Thirteen entries contested the In the Markel/USEF Five-Year-Old National Championship presented by HorseShow.com, for which the first 40% of their score was earned in the FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test on Thursday. With the remaining 60% awarded in the Championship Class on Saturday, where combinations performed the FEI Five-Year-Old Final Test. Nadine Burberl (White House Station, NJ) entered the Championship Arena with Martin Sosnoff and Cesar Parra's Fashion Designer O.L.D. (Faustinus x Forst-Design/De Niro) knowing that with a strong performance she could claim her first National Title. She did just that scoring 9.060 in the Championship Class to finish on an overall total of 9.012. Burberl, who is originally from Germany but has been based with Cesar Parra for four years, was impressed with the Oldenburg gelding on both Thursday and Saturday. "Both rides went amazing; on Thursday we had some work to do and worked on that on Friday," said Burberl who believes that training a young horse takes time and patience. "It's not just three weeks; it's done throughout the year."
Fashion Designer O.L.D. impressed the judging panel on Saturday with his fabulous gaits including his trot for which he was rewarded a 10, the gelding also received 9.0 for the walk and 8.5 for his canter. Additionally, he received high marks for submission and general impression; 8.5 and 9.3, respectively. "It's just amazing; I have goose-bumps every circle, every canter stride," said Burberl. "and the trot is just amazing."
Thursday's winner DG Dancing Queen (Jazz x Princes Lincom/Junior) and Ashlyn De Groot (Hanford, GA) earned Reserve Champion honors after scoring 8.860 in the FEI Five-Year-Old Final Test, they finished on a championship score of 8.916. DG Bar Ranch's KWPN mare was awarded 9.2, 9.0, and 8.6 for the trot, walk and canter. A mistake in the simple change kept the talented mare from earning higher submission and general impression score, they were awarded 8.5 and 9.0 respectively. "I'm just so excited; we all have our days. She's just such a great horse and fun to work with," said the 19-year-old De Groot who is a longtime participant in the Young Horse Program. "They (young horses) are fun to work with; you see them learning and progressing, it's so rewarding."
Burberl also collected third place honors with another Davis' ride, Fiderhit O.L.D. (Fidertanz x Fleur/Sandro Hit), on a championship score of 8.620. The Oldenburg mare received 9.5, 9.0 and 8.2 for the trot, walk and canter. She also was awarded 7.8 for submission and 9.0 for general impression, to finish on a score of 8.700 in Saturday's test.
Qredit Hilltop (Quaterback x Dream Rubina/ Dream of Glory) ridden by Chris Hickey (Colora, MD) was awarded the Highest Place U.S. Bred honor The Oldenburg/Gov stallion finished in fourth place overall on a score of 8.480 and was bred by Judy Yancey of Yancey Farms.