More Competitors Share How They Made It to the US Dressage Finals - This Week November 7-10, 2013

Carrie Wilson and Scepter Fan Leandra prepare for the 2013 US Finals  Photo: Friend of Carrie Wilson
Carrie Wilson and Scepter Fan Leandra prepare for the 2013 US Finals Photo: Friend of Carrie Wilson

Riders gear up for the US Dressage Finals. Traveling from all across the country, the riders all agree, Kentucky is the place to be! The inaugural US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan will take place November 7-10, 2013 at the Kentucky Horse Park in conjunction with the USDF Dressage in the Bluegrass that will offer non-championship classes. Hear from qualified riders about how they made it! A head to head competition will take place for 2013 Championship Titles in Adult Amateur and Open competition at Training Level to Grand Prix. Be sure to follow upcoming coverage of the US Dressage Finals on DressageDaily for articles, results and image galleries. It's going to be a great time for US Dressage Competitors. See you there!!   

Carrie Wilson (Carson City, Michigan) shared, "I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in the inaugural US Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park. It is an amazing chance to compete in a head to head championship against some of the best horses in the country. I am looking forward to showing Jane and Gene Hutchins’ Friesian gelding Scepter Fan Leandra in both the First and Second level open championship classes. This summer was our second show season together. From the beginning, I have been impressed with his work ethic, and his train-ability. Scepter qualified for the national championships thanks to his outstanding performance at the Region 2 Regional Championships held at Lamplight where he was the First Level Open Champion. While he placed third in the Second Level Open championship class, his score met the criteria to be eligible to compete as a Wild Card entry."

Jennifer Roth (Columbus, Ohio) prepares for the US Final Third Level with her horse, Reebok with a qualifying score of 74.231%. She shared, “Reebok is an 8 year old US bred Hanoverian gelding by Royal Prince. I have owned him for almost 2 years. He came into my life through my good friend Elizabeth Hoyt. We started the year planning on qualifying for Regionals in as many classes as we could, hoping to do well enough in one of them to receive a bid for Nationals. I qualified him for Regionals in Second Level Open, Third Level Open, Second Level Freestyle, and Third Level Freestyle.

Jennifer  Roth (Columbus, Ohio) and Reebok head to the 2013 US Dressage Finals Photo: Sharon Patrick
Jennifer Roth (Columbus, Ohio) and Reebok head to the 2013 US Dressage Finals Photo: Sharon Patrick

I am from the Columbus, Ohio area but my clients and I went to Region 4 Championships this year and we had an amazing experience. The facility was lovely and show management team did an excellent job. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we would receive a bid in all 4 classes by winning all 4 classes against some outstanding competition. Without the help of Sharon Ridge, my long time trainer, and Silke Rembacz, I do not think we would have been as successful. In addition to myself, several others from our "team" qualified for Nationals: Valeri Pervo with her Lamborghini Dane in Second Level AA, Third Level AA, and Second Level Freestyle, Kathy Rizzoni and her Faraday in First Level Freestyle, and Renee Peters with Domingo Esperanto 2 in the Fourth Level Freestyle. We are all looking forward to this amazing experience.”

Brianna Zwilling and Allessandro, photo credit to Elizabeth Dudley
Brianna Zwilling and Allessandro, photo credit to Elizabeth Dudley

Brianna Zwilling (Wentzville, Missouri) has several horses she's qualified as she heads to the 2013 US Dressage Finals. She shared, “Although I am a young professional in a discipline that takes decades to master, I work hard every day in order to achieve my goal of competing in a nationally ranked competition. I knew as soon as I discovered dressage as a teenager that I wanted to make a career out of it. I found the best instructors and clinicians that were in my area and worked with them as much as I could on both my own horse and any others I could ride. I also read and watched videos enthusiastically to further my education at home. I was able to buy my first warmblood, a four year old Oldenburg gelding in 2005. We worked hard together and moved through the ranks all the way to the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2009 where we placed well.

After such success, he was sidelined by injuries, and while still riding client horses I focused more on other aspects of the horse industry and care. I had the wonderful opportunity to work at one of the top equine hospitals in Minnesota for three years where I learned a vast amount of hands on experience regarding colic, lameness, foals, nutrition, breeding, and much more.  This involvement has made me a better horse professional and trainer because I am able to think outside the box regarding the care and training of top equine athletes.

After recieving a great start to my career in central Minnesota, I moved to San Diego, California for a short time to work for Rebecca Rigdon and David Blake before missing home in the Midwest and moving to St. Louis, Missouri where I became the head trainer at Epique Equestrian. Working in St. Louis for just over a year and a half now, I feel very privileged to have three horses qualified for the US Finals.

Griffindor, “Opie” is my own five year old Oldenburg gelding who is qualified for First Level in the Finals. After receiving a fantastic start to his dressage career from Alison Sader Larson, my coach, I bought him only a short year ago. My goal this year with him being a young horse was to expose him to many different environments and have him gain experience in the show ring. Our partnership as grown strong throughout the show season and with his will to work and natural power we have had tremendous success in both training and first level.

Allessandro, “Jr” owned by Laura Ivan is an eight year old KWPN gelding qualified for Third Level. I am so grateful to Laura for allowing me the opportunity to campaign this very talented horse. We have big plans for his future and are thrilled to see him qualified for his first big national show. Jr is a kind horse with a steady brain that allows both owner and trainer to ride him at different levels daily. He takes new challenges in with ease and is eager to perform more difficult movements.

Simply the Best, “Baron” owned by Kathy Yamaguchi who is also the owner of Epique Equestrian, is a twelve year old Oldenburg gelding qualified for Third Level. Baron, a son of Sandro Hit, and a very extravagant mover also shows under both his owner and trainer and has been collecting great scores throughout the summer. Kathy so generously gave up her own chance of competing at the Regional Championships in order for me to have the opportunity to bring another horse to the Finals.

The road to a highly ranked national show like the US Finals is longer than just one qualifying season. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and discipline on a daily basis plus the immense support of owners, trainers, coaches, family and friends. I want to give a huge thank you to all of those who have supported me in my journey so far and to the owners of both Allesandro and Simply the Best. I also want to thank the horses for trying their best in every ride, lots of carrots are coming boys!" 

Stay tuned for more on Dressage Daily!