Wayne, IL – In the spectacular setting of Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, competition got underway at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships and USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship presented by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International. After all the horses were presented at the veterinary inspection on Thursday, excitement continued to build as young horses began their quest for USEF National Championships titles.
Traveling across the country to Chicago from Westlake Village, CA was worth the trip for owner/rider Louise Koch and her own San Shivago. Bred in Germany by Walter Huning, this black Westfalen stallion (Sandro Hit – Donna by Donnerhall) performed a lovely test to earn the win in the Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test with a score of 8.38 from judges Linda Zang, Gary Rockwell, and Jeanne McDonald. 62-year-old Koch and her impressive stallion were the Champions at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Western Selection Trial for the FEI World Breeding Championships at Flintridge, CA in May.
Second in the five-year-olds was the defending 2008 Markel/USEF National Four-Year-Old Champion Selten HW, ridden by owner Elizabeth Ball of Carlsbad, CA. This striking black Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit – High Princess by Hohenstein) was bred in the United States by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold of Florida. A year older and stronger, Selten HW proved he was ready for the challenge of this division by earning a score of 8.28.
In the Six-Year-Old division, Friday’s Preliminary Test was dominated by Horses Unlimited’s U.S.-bred stallion Pikko Del Cerro HU. This dark bay Hanoverian (Pik L – Rohweena by Rohdiamant, bred in New Mexico, USA by Horses Unlimited, Inc.) was ridden to an impressive victory and overall score of 8.2 by Mikala Munter Gundersen of Wellington, Florida. Reserve Champion at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Eastern Selection Trial earlier this year, Pikko del Cerro HU came to Lamplight with ample experience in the young horse ranks and seemed focused for the challenge, with the walk being a particular test highlight which was rewarded by the judges with a score of 9.
The Markel/USEF Young Horse Western Selection Trial Championship in May was also a stepping stone for Sandomere. Owned by Holly Reimers of Orland, CA, this dark brown Oldenburg stallion (Sandro Hit – Romina by Ramiro’s Match, bred in Germany by Marion Menck) shipped from California to put in a strong test under the guidance of Merrie Velden to earn an overall score of 7.84.
Today’s Preliminary Test counts as 40% towards determining overall Championship placings. The competition continues Saturday with the Four-Year-Old National Championship class and the conclusion of the Five-Year-Old division, in addition to the opening round of competition for the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship presented by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International.
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