Dressage riders Dr. Cesar Parra and Katie Riley of Piaffe Performance placed high on three talented horses in the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Championships held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, on August 19-23.
Parra had a brilliant second day in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Final on Fashion Designer OLD, a seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Faustinus x De Niro) owned by Martin Sosnoff and Parra. The pair earned a 71.422 percent, capturing second place. This launched them into third place overall in the championships, with only .80 percent behind the second place horse and rider.
“It was an amazing weekend,” Parra said. “I’m totally in love with Fashion Designer OLD, who was the best Oldenburg in the Developing Prix St George Championships. I’m also really excited that one judge gave us a 75.588 percent in the final. The future is so bright for this horse.”
Parra has been working with Anne Gribbons for over a year, after getting her assistance during her tenure as the USEF Dressage Technical Advisor. "Anne is really great help," said Parra. "She brings such a high level of technical feedback, and the results are higher scores. We have a super mutual respect so it works really well. I have always believed that we should all work together, riders, trainers and judges, so that we can improve ourselves, our horses and our sport."
Riley and Toy Story, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Trento B x Vroukje) owned by Heather Horner, earned a 68.421 percent in the FEI Prix St. Georges for fourth place. Riley has been riding Toy Story for exactly one year. “I am very happy with Katie and Toy Story, to have them qualify and contend in a Championship at this level after only one year together is a testament to their partnership, and the quality and work ethic of the horse. Toy Story is one to watch, especially when he comes out at the Grand Prix level; that is where he will really shine,” remarked Parra.
Riley earned exciting results with Don Cesar, a five-year-old Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Sacre Schwalbe x Manhattan) owned by Parra. The pair placed second in the Five-Year-Old Young Horse Preliminary with a 79.0 percent and a 78.8 percent in the Five-Year-Old Young Horse Final Test, earning third place overall in the Championships. While Don Cesar did not come home with the blue ribbon, Parra and Riley were not disappointed.
“We were very happy,” Riley said. “All three horses showed what absolute star quality they have, and what bright futures lay in front of them, so we were thrilled with them. This program provides such great experiences for our young and upcoming horses. We are so grateful to Markel, the USEF, the owners of the beautiful Lamplight facility, and all the people that make this program possible.”
After returning to their summer home base in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, the team from Piaffe Performance will train for Dressage at Devon to be held in Devon, Pennsylvania, at the end of September.
“Dressage at Devon is always a very special show for us,” Riley said. “It’s such a great atmosphere and a fun show.”
Piaffe Performance is always ready to welcome dressage riders to its talented team. To learn more about Cesar Parra, Katie Riley and Piaffe Performance horses, training, lessons and sales services, please visit www.piaffe-performance.com.