Christine Malpartida of Region 3 also had a big weekend with Freudentänzer (Fürst Nymphenburg x Design-RA by Donnerhall) as the pair earned a score of 75.909% for the unanimous win under all three judges in the Training Level Adult Amateur Championship at the 2017 US Dressage Finals.
Ahead of Stephanie McNutt of Mechanicsville, Md. (Region 1) and her five-year-old Westfalen gelding Freestyler HRH (Fürst Fugger x Dolce Vita HRH by Don Bosco) who, after being crowned as First Level Adult Amateur champions on Saturday, returned to the ring to claim reserve honors in the Training Level division (72.727%). Malpartida and her six-year-old Hanoverian gelding also claimed reserve honors in the First Level Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship with 71.911% for their Madonna/George Michael medley.
“My horse has been super all weekend – he always seems to step up to the plate and do the job that needs to be done. To be in this environment is very exciting, but he trusted me and nailed it,” said Malpartida, who owns real estate and rental properties in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla. and also works part time as a groom in order to spend more time with horses. “I imported him as a three-year-old from Germany, which was an exciting journey in itself to find him after a year and a half of looking for my ‘perfect mount’. We were reserve champions here at this level two years ago, so it’s extremely sweet to come back and win it this time. It’s exhilarating and an honor to be here.”
Nora Batchelder of Williston, Fla. (Region 3) had her hands full with three mounts scheduled to go down centerline for the Prix St. Georges Open Championship, but it was her ride aboard Andrea Whitcomb’s nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Faro SQF (Fidertanz x SPS Rose by Rotspon, bred in the U.S. by Jill Peterson) that would ultimately claim the Miki Christophersen Perpetual Trophy (presented by USDF Region 4) with a top score of 71.974%.
“I’m ecstatic! I wanted to take home a championship and I didn’t think it would happen in this class, but I’m really happy about it,” said Batchelder. “This was Faro’s only class this week, but he was very brave and never put a foot wrong. I’m so proud of him. I think his extended trots and half-passes were really good, and overall he stayed really relaxed. He’s such a fun horse to ride – easy to sit and light in the bridle, and every moment is a pleasure. I’m looking to showing him in the small tour this winter in Wellington.”
Also finishing just a point behind for reserve was Batchelder with her eight-year-old Hanoverian mare Fifi MLW (Fidertanz x Wolkenstanza MLW by Wolkentanz I, bred in the U.S. by Mary Winn), who had previously claimed reserve championship honors in Saturday’s Fourth Level Open division. Fifi MLW’s score of 70.921% also earned her the Lloyd Landkamer Perpetual Trophy for FEI Highest Scoring Mare (presented by Janet Foy).
“I was little nervous about going first, and initially she was a little backed off in the Alltech Arena because it’s a big venue,” Batchelder noted. “But she was such a good girl. I want to say that Lloyd [Landkamer] was such a great presence at the shows. He always gave my Corgis treats and was so nice to me. I miss seeing him and it means a lot for me to receive that award and remember him this way.”
More information including final results, photo galleries, and news archives from the 2017 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® are available on the official event website www.usdressagefinals.com. Video on-demand from select championship performances is also available on the USEF Network at www.usefnetwork.com.