Wayne, IL - Lamplight Equestrian Center hosted the Great American/USDF Breeders Championship North Central Series Final for the first time Sept. 19-20. Top breeders and sport horses from the North Central area states competed in-hand at the championship after qualifying at earlier competitions.
Cindy Smith from Paris, Kentucky, claimed the Great American/USDF Breeders Championship North Central Filly Championship with Habana, a 3-year-old Dutch Warmblood Filly (Ampère-Waukena, Contester). She scored a 74.95 percent. "I bred her mother, Waukena, who is my dressage competition horse, and I wanted to add a better hind end, quicker joint articulation, and more elasticity," Smith explained. "I got really lucky with Habana! She is a gentle, kind horse, but can be quite fiery. Even though she was really pumped up, she was well behaved."
The chilly weather and wind had many young horses amped, but Habana, who also won the title last year at Majestic Farm in Batavia, Ohio, was able to show off at Lamplight. Smith appreciates the young horse series as a stepping stone in her horses' training.
"The biggest reason I do the Breeders Championship series is getting them off the farm, letting them see everything, experiencing the trailer and environment," Smith said. "The exposure is important and after a while they are more comfortable with the whole situation. Once we start riding them, when we head to our first show, my hope is that it is easier for them."
Renee Bambach from Lexington, Kentucky, and Bedelia HHV, a 4-month-old Hanoverian filly (Bon Balou-Whimsical HPF, Widmark), clinched the Great American/USDF Breeders Championship North Central Current Year Foal Championship with a score of 75.863 percent.
"We are ecstatic and on cloud nine!" Bambach said. "It was a great breeding combination to get amazing movements and suspension, plus a mix of my maiden mare, who has the best personality. Bedelia walked off the trailer as if she had always been there and did her job well."
The Breeders Championship Final at Lamplight was the second show for Bedelia HHV, who was the overall high score champion with an impressive score of 81.2 percent at the Kentucky Dressage Association's USDF Sport Horse Breed Show in Lexington, Kentucky, in August.
"I have never done the in-hand breed shows before," Bambach said. "We knew we had something special, and we really wanted another outside opinion." For the future, Bambach is considering keeping Bedelia for her dressage mount. "I am typically a hunter rider, but I have had such a lovely time getting out of my element in the dressage world. I love it so much! From being a hunter, at the dressage show, I had a time and score, what more could I ask for?" Bambach laughed.
In the Stallion Championship, Kenneth Borden Jr. from Wilmington, Illinois, and Ovation took top honors with a score of 77.675 percent. Ovation is a 6-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Opus-Windspiel, Weltmeyer) and has been shown at Second and Third Level this year.
"Ovation is advertised for sale, but we are hoping he will be a Grand Prix horse either with us or someone else," Borden said. "He is very expressive and comfortable. We use him in our lesson program because he is such a levelheaded stallion."
Borden, who has over two decades of experience breeding and showing in-hand, also earned reserve champion in the Current Year Foal division with Rather Well, scoring a 72.238 percent, and reserve champion in the Filly division with R Bunny, scoring a 74.288 percent. Rather Well and R Bunny are sired by Rashka*, another top stallion at Little Bit Farm Inc. with Borden.
In the Colt and Gelding Championship, Caryn Vesperman, from Brooklyn, Wisconsin, and Tanqueray MRF won with a score of 74.113 percent. Tanqueray is a 2-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Totilas-EM Revlon, Rohdiamant). Lisa Eckenstein from Homer Glen, Illinois, and Ramboullet won the Mare Championship with a score of 76.15 percent. Ramboullet is a 9-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Cavan-Rambala, Rambo).