Wayne, Ill. - The final group of champions was determined on Sunday as the USDF Region 2 Championship concluded. Rachael Hicks of Louisville, Kentucky, stole the show this weekend, winning three championships on her talented horses. On Friday, she won the Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur Championship on her 9-year-old Rheinlander stallion Don Cartier. On the final day of competition, Hicks came away with a one-two finish in the Intermediaire I Adult Amateur Championship with Don Cartier and Fabio Bellini, as well as winning the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship with Apollo.
"This weekend has been fun and it felt really great [to win multiple championships]," Hicks said. "My horses will probably get to go out hacking for a week and then we will gear up for U.S. Dressage Finals in Kentucky."
A mother of three children, Hicks keeps her horses at her own barn and has trained with Caroline Roffman for several years.
"Caroline was not able to make it this weekend but the cool thing about working with someone who is that good is that she gives you the tools to be able to get it done on your own so I feel proud of both myself and her for our accomplishments this weekend," Hicks Explained.
Hicks impressed the judges with her fluid test on her 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Apollo, which earned her the tricolor ribbon in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship with a 73.4 percent. Amy Grahn and Zabaco won the reserve championship with a 64.3 percent.
"It was his career best so I'm really proud of him," Hicks said. "We had a mistake in the one tempis but everything else was so consistent and fluid. I was pleasantly surprised that he kept the energy going throughout the whole test which can sometimes be a challenge."
Adrienne Pot, of Barrington, Illinois, won the Grand Prix Freestyle on Elizabeth Bramsen's 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Something Special C, on Saturday. The pair returned this morning to head down centerline in the Grand Prix Open Championship. After improving their pirouettes and putting in a clean test, Pot earned a 68.05 percent to clinch the championship title. Noel Williams and Sir Velo won the reserve championship with a 64.6 percent.
"I'm thrilled to be the double Grand Prix winner!" Pot said. "I was very pleased with him and he was very honest giving me all that he could. His walk can be tense, but today I gave him a longer rein and he was better and relaxed."
Pot has had the ride on Something Special C for three years and has spent two years competing him at CDI competitions in Wellington, Florida. Though she will be judging at the U.S. Dressage Finals, which makes her ineligible to compete, Pot looks forward to the winter season in Florida.
"It has taken quite awhile for us to build a partnership," Pot explained. "He's a nervous horse and it takes awhile to earn his trust. I'm so appreciative of the generosity of Elizabeth and James Bramsen!"
Young Rider Kayla Barteau has had a stand out weekend earning titles on multiple horses. On Saturday, Barteau claimed the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire II Junior/Young Rider Championships. On the final day of competition, Barteau rode her partner of four years, GP Ubilee, to a win in the Intermediaire I Junior/Young Rider Championship with a 66.974 percent. Allison Gerlt and Sir Lommel earned the reserve championship with a 64.605 percent.
"My ride went very well this morning and it was probably one of the best I1 that I've done on him," Barteau explained. "He was calm and went through the test nicely."
Ginna Frantz's 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding has competed with Barteau at four FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, as well as at multiple Festival of Champions. Barteau has been working on improving their throughness and connection from behind to help with their lead changes. She has hopes of developing GP Ubilee, an experienced exhibition horse for her family's barn, KYB Dressage, into a successful Grand Prix horse.
"We will start working on one tempis and piaffe-passage work to see if we can finish him to Grand Prix," Barteau explained. "If not, we will have one of our junior riders at our barn ride him to hopefully qualify for Juniors."
In addition to her win on Sunday morning, Barteau finished out the weekend claiming the Fourth Level Junior/Young Rider Championship on Raymond with a 68.056 percent and the Grand Prix Junior/Young Rider Championship on Merlin with a 62.1 percent.
Allison Gerlt had a spectacular ride on Jennifer Quirk's 7-year-old Rheinlander mare Dahlia to claim the win in the Second Level Junior/Young Rider Championship with a score of 73.110 percent. The reserve spot went to Isabel Linder and Elvis with a score of 70.366 percent.
"As soon as I got in the arena I just knew that we had it," Gerlt grinned. "I talked to one of my best friends earlier and she told me on this last ride to just have fun. I just went for it, I gave it everything that I could and Dahlia was right there with me. I couldn't have asked her for anything more."
Gerlt, a student at Illinois College, has had the young mare since December. The pair spent last winter in Florida getting to know each other and Gerlt is thrilled with her progress.
"She's just awesome," Gerlt said. "She's a very thoughtful ride. You can't push her too much. Since we've been home it's just been unreal the progress that we've made."
In the Training Level Adult Amateur Championship, Sara Davisson, a middle school teacher from Calamus, Iowa, was thrilled with her 4-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding's performance. Davisson and Havallo have had a busy summer competing, especially in the Young Horse classes to help him gain experience.
"He's a rockstar! After his ride today he played with my kids and ate apples - that's the intensity of my program," Davisson laughed. "He'll probably go home, sleep for a week and then we will be heading to nationals. It takes a village to do this."
Sunday, Sept. 25, GAIG/USDF Region 2 Championship Results
Grand Prix Open Championship
1. Adrienne Pot/Something Special C/68.05
2. Noel Williams/Sir Velo/64.60
3. Shelly Reichart/Welttaenser/63.90
5. Charlotte Bayley-Schindelholz/Unlimited/62.70
6. Martin Kuhn/Paddington/62.10
Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship
1. Rachel Hicks/Apollo/73.40
2. Amy Grahn/Zabaco/64.30
3. Jenifer Gaffney/Fabio/57.60
4. Katie Stanton-Nichols/Savanna/56.25
Grand Prix Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Kayla Barteau/Merlin/62.100
Intermediaire I Adult Amateur Championship
1. Rachel Hicks/Don Cartier/75.592
2. Rachel Hicks/Fabio Bellini/74.276
3. Jessica Nilles/Wish/71.579
4. Alison Lee Bush/Tannehauser/70.132
5. Susan Griffiths/Algebraic Expression/ 66.053
6. Erin Cartwright/Ruben/65.395
Intermediaire I Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Kayla Barteau/GP Ubilee/66.974
2. Allison Gerlt/Sir Lommel/64.605
3. Isabella Zdolshek/Samorano/64.211
4. Hannah DeCou/Donnerdiamonte/61.579
Prix St. Georges Open Championship
1. Reese Koffler-Stanfield/Elancourt/69.671
2. Jennifer Conour/Daisy Van Wittenstein P/69.474
3. Joanne White/Basia DSB/68.684
4. Jessica Paine/Westen/68.289
5. Constance Vanderweele/Amor W/67.763
6. Brittany Burson/Jazz Dance/66.645
Fourth Level Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Kayla Barteau/Raymond/68.056
2. Rebekah Mingari/Elzarma TF/67.667
3. Jacquelynn Mackie/Weltrubin 5/66.722
4. Stephanie Freeland/Soltaire/63.667
5. Karrah Wyckoff/Sparklin' Red/60.667
Third Level Adult Amateur Championship
1. Christopher Palabe/Dow Jones I/71.026
2. Amy Beissner/Reveille/70.705
3. Linda Egeland/Fleur Royale/67.821
4. Kelly Griffith/Agathon JP/66.603
5. Donna Chicca/Silke/66.026
6. Amy Richwine/Rohan/65.513
Second Level Open Championship
1. Nicole Avila/Won Ruby/73.659
2. Alissa Frye/Infinit Legacy/71.220
3. Kristen Becker/Amadeus/70.366
4. Martin Kuhn/Rapson/69.390
5. Connor Giesselman/RF Mandalay Bay/69.329
6. Kristen Becker/Prinz Pontus We/69.268
Second Level Junior/Young Rider Championship
1. Allison Gerlt/Dahlia/73.110
2. Isabel Linder/Elvis/70.366
3. Carley Binder/Wynston/67.787
4. Kayla Lemoine/Star Spangle Banner/67.50
5. Alyssa Basak/Rivera/66.037
6. Jaclyn Davis/Classic Dancer/66.037
Training Level Adult Amateur Championship
1. Sara Davisson/Havallo/72.50
2. Rose Grant/Sundance/72.159
3. Linda Kimbell/Baltimore/71.25
4. Alison Otter/Sing A Song LC/70.455
5. Kiley Dill/Akvavit/70.227
6. Paige Schlicksup/Baroque/69.659
14 to 18 USDF Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Finals
1. Callie Jones/Don Philippo/80.00
2. Brynne Varvel/Big Indian Creek/77.00
3. Madelyn Taray/Cupid/76.00
4. Nicole Borke/Robuck/70.00
13 and Under USDF Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Finals (from Saturday)
1. Abigail Taft/Hudson/80.00
2. Vivienne Gramza/Spikeweiser/78.00
3. Ellanor Boehning/Kabam/75.00
4. Meredith Denton/Just G/74.00
5. Elizabeth Lundeen/Champs Proof/70.00
6. Sophia Murray/Sunny Delight/68.00