Twelve of the nation’s most talented junior dressage riders will be invited to enter the venerable Dixon Oval at the 31st Dressage at Devon for the 2005 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Junior Dressage Team Championship. The late September event will be the culmination of a year-long qualifying period in which juniors, ages 14-18, ride to their best scores in international level tests. In this competition, the riders will be divided into three teams; all four members of each team will have an opportunity to stand on the podium at the end of the competition and receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal. Dressage at Devon opens on Tuesday, September 27th and runs through Sunday, October 2nd.
Throughout the year, juniors across the nation have been gathering scores in the FEI Junior Individual Test and the FEI Junior Team Test. After submitting an Application of Intent and qualifying scores to the USEF, the top five scores for each horse and rider combination will be calculated for the final averages. Once the riders are selected, they will be placed on teams in a handicapped format, ensuring that, to every extent possible, the teams will start on an equal footing. At the conclusion of the three classes, the teams will be honored on the podium according to their collective team scores.
The USEF Junior Dressage Team Championship was created as part of a movement to encourage outstanding young riders. They will have the benefit of Olympic Team Bronze medalist and dressage judge Charlotte Bredahl as their chef d’equipe, and enjoy additional organizational support from the Dressage at Devon committee. In past years, teams have shown true spirit by establishing patriotic team names, and decorating their stabling space with banners, signs, and photos.
Riders in this Championship will compete in three classes: Junior Preliminary, Junior Team and Junior Individual, which include single flying change of lead, half-pass, counter changes of hand (zigzags) at the trot, canter half-pass and half pirouettes at the walk. Only the scores from the later two classes will be used to determine placement for team and individual awards.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would not be possible without the continued commitment of Collecting Gaits Farm, the Dutta Corporation, and Performance Sales International.
Dressage at Devon is the highest rated international dressage competition and most complete breed show outside of Europe. Olympic medallist Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon “the standard by which all American horse shows should be judged.” Dressage at Devon takes place at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, Route 30, in Devon, Pennsylvania. For information, call 610-358-5785 or go to www.dressageatdevon.org.