A paradise for dressage competitors to improve confidence as well as their scores, the Welcome Back to White Fences dressage competitions showcased the young horses with top scores. Welcome Back to White Fences II and III March 22-24, 2013, and Welcome Back White Fences IV April 6-7, 2013, prepared horse and rider combinations for their big goals for 2013 by qualifying for Regional Championships as well as national competitions like the NAJYRC, Young Horse Championships, Brentina Qualifying, and National Competitions. With three top of the line footing competition arena surfaces, and two warm-up arenas, the facility proves to be especially perfect for preparing the young horses for the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25th, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois. Training a dressage horse up the levels takes an enormous amount of time, work, and confidence building.
Adam Pollak at White Fences Equestrian Center knows how help riders in their quest to build a solid foundation for their horses. Not only does he create a quiet atmosphere for the horse, but he organizes an ambiance for the riders like no other dressage show in the country. Pollak formulates a friendly component with a country home-style meal area with food complimentary for all. He opens the door for everyone to get to know each other. Adam said, “It’s calm here. People don’t feel the pressure. They feel comfortable, especially if they are adult amateur students or have young horses. We like being friendly.” A 20-minute drive from Wellington, the center of horse sports in South Florida in winter, the shows at White fences are a big plus with an atmosphere of lots of trees, grass, a friendly atmosphere.
Alice Tarjan and Elfenfeuer (Florencio I-Elfensonne by Sion) an Oldenburg mare owned by Tarjan (Oldwick, NJ) won the 6yr old test with a score of 83.800%. The fantastic mare Elfenfeuer, born 2007, was reserve champion in the five-year-old division at the Markel/USEF Eastern Selection Trials in 2012. Tarjan said, “I bought her as a 4 yr old from Judy Yancey. Judy had tried to breed her, but she hadn't gotten pregnant so she was for sale. She was pretty and I figured that if she didn't make it as a dressage horse I would fox hunt her. As it turns out, she is a decent dressage horse which is good because I don't think she would make a very good fox hunter. She was reserve champion last year at the Young Horse Finals as a 5 yr old. We have been working with Lars Peterson this winter to prepare.”
Tarjan also scored big on her two 4 yr olds, Fairy Tale LH (Furst Romancier x Cavan) scoring 84.400%. Tarjan said, “I saw a video of youtube of her running free in an indoor and liked her. I tracked down her owner, and it happened that she was in France, and didn't really want to sell. So, finally her owner, Camille Judet-Cheret agreed to sell her to me, and I imported her in February. I was a little apprehensive of importing a horse sight unseen from someone I didn't know, but it worked out well. Fairy is really green, but so much fun to ride. We are having a great time getting to know each other.” And Tarjan rode Fabrege MF scoring 83.200% in the 4 yr old test. Tarjan said, “I bought her as a foal from her breeder Marydell Farm so I have had her since she was a weanling. She's a really good solid horse. It has been fun to bring her come along.” She continued, “I actually wasn't planning on showing at all this season, but White Fences was so close, and seemed like a nice place to bring the young horses to get some experience. Adam is so nice, and they give you free food. It was a great experience for all three horses, and I'm really glad that we did the show. The show is really laid back and it was a good atmosphere for the young horses.”
Other notable scores in the Young Horse Divisions:
Christopher Hickey and Doctor Wendell MF, owned by Marydell Farm scored 78.000% to win the Test of Choice 5 yr old test. Amy Swerdlin and Scholastica scored 75.600% in the 6 yr old division and Paula Matute scored 72.200% aboard Firmamento in the 6 yr old division. Laura Eyre scored 75.000% riding Sharpshooter in the 4 yr old division and Amy Desautels scored a 70.000% on Jimmy Choo.
Heidi Degele and Don Fredo (Don Frederico x Pik Bube I) owned by Greystone Equestrian LLC (Jessica Beier MD) scored big in the 6 yr old test with a 82.000%. Degele said, “The ride was almost flawless. I gave it my all and so did Don Fredo. I went down the center line, thinking I was going to ride perfect, not letting the judges have anything to comment on, and it worked. The judges complimented and thanked me for bringing Don Fredo with only positives to say, concluding that they see him as being a CDI horse in the future.” Degele trains with Lars Peterson regularly during the year. She watched him win the CDI 5 * the night before the class and said, “That so inspired me. I kept telling myself to ride like Lars. Give it my all.”
With the goal of going to the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25th, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois she said, “I think it is harder to qualifier the young horse in FL, considering our shows are earlier in the year and he's not even technically 6yrs old yet. The horses up north have an advantage given that they have more time to grow and age. So, my goal was to get high enough scores to qualify, pick my shows wisely. I also showed him in a couple 3rd level tests to help prepare him for the 6 yr old test. He is really a smart horse and learns things so quick. He is also mentally very mature, so I am so happy for this success with him. It's my highest score ever.”