California Dressage Riders Aiming for National Championships

Sunday, May 8, 2022
Posted by Kim F Miller



Intermediare I test, Laura DeCesari's goal was earning scores needed to return to the USEF Festival of Champions in Chicago. She punched her ticket today at the DASC Spring Benefit Show, Galway, Downs with a class-topping 69.902% with Flower Power. "I was super proud of her, especially her relaxation. She can be a little fiery, so we've being going to a lot of shows to help with relaxation."

As for the difference from Friday's third-place-earning 68.824% in the Prix St. Georges, Laura said, "More than anything, I think I rode better today. I was more secure in the tack. Sometimes I can get a little too relaxed trying to make her relaxed. Today, I needed to sit up and be competitive and still reward her for the relaxation.

"Even if she is tense, she always knows when we are performing and she wants to do what I ask," Laura continued. "It's that balance between a horse that's bred for a lot of power and can be a little reactive and keeping her relaxed."

The Tuscon, AZ-based professional credited the mare's owner Pamela Farthing, her groom Emily Tharp and her husband Tyson Clark, a farrier and partner in starting young horses, as critical to the mare's progress.

As a relatively new addition to the USEF's Developing Rider Program, Laura is one of several on the radar screen of George Williams. The Federation's High Performance and Pathway Development Advisor is on the scene in Temecula to monitor the progress of contenders at various levels.

Federation In The House

Ellanor Boehning and Sir Junior
Ellanor Boehning and Sir Junior

"We come out to observe the riders and we feel it's important to support the CDIs," George explained. "Ours is a large country and we always want to do what we can to make it seem a little smaller. We do some talent spotting and get a sense for what is happening."

USDF Region 7 has a strong Junior and Young Rider contingent, George noted. The improved performances from Friday to Saturday proves the benefit of staging CDIs and the atmosphere and excitement that come with them. "Today, the young riders, in general, were much more confident and it comes from really getting that confidence, which is why the CDI designations are so critical," he said.

Today's Young Rider Individual Test saw especially strong rides from victors Miki Yang and Donovan, with a 68.971%, and yesterday's Team Test winner, Ellanor Boehning and Sir Junior, close behind on a 68.382%.

George expressed the Federation's gratitude for organizer Regina Antonioli of Equestrian Concepts. "We are extremely appreciative of Equestrian Concepts stepping up to stage this event, and on a number of levels. It's extremely valuable as a qualifier for the World Championships, the Young Riders and for all riders. The CDI can generate a certain amount of excitement for the sport. This one has an atmosphere, and the arena has its challenges, but so do all the international arenas and that's part of why it's so crucial to have CDIs."

Results on Foxvillage.com