Eight-year-old Rebecca Cohen won first place and a bronze medal at the Youth Dressage Festival held in Saugerties, New York in late August.
The Youth Dressage Festival (formerly called the NE Junior Young Riders Championships) is hosted annually by Lendon Gray’s Dressage 4 Kids organization. Now in its sixth year, the competition draws youth riders from more than 26 states and 4 countries. Young riders (under 21 years of age) compete in 3 phases of competition; equitation, dressage and a written test. The event is competitive, educational and fun.
But for young Rebecca Cohen the Youth Dressage Festival would prove to more than test of her dressage skills and knowledge. Just two weeks prior to the competition, Rebecca’s father, Alan Cohen succumbed to a long-term lung disease. While other young rider’s were practicing their dressage tests in preparation for the Youth Festival, Rebecca was attending services for her father. But Rebecca’s father was involved in competitive sports throughout much of his very successful career and no one doubted it was his wish for Rebecca to go on to the Youth Dressage Festival and “give it her all”.
For Rebecca Cohen, the Youth Dressage Festival was truly a show of spirit. She rode her chestnut New Forest Pony, Kassius with finesse and determination earning a score of 71.923% in the Training Level Two class and the blue ribbon. Her total scores in the dressage, equitation and the written test all also earned her the combined Bronze Medal for her Training Level division.
Rebecca’s win was a success to be proud of for any young dressage rider. But to ride to victory at eight years old, under such trying circumstances is the stuff of champions. Rebecca’s mother, Carol Cohen was especially proud of her daughter’s accomplishment, “Horses help us through life’s tough times,” said Carol Cohen, “And I’m so pleased that Rebecca was able to focus on her riding and meet her goals. Her father would be very proud of her”.
For information about the 2005 Youth Dressage Festival visit www.Dressage4kids.com.