Wayne, Il. - The 2014 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com kicked off Thursday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center under grey skies and on-and-off rain. The first three of six divisions completed tests in front of the judging panel comprised of Hilda Gurney, Natalie Lamping, and Mike Osinski. In the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Four-Year-Old National Championships presented by HorseShow.com, Rosalut NHF holds the lead following day one. Emilion SA has jumped out to the early lead in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old National Championships presented by HorseShow.com. Championship competition came to a conclusion Thursday afternoon with Donatus seizing the pole position in the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com.
Despite the inclement weather, all 15 entries put their best efforts forward in the USEF Dressage Test for Four-Year-Old Horses to earn the first 40% of their championship scores.
Carly Taylor-Smith (Malibu, Calif.) and Rosalut HF (Rosenthal x Legacy/Salut) stormed to an overall score of 8.830 and an early lead. Dr. Max Ots' Hanoverian gelding was rewarded for his impressive trot and canter, scoring 9.5 and 9.3, respectively. They also earned 8.0 for the walk and 8.6 for submission. The gelding also was praised highly for his general impression, being rewarded with a score of 9.0.
Earning second-place honors on Thursday were Willy Arts (Hanford, Calif.) and Natalie Bryant and DG Bar Ranch's KWPN mare Famebria DG (Idocus x Valeska DG/Krack C). The pair impressed the judging panel with an overall 8.36. They earned 9.0, 8.0, and 8.3 for their trot, walk, and canter, respectively. For her submission and overall impression, she earned 8.0 and 8.5.
Rounding out the top three are Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and Dr. Max Ots' Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie x Unknown/His Highness) with a score of 8.16. The Hanoverian gelding earned 8.6, 7.6, and 7.8 for his trot, walk, and canter, respectively. He was rewarded for his rideability, scoring 8.4 for submission, and earned a mark of 8.4 for his overall impression.
The Four-Year-Old Championship comes to a conclusion on Saturday as entries again perform the USEF Dressage Test for Four-Year-Old Horses to earn the final 60% of their overall championship scores.
The field of 15 from the 2009 foal crop earned the first 40% of their overall scores in the FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test. As the sixth combination in the championship arena, Kelly Casey (Livermore, Calif.) and her own KWPN gelding Emilion SA (Painted Black x Karisa/Landwind II B) earned the best score of the division, 8.46, with a polished performance. The talented gelding was rewarded for his impressive gaits that demonstrated great swing and athleticism, earning 8.4, 8.5, and 9.0 for the trot, walk, and canter, respectively. The gelding showed great potential with his rideability, for which he was rewarded an 8.7 on submission. For his quality work Thursday afternoon, Emilion SA earned an overall impression mark of 9.7.
Second place in the Five-Year-Old Qualifying class went to Patricia Baker (Wadsworth, Ill.) and Joan Pecora's Edward (United x Jolina/Damiro). The KWPN gelding was also rewarded for quality gaits, earning scores of 9.0, 8.0, and 8.8 for the trot, walk, and canter.
The gelding earned a score of 8.46 on Thursday, after being rewarded with an 8.0 on submission and 8.5 for overall impression.
Third place went to Ashlyn DeGroot (Hanford, Calif.) and DG Bar Ranch's KWPN gelding DG Edorijke (Spielberg x Rodazdorijke/Jazz) with a score of 8.26. For the trot, walk, and canter, he received 8.0, 8.0, and 9.0, respectively. Additionally, they earned 7.7 for submission and earned an overall impression score of 8.6.
The Five-Year-Old entries return to the arena on Saturday for the Championship Class and the remaining 60% of their overall scores in the FEI Five-Year-Old Final Test.
Developing Horse Grand Prix
Thursday's Championship competition came to a close under clear skies with a field of seven performing the FEI Intermediaire II Test for the first 40% of the overall score.
Heading the field following the first of two days of competition are Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and her Everglades Dressage LLC's Donatus (Don Schufro x Zuchtbuch/Caramel). The 16-year-old Wurttemberger gelding demonstrated a solid foundation in the Grand Prix to a score a 68.640%.
Second place went to Emily Wagner (La Cygne, Kan.) and her own WakeUp (Wagnis x Maiden Montreal/Macho), who took home the title in the 2013 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship presented by HorseShow.com. The nine-year-old American Warmblood stallion demonstrated a great amount of presence throughout the test to cruise to a score of 68.246%.
Zanzibar (Consul x Juventafee/Farmer) was ridden to third place by owner Katie Riley (White House Station, N.J.). The ten-year-old KWPN stallion earned a score of 67.588% on Thursday.
The 2014 Champion will be crowned Saturday as the final 60% of the overall score will be earned in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test.
To learn more about the 2014 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com visit here
To see scores from the 2014 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com visit here.