Jennifer Conour and Theoden, a Stallion by Kennedy Win 5-Year-Old USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Central Selection Trial


The USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Program kicked off 2005 with the first of three official Selection Trials at the CDI 3*/Y Cincinnati and Spring Classic I & II, held May 13 – 15 at beautiful Paxton Farm in Batavia, Ohio. This USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Central Selection Trial for the FEI World Breeding Championships showcased the region’s most promising dressage prospects in their quest to qualify for The World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany, held July 1-3. The USEF/Markel National Young Horse Championships will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, September 9-11.

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 on Saturday counts 40% towards the overall results, with the Finale Test held Sunday, 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.





On Day 1, the Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test was won by Wolkenwand, a chestnut Hanoverian gelding ridden and owned by Anthea Kin of Mounds, OK with a score of 7.74. Second was the dark brown Dutch Warmblood stallion by Kennedy Theoden (7.22) ridden by Jennifer Conour for owner Phoebe Crane of Whitestown, IN.


For the Finale Test on Day 2 the unfortunate scratch of 5-year-old Wolkenwand influenced the outcome. Stepping up to win the class was Jennifer Conour and Phoebe Crane’s stallion Theoden with a test score of 7.3, thereby finishing with an overall combined average score of 7.27 to claim the Five-Year-Old Selection Trial Championship.


Jennifer Conour and Theoden Learn From Judges




“As a rider, it is nice to get the help from a panel of judges to hear what your strengths, AND weaknesses are,” Conour told DressageDaily. “The young horse format is special as the judges must discuss and concur to give a score, rather then each judge just give their individual opinion, which may be influenced by personal preference.”


Conour who also trains Katie Stanton and Savannah in the six-year-old division has made the Young Horse Finals a goal now for the past 2 years. “It is my privilege to ride Phoebe Crane’s stallion, Theoden. Although he is 5, I am certain that he is already a grand prix horse just waiting for me to figure out the right buttons!! It seems there is nothing for me to teach him, as he figures out my new demands so rapidly. He is really the most rideable horse that I have ever been on. He has 3 solid and pure gaits. His canter is something to ride, very adjustable and so uphill, a real pleasure. Someone at the last show commented that even their grandmother could ride his canter.”


Owner of Twighlit Barbara Jo Rubin in Racing History Books




The Reserve Championship was taken by Twilight and Angela Hecker-Jackson with 7.2 for the test and an overall score of 7.05. Twilight, a bay Dutch Warmblood mare by Ferro, is owned by Barbara Jo Rubin of Troy, IL. Barbara Jo Rubin was the first U. S. woman jockey to win a flat race against male riders, in 1969. After retiring from flat racing, Rubin has dabbled in all equestrian sports including carriage driving, and has now settled on dressage, “because it’s the one thing I haven’t done yet!”


DressageDaily will be On the Scene this weekend in California for the Western Selection Young Horse Selection Trials.

Related Links
Take an On-Line Insurance Tour with Mary Phelps, a Markel Equine Insurance Specialist
Horsesdaily 'On the Scene' at Paxton Farm CDI - News and Results
USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Program