Lexington, KY- The future of dressage in the United States will be on full display this weekend in Wayne, IL, as many of the nation's top up-and-coming horses vie for coveted USEF National Championship titles. Champions will be crowned at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in six separate divisions. In the 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships the top 4, 5 and 6-year-olds in the country will be recognized. Seven to 9-year-olds will stake their claim on the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International. Finally, the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today is split by age categories, and two championships will be awarded: 13 & under and 14-18 divisions.
The Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships will showcase the most promising 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds that U.S. dressage has to offer. In the 4-year-old division, 15 of the most exciting horses from the 2007 foal crop will vie for top honors. In this championship is Melissa Mulchahey's Furst Fiorano, who topped the final rankings of the 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Ranking List four-year-old division with an overall average of 8.460.
Last year's 4-year-old champion, DG Brendo, and Reserve Champion, DG Bantana, return to the Lamplight Equestrian Center to try to repeat their 2010 efforts. They and 13 challengers will contest the five-year-old championship to make for a strong competition between 15 horses. In the 6-year-old division, seven separate breeds are represented in the field of 15; American Warmblood, Andalusian, Dutch Warmblood, Friesian, Hanoverian, Oldenburg and Royal Dutch Warmblood. Champion, Bon Chance, and Reserve Championship, Adje, from last year's 5-year-old division are among the contenders in the 2011 6-year-old championship.
The National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International looks to be as strong as ever in 2011. The top 15 combinations from the 2011 USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship Ranking List will all be in attendance and looking to collect top honors. Last year's Reserve Champion, 9-year-old Rheinlander gelding, GP Delano, is one of two entries this year for Yvonne Barteau, who also rides Eclipse BR.
Now in its fifth year, alumni of this program include Dick and Jane Brown's UII who won the USEF National Developing Horse Championship in 2008. Now 10, UII won the Freestyle at CDI Fritzen in Austria and represented the U.S. at CHIO Aachen in the summer of 2011.
The USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today will crown champions that demonstrate excellence in equitation in the dressage ring. In the 13 & Under division, 2010's runner-up Jorde Trudel looks to go one better this year in the field of nine competitors. The 14-18 division is also comprised of nine combinations from across the country. Rachel Robinson of Orlando, FL, will ride Mis Diversify, a Paint mare she has won 12 World and Reserve World Champion titles with at the Pinto World Championships.
Competition gets underway at the Lamplight Equestrian Center Thursday morning with the Dressage Seat Medal 13 & Under Warm-Up.
For more information about the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage, Developing Horse Dressage and Dressage Seat Equitation and Medal Programs please visit: http://usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldressage/natDressage.aspx
For news, results, video and photos from these Championships please visit www.USEFNetwork.com