Hot Scores from Cool August Nights Dressage and Breed Show



The Cornerstone Dressage Southern California Dressage Series

continued August 26-29 with Cool August Nights and Breed Show, which featured the Markel/Cornerstone Championships as well as everything from Green Horse to Masters Division (for riders 45 and older) classes.

Friday night, exhibitors and spectators were treated to “Dressage Goes To The Beach,” a special evening of good food and fun entertainment. Show manager Glenda McElroy said, “It was lots of fun, and we had a great crowd. We played Beach Boys music and showcased the Cornerstone/Markel Champions, special musical freestyles, and the dynamic Rainbow Riders Drill Team. We also held a very successful silent auction to raise money for Paws-LA and hosted about 175 people for dinner.”

David Wilson and Special Agent (Photo: Genia Ply)
David Wilson and Special Agent (Photo: Genia Ply)

While the cool evening temperatures provided welcome respite from the California summer heat, the competition was hot all weekend long. David Wilson of W Farms has done well with Special Agent (Kathryn Phillips, owner), an Oldenburg by Sandro Hit, all season, and he continued his streak at Cool August Nights. All of the judges gave him high scores, and the pair was named the Cornerstone/Markel High Point Series Open Champions and Lower Level High Percentage Champions. They won the First Level Open Championship with 76.842% as well as winning their Test 3 class with 79.143%.

David was very pleased with the horse’s results. “I feel that Special Agent’s performances warranted the scores. I was most pleased that all the judges saw him consistently in the same field and scored him accordingly.” Wilson just imported Special Agent from Germany in December, when Kathryn told him she wanted a special horse. Although they are still getting to know each other, David and Special Agent are already a great team. “I feel that his progress has been excellent. He is has a tremendous work ethic and enjoys what he does. He is very trainable, and therefore I think he has real potential to go to the top of the sport.”

The CDS Championships is right around the corner, and many of the riders at Cool August Nights are headed there, including David and Special Agent. “He will be going to the CDS and USDF Region 7 Championships. My plans are to continue to train him throughout the fall and winter months and see where he is at early springtime before deciding where to place him for the 2011 show season. I think Special Agent is a shining star. If he continues along this path, then I think there is no goal this horse cannot achieve.”

As for the show, David added, “I thought that the show was excellently run, as usual, and that the footing was the best it has ever been. I was very pleased to compete there.”


Emily Tears garnered her own fair share of prizes. With her Lopaca, a 10-year-old Holsteiner by Lorentin, she won the FEI Freestyle with 78.250%, the Intermediaire Amateur Championship with 69.211% and was the FEI Junior/Amateur High Percentage Champion. With Absolute Zephyr (Karen Ball, owner), a seven-year-old Zweibrucker, she topped the Second Level Championship with 72.857%, along with several other wins on both horses with scores in the high 60s.

Emily imported Lopaca from the Holsteiner Verband when he was four years old and has brought him along with the help of trainer Karen Ball. Karen purchased Absolute Zephyr this spring, but has been unable to ride recently due to a surgery, so she has given Emily the opportunity to show him.

Emily explained, “These horses are quite different. They are both energetic, but Lopaca is very light in the contact, where as Absolute is very powerful and not afraid to take some contact. He is a challenging horse, but once you figure him out, he is so much fun to ride. I am, obviously, thrilled about the high scores that I received at this horse show. I have had an intense summer of training, and it is always nice to have your scores reflect the work that you put into it.”

Emily will be showing both horses at the CDS Championships. “I like Cool August Nights, because it is very nice to not have to ride in the middle of the day with that heat, and I also like having the Cornerstone Championships. I feel like it is a good warm up show for Regionals. The management has always been really good to us, and I really appreciate that.”

Emily Tears and Lopaca (Photo: Genia Ply)
Emily Tears and Lopaca (Photo: Genia Ply)

Dantia Benson will also be taking two horses to the CDS Championships, and if her performances at Cool August Nights are any indicator, she should have another good show since she won the Amateur Training Level Championship with her Bad Boy, a Dutch Warmblood by Olivi, earning a score of 70.800%. With Sophia, her Swedish Warmblood by Fighting Fit, she was the Amateur Third Level Champion with 69.535%.

Of her great prizes Dantia commented, “Markel is so generous. The prizes are very nice, and I will be proud to wear such a nice jacket. I feel both of my horses worked so well for me at the show. I am so lucky to be able to ride and show them.”

Some other top riders at the show included Deborah Martin, who was the Amateur High Point Champion and the Lower Level Amateur High Percentage Champion with Cheyenne, Makenna Moore was the Junior/Young Rider High Point Champion and the Lower Level Junior/Young Rider High Percentage Champion with Michelangelo, and Ardean Bennett was the Breed Show High Point Champion with Dazzling Winter. Jan Ebeling earned the FEI High Percentage Championship with Rosenzauber 8, while Erika Reinig and Fraktura won the Upper Level. Joanna Speed-Rose was the Upper Level Amateur High Percentage Champion with Nagano, and Shannon Fox had that honor in the Junior/Young Rider division with Va Grand Rouge Escobar.

Cornerstone Dressage will hold their final Southern California show of the year, the Dressage Holiday Special, December 11-12. Meanwhile, their final Woodside show for 2010 will be the Woodside Autumn Dressage and Breed Show September 17-19.

To learn more about Cornerstone Dressage and all the shows, including complete results, visit the website at http://www.cornerstonedressage.com.




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