Wayne, Ill.- To begin the second day of competition at the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, came away with a win in the Intermediate II, which was the first test for the Developing Grand Prix division.
Parra earned a 69.561 percent aboard his and Martha Sosnoff's 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus-Forst-Design, De Niro). Bred by Heike Kind in Germany, the gelding won the 5-Year-Old Young Horse National Championship in 2013 with Nadine Buberl. He returned to Lamplight in 2016 with Parra to earn the reserve championship title in the Developing Prix St. Georges division.
This year, the pair excelled in the Intermediate II test with highlights that included the trot half-passes, the canter pirouettes, and the piaffe and passage tour. Parra expressed his gratitude for the USEF Dressage Developing Horse Program and the role it has played in his enjoyment of these championships. Watch his ride here.
“I would like to start out by saying that Lamplight, the farm and this place, have become for us a place to come every year,” said Parra. “Since this program started, we have been taking part in it. I think it is an amazing, amazing program. I’m very happy, pleased, and so humbled and blessed to be able to ride this horse.”
Parra and Fashion Designer OLD were reserve champions in the 2016 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship, moving up to the Grand Prix division this year. “[Fashion Designer OLD’s] breeding shows his quality and shows that he was made for the Grand Prix. He is so compact and so easy to ride,” said Parra.
Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois, and Michael Bragdell of Colora, Maryland, tied for second place in the Intermediate II test with a score of 67.325 percent. Becker competed Dr. Anne Ramsay's 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom (Feuri-Windjammer, Walk on Top). Bragdell rode Qredit Hilltop (Quarterback-Dream Rubina, Dream of Glory), a 9-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Hilltop Farms, Inc.
Becker has been riding Freedom since his three-year-old year, moving him up the levels in the program and has a special place in her heart for him and this event. “I love Lamplight; I love this whole program,” said Becker. “[Freedom] is a wonderful horse to ride. More and more, as he has developed, he puts on his game face as he goes in the ring, and that is what he did today. A couple little mistakes, very small, but overall, I was very pleased with his effort and focus.”
The Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships continues Saturday, Aug. 26 with three championship titles being crowned: the Developing Prix St. Georges National Championship, and the 4-Year-Old and 5-Year-Old Young Horse National Championships.