Jessica Blackmon of Valley View, Texas, and Marlee O’Neil of Chester, Vermont, were named champions in their respective age divisions at the 2005 USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals in Allentown, New Jersey, May 27-29. The third-annual Finals took place at the Horse Park of New Jersey, and played host to 23 of the country’s best junior dressage riders, who competed in two age divisions: 13 & under and 14 to 18 years of age. The 17-year-old Blackmon and 13-year-old O’Neil will have their names engraved on the perpetual Hart trophy kept on display in the United States Equestrian Federation offices in Lexington, Kentucky.
The purpose of the Dressage Seat Medal Program is to promote and reward excellence in equitation, including correct seat, position, and use of aids in the sport of dressage. The rider, not just the horse, is the primary focus of the judges’ scrutiny, one of the many unique aspects that makes the title a true honor for junior dressage riders. Junior riders in these Finals qualified by competing in the 2004 Semi-Finals, which took place at each of the Great American/USDF Regional Championships.
Results of the 2005 USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals are as follows:
14 – 18 Division:
(Rider, Hometown, Horse, Final Score)
- Champion: Jessica Blackmon, Valley View, TX, Saint Simon (6-year-old KWPN Dutch Warmblood stallion, owned by Lisa Blackmon), 81.667%
- Reserve: Robyn Weston, Grandville, MI, Polensio (8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Robyn Weston), 81.667%
13 & Under Division:
(Rider, Hometown, Horse, Breeding, Score)
- Champion: Marlee O’Neil, Chester, VT, Oblahdie (9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Marlee O’Neil), 85.000%
- Reserve: Kelli Newton, RS Margarita, CA, Bar Hopping Hunter (8-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse gelding, owned by Quina Nelling), 80.667%
Photo courtesy: Lisa Blackmon