Wayne, IL- WakeUp has risen to the occasion year after year at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships since making his debut as a 4-year-old, earning multiple championships and reserves. While an injury that sidelined him for months put his attendance at the 2015 Championships in question, he showed he is not only back, but ready to win with a blue ribbon performance in the first test of his division.
WakeUp and owner/rider Emily Miles scored 72.149 percent in the FEI Intermediaire II, one of two tests in the Developing Horse Grand Prix division. The 10-year-old American Warmblood stallion (Wagnis-Made in Montreal, Macho) fractured his coffin bone in January, and the injury was not correctly diagnosed until May. After carefully rehabbing him, Miles is thrilled to have him back in action.
"I'm just so, so thankful to be here," Miles said. "This is his last graduating year, and that's an amazing thing. Four months ago I didn't even know where he was going to be, so I feel so incredibly thankful to have him and to be here. Then to have an awesome ride - it's a little overwhelming."
Miles also took second place in Friday morning's 6-year-old preliminary test with Floretienne, scoring 7.98 with the Oldenburg gelding owned by Leslie Waterman. "He was a rock star today," Miles said of Floretienne. "I have to thank WakeUp for giving me the opportunity to meet someone like Leslie, who now owns four horses I have in training. She's a sympathetic, amazing owner who wants the best."
Lisa Wilcox is a big fan of Gallant Reflection HU, and the Zweibrucker stallion bred and owned by Horses Unlimited LLC is showing that her confidence is well placed. He rolled to a score of 8.04 to take the blue ribbon in the 6-year-old preliminary test. "He's proving to me that he is the awesome horse I think he is," Wilcox said. "When he does get into that show arena it's so nice to see how well he can concentrate despite internal anxieties. He trusted, he went in, he did his job. That's a good athlete."