Saugerties, NY - Rebecca Cohen, a 16-year-old dressage rider, made her debut performance in the Prix St. Georges division at the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Fall Festival on September 15th and 16th. Cohen and her 17.2 hand Westphalian gelding, Downtown, aka Daddy, scored high in their first Prix St. Georges competition with a 65.263% and 62.368% for a combined total of 63.816% on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the team topped that with a 65.526% and a 65.000% for a 65.263% total. “It was my first time out in Prix St. Georges and I didn't expect to do that well,” she explains. “Placing in the top 8 in a class of about 30 professionals - It feels pretty cool! My second PSG on Saturday was so solid and just flowed great. We didn't have any mistakes. Now we just need to add a little bit more spark on top of it being solid and mistake free.” She explains that she enjoys the PSG tests as they flow better than the Junior tests. “The Junior Tests have a lot of stopping and going in them. You don't really have anywhere to show off the gaits. It’s a little choppy. The Prix St. Georges has a great flow to it.
Daddy got very bored in Juniors and he likes this better, I think. There's a bit more play.” Cohen adds, “I'd like to thank all of my trainers for preparing me so amazingly and of course my biggest supporter, my mom. Also, a big thank you to Daddy, the best horse ever!”
Following their success at NEDA, Cohen and Downtown were invited to participate in the Elite Young Riders Clinic in Alpharetta, Georgia in October. Taught by esteemed coach Jeremy Steinberg, rider spots in the clinics are by invitation only and Cohen is looking forward to continuing her dressage education at the prestigious event. Daddy, who is out of Del Mar by Jade, recently overcame some setbacks during the summer, including a leg infection and a bout with colic, to ride to success at the 2012 USEF Dressage National Championships in New Jersey, where the duo competed in the Junior Division, taking the Reserve Championship title. Cohen, who lives in Wellington, Florida, was on the 2010 Region 3 Junior Team and helped her team bring home a bronze medal. She is also a member of the ShowChic Mentoring Program in Wellington, and understands the ups and downs are just part of horses and competing. As for the future, Cohen says, “I plan to try to qualify for NAYRC this year and continue doing that.”