Complete Results for Five Year Old Division on centerlinescores.com
Complete Results for Five Year Old Division on centerlinescores.com. The 5-year-old division of the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship was up for grabs throughout the entire class of fifteen entries all quality horse and rider combinations. Hampton Meadows, LLC's Donna Tella (Don Picardi - Gesa by Glorieux) ridden by Belgium National Werner Van Den Brande, was the final horse of the division. "It's amazing how the draw worked out, they saved the best for last," said judge Janet Foy speaking for her fellow judges sharing the booth and final decision, Gary Rockwell and Anne Gribbons. "This mare is very ambitious. She is very strong in her body and has a lot of confidence in herself. We do this will probably test you in the future as her training progresses. She has a lot of charm and personality and we truely appreciated her performance today." When explaining how they reached their score of a 9 on the general impression Foy stated of her colleagues, "We all want to take her home and definitely spend the next five years riding and training her to Grand Prix."
The Oldenburg mare executed a polished performance that oozed charm and personality. For Saturday's Final Test the pair earned an 8.68 after scoring high marks for their canter (8.9) and 9.0 for both the trot and general impression mark.
Combined with the Preliminary score, which counted for 40% of the overall, Donna Tella won the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship 5-year-old division on an 8.648. "In Thursday's first test she was lovely in the ring," Van Den Brande said. "But she was a little bit better today. She was more awake and relaxed, and I just relaxed and let her do her job.
Winning today's championship was not only special for Van Den Brande but also for everyone at his Loxahatchee, FL, base. "Credit also goes to the team at home, my partner Mary Cameron Rollins (2009 NAJYRC Young Rider Gold Medallist) who was a great help to me today warming me up for the test. And our owner is here today, Robert Stark of Hampton Meadows Farm. I also want to thank our farm manager Laura Quin. This is a dream come true." Van Den Brande is no stranger to the International Young Horse program. In 1999 he purchased the spectacular stallion Gallant Du Serien later owned by Horses UnLimited. The duo claimed second place in the Four Year Olds at the 1999 National Championship in Belgium. In 2000, Werner and Galant Du Serein represented Belgium at the World Championships in the FEI Five Year Olds. With an eye for good horses Van Den Brande and Rollins make frequent trips to Europe where their extensive contacts bring them in touch with young horse prospects they bring back to Hampton Meadows Farm to develop, train and sell.
The winner of Thursday's Preliminary Test, Caroline Roffman and San City (San Remo - Bounty by Bolero), had to settle for Reserve Champion honors in the division after placing third in the Final Test. The Hanoverian stallion once again collected high marks for their trot and canter but a few bobbles kept them from equaling their first mark. Roffman (Wellington, FL) was still very pleased with San City, a horse she has only been riding a few months, and his performance throughout the weekend. She was equally thrilled with the way he has developed over the time of their short partnership. "The first day he was the best he's ever been. I am really proud because he came here as a 4-year-old and was 14th. He has just showed how much he's grown-up and matured but also shown his rideability." San City, who also is a breeding stallion, will return to owner Linda Crabtree and spend the rest of the season eventing with Crabtree's daughter Katie Wooten-Bryant who will be out to qualify for the US Eventing Young Horse Championships.
Second place in the Final Test went to Lauren Chumley and Alice Tarjan's Somer Hit (Sandro Hit - Rhussia by Rotspon) who scored an 8.48 for their effort. Saturday's score combined with their 8.3 from the Preliminary Test meant they finished these Championships in third place. Chumley was able to improve her trot work today and still demonstrated quality canter and walk gaits for which they scored 8.8 and 9.0, respectively. Despite having only ridden the Hanoverian stallion for three months, Chumley was able to pilot Somer Hit to the highest U.S. bred horse award, bred by Mo Swanson at Rolling Stone Farm in PA.
Chumley was thrilled with her horse's effort this weekend but looks forward to training the exciting prospect each day. "He is just really fun, a high quality horse and great to work with."
The judging panel of Janet Foy, Gary Rockwell and Anne Gribbons enjoyed the entire class and were extremely pleased with the level of talent and training displayed. Foy commented, "It so much fun to judge this; the quality of horses and riders and training is so high." Foy has been the chair of the Young Horse program for ten years. "For us to have a whole new level of trainers and riders coming up is very exciting."