The Wellington Classic Dressage Wild Card Challenge came to a close with the ending of the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge II and when the dust settled the rider holding the winning best hand was Janne Rumbough. At the final show in the Wild Card Challenge series, Rumbough drew the card that gave her a Full House and with it came a $5,000 prize and a chance to win more cash.
"I got to pick from 10 envelopes and one of them had another $5,000 in it. I picked the seventh envelope because JR is seven and his win got me my winning card," Rumbough said. "The $5,000 was in envelope 10, but I did win another $500 in cash and a $100 gift certificate from Dover Saddlery." Rumbough already has plans for the money – buying some stall mats for the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and some extra training for her.
Photo Credit:Wellington Classic Dressage Staff
Overall, Rumbough won five classes during the Challenge II. And she was clearly shocked at her Wild Card Challenge win, mostly, she said, because she knows very little about poker. "I can't believe it, I never win anything." She gave credit not only to the two horses she showed throughout the series that brought her the winning cards – JR and Winnie Too – but she also gave credit to Deborah Berger of Legacy Farms for helping sponsor the amateur classes she won.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler was another happy competitor at this year's Challenge II. She had three wins over the course of the show, including on the final day when she took the win in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle with Rutherford. It was his first ever freestyle, Bateson-Chandler said. "We've been concentrating on the tests and the freestyle hasn't been compulsory, but I knew I needed to have one sometime. We didn't even really practice it, we just went in there and I thought it would either be a disaster or really good."
It clearly wasn't a disaster and in the end, Bateson-Chandler and Rutherford, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jane Clark, scored a 72.250 for his first freestyle effort, which was developed with the help of Marlene Whitaker. "I'm really, really happy with him," Bateson-Chandler said. She's aiming for the National Dressage Championships with both Rutherford and Dea II.
The highest score of the three-day show was earned by Mikala Gundersen and Horses Unlimited's Pikko del Cerro. The pair earned a 79.200 in the FEI Test for Six-Year-Old Horses. The second highest score of the show was earned by Jessica Jo Tate riding Rosentanz to a 75.20 percent in Sunday's USEF Training Level Test 4. It was a great birthday present for Tate, whose birthday is Monday, March 9.
"It was a super show. I brought four horses and all of them hit scores in the 70s. I had only one score that didn't – a 69 percent but that was still a win," Tate said. Rosentanz is a five-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jackie Nixon-Fulton. It was only the second show together for Tate and Rosentanz. "We're really, really thrilled with her," Tate said. "I had the high score of the day on Friday and then she beat that today."
The mare came into training with Tate late last summer and she's really showing her talent. "She's really learning her job and becoming a fun horse. She tries so hard and she's a very special character," Tate said. She said the future plan for Rosentanz is to compete with her in the Young Horse competitions. "But mostly, we're just bringing her along and we'll let her tell us what she wants to do."