Dressage in the heartland is alive and well as a mild winter leads into a beautiful springtime with trees and flowers in full bloom and riders and horse poised and ready to begin the season. We began our Mid-West Markel Tour 2012 at Silverwood Farm in Camp Lake Wisconsin, where we launched out High Point Series awarding beautiful Back On Track Saddle Pads to high point winners, beginning with the May 11-13 show, which featured a robust FEI Level and Young Rider Competition. Winning the High Point for the Young Rider division was Nicole Chiappetti riding Pip an 18-year-old Hanoverian by Pik Solo owned by her trainer Amanda Johnson. The High Point FEI winner was young rider graduate Kristen Becker on her own Ramses a KWPN by Hamlet x Contango, a horse she has developed from training level to Grand Prix with the help of her long time trainer/mentor Roel Theunissen. Additional saddle pads were presented to the High Point for First-Fourth level, and to the High Point Amateur. Three days of quality competition with judges Lelo Fore, Hilda Gurney, and Thom Poulin launched the Silverwood season, which has a full schedule of Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping competition.
Your Rider hopeful Nicole Chiappetti boards at Silverwood, owned by Lisa Froehlig, which is beautifully maintained by her crew. “Lisa does her best to make boarders and competitors happy. We have a great indoor as well as multiple outdoor arenas to use when weather permits allowing us to train and make us show ready. It’s a great opportunity to have three qualifiers for Young Riders at Silverwood this year. "
Chiappetti, a has been training for several years with Amanda Johnson who travels daily from he home in Milwaukie to both Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois, and Silverwood Farm to work with full days with multiple students and horses. “Amanda is a fantastic trainer,” said Nicole, “from her own personal experience riding and showing she easily communicates that to the rider. I have learned so much from her on all aspects of Dressage and riding. She is such a fun person too; I count her as a friend as well as a trainer. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to ride and show Pip under Amanda’s guidance.” When Nicole’s NAJYRC prospect suffered a foot abscess in the spring, it looked like she would be out of contention for this year’s qualifying season. Johnson who trained Pip through the levels won the Grand Prix Watermark Farm Perpetual Trophy at Dressage at Devon in 2010 offered her student the ride, and in March they began their work. Coming back from an injury himself Johnson put Nicole in charge of bringing him back into competition fitness. It was at Silverwood in the Young Rider class that was the first time Johnson actually allowed her to ride the full test. “I gave her the challenge of being mentally prepared, riding through the tests in her mind knowing how to go from point A to B, where to half halt, where to prepare. She did a great job, and pulled off a very polished test scoring a 68%!” said her proud trainer. “Pip's breeder and former owner, Barrie Anderson recently sold him to me in April. I am happy to offer Pip to Nicole to have her follow her dreams, as Barrie had offered Pip to me to follow mine!”
For recent college graduate Kristen Becker this is her second season competing her own Ramses in the Grand Prix. Becker who will be moving to Georgia for the to work with her long time trainer Roel Theunissen has shown Ramses training level through Grand Prix, competed in the NAYRC on the Region 2 Team three times earning two silvers and a bronze medal.
Becker and Ramses did not travel to Florida this winter, while she finished her degree in Mathematics and nursed her horse back from a minor injury. “He has come back stronger than ever, “ said Becker who competed in the Brentina Cup last year and currently has two of the necessary three scores for the USEF National Championships coming up in June. “He had a fabulous 71.3% qualifying score at the last Silverwood show and we hope to repeat that this weekend when we return for another opportunity.” Speaking of her trainer and how they have worked long distance Becker adds, “He has been such an inspiration and an amazing trainer. It wasn't too hard juggling school and riding as I lived relatively near the barn. I haven't worked with Roel in a while due to school and the distance unfortunately, but he is always a phone call away.”
Other Markel High Point Winners were Kimberly Iwen and Mayflower in the National First through Fourth Level, and Amateur Pamela Harting and Bandiera.
It’s an exciting opportunity to be adding this sponsorship and coverage of shows held at some of the select shows at Silverwood this year. We enjoy working with Lisa Froehlig, Lisa Cannata and her team, as well as the Food Vendors, Mara Stevens and Brittany Brennan who worked with us to sponsor breakfast Saturday Morning.