were purchased out if Klatte’s barn - Currency DC, and Diamante Farms’ Don Angelo. Michelle Gibson piloted the big dark bay Don Larino stallion to the reserve championship with a 80.4 today. The judges were impressed with his power and presence.

The top five placings in each division split $2,000 in prize money for their efforts, and the winners from the Eastern, Western, and Central selection trials will be ranked for the selection committee to decide who will represent the U.S. at Verden, Germany this August for the FEI World Breeding Championships. It was interesting to note that of the 17 finalists in Raleigh, there were no mares, and only one horse was bred in the U.S. - Joanne Balling’s Donegal, ridden by Hokan Thorn.

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Chris Hickey and Regent are Two for Three on the Small Tour at CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

Chris Hickey bought four horses for his client Brenna Kucinski of Amherst MA, and took one back to ride.

“She made the decision that (Regent) was good enough quality for me to compete in the High Performance,” Hickey said, explaining that the eight year old Flemmingh gelding lives with his owner, and Hickey drives 40 minutes to ride him from his base in Westhampton, MA. Kucinski grooms, manages, and hacks the horse - a plan that apparently works well.

Hickey and Regent won Friday’s CDI Prix St. George (68.3) and Sunday’s I-1 Freestyle (69.1). “We are at a tricky place now,” said Hickey. “We can do a clean test. But when I go for more brilliance, I make mistakes. That’s what happened yesterday (Saturday’s I-1, fourth, 64.7).”

Hickey was both clean and brilliant in his freestyle on Sunday, saying “It’s a fun freestyle to dance music.”

Melissa Jackson of Parrish, Florida and her Wellington claimed Saturday’s Intermediate 1 with an accurate trip (66.4). “I’ve had better tests,” Jackson said. “We didn’t quite have the fluidity, but I’m still getting to know him.”

Jackson imported the Wolkenstein II gelding from Germany just last September. “He wasn’t a horse I was even looking at, but I saw him and thought ‘wow’. I bought him off one ride. It’s been fast forward, we’ve come together so quickly. I feel like we’ve developed consistency and trust, now it’s time to start pushing the boundaries.”

Jackson operates her own training facility, Windfall Farm, in Florida and is coached by Cesar Parra. Her husband and daughters aged five and six travel to shows and the family camps out.

Both Hickey and Jackson are on their way to Gladstone N.J. for the USEF National Intermediate Championships.

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Hometown Girl Jennifer Sirrine Dominates the Young Riders CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

Jennifer Sirrine could sleep in her own bed at night during the CDI-Raleigh. She only lives four miles away, in Apex. Sirrine and her 15-year old Woody Allen, by World Cup, train with Dennis Callin of Raleigh while Sirrine attends UNC-Chapel Hill.

Sirrine and Woody Allen were third of 15 in Friday’s team test (65.2) but by Saturday the pair were hitting their stride. Posting a 67.9 to win the Prix St. George and a 68.1 to capture Sunday’s freestyle, Sirrine set the bar for the young riders.

“The musical freestyle was the most fun of all,” Sirrine said. “We both love the music (Keltic and contemporary violin) and get very excited doing the freestyle.”

On the Scene for DressageDaily by Sue Smithson

Nancy Pugh Later and Alexis-D Win Grand Prix Special at the CDI***/Y Dressage at Raleigh 2006

Winning the CDI closer, the Grand Prix Special was Nancy Pugh Later's elegant Oldenburg mare by Archipel with a 63.5%. Later who owns her own farm and training facility in Florida has nurtured the sensitive mare all season handpicking shows which best suited her training at the time.

But it was at Raleigh, that Later knew her partner was ready to join the big boys, and the pair made the trip from Wellington and had their moment in the spotlight.

The final show for the qualifiers for the USET Festival of Champions has wrapped up, and the tabulations will be posted in a few days, listing the top US horses for Grand Prix and Intermediaire Championships.

DressagDaily thanks Sue Smithson who came through under difficult working conditions. While scribing as well as covering the event, Smithson is also a NCDCTA board member an did what she could along with all others who helped to manage the event after the sudden death of event organizer's husband John Malone. A special ceremony was held in John's memory prior to the evening performance of the Grand Prix Freestyle, with a poignant bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace. Our heart go out to Janine Malone and her family at this sad time.

stock photos by phelpsphotos®.com
More news and some results On The Scene at the Raleigh CDI 2006