Adult Amateurs Impress on Day 3 of the US Dressage Finals

Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted by Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals



Bonnie Canter Earns Top Honors in First Level Adult Amateur Championship
After being the bridesmaid so far this week with two Reserve Championships earned aboard her small tour horse, Bonnie Canter of Hockley, Texas (Region 9) finally made it to the top of the podium with a winning score of 75.370% aboard her youngster Franziska, a five-year-old Hanoverian mare (Franziskus x Wempy by Weltmeyer).

Photo - Bonnie Canter & Franziska (Susan J. Stickle)

"I bought her off a video from a farmer in Germany - she was affordable, small (which I like), and had a gorgeous hindleg," Canter remembered. "She's got a really gentle nature and you just fall in love with her. She also has a super rhythm and she floats along which gives a really nice picture. She's comfortable doing the First Level work and she's a happy girl."

Former Finals champion and fellow Region 9 rider Ashlee Watts of College Station, Texas also found success with a rising star in her seven-year-old Westphalian mare Ricarda (Riccio x Samira by Sure Hit, bred in the U.S. by Westphalians for USA LLC) as they earned 75.231% for Reserve honors. "I actually bought her when I was at Finals two years ago and picked her up on my way home," said Watts. "Today she was amazing. She was perfectly on my aids and didn't do one thing wrong."

Alexandra Krossen
Photo - Alexandra Krossen & Nicene (Susan J. Stickle)

Alexandra Krossen Rides to Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship Victory
Alexandra Krossen of Basking Ridge, N.J. (Region 8) has a long history with her mount Nicene, a 14-year-old Oldenburg mare (Nimbus x Pamela by Portofino), owned and bred in the U.S. by Krossen's longtime trainer Heather Mason. Together since the day the foal was born and through earning two titles at last year's Finals, the pair once again returned to the winner's circle by earning victory in the Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle with 71.256%.

"This year she had great trot work and her canter work was strong too," said Krossen. "She's quite a funny mare. I was there when she was born, and she has scarred me for life with some of her behavior being a little redhead child. She has a firecracker personality behind her, but when you get into the ring she is all business. She's been amazing to ride and train, and I feel very lucky for that opportunity."

Finals newcomer Tara Denke of Makato, Minn. (Region 4) and her 11-year-old Friesian mare Bella (Anton 343 x Whitney C by Ludse 305, bred by in the U.S. by Todd and Tina Watson) were thrilled to find themselves as Reserve Champions with 70.578%. "We had an amazing ride today. This was our first visit to the Finals and I decided to give it our all," Denke explained. "We had a beautiful extended canter, and it was so uphill I felt like I was charging into battle. It is so special to get an invitation to the Finals. I feel like if you earn that invitation you can't possibly turn it down!"

Tricia Earley
Tricia Earley and San Angelo (Photo: Susan J. Stickle)

Tricia Earley Returns to Finals to Win Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
Last year, Region 9 competitor Tricia Earley came to Lexington not only as a Finals first-timer but also as a relative newcomer to the sport of dressage. Despite her inexperience, she and her Oldenburg gelding San Angelo (San Remo x Weltfee by Welton) returned home to Aledo, Texas as Third Level Adult Amateur Freestyle champions (read more about Earley in the Why I Love the Finals series on HERE). Now as Finals veterans, the pair returned to the Kentucky Horse Park and once again emerged victorious, this time in the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship with 72.367%.

"My horse actually loves the cold weather - he's done with Texas heat," Earley laughed. "So he was a little more up and through today. Our music uses a string version of Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran which I think suits him because he's an elegant mover. Last year I was kind of a deer in the headlights coming here. This time I knew what to expect and I knew what it was like to win, so there was a little bit of added pressure because I really wanted to win again, so I couldn't be happier."

Coming to the Finals for his first time this year was Stephen Ruggiero of Coventry, Conn. (Region 8), who rode his 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Dream Works (Danone I x Hollywood by Hohenstein) to a close second with 71.556%. "We had a fantastic ride and our pirouettes and tempi's were some of the best we've done," said Ruggiero. "We're very happy to be here and we hope to be back again next year."

Watch the winning ride plus an interview with both riders on HERE.

Watch archived streaming videos of Championship classes on the USEF Network HERE. Championship competition resumes Sunday – follow the action through updates on the USDF Facebook page and the US Dressage Finals website, as well as watch live online streaming on the USEF Network. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at