Lexington, KY - November 8, 2014 - Devon Kane from Wellington, Fla., believes the U.S. Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan is a great place to sharpen her skills and the charged atmosphere in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena was just what she and her horse, Destiny, needed to prepare for the winter show season in Florida. Kane and Destiny, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Diamond Hit out of MIDT-West Regina by Rubenstein, won the Grand Prix Open Championship Friday night against an impressive field with a 72 percent. Although Kane and Destiny spent the summer in Germany, they didn’t get to show there, so the rider focused on quality, basics and rideability while in Europe.
“It worked out very much to our benefit,” she said. “Now we are bringing back the pizazz and the flash and keeping the calmness. It seems to be balancing out.” Kane said she looked forward to riding with the stellar judges at the Finals to get their feedback so she could buff her Grand Prix to a shiny gloss before the season. She said the quality of riders, including a field of 21 starters in the Grand Prix, was also a positive. “I think it’s really great to have people here from all the different states,” she said. “It is really fun.”
Other competitors echoed Kane’s thoughts:
Janne Rumbough, from Palm Beach, Fla., who placed second in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championships with a 65 percent aboard her own 12-year-old PRE gelding Junior (out of Gaucho III by La Nina), agreed.
Patricia Becker from Wadsworth. Ill., who won the Training Level Open Championship with a 77.933 percent on Edward, a 5-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by United out of Jolinia), said this was her second year to attend the Finals. She said that the chance for riders to go head-to-head is good for the development of the sport and is setting a high standard.
“It includes the amateur riders who support this industry,” she said. “I’ve been doing this 20 years and I think this really gives them a venue to showcase their talents, their abilities and their horses.”
Mette Rosencrantz, from Topanga, Calif., who won the Intermediaire I Open Championship with a 72.632 percent on De Noir 3 (by De Niro out of Maharani by Matcho), a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Anne Solbraekke and Meike Foischer, said that she brought two of her amateur students to the show. “This is a really nice thing to have for the main people in America, who are amateurs,” she said.
“It’s what dressage is all about,” she said. “It’s really amazing. In this country, when you look at the amateurs in all the classes in Training, Level and First level, that is the future. It’s incredible.”
Heather Blitz, from Medfield, Mass., was Champion in the Third Level Open with a 71.239 percent on Ripline, a Danish Warmblood stallion (by Blue Hors Hotline out of Riviera) owned by Oak Hill Ranch, with a 71.239 percent. She said she was impressed with her first time at the Finals.
“The footing, of course, is perfect everywhere,” she said. “I really appreciate the turf path for the horses to walk back and forth. The stabling is outrageously good. I would definitely come back. I mean. the indoor is so special and so comfortable it feels like being in a top-notch European show. It’s very high quality and a super experience.”
Jessica Wisdom, from Battle Ground, Wash., placed third in the Grand Prix with a 68.5 percent onboard North Forks Cardi, a 13-year-old Welsh Cob stallion by Canterbrook Llwynog out of Hastening Mirage by Bayford True Patriot owned by Wisdom and Cynthia Miller. This is her first trip to the U.S. Dressage Finals.
“I’m from Washington State,” she said. “That’s what I think about coming here. That’s why I’m so excited. It was four-day trip to get him here. I was Third in the Grand Prix Final on a PONY!” She will compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship on Saturday. “He really shines in that,” she said, adding that the music Celtic music is perfect for her Welsh Cob.