The last round of coveted CDS Horse of the Year titles were awarded at 48th Annual California Dressage Society (CDS) Annual Championship Show in a division where the top nine finishers all scored over 70%. The four-year-old CDS Futurity champion Dehavilland (U.S.-bred Oldenburg gelding) came through for owner/rider Sarah Lockman of Calimesa, Calif. one more time, earning a combined two-test score of 76.639% to win CDS Open Training Level Horse of the Year honors and the Peter and Bonnie Lert Perpetual Trophy. Madora Daniel of Minden, Nev. also scored a victory with her elegant Hanoverian Ronaldo in the Adult Amateur Training Level championship to earn an overall 70.350% and claim the Melissa Creswick Perpetual Trophy. Daniel and her promising five-year-old gelding qualified for the Championship Show via automatic qualification from the Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competitions (RAAC), and she encouraged other riders to take advantage of the same opportunity. “We had a tough start to the show but he settled in and we were able to put in two nice performances, so I’m really happy with how it ended up,” she explained. “Next year we hope to move up to First and Second Levels, and our ultimate long-term goal is to get into the FEI ring and present him in the Developing Horse program. I think we’re off to a great start.”
The Full Cry Perpetual Trophy for Adult Amateur First Level was awarded to Meike Petry (Portola Valley, Calif.) who bested almost 30 other competitors to finish with an overall top score of 71.252% with the young Oldenburg gelding Luigi. Another newly-crowned CDS Futurity Champion, the six-year-old Dutch gelding Empire, claimed yet another victory today with owner/rider Melissa Rogers of Sonoma in winning Second Level for Adult Amateurs and the Two-Tone Malone Trophy for CDS Horse of the Year on an overall score of 70.006%. Adult amateur Kimberly Frederick will go home to Lincoln, Calif. with the Stanford Dressage Club Trophy for Third Level thanks to a winning performance with her Dutch gelding Caribbean Veluw (67.917%), while Sarah Lockman earned her second CDS Horse of the Year title of the day, this time aboard her lovely gray Holsteiner gelding Calimero to win the CDS Open Third Level Horse of the Year division and the Judith Elias Perpetual Trophy by a comfortable margin with a combined two-test score of 71.378%.
In the CDS Horse of the Year division for Adult Amateurs at Fourth Level, Amalia Boyles of Carlsbad, Calif. rode Donna Richardson’s Hanoverian gelding Welt Erbe to take a commanding lead in the first round of competition, and a flowing mistake-free performance today in the challenging Fourth Level Test 3 cemented the overall win and the Fox Run Perpetual Trophy with a combined score of 68.833%. “This means so much to me because it’s my first championship win as an adult amateur,” said Boyles. “Welt Erbe is teaching me about Fourth Level and Prix St. Georges which I’d never done before, so it’s all very new for me. It’s not easy, and the first few months I even came off a few times! He works hard and as long as I’m working hard too, it all works out but he doesn’t give it for free. He’s quirky, but he’s a good match for me.”
In a fitting finale before his likely retirement, Whitney Harrington’s Austrian gelding Laredo 183 carried rider Lindsey Schulz to a final victory in the CDS Adult Amateur Grand Prix Horse of the Year division to win the Rubinstein Memorial Trophy on a score of 65.100%. Half Moon Bay’s Anke Herbert earned the Pelton Family Trophy for Open Intermediaire II with her Bavarian gelding Fandango R.S. (67.763%), while in the Adult Amateur division, Adrienne Bessey (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) wrapped up her weekend with one more blue ribbon aboard Hilda Gurney’s Oldenburg gelding Wintersnow on a score of 69.539%.
Juniors and young riders also competed for top honors in their CDS Horse of the Year divisions. Peyton Lesser of Concord earned the top spot in the Training Level division with a winning two-test average of 67.229% with Carol Di Maggio’s Arabian stallion Tarim TZ, while Celsiana William of Trinidad, Calif. and her German Riding Pony gelding Heart Throb SVS continued their winning ways by claiming the CDS JR/YR Second Level title with 69.072%. At Third Level, Marcy Morse of Lafayette, Calif. rode Christy Cadwallader’s Dutch gelding Sante to a winning performance and an overall two-test average score of 67.244%, while Brianna Relucio (San Ramon, Calif.) found herself leading the victory lap for the Fourth Level championship on a combined score of 66.111% with her Hanoverian gelding Wynsum. In the CDS Dressage Seat Equitation Challenge for riders 13 and under, Lily-Rose Bacon of Atherton, Calif. rode her pony gelding Turbo Diesel to win the blue ribbon with a score of 79.000%, while Isabella Macchioni of Livermore, Calif. remained undefeated in the weekend’s USDF and CDS equitation classes for the 14-18 division with her Hanoverian gelding Danatelo on an impressive score of 83.200%.
Final CDS Horse of the Year Freestyle titles were awarded for First, Second, Third and the Intermediaire levels. Dove Butler’s flashy pinto Oldenburg stallion Argentum BSH showed his lovely true colors in winning the First Level Freestyle championship thanks to a huge score of 79.233% earned with Katie Hoefs-Martin of Hollister aboard. After earning the USDF Region 7 Second Level Freestyle championship on Thursday, Anne Howard of Watsonville, Calif. also earned the CDS equivalent today with her own Bulgarian gelding Apel on a score of 76.283% for their Celtic-themed performance, while Shelby Rocereto of Livermore, Calif. won the CDS Third Level Freestyle with a mark of 80.133% aboard her Dutch mare Chapeau.
“Every year CDS strives to improve this show and put on a world-class event, and this year I think we went above and beyond,” said CDS President Kevin Reinig. “We had new and exciting sponsors come on board, the Murieta Equestrian Center continues to improve their already outstanding facility, and show management did an incredible job as always. Local chapters and volunteers stepped up to help with this huge event, and it was great having so many CDS Board members here to assist – it was a true team effort. The overall atmosphere was fantastic, everyone had fun, we saw great sportsmanship and camaraderie, and the feedback I received from competitors was amazing. We’re on a trend where this show just gets better and better each time, and this year was no exception.”
For more information about the California Dressage Society Championship Show, including news, schedules, ride times, and results, visit the CDS website and follow along with behind-the-scenes updates and photos on the CDS Facebook page.