In the FEI divisions of the Great American/USDF Region 7 Championships, Olympian Jan Ebeling of Moorpark started his day off on a winning note with Ann Romney’s Bakari. This pair were unbeatable at last year’s championship show, winning both CDS and Region 7 titles at Fourth Level, and now made the step up to Prix St. Georges look easy as they captured the Great American/USDF Open Prix St. Georges Championship with 72.697%. Could the Hanoverian gelding be a new star for Ebeling on a future U.S. Team? “He was fabulous today, and we will be looking towards the Intermediaire I next year and then we’ll see,” said Ebeling. “He’s so powerful with super extensions and his changes are just awesome. Even on a bad day he’s a blast to ride.” For Adult Amateurs, Christine Ekstrand rode her eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding Braxxton to earn a top score of 68.026% and take her division’s Prix St. Georges Region 7 Championship home to Santa Monica.
In a multitude of divisions, including several in the Junior/Young Rider ranks. At Training Level, Lucienne Bacon of Atherton, Calif. earned a narrow victory with a score of 67.727% with the Dutch mare Serenade. Celsiana William of Trinidad, Calif. rode her own German Riding Pony gelding Heart Throb SVS into the winner's circle on a score of 66.768% in the Second Level Junior/Young Rider division, while Brianna Relucio of San Ramon, Calif. and her Hanoverian gelding Wynsum claimed the JR/YR Fourth Level Championship (66.000%). At the FEI level, Shae-Bella Lovazzano (Woodside, Calif.) rode the impressive PRE stallion Tracio in the JR/YR Intermediate I Championship to a winning score of 63.421%. Talented juniors also took center stage to show off their riding skills in the USDF Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Final classes. For riders 13 and under, Celsiana William and Heart Throb SVS earned their second blue ribbon of the day with 77.000%, while Isabella Macchioni of Livermore, Calif. rode her Hanoverian gelding Danatelo to top the 14-18 division, also on a score of 77.000%.
Topping a huge field of 26 Adult Amateurs at First Level was Eric Di Benedetto representing the CDS Sonoma Chapter, who earned a winning score of 67.059% with his own Dutch gelding Apollo. In the Open Third Level Championship, Anja Pflanz of Redwood City, Calif. had to fight for the win as the top eight competitors all scored over 70%. But she was rewarded by the judges for a solid ride on her Oldenburg gelding Digby to ultimately trot away with the victory on a score of 72.756%, while the Adult Amateur division at Third Level was topped by Akiko Yamazaki (Woodside, Calif.) who took her turn in the saddle with Four Winds Farm’s stunning Dutch gelding Donavan to earn a score of 72.372% and the win.
After finding herself atop the leaderboard in yesterday’s Grand Prix Freestyle, Terri Rocovich (Ramona, Calif.) earned her second win in as many days with her Dutch gelding Uiver by capturing the Region 7 Grand Prix Open Championship with a score of 68.150%. Whitney Harrington’s Laredo 183 has worn his share of blue ribbons at the CDS Championship Show, and this year he carried Lindsey Schulz of Burbank to the win in the Great American/USDF Region 7 Adult Amateur Grand Prix Championship with a score of 64.700% in what may have been his final performance. “He loves it, but he’s 21 now,” said Schulz, who is taking advantage of the charismatic Austrian gelding’s experience. “He accomplished so much with Whitney, so she suggested that before he retire he teach me how to ride the Grand Prix. It was a very, very steep learning curve because I hadn’t ever shown above Third Level, but honestly it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”