Traverse City, MI - The sun was shining over the beautiful Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, Michigan this afternoon as the first ever Dressage by the Bay Fall Classic began competition. Showing in the Grand Prix Ring overlooking the scenic countryside, the FEI Prix St. Georges class was held judged by Anita Owen at 'C'. Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois rode Wish to the highest score of the class, earning a 67.106% to finish in first place in the open division. Elizabeth Juliano and Ducasse received the top adult amateur score with a 62.105%.
Showing for the first time in Traverse City, Patricia Becker had a great day with her mount Wish, a seven-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Frank Allgauer. Wish is a beautiful 17.3 hand Liver Chestnut (Flemmingh x My Fonsa).
"We got Wish as a four-year-old and he has a super temperament," Becker noted after her ride. "He is a little bit new to all of the work, but he tries harder than any horse I have ever ridden. I think his athleticism and his great temperament help him to move ahead a little bit faster in the training."
"I felt like he did as well as he can do today," Becker added. "He has a long way to go as far as the quality of his work, but I felt like he tried really hard, so I was happy."
Becker began riding dressage when she was a child with the influence of her aunt. She started training with George Williams when she was 18 and has now ridden with Jan Brons for the last eight years. In addition to her own riding and training, Becker also teaches and started her own business out of college. She now trains out of Fireside Farm in Camp Lake, Wisconsin, which is owned by Carole and Frank Allgauer.
"I am very fortunate to have Carole and Frank," Becker acknowledged. "They own Fireside Farm where I train and Frank owns Wish. They are very supportive and it is hard to do this without people like that."
Becker plans to keep working with Wish throughout the year and will start taking the horse in Grand Prix level CDI classes in Florida this winter.
She concluded her first day at Dressage by the Bay on a great note and smiled, "I think the show is great here. The footing is really nice and it is laid out nicely. Today we had great weather, so I can't complain."
The 2010 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 2 Championships will run concurrently with the Dressage by the Bay Fall Classic beginning tomorrow. Horse Sports by the Bay would like to thank the title sponsor Great American Insurance Group as well as the United States Dressage Federation for choosing Flintfields Horse Park to host this special event. Tuff Rider is the official supplier of championship jackets and coolers. Dressage by the Bay sponsors include series title sponsor Hampton Green Farm and morning hospitality sponsor Linda Wanstreet's Lost World Farms LLC, and LWF Sporthorses. For more information, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com.