Auburn, Washington, 28th – 30th July, Donida Farm Summer Dressage Special
Over 250 horse and rider combinations attended this past weekends Donida Farm Summer Dressage Show in Auburn, Washington. As home to a myriad of vendors, competitors, trainers and officials there was still something missing at this year’s event. One crucial piece was sadly lost from the puzzle as the Pacific Northwest dressage community lost its long time videographer and owner of Showcase Imagery, Eric Krech, to an accidental death this past January.
Although his smiling face behind the camera was not present, his spirit lived on at Donida Farm Summer Dressage Special. Equestrian’s Institute volunteer, Shelley Navarre remembers, “Eric always remained in a positive frame of mind, despite the long hours. I would see him juggling equipment, ride times, ring locations with apparent relish of the challenge. [He] was easy to spot at the show due to his habit of wearing a brown floppy hat. Once located, Eric was always quick with a smile or amusing quip. [He] will be sorely missed for his smile and laughter, as well as his great support of the equestrian community.” As a result, bittersweet moments were shared as this years High Points winners were presented.
Roxanne Christensen and Wind Factor Winners Open FEI High Point
Atop 12-year-old, Hanoverian gelding, Wind Factor owned by Shauna Pinneo, Roxanne Christensen dominated the Open FEI High Point with a whopping 70.250% and went on to win the Crystal High Point trophy sponsored by Sue Jones. A long time trainer, competitor and mentor to many in the Pacific Northwest , Christensen trains at Trilogy Farm in Monroe , Washington and has been competing successfully in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the west coast for many years.
For show officials, vendors and competitors it was an equally touching moment as Missy Hicks Myrick was presented with the Open High Point for First through Fourth Levels this past Sunday. Myrick won with a 75.926% on Rothschild, a 6-year-old, Westphalian bred gelding by Rabano owned by Beverly and Larry Pollock of Fox Island , Washington. With the Crystal High Point trophy sponsored by a menagerie of vendors it was presented by Vendor Coordinator, Kathleen Hansen in memory of videographer, Eric Krech.
Knowing few people in the area Myrick moved to Washington from California 3 years ago. It was through tear-filled eyes Myrick recounted, “[Eric] learned my name immediately and always remembered who I was and it made me feel like less of an outsider. When I saw the crystal was in his memory it was really touching,” Myrick paused to catch her breath, “I’ve won a lot of things but this one has a lot of meaning. It was nice to have someone who was so friendly that new my name at the show when nobody else really did.”
Bryant and Nestle Quick Win Training Level Open Crystal High Point
With American dressage mentor, Hilda Gurney at C, rider Shauntel Bryant and her mount F.D.F Nestle Quick won the Training Level Open Crystal High Point with a staggering 79.231%.
“It’s an honor to have such quality judges at such a beautiful facility.” stated Bryant. F.D.F Nestle Quick is a 4-year-old Holsteiner mare by Newton x Nimmerdor and owned by Sue Wilson of Genoa , Nevada .
The show’s AA/Jr High Points were sponsored by Olson’s Tack out of Bellevue, Washington. Each AA/Jr High Point winner received a beautiful monogrammed cooler.
Leading the FEI High Point was Dressage Daily’s own West Coast Correspondent, Adult Amateur competitor and yours truly, Angelea Kelly atop newly acquired Trakehner gelding by Empire, Joewell.
After years off from riding, with only six weeks in the saddle and under the diligent instruction and patience of Gwen Blake, I happily received a 64.792% at Grand Prix from Debbie Rodriguez at C.
A towering score of 72.593% rocketed Junior rider, Hannah Underwood of Gig Harbor, Washington on to win First through Fourth Level High Point. Underwood and her 8-year-old Oldenburg mare by Maxamillian put in a near flawless test for Alastair Buchanan at C.
Winning the Training Level High Point was Adult Amateur Hillary Allen Kissick with a 71.538% on her 4-year-old Dutch mare, Miranda, by Darwin. If it weren’t for the skills of Dr. Michael Vanzwol and Dr. Bob Schneider, Underwood and her mare would not be competing today.
Underwood explained, “Miranda was broke as a 2 and a half year old and after about 6 weeks she went consistently lame. After many vet trips we couldn’t figure it out and only after exploratory surgery on both her hind legs was I told that, at best, she would be a trail riding horse. She was given less than 30% change of soundness again. After 7 months of stall rest and 3 months under saddle this was her first show ever. [Winning] is an honor. I started out in the area as a Young Rider and moved away to go to school. I have only been back riding for several years and it’s amazing to see how the sport has grow in the Pacific Northwest .”
Melody Miller Contemplates
With yet another successful summer show completed in the Pacific Northwest, trainer, competitor and long-time Washington resident, Melody Miller, reflected on her 20 plus years of riding in the state, “Dressage has improved immensely in the Pacific Northwest. We have better education because we’ve had the USDF L Programs and top clinicians in the area. Dietrich Von Hopffgarten trained all the major trainers in our area and most have gone on from there. He was a mentor to hundreds of riders. Hilda Gurney, Janet Brown, Steffen Peters, Robert Dover and more recently Dirk Glitz have all come up consistently to train and we have top horses in our area.” As one of last year’s High Point winners, Miller won her Second Level test with a 71.579% on her 6-year-old Swedish gelding, Passage, by Tip Top.
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