Winning the Preliminary test of the Six-Year-Old division was Luminence, a grey Oldenburg gelding by Leonidas out Willa, is owned by Mary Contakos of Moorpark, California, and ridden to a score of 7.70 by Olympian Hilda Gurney. Gurney was a judge at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden in 2004. As a breeder, trainer, and judge, she understands the value in presenting quality horses in the Young Horse program in this country. A truly American bred horse, Gurney bred the sire, Leonidas, the dam and the grandmother. “I pulled Luminence from his mother’s womb, and have been involved in his life every day since.” Hilda told DressageDaily. “The Young Horse class is an FEI level elite class, meant to present horses with a talent to become a future CDI horse. And as a breeder to make this level is a proof of the breeding quality.”
Second was the brown Danish Warmblood gelding “Asterios” (6.68) owned and ridden by Charlotte Jorst of Reno, NV. Immediately following in third with a score of 6.66 was “Oxsana”, a grey American Holsteiner mare ridden by Carrie Rollins of Villa Park, CA for owner Barbara Haney of San Juan Capistrano, CA.
The Finale Test on Day 2 provided some upsets in placings for both age divisions. In the Six-Year-Olds, “Luminence” and Hilda Gurney continued to dominate the division with a solid test score of 7.64, resulting in 7.664 overall to win the Six-Year-Old Western Selection Trial Championship. Carrie Rollins and “Oxsana” improved from the Preliminary Test to score a 6.78 in the Finale, thereby clinching the Reserve Championship with a 6.732 overall, with Charlotte Jorst’s “Asterios” placing third.
The USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Western Selection Trial for the FEI World Breeding Championships showcased the Western region’s most promising dressage prospects in their quest to qualify for The FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in July in Verden, Germany.
In a new format this year, the Selection Trial competition is comprised of two tests for each age division (Five- & Six-Year-Old): the Preliminary Test and the Finale Test. Held over two days, the Preliminary Test counts 40% towards the overall results, with the Finale Test being the determining factor at 60% of the total. In addition, all horses must have pre-qualified by earning a score of at least 6.8 in a previous Young Horse test in order to contest the Trial, thereby raising the bar for all entrants.