Wayne, IL- The USEF Dressage National Championships continued Friday at Lamplight Equestrian Center, with competitors producing top class results for a second straight day. The first tests, counting for 40% of the overall Championship scores, were held in the Six-Year-Old division of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championship and the USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International. In the Six-Year-Old Championship Alice Tarjan and Somer Hit scored a decisive victory in the Preliminary Test. Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O lead the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges competition after producing a winning effort on Friday. The USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today also held its optional Warm-Up class for the 14-18 division to begin the day's activities in Ring 2. Genay Vaughn and Kaye-Eileen Willard's Anakin topped the field of eight to win the Warm-Up.
Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships
For the second day in a row, Tarjan (Oldwick, NJ) claimed the lead in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships, this time on her own Somer Hit (Sandro Hit-Rhussia by Rotspun). The lovely Hanoverian stallion demonstrated a steady contact and brilliant gaits throughout the test. Earning 7.9, 8.5 and 8.8 for their walk, trot and canter and further boosting their final score to 8.38 with marks of 8.2 for submission and 8.5 for general impression, the pair finished well clear of the 11 horse field.
Tarjan was extremely pleased with her test Friday that defied even her own ambitions.
"It was better than I expected... he's got a beautiful canter, that's the highlight," said Tarjan who has a simple plan heading into Sunday's final. "Just keep kicking."
Placing second was Roberta Carleton and Kir Royal (Kopenick-Ronja by Rotspon), earning 8.4, 7.8 and 7.7 for their walk, trot and canter. The Warmblood gelding additionally scored 7.7 and 7.8 for submission and general impression on the way to a 7.87.
Both of Friday's top placing pairs have benefitted greatly from working with USEF Young Horse Coach, Scott Hassler at Training Sessions and Selection Trials which are both part of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program.
The six-year-olds return on Sunday to earn the remaining 60% of their score in the Final Test in order to crown 2012's Champion.
USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International
The USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International is among the most competitive of divisions of the weekend with just two and a half points separating the top seven in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test. Roffman (Wellington, FL) and her own and Jennifer Lind's Her Highness O (Hohenstein De-SPS Wild Lady O by Weltmeyer) charged into the lead of the championship on the strength of a powerful, well-executed test earning 71.448%. The nine-year-old Hanoverian mare defied her experience earning the top spot on Friday.
"I really was happy with how Her Highness went today. They are all Developing Horses but this is only our fourth horse show and second time doing the Prix St. Georges Test, she is very new to the level," Said Roffman who has competed in many Young and Developing Horse Championships. "Coincidently, the owner saw me riding at this horse show a few years ago and that's how I got her. She is a wonderful horse with a bright future."
Friday's runner-up Emily Wagner (La Cygne, KS) and Wakeup (Wagnis-Maiden Montreal by Macho) are also no strangers to the show or venue after claiming the Six-Year-Old Title in the 2011 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship. The seven-year-old American Warmblood stallion produced an expressive, accurate test to score 70.571%.
The USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage Championship presented by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International wrap-ups Sunday with the remaining 60% of the overall score being determined by the USEF Developing Horse Test.
Competition gets back underway at 8:00am CST on Saturday with the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage Championship supported by Hilda Gurney and Carol Lavell.