Lexington, KY - Dressage has some serious sizzle*. Just ask the thousands of fans who are anxiously awaiting the double-header of the summer: the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. We're talking about two consecutive August weekends and five National Championships, including the only U.S. Selection Trials in dressage for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. We're also talking about a backdrop worthy of the silver screen, at the idyllic USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. To top it off, at the helm of the effort is Collecting Gaits Farm, and owners Jeff and Shereen Fuqua, who have consistently sponsored USEF Championships and programs for almost a decade. Now that's sizzle.
Slated for August 6-8 and 13-15, the Festival once again serves as the USEF National Dressage Championships in the Junior, Young Rider, Young Adult "Brentina Cup," Intermediaire I, and Grand Prix divisions, the latter of which serves as the U.S. Selection Trials for dressage.
"This year's event will be one of the most important competitions leading into U.S. dressage history with our country hosting the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Kentucky," shared Shereen Fuqua. "With Steffen Peters and Akiko Yamazaki's Ravel as our most talented dressage champions, the rest of the Grand Prix appears to be wide open for the final selection for the U.S. dressage team. And I just love watching the Brentina Cup championship as our new talent starts to blossom in the public eye."
New to the festivities this year will be the Collecting Gaits Farm Competitors' Lounge, where competitors, trainers and owners across each of the five championships can enjoy hors d'oeuvres, mingle and take in the scenery, between the rigors of preparation and competition.
"We really want to create camaraderie between the younger riders who look up to the 'big time' professionals," Fuqua continued. "Scott Carling and Jennifer Keeler of USEF came up with the idea of the CGF Lounge."
A mainstay in dressage competition since 1991, the Festival has played a vital role in selecting the elite athletes who represent the United States at the World Equestrian Games, Olympic Games and Pan American Games, with the nation's top horses and riders going head-to-head to vie for the coveted slots. Together with the support of Collecting Gaits Farm and owners Jeff and Shereen Fuqua, the Festival of Champions has helped produce some of the country's best dressage athletes.