Meet the 2009 Region Three Junior Dressage Team for the North American Junior Young Riders' Championships

After a long selection season, the Region 3 Junior Team for the North American Junior Championships has been decided.  It consists of five young ladies who have a long list of accomplishments. All of the riders worked very hard this year.  The championships are 22-27 July at the Kentucky Horse Park.  If you can not come to support the team, but would like to make a donation, please contact Sandi Bishop, the Region 3 Director.  

Leading the team is 18 year old Lauren Knopp of Wellington Florida.  Her horse is Rho Dance, a dark chestnut Oldenburg gelding, who is 13 years old.  This team was the overall junior reserve champion at the June Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Junior Championships.  This will be her first  trip to the NAJC. Lauren Knopp is eighteen years old and has been living in Wellington, Florida since 2004 when she and her family relocated from Pittsburgh to train with Sasha Newman.

Lauren has been riding since she was eight and dressage has always been her passion. Until recently, she has shown only intermittently, choosing instead to focus on her training with Sasha and with Sasha's coach Patrick le Rolland to master the basics of classical riding. However, after Sasha found her current mount "Rho Dance", a 12-year-old Chestnut  Oldenburg gelding by Rohdiamant, Lauren has been competing in the USEF/NAJYRC qualifying competitions with great success. Lauren and  recently attended Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, where they have  become the overall  National Junior Dressage Reserve Champion  This pair is leading the Region 3 Junior team for the North American Junior Young Rider Championships held  July 22-27 at the Kentucky Horse Park.  This fall Lauren will enter Stetson University where she received an academic scholarship but will seriously continue to pursue her equestrian goals.

With two horses in the top five of the selection, is Katrin Dagge.  She is from Bonita Springs Florida and will be 18 later this year.  This is third year in a row that she has made the team.

Her horses are Ladinor, a 14 year old bay Oldenburg gelding and Dream of Love an 8 year old chestnut Oldenburg stallion.  They finished 6th and 4th, respectively, at Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Junior Championships.

Jessica Deimler, 17 years old, lives in Atlanta, Georgia where she has trained with Karen Lipp since 2006.  Jessica credits Karen's training and support with helping her to achieve so much with her horses.  In 2007, Jessica and her horse, Sion's Shadow, achieved a Junior FEI Championship win at the Region 3 Championships where she was also the Reserve Champion for Seat Equitation.  That same year, Jessica and Sion placed 7th overall at the Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey and 10th place Individually at the NAJYRC in Lexington, Virginia.

Jessica and her horse, Dina, competed at the 2008 Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions in San Juan Capistrano, California and placed 8th overall.  Jessica's 17.1 hand KWPN, Ragtime V, is her newest partner, imported from Holland in 2008.  Most recently, Jessica and Ragtime V placed 7th overall at the 2009 Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Jessica co-represents Region 3 on the USDF Youth Board and is an honorary youth board member of her local GMO, GDCTA.  Jessica was a 2008 USDF Convention Scholarship receipient.

The final rider making the trip to Kentucky is 17 year old, Ellen Wall of Decatur Georgia.  She rides a 9 year old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding named Tvauri.  This will be her first trip to the NAJC, but at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Junior Championships, they were 9th overall.

The reserve rider is 16 year old Sierra Keasler of Lebanon Tennessee.  Her horse is Fabulous LHF, a 10 year old bay Hanoverian gelding.