Alice Tarjan and Fairouz Impress Day 1 at the Markel/USEF Young Horse 5-YO Dressage National Championship

Friday, August 24, 2018
Posted by Annan Hepner for PS Dressage


Alice Tarjan and Fairouz (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Alice Tarjan and Fairouz (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Alice Tarjan and Fairouz (Frazoslis–Diva, Don Frederico) took the lead in the USEF 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test on Wednesday, accumulating impressive scores from the judges to take the first place prize at the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage National Championships. Fairouz, the 5-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Tarjan and bred in Germany by Bramall/Dusche Gbr, received a phenomenal score of 10 for her expressive trot as well as an 8 for the canter.

Fairouz was awarded a total score of 8.78, putting her comfortably in first place. The pair are returning to the Lamplight Equestrian Center for the second consecutive year as Fairouz won the reserve championship in the Markel/USEF Young Horse 4-Year-Old Dressage National Championship in 2017.

Michael Bragdell and SunSation HW (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Michael Bragdell and SunSation HW (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Just behind Tarjan and Fairouz, Michael Bragdell and SenSation HW (Sunday–Donata, Dancier) took second place with a total score of 8.7. The 5-year-old Westphalian gelding, bred in Germany by Alfons Bergjohann and owned by Carol McPhee, was given the highest score of 10 for his trot that seemed to “defy gravity” with great cadence and connection. SenSation HW also received high marks of 8.3 for the canter and 8.6 for submission.

In third place, Rebecca Rigdon riding Iquem (Charmeur–Tres Bien Sijgje, Moreno) scored a total of 8.5. The 5-year-old KWPN mare, owned by Rigdon and bred in the Netherlands by A. De Baere, received a score of 9 for her canter and 8.7 for her trot to contribute to her total score.

The Markel/USEF Young Horse 5-Year-Old Dressage National Championship will wrap-up on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 11:15 a.m.


Alice Tarjan and Fairouz (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Alice Tarjan and Fairouz (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Alice Tarjan – USEF 5-Year-Old Test winner
On Her Test:

“It went well and I was really pleased. I’m kind of surprised because the quality of this class is super high. It wasn’t what I was expecting. [On Saturday], I want to maintain what we had today but we could be a little more technically correct.”

On Her Horse:
“She’s very rideable. She has a great natural rhythm, especially in the trot. The piaffe passage is really well started. She’s like a metronome, you can’t knock her out of the rhythm once she has started. She has a really good mind. She can be a little bit spooky but it’s rideable. I can just sit there and cruise around mostly.”

On the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships:
“The quality [of competition] this year is the highest I’ve seen. Typically, there may be like 20 6-year-olds that attend but this year there are a lot more. It’s by far the most competitive that I’ve ever seen. The scores are higher across the board and the quality of all the horses is great. I think it’s really great for our sport. I love developing young horses and training them up the levels. It’s very rewarding.”

On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“It’s a beautiful showground. The first year I came, I didn’t know anyone but now it’s a lot of fun to come every year and catch-up with everybody. There are good judges, the footing is superb and the facilities are awesome. The showgrounds offer easy access to hotels and restaurants — whatever you need. It’s way better than a lot of other showgrounds.”

Michael Bragdell and SunSation HW (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Michael Bragdell and SunSation HW (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Michael Bragdell – USEF 5-Year-Old Test second place
On His Test:

“I’m happy with how he was today. I think that the horse has developed really nicely over the last year and a half. I was super happy with the trot, obviously. I mean getting a 10 is great! It’s a great feeling when you get something like that. [On Saturday], I hope we maintain the same with maybe a little bit more relaxation in there. I’m happy with what I had today.”

On the Lamplight Showgrounds:
“It’s a great environment for young horses to take that big step into a bigger show environment. It’s a beautiful facility and they do a fabulous job putting this all together. You truly feel like you made it to the top when you come here. I think a lot of riders get excited about coming here.”

Rebecca Rigdon and Iquem (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Rebecca Rigdon and Iquem (Photo: Annan Hepner/PS Dressage)

Rebecca Rigdon – USEF 5-Year-Old Test third place
On Her Test:

“I was happy with my mare; she is quite green for her age and quite spicy at times. We were still on lunge lines at shows in January so she’s come a long way. There were highlights in the canter work and the trot work is developing. It felt better than it had ever felt in parts. The overall submission can be improved. She just needs some more experience. Overall, I’m really happy with her progression.”

On the Importance of this Show:
“Being from San Diego, I’ve been here for 10 days. We drove all of my horses. It’s such a good growing experience for my horses and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I don’t care if I end up last. In the development for her future, I know it will make her more solid. Christine Traurig has done a super job creating a more cohesive and systematic training system for young horses.”

Results: USEF 5-Year-Old Test for the Markel/USEF Young Horse 5-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Alice Tarjan / Fairouz / Alice Tarjan / 87.800
2. Michael Bragdell / SenSation HW / Carol McPhee / 87.000
3. Rebecca Rigdon / Iquem / Rebecca Rigdon / 85.000
4. Ali Potasky / Flash Dance / Kathy Priest / 82.400
5. Alice Tarjan / Serenade MF / Alice Tarjan / 81.600
6. Melissa Fladland / I’m All In / Melissa Fladland / 80.800