George Williams, USEF Dressage Team Veteran, President of the United States Dressage Association, and head of the US Dressage Committee will be a busy man at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships and Developing Horse Championships in Wayne, Illinois later this week. That is because in the first time in the history of the event, a competitor will have an entry in each division. “I realized early on that I had a unique opportunity this year as I happened to have a four, five, six and nine year old in training,” said Williams. “They are all very good horses and I thought it would be a fun goal to try to qualify one for each division.”
In the Four-Year-Old class, Williams will be riding Horizon, Elizabeth Juliano’s Oldenburg mare by Hotline, in the Five-Year-Old class he will be in the irons with Melissa Mulchahey’s Westphalen gelding by Sandro Bedo, Sir Velo, and in the Six –Year-Old division he will be competing with Juliano’s Riccidoff by Riccone. The Lamplight Equestrian Center is also hosting the USEF Developing Horse Champiosnships sponsored by Dutta Corp and PSI, and Williams has a horse in that division as well, Juliano’s Oldenburg mare Cleopatra by Diamond Hit.
The three horses George is competing for Juliiano as well as the horse she will be competing in the AA division, were purchased over the years from PSI and shipped by Dutta Corporation. Cleopatra was purchased at the PSI auction in 2007 and Riccidoff and Horizon were purchased at the 2010 auction.
“All four horses were at the appropriate level of training for their required tests. I could have focused on the technical tests with the three young horses, and I have competed them at respective levels and have qualified them for the Regional Championships as well,” Williams added. “However, I like the Young Horse tests and how they evaluate the quality of the horse and incorporate the principles of development and training. Cleopatra is a very talented mare and I see the Developing Horse program as a real stepping-stone to the high performance program.
Williams, from Delaware, Ohio rides primarily for Elizabeth Juliano and her Havensafe Farm in Gates Mills, Ohio, and also teaches and trains with his wife Roberta and daughter Noel as Williams Dressage LLC. Melissa Mulchahey and FEI rider herself has worked with Williams since 2003.
“I specifically purchased Sir Velo for George to compete in the Young Horse Division as a stepping stone to an FEI career,” said Mulchaey who also owns another horse in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, the four-year-old Furst Fiorano Westphalen Gelding by Furst Piccolo, ridden by Allyssa Pitts who is travelling from Snohomish, Washington. Pitts will also be competing with Williams in the Developing Horse division on her Jil Sander, her own nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Don Larino.