Lexington, Ky.- Two divisions kicked off competition on Thursday at the 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp, while Intermediaire I competitors completed their second tests of the weekend. Kim Herslow and Rosmarin continue to hold the lead in The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship following a solid effort in the afternoon. In the first test of the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship, Ayden Uhlir and Sjapoer powered to top honors. Earlier in the morning, Bebe Davis and Rotano began their National Title quest with a win in the first of two performances of the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. The 12 Small Tour competitors returned to the Rolex Stadium on Thursday afternoon to complete the FEI Intermediaire I Test and earn a further 45% of their championships score. Herslow (Stockton, N.J.) and Kiroli Enterprises Inc.'s Hanoverian gelding were the winners of Wednesday's FEI Prix St. Georges and continued to impress in their second test of the weekend. Rosmarin once again demonstrated stunning ground-covering gaits to score 75.789% to win the FEI Intermediaire I test and continue to lead The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship.
"I'm thrilled with my horse. I had a couple bobbles, but overall I'm thrilled," said Herslow of her performance on Thursday. "There is so much more horse there; we're just scratching the surface."
Despite only being eight years old, Rosmarin is already quite experienced in the competitive arena, including being part of the winning U.S. team at the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. Herslow believes the gelding continues to improve with each competition and thoroughly enjoys his job.
"I feel like he gets into the groove each show; he gets better and better. He studies his work," said Herslow. "He lets you enjoy the ride. I'm lucky to have him."
Caroline Roffman rode the 2012 USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp and Performance Sales International winner, Her Highness O, to a second-place finish for the second consecutive day. The pair, which competed in Small Tour competition at the Aachen CDIO5* this summer, performed a solid test that was just marred by too many two-time changes to score 73.053%.
"Yesterday I had mistakes in the changes. Today I had great changes, I just did too many," said a pragmatic Roffman of her test with her own 10-year-old Hanoverian mare. "There were a lot of highlights for me. I was really happy."
Roffman and Her Highness O stand second in the championship with one test remaining.
Sarah Lockman (Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.) and Pamela Munson's 11-year-old KWPN gelding Vinterpol have risen to third place in the championship after earning a 70.553% and third-place finish on Thursday.
The Intermediaire I Championships comes to a conclusion on Saturday as the Small Tour combinations perform their Freestyle Tests and earn the remaining 15% of the championship score.
Find out everything you need to know about the championships at http://www.usefconnect.com/festival/.
Susan J Stckle is the offiial photographer of the Dutta Corp/USEF FEstival of Champions