Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage Grand Prix National Championship 2013 presented by HorseShow.com

 

2013 Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Champion Laura Wharton-Mero (Woodstock, GA) and her own Zandor (Florencio x Nancy BS/Amulet) Photo: Mary Phelps
2013 Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Champion Laura Wharton-Mero (Woodstock, GA) and her own Zandor (Florencio x Nancy BS/Amulet) Photo: Mary Phelps

The field of six Developing Grand Prix horses returned to Lamplight's Championship Arena to earn the remaining 60% of their championship score by performing USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test. They carried forward the score from Thursday's FEI Intermediaire II Test which composed the first 40% of their score. In the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse Dressage National Championship presented by HorseShow.com, Laura Wharton-Mero (Woodstock, GA) and her own Zandor (Florencio x Nancy BS/Amulet) were the winners of Thursday's Qualifying Class and returned to the Championship Arena looking to earn the National Championship National Championship. The nine-year-old KWPN gelding once again demonstrated his aptitude for the Grand Prix movements to finish third in the Championship Class on a score of 66.542% to finish on an overall total of 66.715%. "Zandor had a nice ride Thursday, he was a little tight at the beginning but got better," said Wharton-Mero of the expressive gelding. {C}

2013 Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Champion Laura Wharton-Mero (Woodstock, GA) and her own Zandor (Florencio x Nancy BS/Amulet)  Photo: Mary Phelps
2013 Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Champion Laura Wharton-Mero (Woodstock, GA) and her own Zandor (Florencio x Nancy BS/Amulet) Photo: Mary Phelps

"Today he stayed very consistent, there were a couple bobbles but he stayed consistent." Zandor has been a part of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program since he was a four-year-old and competed in last year's Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Championship. His win this weekend, Wharton-Merlo's first Naional Championship is not only a testament to the program but also the Wharton-Mero's training. "I've come through this program, this horse has been doing this since his four-year-old year," said Wharton-Mero. "It's a wonderful feeling to win."

Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Reserve Champion honors went to Kathy Priest (Versailles, KY) and her own 10-year-old KWPN Wild Dancer (Florett AS x Reality B)  Photo: Mary Phelps
Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Reserve Champion honors went to Kathy Priest (Versailles, KY) and her own 10-year-old KWPN Wild Dancer (Florett AS x Reality B) Photo: Mary Phelps

Reserve Champion honors went to Kathy Priest (Versailles, KY) and her own 10-year-old KWPN Wild Dancer (Florett AS x Reality B). The impressive mare improved upon her performance on Thursday to best the field in the Championship Class with a score of 66.708%. "I'm happy with my girl she stayed pretty consistent," said Priest. "I'm happy she hit her one-tempis and the passage piaffe tour is improving. I'm thrilled." They finished on a championship score of 66.253%.

Katie Riley (White House Station, NJ) and her own nine-year-old KWPN stallion Zanzibar (Consul x Juventus/Farmer) secured third place honors
Katie Riley (White House Station, NJ) and her own nine-year-old KWPN stallion Zanzibar (Consul x Juventus/Farmer) secured third place honors

Katie Riley (White House Station, NJ) and the nine-year-old KWPN stallion Zanzibar (Consul x Juventafee/Farmer) owned by Martin Sosnoff and Cesar Parra, secured third place honors with a championship total of 66.090%. On Saturday they cruised to 66.583% to earn second place in the Championship Class as well as the Highest Place U.S. Bred award bred by Sandra Willkes and Holland Coffee Inc. "It was special to be competing here on a US Bred Horse," said Riley of the competition. "It has been terrific here at Lamplight, I loved this show last year when I came to help Cesar compete and made the goal to be competing here myself this year. The facility is so beautiful and even better this year with the great new footing. My horse loved it! I am very grateful to the new owners of Lamplight for all of their hard work in providing a fantastic venue for this Championships. Also thank you to sponsors Markel and  HorseShow.com! The dedication of these sponsors goes above and beyond, and I think one can see the impact the programs are having on dressage here in the USA as the quality of horses and riding is improving exponentially."

 

Riley who is senior trainer at Piaffe Performance Dressage has been working with Zanzibar since he was four-years-old. "It really a dream come true to be showing him here in the Developing Grand Prix. I am so very grateful to Cesar and Marcela Parra for their continual support of my riding. The experience of bringing along your young horse to Grand Prix is a fantastic journey and I never could have done it without Cesar.  Thank you also to Trilogy Saddles and PanaCavallo bridles and equipment for their support.

Results - Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix




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