A field of 11 completed the first step in their quest for a championship by riding their FEI Pony Team Test for the first 50% of their overall score. Fifteen-year-old Katrina Sadis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) rode Dressage4Kids, Inc.'s Poldy 10 to the win after earning a score of 70.385%. She and the 18-year-old German Riding gelding had a beautiful test with smooth transitions to finish almost four percentage points ahead of the second place competitor. My ride was amazing. The pony I got on was the best he has ever been," stated Sadis. "He was with me the whole test." Sadis has been riding Poldy 10 for seven months and has found great success with him since she began leasing him. She hopes to keep Poldy 10 a bit rounder and more attentive to have an even better performance on Sunday.
Thirteen-year-old Hanna Benne (Satellite Beach, Fla.) and her and Susanne Benne's Helluva Dream Maker had a very nice test to finish in second place on a score of 66.564%. She and the seven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding painted a lovely picture in their first appearance at the U.S. Festival of Champions presented The Dutta Corp. "He was really on point today," said Benne. "He was really willing to do everything I asked." Benne hopes to have "Dreamer" more awake to have a better ride for her final test.
Jessica Fan, a 15-year-old native of Lake Jackson, Texas, and Madoc Prince Phillip were the third-place finishers with a score of 65.949%. She felt Leslie Fan's 11-year-old Welsh Pony gelding was there from the beginning of the test, but plans to work on their left shoulder-in and jazzing up "Phillip" for their test on Sunday, when the riders will earn the remaining 50% from the FEI Pony Individual Test to decide the winner of the championship.
The competition will begin Saturday morning at 8:00 am ET with the remainder of the Intermediaire I division.
Photos provided by Susan J Stickle - the Official Photographer of The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp