After coaching students at the inaugural Finals in 2013, Nancy Hinz of Montgomery, Texas hoped to someday come back to Kentucky to trot down centerline herself. Today her patience was rewarded as she claimed the Third Level Open title with an impressive score of 73.761% aboard her eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Carzanola (Tuchinski x Lanola by Wellington), who she’s raised since he was just two. “The Finals are a wonderful event and the excitement is infectious,” she said.
"I wasn’t sure how my horse would do with the morning wind and rain, and even though he tends to be very consistent and I was confident in him, I didn’t know how it would stack up against everyone else because there’s a lot of nice horses here. But he went around like the sun was shining and I’m so happy with him.” Hinz is part of a “Texas Invasion” this year as the Lone Star State has 32 competitors in attendance at the Finals – second only to Florida with 38. “We’re taking over!” laughed Hinz. “But seriously, we have a very active group of dressage riders in Region 9, with a lot of interest and activity from both open and adult amateurs as well as a strong junior and young rider program.”
Finals veteran and past champion Emily Miles of Overland Park, Kansas (Region 4) added another title to her resume by riding Leslie Waterman’s six-year-old Oldenburg gelding Floretienne (Florestan I x Tamarinde by Jazz, bred in the U.S. by Judy Yancey) to earn the Reserve Championship with 70.171%. “Interestingly, Floretienne was champion at Training Level with Debbie Hill in 2013, and he’s matured incredibly since then. He was a little tight in the warmup today but then he went in the ring and stayed right with me,” said Miles, who was delighted to be back at the Finals for the third time. “You ride around that Alltech ring and you feel like a million bucks. That’s what it’s all about.”
Follow the action through updates on the USDF Facebook page and the US Dressage Finals website, as well as watch live online streaming on the popular USEF Network. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.