Top Six-Year-Olds horses put their best efforts forward in Lamplight Equestrian Center's Championship Arena in front of the judging panel of Lilo Fore, Anne Gribbons and Sandy Osborne. In the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Six-Year-Old National Championships presented by HorseShow.com Vitalis earned his first U.S. National Title. The Six-Year-Old competition kicked-off the day at the Lamplight Equestrian Center as 12 up-and-coming horses showcased their talents in the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test to earn the remaining 60% of their overall score. Skagen Holdings' Vitalis (Vivaldi x Tolivia/Donnerschwee) continued to impress to win the Six- Year-Old Championship by a healthy margin. Ridden by Charlotte Jorst (Reno, NV), the KWPN demonstrated athletic, expressive gaits; including the trot for which he was awarded a perfect 10, he also received a 7.5 for the walk and a nearly perfect 9.8 for the canter. Additionally, the judging panel rated his submission and general impression highly, giving 9.0 and 9.3, respectively. Anne Gribbons who provided the commentary following the test said about the trot work "All of us tried to find something to complain about and we just couldn't so we gave him a 10. The stallion received 9.120 on Saturday and finished on an overall score of 9.152.
"I've just loved it here throughout the week," said Jorst who has been bicycling from Lamplight to the hotel on beautiful trails in the presrve acros the street. "Today I was focusing on me; I had a great ride on Friday, so I didn't want to change a lot."
Jorst and Vitalis represented the U.S. two weeks ago in Verden, Germany at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Dressage Young Horses. Jorst believes that the Young Horse competitions and championships are very important to helping the development of the sport.
"I think you put a stick in the ground and you train forward from that, you know where to focus and what to do," said Jorst. "The exposure is really important."
Earning Reserve Champion honors were Jane Karol (Concord, MA) and her own Sunshine Tour (Sir Donnerhall x History/Alabaster) on a championship total of 8.028.
The Oldenburg mare was regarded highly for her trot and canter earning 9.5 and 8.3, respectively. However, their overall score was held back after being assessed a 6.6 for the walk. They earned a score of 8.180 on Saturday after receiving 8.2 and 8.3 for submission and general impression.
"I felt I wanted to go for it, but not too much," said Karol and felt that Sunshine Tour improved on Sunday. "I felt like I had more suppleness and she was more through the back."
Caliente DG (Oo Seven x Satina/Contango) earned third place and was the Highest Place U.S. Bred award winner on an overall score of 7.940. Ridden by Craig Stanley (Madera, CA) Brenda Linman's KWPN mare received a score of 8.180 on Sunday. She received 7.8, 7.6, and 8.7 for the trot, walk and, canter as well as 8.3 and 8.5 for submission and general impression. Caliente DG is a credit not only to her breeders, owners and training she has received but also the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program, having participated in the Four, Five, and Six-Year-Old Championships.