Elly Schobel and Raison D'Etre Headed for the USEF/Markel National Young Dressage Horse Championships


On Memorial Day weekend the USEF held three selection trials throughout the United States for the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses to be held in Verden , Germany , July 9-11 . Winning the Six-Year-Old Division at the USEF Young Horse SelectionTrials-Eastern Division, held at the Horse Park of New Jersey, Allentown was the American bred gelding, Raison d'Etre, ridden and owned by Elly Schobel.

But the trip to Germany was never part of the plan for 2004. Instead Schobel gave Raison d'Etre some downtime since the trials and has just begun working him by hacking and doing trot sets, “something I learned from my eventing friends,” grinned Schobel. They have their sights set on the USEF/Markel National Dressage Championships for Young Horses, to be held at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park , September 10-12, and then later that month at Dressage at Devon 's American Dressage Futurity for Six-Year-Olds.

photo by susanjstickle.com


USEF/Markel National Young Dressage Horse Championships – An Affair to Remember




The 2004 USEF/Markel National Young Dressage Horse Championships will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park , September 10-12, which will also be hosting the MSEDA Dressage at the Park, Lexington , Kentucky , and the 2004 National Dressage Seat Medal Equitation Championships. Organizer Margie Koffler has announced a Black Tie Gala Saturday night, September 11 with Freestyles to the live music of the Lexington Philharmonic.


Established as a yearly event in 1999 the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses is a fairly new program, but has caught on like wildfire, with huge crowds attending the Finals in Verdun Germany each year. The USEF and the Dressage Board quickly followed through with developing a national program in the United States to help develop and recognize the tremendous talent we have in this country. America, with its sheer size has to have qualifiers and selection finals throughout the country.

This is only the second National Young Horse Championships, but has attracted a title sponsor for 2004, with Markel Equine Insurance, a company which has provided uninterrupted equine insurance services for over 40 years. “Markel is committed to the world of Dressage,” said John Seger, director of agent development for Markel's Equine Insurance Specialists. “We see the potential for this program to help put American breeders on the map, as there are many quality farms and facilities throughout the country producing quality horses.”


Raison D'Etre Going Back to His Roots




It's particularly meaningful to be traveling to Lexington Kentucky, where Raison D'Etre was bred, born, and raised at Dreamtime Farm. The American Warmblood Registry papered gelding is sired by Dreamtime Farm's stallion Regulus, by Rapport out of a dam by Uzi xx/ Advocator xx. (xx stands for full blooded Thoroughbred) which makes him a 3/4 American TB. “ And these Thoroughbred lines are all racing Thoroughbred!” emphasizes Schobel. “That in itself a huge deal, since so often the dressage community will 'look down' or disregard a Thoroughbred for dressage. I for one prefer the intelligence and physical ability of a Thoroughbred.”


The 2004 East Coast Young Horse win was a progression of a great performance achieved one year earlier, when the pair finished fourth in the 2003 East Coast Selection Trials and qualified for the 2003 World Championships for Young Horses in the 5-year-old division. “It was fun to meet up with many of last year's Eastern Selection Trials horses and riders, competing again in the six-year-old division,” said Schobel. “Even though I made a mistake in the final, which dropped our score, we still won the class under the panel of judges which included Linda Zang, Michael Poulin, and Jayne Ayers.”

Anne Gribbons, Schobel's long time coach and mentor, has always been a great fan of the thoroughbred blood for dressage and sport horses.

“Raison D'Etre is one of the most promising young horses I have ever seen. He has three absolutely pure gaits with lots of elasticity and airtime, and yet he is very "collectible." He has a large percentage of Thoroughbred blood, and therefore is blessed with the intelligence and sensitivity, not to speak of work ethic I appreciate in the thoroughbred. It does not hurt that he has a competent and committed owner/rider who realizes his potential and is ready to do what is right by him. An extra bonus is that RD is a true American horse, bred and foaled in the USA .”





It is not unusual to see a smaller list of entries in the 6-year-old division in both the World Championships for Young Horses, as well as the National Qualifying classes.


“Imagine the 5 year old test as a First Level (with counter canter) with great emphasis put on superior gaits.” says Schobel. “The same emphasis is in the 6-year-old which I would consider a Fourth Level test. It is a huge step for such young horses, but my horse is up to the challenge.”

The United States first sent a representative to the World Chamionships for Young Horses in 2000. Shown here is Robert Dover on Tara Stegen's New Tango (KWPN by Contango) to finish in the top twelve of the 5-year-old division. The following year, New Tango's owner Tara Stegen had the opportunity to compete in the 6-year-old division.





Of the winners in each selection trials, the following horses elected to go to Europe for the World Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany, July 9-11.


Five-Year-Old Division

• Royal Prince, a Hanoverian stallion by Rohdiamant x Prince Tatch xx, ridden by Susanne Owen Hassler and owned by Hilltop Farm

• Sir Sinclair, the KWPN licensed stallion by Lord Sinclair x Flemmingh, ridden by with Dorie Addy Crow and owned by Iron Spring Farm, the chose to go to World Championships for Young Horses in Verden , Germany , July 9-11.

Royal Prince and Sir Sinclair have been traveling to Europe together. Susanne Hassler and Dorie Addy Crow will be training the horses with Michael Klimke and Dr. Ulf Möller in preparation of the Championships.

In The Six-Year-Old Division

• Bugatti a black Hanoverian stallion by Bergamon x Rubinstein x Donnerhall, is American owned by Hilltop Farm and has been competed by Germany 's Michael Klimke in Europe .

• Contester, the Holsteiner stallion by Contender x Lancetto, ridden by Nicole Perry and owned by ADARA Partners and standing at stud at Willy Arts' DG Bar Ranch in California. As of 06-05 - decided not to make the long and expensive journey to Europe .

On The Scene

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Related Links
Horsesdaily Who's Who – Elly Schobel
Horsesdaily Who's Who – Anne Gribbons
American Horses Selected for the 2004 World Young Horse Championships