Lexington, KY - The best young dressage horses on the East Coast delivered top performances at the 2013 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Eastern Selection Trial in Leesburg, Virginia. Held in conjunction with the VADA/NOVA Summer June Dressage Show, these five- and six-year-old horses aimed for a spot to represent the U.S. at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Dressage Young Horses in Verden, Germany in August, as well as a spot on the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Short List. Combinations needed to score 8.2 or higher to be eligible to represent the U.S. in Verden, while a score of 7.8 or higher would earn a place on the Markel/USEF Short List. Selection Trial competition had both five- and six-year-olds perform their respective FEI Preliminary Tests which accounted for 40% of the overall score. The remaining 60% of scores was earned in their respective FEI Final Tests.
Silva Martin (Unionville, PA) had an impressive weekend, claiming the top three places with her mounts in the five-year-old division. Fortissimo B (ES Fabuleux x EM Romai/Rubinstein I) took home the win after earning a 7.700 in the FEI Preliminary Test and an 8.120 in the FEI Final Test for a total score of 7.952 with Martin. With that score, Camilla Van Liew's Hanoverian Stallion earned a place on the Markel/USEF Short List.
"Fortissimo B was great on both days," said Martin. "He really tried for me and I think he is going to have an amazing future!"
Melinda Walton's Hanoverian gelding Benefactor RRS (Bonheur x Heidekleid/Rubinstein I) earned a total score of 7.80 with Martin after receiving a 7.56 in the FEI Preliminary Test and a 7.96 in the FEI Final Test, also qualifying him for the Markel/USEF Short List. Martin also rode Anne Laver and Windurra USA, LLC's Dutch Warmblood gelding Di Solitaire (unknown breeding) to receive a 7.52 and a 7.72 for a total score of 7.64.
In the six-year-old division, Kim Gentry (Germantown, TN) and Leonardo (Solos Landtinus x Rambala/Rambo) came out on top with a 7.32 in the FEI Preliminary Test and a 7.92 in the FEI Final Test for a total score of 7.68. The Danish Warmblood gelding performed well for rider/owner Gentry and showed much potential for the future.
"I am really excited about the outcome. The feedback from judges on Saturday's test was that I needed more collection and more engagement, so I really worked on that and showing clearer transitions within the gaits on Sunday," said Gentry. "I thought about where I could show him off, which is in his changes, so I asked him for a more uphill balance with his changes and he really delivered. Being so young, I can feel that there is more to come out of him which is really exciting."
Alice Tarjan (Oldwick, NJ) rode her own Oldenburg mare Elfenfeuer (Florencio x Unknown/Sion) to a second place finish, earning a total score of 7.24 after receiving a 7.30 in the FEI Preliminary Test and a 7.20 in the FEI Final Test.
To learn more about VADA/NOVA Summer June Dressage Show, visit http://www.vadanova.org/.
To learn more about the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program, visit http://usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldressage/NatlYHProgram.aspx.