Wayne, Ill. - The first championship titles were awarded today for the USDF Region 2 Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center. Eight riders came away with tricolor ribbons and a handful will be heading to the U.S. Dressage Finals in Lexington, Kentucky, in November.
Angela Jackson and her own Figaro H, a 6-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, claimed the top spot in the tightly contested Third Level Open Championship with a score of 69.167 percent. They were separated from reserve champions Jennifer R. Roth and her own Reebok, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, by one point in the collective marks to break the tie for first place.
"I'm really proud of him for listening to me when he was distracted," Jackson. "We had some really nice movements. The halt and rein back is a difficult exercise and today was probably the best we've ever done!"
Jackson is thrilled with the progress of Figaro (Fantasmic-Romina H, River H) as he is the sixth generation of her family's breeding operation. "It's a huge accomplishment for my family to breed horses like him," Jackson explained. "He's a big boy and has a great work ethic."
Since she won her division, Jackson qualified to compete at the prestigious U.S. Dressage Finals, which will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park. "I'm so proud that Figaro will compete in Kentucky because it's a special show," Jackson explained. "Just making it there is already a winning feeling, but I will give it my best. He's young at this level, but he gives me everything he has in the test and that's all I can ask for. The finals are always a highlight!"
Twenty-year-old Rebekah Mingari took home the FEI Young Rider Championship aboard Kerrin Dunn's Elzarma TF, a 7-year-old KWPN mare, with a score of 65.263 percent. The reserve championship went to Kayla Barteau and GP Ubilee, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Ginna Frantz with a score of 64.803 percent. "We've come a long way since I started working with her in January," Mingari said. "Every show we improve and our bond grows stronger. She was a little bit spooky in the ring yesterday, but she was really focused today. I couldn't have asked for a better ride."
Mingari is a senior at the University of Louisville and she hopes to qualify for her region's young rider team for the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championship next year.
The FEI Junior Championship went to Callie Jones, 18, and Don Philippo, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, with a score of 67.432 percent. Close behind them and claiming the reserve title was Jacquelynn Mackie and her own Weltrubin 5, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding, with a score of 67.097 percent.
"I was extremely happy with my test today," said Jones. "He was focused the entire test and gave me his all. We've been working on our canter work and we've also been focusing on lateral work the past few weeks leading up to this show. He really needs me to give him the confidence, and once he is feeling confident he will be spot on and keep trying no matter what. I love coming to Lamplight! Everyone is so friendly and it's always fun to be here."
In the Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur Championships, Rachael Hicks came away with the win on her own 9-year-old Rheinlander stallion Don Cartier with a score of 69.671 percent. The pair are no strangers to championship ribbons. In addition to their many regional titles, they were the U.S. Second Level Adult Amateur National Champion in 2013, the U.S. Third Level Adult Amateur National Champion in 2014 and the U.S. Fourth Level Adult Amateur National Champion last year.
"I really feel like today's test was the best he could have done!" Hicks said. "I had to excuse myself from the ring yesterday because he was terrified by the traffic. The fact that he held it together and went in there to do his job - I'm very pleased with him. We have been working for a couple of years now on really getting him in front of my leg. He has hit that milestone and it makes me so proud."
Hicks purchased the stallion as a 3-year-old and their partnership has flourished. Her next stop will be the U.S. Dressage Finals before heading to Wellington, Florida, to compete in the CDI small tour at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. "He's a really fun horse and I enjoy riding him!" Hicks explained. "I can't wait [for U.S. Dressage Finals]! It's a show we look forward to every year."
The 2016 USDF Region 2 Championships will continue on Saturday with sixteen championships being awarded. For results and starting times, visit www.foxvillage.com. For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com.
Friday, Sept. 23, USDF Region 2 Championship Results
Intermediaire I Open Championship
1. Joanne White/Basia DSB/67.566
2. Jesse Collins/Xenophon SMF/66.316
3. Sheila Schils/Titus/65.134
4. Emily Brollier/Uno/65.132
5. Brittany Burson/Jazz Dance/64.079
6. Nicoletti Francesca/Lan Fandango/63.421
Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur Championship
1. Rachael Hicks/Don Cartier/69.671
2. Alison Lee Bush/Tannehauser/66.908
3. Joan Gariboldi/Bravo/65.663
4. Judy Ethell/Richthofen 7/64.474
5. Lezlie Rehagen/Leoluigi/64.408
6. Chelsea Westra/Famos/63.684
FEI Young Rider Championship 1. Rebekah Mingari/Elzarma/65.263 2. Kayla Barteau/GP Ubilee/64.803
FEI Junior Rider Championship
1. Callie Jones/Don Philippo/67.432
2. Jacquelynn Mackie/Weltrubin 5/67.097
3. Missy McGinn/Solitaire/65.946
4. Emma Kemink/Willow/65.878
5. Katelyn Mosle/Diavolino 5/63.784
6. Brynne Varvel/Coulee Bend Harmony/61.554
Third Level Open Championship
1. Angela Jackson/Figaro H/69.167
2. Jennifer Roth/Reebok/69.167
3. Martin Kuhn/Rapson/69.038
4. Angela Jackson/Femke Zarma TF/66.795
5. Kristen Becker/Prinz Pontus W.E./66.026
6. Therese Evans/Sommersby 25/65.449
Second Level Adult Amateur Championship
1. Judith Nordstrom/Esteban/69.695
2. Barbara Butman/Balalaika/68.354
3. Patricia McVary/Aureo/67.805
4. Barbara Kuyper/Arithmetic TF/66.28
5. Robin Mershon/Rio Reloncavi/66.28
6. Belinda Chu/Florinus/66.22
Training Level Open Championship
1. Heather Ferguson/G-Star/75.227
2. Martin Kuhn/Frazier/73.636
3. Heather McCarthy/Au Revoir/73.068
4. Jacqueline Zimmermann/Garcia HM/72.955
5. Zoe Roy/CF Double Dare/72.500
6. Jessica Starck/Maestoso Alfaya II/72.045
Training Level Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Katelyn O'Brien/Scirocco/71.364
2. Ellanor Boehning/Kabam/70.682
3. Brynne Varvel/Big Indian Creek/69.886
4. Rebekah Mingari/Giselle/69.205
5. Annahbel Ketko/Nick of Time/68.409
6. Christine Jacobs/Roxana/67.841