Lexington, KY - The success of the USEF Dressage Developing Clinics was on full display in June at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions held at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ, with participants scoring top honors in Intermediaire I and Young Adult "Brentina Cup" competition. Over the past seven months the rising stars in the sport of dressage have had the opportunity to hone their skills and prepare for future success at the highest level. Due to a generous multi-year gift to the USET Foundation from Trustee Akiko Yamazaki, the program expanded in 2012, allowing more riders from throughout the country to participate. Select individuals were invited to take part in training sessions held throughout the year in Florida, New Jersey, and California under the guidance of USEF Developing Coach, Debbie McDonald. At the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, McDonald worked closely with riders and their trainers to produce top placings.
In the USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship, Caroline Roffman and Pie, her partner from the Developing Clinic, won the Prix St. Georges Test and Intermediaire I Test on their way to claiming National Champion honors. Finishing in second and third place were fellow clinic participants, David Blake and Heather Mason respectively. Rounding out the top five of the Intermediaire I Championship was Mette Rosencrantz, who took part in the March clinic held in California.
The newly crowned Intermediaire I Champion was extremely grateful for the help she received from McDonald during the clinics.
"Riding with Debbie McDonald this winter turned out to be hugely beneficial for both myself and my horses," Roffman said. "I left her lessons with plenty of homework and horses who finished off their rides far better than they started. Debbie has a keen eye and had some great ideas to fix and make things better."
McDonald's guidance over the winter paid off greatly for Roffman as she finished on an overall score of 74.535% in Gladstone.
The Developing Clinics Program was also well represented in the Young Adult "Brentina Cup" portion of the competition as Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF won their first national title. The California based pair scored a decisive victory in the USEF National Young Adult "Brentina Cup" Championship winning both the USEF Brentina Cup Test and the FEI Young Rider Grand Prix Test.
Riders look to further showcase their talents at the Developing Horse Championships, August 24-26 in Wayne, Illinois, where McDonald will again work with clinic participants and their trainers. 2012 Clinic participants Devon Kane, Jessica Jo Tate, Leslie Morse, Chris and Whit Watkins are among the entries.
Also new for 2012 are the Developing Training Camps that are scheduled to be held in the Fall, one being held at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ with McDonald.