Wellington, Fla. –National Championship competition continued today at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds in the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. In The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship, Jane Karol and Sunshine Tour won the FEI Intermediaire I Test, but overnight division leaders Christina Vinios and Folkestone OLD maintained their position atop the leaderboard coming in a close second.
In what is shaping up to be a hotly contested battle for National Championship honors, the field of eight Small Tour combinations went to task in the FEI Intermediaire I Test this morning, which accounted for 45% of their overall championship score. Karol (Concord, Mass.) rode her mare, Sunshine Tour, through a powerful performance to score 69.105%. Karol moved up from third, overall, and now sits on a two day total of 58.488.
“I have spent a lot of years riding conservatively, and with Robert Dover’s help [in the warm-up], I really went for it today. It was a great experience to be able to put more excitement [in the test] and power. She is a very game horse; she wants to go and to please,” said Karol.
Remaining in the lead, overall, is Vinios (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Folkestone OLD, scoring 68.685% for an overall total of 59.161. The pair put forth a strong effort in light of several mistakes, showing real strength in their trot work and collected walk.
“I just had too many mistakes [today]; the first one rattled me and I didn’t put it out of my mind to go on to the next movement. He was really a good boy though; everything I asked him he did well,” said Vinios.
Placing third in today’s class, and sitting third overall by the slimmest of margins, is Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Patricia Stempel’s Rubinio. Despite bobbles in the flying changes and right pirouette, the test flowed nicely and the pair scored a 67.763%. They are now just .250 behind Karol in the overall standings, putting extra emphasis on the importance of Saturday’s Freestyle.
Competition continues Saturday with the eagerly anticipated Freestyle tests for both divisions.