Gladstone, NJ - The final championship of theshowcased some of the most exciting up-and-coming Grand Prix riders in the country. The 'Brentina Cup' for riders between the ages of 22-28 was designed to bridge the gap between the Young Rider ranks and the Grand Prix. Named for the legendary US Team horse, Brentina and donated by her owners Peggy and Parry Thomas, this division is designed to develop the future of the Grand Prix division.
Of the 9 horses and riders that are contesting the championship: the first combination in the ring delivered a standard that held throughout the division. Kayce Redmond (Alpharetta, GA) andimpressed the judges and their test received a score of 64.769%.
"I'm really happy," said Redmond. "He was really honest in the ring. I had some mistakes I'm not used to having. The twos felt great but then the ones started and then stopped. He felt a little bit tired in the ring but he was really rideable but I couldn't ask for more."
, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood owned by Impulsion, LLC is a new ride for Redmond. She has only been riding him since April her trainer Karen Lipp. Redmond has been training with Lipp for 10 years and is now beginning to build her own business. She has Latino to learn the ranks of the Grand Prix while he is for sale.
"I started riding him at the end of April," said Redmond. "But I have known him and watched him for years."
Just shy of Redmond's score was Nicholia Zamora (Wildomar, CA). Riding Ramsgate D, Zamora put in a polished performance with some of the better piaffe of the group. The former event rider is now making a name for herself in the dressage world, the switch was made after four month spent in Europe.
"I just always loved the sport, I had the opportunity to move to Holland provided to me by a friend and I rode with Burt Rutten," said Zamora.
The age of riders eligible for the Brentina Cup was raised in 2009 to 28, meaning that Zamora (who is 28) is still eligible. She contested the championship in 2007 with Nimbus.
"I'm the grandma of the group," said Zamora. "I was the grandma the last time I did it but I'm just as lucky the second time around. It's not easy to get here and it doesn't get any easier to get a horse to that level. It's not common to get a horse to that level, I'm very appreciative."
Owned by Sharolyn Naftel, Ramsgate, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood has provided Zamora a chance to produce her second Grand Prix horse in her short career as a dressage rider.
"He's quite a spirited guy," said Zamora. "Sharon graciously handed the reins over to me, she decided she would prefer to watch him than ride him."
Rounding out the top three was one of the stars from the previous weekend. Kassandra Barteau (Maple Park, IL) rode BeSe to a third place finish for Diane Rosenberg. Barteau was the reserve champion in the National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship last weekend in her first Open Championship. This weekend she rides the 17-year-old Dutch gelding, who has been through the Grand Prix ranks with Cathy Morelli, in an amazing opportunity for experience. Barteau has been a working student with in Florida over the winter.
"I'm super happy to be here, to be here on BeSe, Cathy Morelli's horse and to have the ride," said Barteau. "I overrode him in the beginning. I was happy with him; I haven't been on him since early March. I'm happy with him always."
Even for a seasoned competitor like 22-year-old Barteau, who has competed in Europe and at numerous championships, the Brentina Cup offers a special opportunity.
"It's a wonderful thing they've done," said Barteau. "It is an easier transition to work into the international ranks."