Lexington, VA— The Horse of Course is known not only for bringing high-quality tack, attire, and horse care supplies to dressage shows around the country, but also for presenting it’s High Score Award at several of the nation’s top shows. Traditionally, The Horse of Course High Score Award is presented to the competitor who receives the highest score of the entire show. At the Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (GAIG/USDF) Region 1 Dressage Championships, though, The Horse of Course decided to change things up.
As the GAIG/USDF Region 1 Championships were a qualifier for the 2015 US Dressage Finals, the stakes were high and the competition was intense. As an acknowledgment of the high quality of horse and rider combinations, The Horse of Course presented the High Score Award to the top scorer of each day of the competition held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia on October 15-18.
The four winners were Donna Gatchell with Don Tiago, Jessica Jo “JJ” Tate with Felis Apollo, Stephanie McNutt with Emalina, and Michael Bragdell with Sternlicht Hilltop. Each winner received an embroidered cooler for their horse from The Horse of Course to commemorate the special accomplishment.
On Thursday, Gatchell claimed the Horse of Course High Score title with a 75.192% in the Training Level Test 2. She was riding Don Tiago, a five-year-old Hanoverian (Don Henrico x Weltruhm). “This horse has such an amazing character, he is so genuine, and gives 110% all of the time,” said Gatchell, who plans to move Don Tiago to First Level for 2016. A long time customer of The Horse of Course, Gatchell’s favorite brands from the tack shop are Gersami, Pikeur, and König.
Tate won the First Level Test 3 Open on Friday with a 75.294% aboard the five-year-old US bred Dutch Warmblood gelding Felis Apollo (Ampere x Dream of Glory x Rubenstein). Tate enthused about her relationship with Felis Apollo, “It’s been a really fun experience with this horse! I think he will be very special in the future.”
Tate was very complementary of her experiences with The Horse of Course. She said, “I am a regular at the Horse of Course! I buy all kinds of things from bell boots to stirrup leathers to riding pants. Beth and Marty Haist of The Horse of Course are wonderful supporters of the sport.”
Saturday’s winners of The Horse of Course High Score Award, McNutt and Emalina, scored a 74.573% in their GAIG/USDF Second Level Adult Amateur Championship class. Emalina, called Em around the barn, is a six-year-old Dutch Harness Horse. “I have owned Em since she was a weanling. It is such a great feeling to be rewarded for the hard work that I put in, and to acknowledge that our training is on the right track for the future!” On receiving the award from The Horse of Course, McNutt said, “I am always happy to see The Horse of Course at shows as I know they carry the Perfect Products EQ, which help keep Em focused and ready to show her best!”
Bragdell and Sternlicht Hilltop took the top honors on Sunday. Sternlicht Hilltop is a five-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Soliman de Hus x Rascalino x Wesley). Bragdell was busy throughout the competition showing six horses, but finished with a bang. His last ride of the competition was Sunday evening with Sternlicht Hilltop, which earned The Horse of Course High Score Award. The pair won the GAIG/USDF First Level Open championship with a 76.397%. On riding Sternlicht Hilltop, Bragdell boasted, “He is so rideable and lets me push for a little bit more. That is what I really enjoyed with him at this show. He did whatever I asked. I was really trying to go for it, and he was all game.”
The Horse of Course has the reputation of being one of the country’s most loved tack shops; specializing in dressage tack, clothing, and supplies. The company is proud to provide riders with the quality tack that they need to stay on top.
The Horse of Course also offers riders and competitors access to quality tack online, and in the mobile store that travels the country to stop at the most prestigious show grounds. The Horse of Course supplies riders with popular brands such as König, Pikeur, Vespucci, Cavallo, Passler, and Sommer to equip both horse and human.
For more information about The Horse of Course, visit www.thehorseofcourse.com or call 888-494-6773.