Alice Tarjan (Frenchtown, NJ) has an eye and a feel for what it takes to to not only get the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, but also to succeed. With two horses entered in the four-year-old division, Tarjan finished first and second. The goregeous black Hanoverian mare by Sir Donnerhall out of Maryanna Haymon's mare Duet by Don Principe, was light and lilting as she floated across the ring.
“[Serenade MF] understands her job in the ring,” said Tarjan. “You cluck at her and she just goes. Her balance is really coming along, so I was really pleased with her. She was super. She is a good horse and she is super trainable. This horse is the whole package…she has no weaknesses.”
Tarjan impressed judges Gary Rockwell and Sarah Geike scoring a high mark of 8.44. The judges awarded Serenade MF high marks on all three gaits for her expressive, uphill trot, ground-covering walk and active canter. Their general impression was a positive one as they recognized the mare's trainable qualities and forward gaits.
And she did it again, with her other 4-year-old mare, Fairouz.
Bred in Germany by Bramall/Dusche Gbr, the lovely bay Oldenburg mare by Franziskus out of Diva by Don Frederico was a close second with an 8.06. Her light-footed, active trot, was what the judges believed to be the main highlight. Her clear, rhythmic walk, as well as overall rideability and obedience, earned her high marks to slide into second place. “[Fairouz] is a very solid horse,” said Tarjan. “She just needs a little time to develop, but she will only get better and better.”
Kimberly Dougherty (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and her own Oldenburg mare, Celebration, placed third with a score of 7.99. Her first time at the Championships, and first ride of the day, Dougherty held the early lead. Bred in the USA by High Point Hanoverian, the Oldenburg mare by Couer d"Amour out of Rhythm N Blues by Rosenthal.