Alice Tarjan who finished a strong second with her 6-year-old Somer Hit, also rode her own Oldenburg mare Elfenfeuer (Florencio-Unknown by Sion) to a first place finish in the five-year-old division at the Markel/USEF Eastern Selection Trials hosted by the VADA/Nova, Inc Summer Dressage Competition held at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Virginia. Elfenfeuer fell fractions of a point away from the short list, but improved from preliminary to final test with scores of 7.34 and 7.72 respectively. Tarjan purchased the imported mare as a three year old from Judy Yancey in Florida. “I liked her breeding, and she is beautiful. I thought if anything else she might make a good foxhunter, until I began training her and felt what I thought was something special.” Tarjan was excited this winter when in the same week both Robert Dover and Scott Hassler had a chance to see her in work, both having the same reaction. “Wow, this is a super big time horse,” was the reaction from both trainers, and in the five-year-old Final the judges agreed. Finishing second in the five-year-old division was San Regilio (San Schufro-Rowina by Rohdiamant).
Ridden and owned by Jules Nyssen the Westfallen Gelding kept the competition very close with test scores of 7.36 and 7.66. Nyssen a superior horseman and trainer makes three to four trips a year to the Netherlands, where he finds excellent examples of quality breeding this gelding being bred by Annabeth Reesink. Nyssen was thrilled with the result just a fraction behind Tarjan’s mare, and reiterated his enthusiasm for the program in the United States looking forward to aiming for the National Championships which will be held at Lamplight Equestrian Center, in Wayne Illinois, August 22-26, 2012.
Overall, it was a weekend that saw some very good individual performances and showcased promise for the future of U.S. Dressage and the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program.
"It's fun to see riders with new horses," said USEF Young Horse Dressage Coach Scott Hassler, "and it's really great to see horses (like Biscaya and Somer Hit) that have competed over the years in the four, five, and six year old divisions. This program should be inspiring, fun and a positive experience for those who have shown their commitment to developing their young horse talent with the National Championships and for some Verden as a goal.”
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