By Amber Heintzberger for DressageDaily.com
It was a bit of a showdown at the Eastern Championships for Six-year-old dressage horses sponsored by Markel, held June 3-5, 2005 at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, NC. The two horses that represented the US as five-year-olds last year in Verden, Germany were back to duel it out again: Sir Sinclair, a KWPN stallion by Lord Sinclair out of Krishna, ridden by Dorie Addy-Crow and owned by Iron Spring Farm, and Royal Prince, a Hanoverian stallion by Lord Sinclair out of Piri Piri, ridden by Susanne Owen-Hassler and owned by Hilltop Farm.
Sir Sinclair won the preliminary test on Friday, which counted for 40 per cent of the final score. He was energetic but steady and impressed the judges with his fluid gaits. Royal Prince, despite also having lovely gaits, decided to have a little private rodeo when something startled him, and then bucked intermittently through the test. His rider laughed later that he had felt tired that morning, so she only asked about fifty per cent of him in their warm up.
“It was his first showing time indoors,” she reasoned. “The stadium at Verden last year was outdoors and more open.”
Still, her horse’s exuberance on Friday did not keep her from riding forward in Sunday’s final. The heat and humidity that developed over the weekend may have also contributed to his more demure attitude in the final, but he performed like a professional and impressed the judges so much that they awarded him with a perfect ten for his walk and an overall score of 9.0.
“If we can’t give that walk a ten, then we might as well go home. From our scores, it looks like she’s on her way to Europe again,” said the commentating judge.
Sir Sinclair Close Behind Royal Prince
Sir Sinclair was close behind, with an overall 8.5. He scored consistently just slightly below Royal Prince, but well ahead of the other horses competing. “His walk is very uphill and he looks like he’s on a mission,” said the judge. “If we were braver we’d give it a ten. The canter is his weakness. He’s tight in his back and gave a little kick in the flying change.”
Addy-Crow said that she could feel her horse getting tired on Sunday. “I just work him lightly,” she said. “If I don’t work him too hard he’s better. He doesn’t need to be drilled. He’s getting stronger and the work is getting easier.”
The test for six-year-olds is comparable to a fourth level test, asking for more collection and flying changes of lead. Five horses competed in the final in Raleigh, and two qualified to go to Verden. They can also compete at the US Finals in Lexington, KY in September.
“It would be so fun if Royal Prince and Sir Sinclair could both go to Germany,” said Hassler. “We had so much fun last year.”
Susan Dutta and Golden Choice DC Placed Third
Susan Dutta and Golden Choice DC placed third in the championships for six-year-old horses. She said that Golden Choice is already schooling the Piaffe and passage, and that she is focusing her mare’s training on the upper levels. “She’s a horse for the future,” she said. “I was very proud of her today for holding her own against the stallions.”
John and Lisa Seger, representing Markel Insurance, were on hand to present the awards in the Young Horse championships. Mrs. Seger commented, “It’s wonderful to see such composure in such young horses.”
“These classes are a real step forward in promoting sport horse breeding in the US,” said Mr. Seger. “We’ll be rooting for these horses if they go to the World Championships in Germany.”
Susan Dutta and Currency DC Dominate 5-year old Division
In the Championship for five-year-olds, six horses competed in the test that asks for the equivalent training of a high first level test.
The highlight of the weekend for Susan Dutta was taking home the Championship for five-year-old horses riding Currency DC, by Clintino out of Cinderella, an Oldenburg gelding that she purchased from her husband Tim’s business partner, Guido Klatte. Their overall score of 8.0 was tied with Hokan Thorn on Donegal, (Davignport x Guadalupe), but since she also won on Friday, the championship was hers.
The judges commented that both horses have the quality to compete at the world championships, but that they are very different types. “This horse and Hokan’s horse are like the difference between blondes and brunettes,” they said.
“He used to be very naughty,” said Dutta of the handsome bay gelding, “but now he is the sanest horse in my stable.” This was only the second show for the young gelding, who also competed at Sandhills Dressage in Pinehurst, NC. “He has just settled into himself,” she said. “He has a lovely character; he’s sweet in the barn and nice to ride and he learns very fast.”
2005 USEF/Markel National Young Horses Selection Trials
U.S. Short List for 2005 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses
After selection trials in the Eastern, Western and Central States of the United States, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced the short list of horses for the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses, to be held in Verden, July 1-3, 2005.
The United States are allowed to send two horses per age class to Verden. The top two ranked horses automatically qualify for Verden. However, if they chose not to travel to Germany for the Championships, the opportunity will be passed on to the horses ranked below.
The USEF short list is:
- 1. Currency DC - 8.240
Oldenburg gelding by Clintino x Classiker
Owner: Tim Dutta - Rider: Susan Dutta
- 2. Grand Makana - 7.832
Hanoverian gelding by Goodman x Werther
Owner: Joan Cvengros - Rider: Laurie Doyle
- 3. Donegal - 7.764
Hanoverian gelding by Davignport x Grundstein
Owner: Joanne Balling - Rider: Hokan Thorn
- 4. Typhoon - 7.684
Dutch warmblod geldin by Havidoff x Derrick
Owner and Rider: David Wightman
- 5. Dolomit - 7.600
Oldenburg gelding by De Niro x Rohdiamant
Owner: Cindy Snowden - Rider: Lisa Wilcox
- 6. Brigadier - 7.584
Oldenburg gelding by Batido x Art Deco
Owner: Deena Smith - Rider: David Wightman
- 6. Tornado - 7.584
Dutch warmblood gelding by Negro x Nochurn
Owner: Elizabeth Schaffner - Rider: Jan Brons
- 1. Royal Prince - 8.580
Hanoverian stallion by Rohdiamant x Prince Thatch xx
Owner: Hilltop Farm - Rider: Susanne Hassler
- 2. Sir Sinclair - 8.440
Dutch warmblood stallion by Lord Sinclair x Flemmingh
Owner: Iron Spring Farm - Rider: Dorie Addy-Crow
- 3. Luminence - 7.664
Oldenburg gelding by Leonidas
Owner: Mary Contakos - Rider: Hilda Gurney