Wayne, Ill. - The first three of five 2014 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com National Titles were awarded Saturday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, in Developing Grand Prix Horse, Four- and Five-Year-Old, and Seat Medal Final 13 & Under divisions. All competitors rode in front of the experienced panel of Christel Carlson, Sandy Hotz, and Jane Weatherwax. In the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse Dressage National Championship presented by HorseShow.com, Donatus earned his first National Championship. The field of seven Developing Grand Prix Horse combinations returned to Lamplight's Championship Arena to earn the remaining 60% of their championship scores by performing the USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse Test. They carried forward the score from Thursday's FEI Intermediaire II Test, which composed the first 40% of their scores.
Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and Everglades Dressage LLC's Donatus (Don Schufro x Zuchtbuch/Caramel) were the winners of Thursday's class and returned to the Championship Arena looking to earn the National Championship. The 10-year-old Wurttemberger gelding once again demonstrated his aptitude for the Grand Prix movements to finish second in the Championship Class on a score of 69.917% and an overall winning total of 69.406%.
"I was super happy with my test," Ots said. "Donatus was warmed up; very, very supple. I really tried to push it a little bit more in the piaffe and passage today; I was a little conservative the other day. I'm really happy with it. I made a mistake in my ones, I didn't connect him going into it, but he just tried his heart out, right until the end. It was super positive; really, really fun."
Reserve Champion honors went to Emily Wagner (La Cygne, Kan.) and her own WakeUp (Wagnis x Maiden Montreal/Macho). The nine-year-old American Warmblood stallion improved upon her performance on Thursday to best the field in the Championship Class with a score of 70.042% and finish on a an overall score of 69.324%. WakeUp also received the Highest Place U.S. Bred award.
Katie Riley (White House Station, N.J.) and her own 10-year-old KWPN stallion Zanzibar (Consul x Juventafee/Farmer) secured third-place honors with an overall total of 67.585%. On Saturday, they cruised to 67.583% to earn third place in the class.
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