Having twice already competed in the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, Amanda Harlan has decided that although she’s still only a teenager, it’s time to play in the big leagues. The 18-year-old California rider is aiming to compete this year in the 2008 National Dressage Championships, scheduled to be held in her home state of California.
"I’ve been on the Young Riders team for the past two years so my goal this year is to try out for the Intermediaire championships,” said the high school senior. “I’m putting all my effort into it this year, although I really just wanted to get my feet wet with the goal of making it in the next two years. But if I make it this year, it’ll be more than I could ever ask for.”
Harlan is definitely off to a good start in the qualifying process. At the recent Mid Winter Dressage CDI, held in Burbank, she was a high score winner, taking wins in Prix St. Georges and twice in Intermediaire I. “I got a 69 percent in all three tests,” Harlan said. “And it was only my second time doing the I-1, so I was really happy.”
Harlan took the wins with Liberte, the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Flemmingh, that was once the ride of her trainer, Jan Ebeling. “He’s such a good boy,” Harlan said of her partner. She has owned the horse for three years and calls him the horse of her dreams. “I’m so thankful for the horse I have. I’m thankful also for my parents and all the support I have.”