Young Horses Cabana Boy and Ronatella S Shine But Fall Short of Qualifying for Verden at CDI-W Raleigh/Capital Dressage Classic in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Division

In young horse competition at the CDI-W Raleigh/Capital Dressage Classic Cabana Boy dominated the Six-Year-Old division and Ronatella S dominated the Five-Year-Old division. On Sunday's final day of young horse competition, Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy scored an 82 percent and Joe Sandven and the Hanoverian Ronatella S scored an 80 percent. Both horses had won the preliminary competition the day before.

Hickey noted that right behind him as the reserve champion for the Six-Year-Old competition was another Hilltop sired horse – Froelich (by Hilltop stallion Festrausch) American bred by Suellen Myers of West Virginia, and ridden by Teresa Butta. The pair finished off Sunday's competition in the final with a score of 78.40. "This was a good weekend for Hilltop related horses," he said.

The one downside was that despite their great showing, Hickey and Cabana Boy, bred by Doug and Shannon Langer and sired by Hilltop's Contucci, finished up the competition with an overall score just under the 82 percent the pair needed to qualify to compete in Verden, Germany this year.

"We're disappointed, but we're still thrilled with the horse," Hickey said. "I had a few mistakes today. The two changes weren't good and I don't usually have a problem with the changes, but today, I did." Hickey blamed no one but himself saying that he tried to address some of the comments of judges in his Saturday ride and in doing so lost a bit in his Sunday ride.

Judges Ann Gribbons and Lelo Fore join markel's Lisa and John Seger to congratulate Joe Sandven and Ronatella S.

Still, Cabana Boy has already qualified to compete in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships in Kentucky and he's also already qualified for the Region 3 regional champion at Third Level. "So, he's doing great," Hickey said.

In CDI competition on Sunday, the big winner was Jane Hannigan with Maksymilian. That pair won Sunday's Grand Prix Special with score of 65.84 percent. Second was Mikala Munter Gundersen with Leonberg and a score of 63.80. Winner of Intermediaire I Freestyle was Lauren Sprieser with Clairvoya and score of 65.65.

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