Atlanta, GA— Excitement and the love for dressage were running high at the Dressage4Kids 2015 Atlanta Youth Dressage Festival this month, held at Chattahoochee Hills Eventing. Custom Saddlery, the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team, returned to the annual event to exhibit its continued support for young riders. The company presented the Youth Dressage Festival’s High Point Champion, Isabelle Braden, with a leather halter adorned with an engraved silver plate to commemorate her accomplishment. Champions of each of the event’s divisions also received an embroidered Custom Saddlery saddle pad.
The non-profit organization Dressage4Kids, founded by Lendon Gray, annually provides educational and competitive opportunities for young riders at the Atlanta Youth Dressage Festival. Riders were challenged to be well-rounded equestrians throughout three competition phases: a written test, a group equitation class, and an individual dressage test. “It is our belief that each participant comes away from the Atlanta Youth Dressage Festival with greater interest, excitement and commitment to continuing their dressage training,” explained Liz Molloy, the Youth Chair of Georgia Dressage and Combined Training Association (GDCTA).
Isabelle Braden won the High Point Champion title aboard Quite Frankly, an Oldenburg Thoroughbred cross gelding (Davignport x Gypsy Moon) owned by her trainer Anneliese Vogt-Harber. Braden currently leases the 14-year-old, who she calls “Dasher.”
“I was so proud of how well Dasher behaved,” Braden said. “He can get very spooky and testy during shows, and I was anxious about how he was going to be as he hadn’t been on those show grounds many times before. Most of the time he was perfect though! I really enjoyed the dressage test part of the competition. I thought it was very peaceful and a great opportunity to show how well you can ride.” Braden scored a 67.5 percent on her training level dressage test, a 95 percent on her written test, and a 77 percent on her equitation test.
“I love the prizes I got! The Custom Saddlery halter is of very good quality. Since it’s so nice, I’m only going to use it for shows because I don’t want to get it dirty,” the winner smiled. Custom Saddlery was happy to be able to add to the recognition Braden received for a job well done.
“It is very valuable for Dressage4Kids to have sponsors such as Custom Saddlery,” Braden stated. “Sponsors help put on a great show, and the amazing prizes donated by sponsors help reward the riders for their hard work. In fact, the saddle I always ride and show in is a Custom saddle!”
Braden added, “Dressage4Kids provides a lot of help for those who are willing to work hard to be a better rider. One of my huge future goals is to be able to go to a Junior or Young Rider team competition. For now, my main goal is to start moving up the levels with my current horse.”
Seeing young riders working towards their equestrian dreams was a highlight of the weekend for many. “We are so grateful for Custom Saddlery to continue to support us in our third year now hosting the Atlanta Youth Festival,” Molloy said. “Custom is a name people recognize for their quality products. Several trainers use their saddles, so the kids commonly see their products around. The halter with the personalized plate was so special to this year's event— it is truly a one of a kind prize.”
Custom Saddlery maintains a strong value in educating the youth of dressage. The company’s expertise in dressage saddles and knowledge of the sport has resulted in creating countless ways to customize saddles specifically for a horse and rider’s needs and preferences.
For more information about Custom Saddlery, the specialized dressage and jumper saddles it offers, and its saddle fitting services, visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.