Championship dressage continued Friday at the Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, CA for the 44th Annual California Dressage Society Championship Show presented by HorseShow.com, in conjunction with the CDS Young Horse Futurity (including the Cal-Bred Futurity), the GAIG/USDF Region 7 Dressage Championships, and the GAIG/USDF Breeders Championships West Coast Series Final. During the day's competition, three-time Olympian Guenter Seidel was on hand to sign autographs and present awards; during evening hospitality, Seidel was interviewed by announcer Brian O'Connor, fielding questions from fans in the audience and via Facebook.
Five rings of competition featured horses and riders from across the region vying for top honors in several CDS Horse of the Year divisions. Emerging the victor from a large CDS Horse of the Year Open Prix St. Georges class to claim the Bent Roswall Memorial Trophy was Rebecca Rigdon of Encinitas, CA, riding her Holsteiner mare "Solei" to a final score of 70.395%. In the Adult Amateur division, the Global Imaging Perpetual Trophy and a score of 63.553% was earned by "Souvenir", a 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned and ridden by Jill Thornton from Ramona, CA. At the Grand Prix level, Leslie Webb of Bakersfield, CA rode Harmony Sporthorses' Oldenburg gelding "Harmony's Sandro" to the blue ribbon and the Sherry de Leon Memorial Trophy with 68.511%. Continuing their previous day's success, Kimberly Noon-Fishel from Walnut Creek, CA and her gray Oldenburg gelding "Casino Royale" once again danced victory in the Fourth Level freestyle, taking home the Ran Averett Memorial Perpetual Trophy with a score of 67.333%.
The CDS Four-Year-Old Futurity concluded Friday, with the California-bred "Caliente DG" (00 Seven x Satina by Contango, bred by DG Bar Ranch) impressing judges Kristi Wysocki and Paula Lacy to claim the title with a Training Level Test 2 score of 72.600%, which combined with the previous day's test for an overall winning score of 70.854%. This bay Dutch Warmblood mare, owned by Brenda Linman, was ridden to a decisive victory by Craig Stanley of Madera, CA. In the Adult Amateur division of the Four-Year-Old Futurity, Melissa Mulchahey of Livermore, CA turned heads with her winning mount, "Outrageous". Despite his small size, this chestnut Westfalen pony gelding (Out-Break x Diddi by Donnerhall Sir, bred in Germany) is big on character and movement, scoring 68.400% today for an overall average of 68.575%. "These German ponies have all of the ability the big horses have, and I think ponies are an ideal mount for adult amateur riders like me," said Mulchahey. "This CDS futurity is a great opportunity for amateurs with young horses to compete against our peers."
GAIG/USDF Regional Championship action continued today with several highly-competitive classes. In the Open Intermediaire II division, a strong field of competitors resulted in a highly unusual tie for the top placing, which was unable to be broken. As a result, Tracey Lert of Soquel, CA riding her own Dutch Warmblood gelding "Udo" shared the championship honors with Heidi Gaian of Hollister, CA and her Holsteiner "Chicago", both scoring 66.053% from judges Lorraine Macdonald and Michael Osinski. Akiko Yamazaki of Los Altos Hills, CA, owner of U.S. Team horse "Ravel", Yamazaki enjoyed her own time in the saddle today, guiding her black Hanoverian mare "De La Noche" to a winning score of 66.711% in the Intermediaire II Adult Amateur division.
In the Open Training Level division, Bethany Nehse of Livermore, CA rode her own ISR mare "Winkayla" to emerge victorious with a score of 73.400%, while for Adult Amateurs, Nancy Szakacs from Hollister, CA earned a score of 74.400% and the win with her Westfalen gelding "Rudi Regali". In the Open Second Level championship, Leslie Webb continued her day's winning ways, partnering with Harmony Sporthorses' Dutch Warmblood mare "Harmony's Armani" for 70.714%. Lisa Johnston (Woodland, CA) rode her own Oldenburg gelding "Venzerro" to a decisive win at Second Level for Adult Amateurs with a score of 68.214%. Rounding out the day's Regional Championship classes were the Open Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Freestyles, where Charlotte Jorst of Reno, NV claimed the championship sash in both divisions with Skagen Holdings' "Tristan" and "Asterios", scoring 71.563% and 66.000%, respectively.
Championship competition continues Saturday, including the five- and six-year-old divisions of the CDS Young Horse Futurity, the GAIG/USDF Breeders Championships West Coast Series Final, and a full roster of evening entertainment. Daily results and complete information about the 44th Annual California Dressage Society Championship Show presented by HorseShow.com is available on the CDS website, www.california-dressage.org.