The 2018 American Driving Society North American Preliminary Championships was held in South Woodstock, Vermont August 23-26, featuring several divisions for single horse, preliminary pair pony, small pony and VSE.
In the largest and always competitive single pony division it was fourteen-year-old Riley Wiltison of Maryland who bested a field of eight to claim the Pony Single Championship with Willow’s Aslan.
With the team work of trainer USE Pony Driving veteran Tracey Morgan, and Cynthia Buzan-Doll, Riley trains hard throughout the winter in Florida and commuting to Morgan's farm in Maryland.
With Kenny Cox as navigator, Riley was on track in the marathon. Fiercely competitive, her knew he had alot to make up after his dressage and cones.
Sitting fifth coming into Sunday’s marathon, their blisteringly fast times that topped the charts in each of the six obstacles moved them into championship position.
Reserve champion was Ontario’s Michelle Courtemanche and Fashionista, who scored an impressive 43.6 in Friday’s Dressage test followed by a double clear in cones.
Other Divisions-Other Winners
New Jersey’s Mary Mott and Townshend Robinhood edged out New York’s Dirk Young and Averil Yes for the Single Horse Championship. Mott and her Morgan came into Sunday’s marathon neck in neck with Young and his Haflinger after Dressage and Cones, a close battle that separated the two by less than two tenths of a point in the final results.
Daniel Rosenthal drove his two Dartmoors, Millcreek Rice Krispy and Singletree Roadside Skipper, with his trademark precision to secure the Pony Pair Championship. The pair from New Jersey boasted an impressive 51 in Dressage.
The Small Pony Champion was Connecticut’s Cynthia Bliven and Stonecroft Fancy Package. The duo held on through all three phases.
Linda Peterson, of Connecticut, and Dually claimed the VSE Single Championship with a notable double clear in cones. Reserve went to Dorothy Maggio and Royal Oaks Painted Berry of Vermont. Both VSEs topped the steep mound in obstacle six, inspiring boisterous cheering from the throngs of fans milling about the obstacle.
It was a world class competition in many ways managed by Simon Rosenman and GMHA’s Executive Director Tracy Ostler co-organized the event. FEI Course Designer, and designer for the World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Richard Nicoll designed and built an impressive course that was both challenging and fun for the competitors and visually spectacular for fans. Ellen Ettenger had a break from her duties as organizer for the Driving at the World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 was the Technical Delegate. President of the Jury Francois Bergeron was joined by Mickie Bowen and Sem Groenewoud.
Visit americandrivingsociety.org for complete results
Contributors: Jennifer Thompson, Daphne White, Katie Whaley