Emily Miles Wows at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

Friday, August 23, 2019
Posted by Dana Riddlemoser & Kathleen Landweh



Emily Miles and Sole Mio wowed the judges and spectators with a phenomenal FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. Leslie Waterman’s five-year-old Hanoverian stallion demonstrated his light but powerful gaits with Miles in the irons to earn a score of 8.90.

Emily Miles and Sole Mio (

“I felt like there was a little pressure; there’s high expectations. It’s a lot easier to be like, ‘Nobody knows me and go and ride my test.’ I felt like people were going to watch him,” said Miles. “I didn’t put the pedal to the metal like crazy, but I was super happy with how fluid he was and how light he was and that he stayed with me, just super solid. I think the judges did an awesome job of seeing his potential. … I was a little bit nervous for this test, but I was super proud of him, and I should have known he would be there for me because he’s that kind of guy.”

Nadine Schwartsman (Eagle, ID) and Jhocolate R, her five-year-old KWPN stallion, placed second with a socre of 8.26, while Rebecca Rigdon and Jagger, Ad Astra Collective, five-year-old KWPN gelding, placed third with a score of 8.02.

Thursday’s FEI Five-Year-Old Preliminary Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score. The championship concludes Saturday with the FEI Five-Year-Old Final Test, counting for the remaining 60 percent of the overall score.

Complete division results

On the FEI/WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses experience:
Miles: “He is such a fantastic horse. Every day I get on him I’m like, ‘I love this horse.’… His work is not work for him, and that is a gift. I felt very prepared for this. We spent a lot of time training for the [FEI/WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses]. I can’t thank USEF enough for believing in us and sending us over. [USEF Dressage Young Horse Coach] Christine [Traurig] was instrumental in organizing everything. She helped me so much with the strategic part of it, and to have the continuity. She came to my place for clinics, saw us in Ermelo, then [watched us] here, so that continuity with Christine in the background has been so helpful. I have to thank [Sole Mio]. … We got here, and he was pretty hot the first day, but he came out today and was like, ‘I got this Emily; I got you,’ so I was so proud of him, and I have to thank him. He’s an unbelievable teammate.”

On the horses’ performances:
Schwartsman: “I think he did the best test he ever has in his career so far, so that was excellent timing on his part because he can actually be quite opinionated so getting a big submission score of him is a really big deal and I am so grateful to him.

Rigdon: “He is much, much, much stronger. He has grown three inches. He has put on a lot of weight, a lot of muscle. I am super, super happy with him. He is the most honest, sweet, whatever you want. He is as good as you ride him; there is no in between. He is a really neat horse.”

Marcus Orlob: “I was actually quite happy. I was surprised with more energy in the test than in the warm-up. I guess it worked out fine because I had no expectations really. This is his fifth competition; he is only a little bit over a year under saddle. In Florida, I said maybe let’s try the five-year-old [division]. He got qualifying scores so I thought, “Okay, let’s give it a shot,’ so whatever happens here I am happy. He is a really good horse.”

Merita Hagren: “I was super happy with my horse. She is a very sweet five-year-old. She helped me out a little bit and did a really good job. She almost tried a little too hard and we had an extra flying change there, and we don’t do that yet [at this level]. But I am very happy, such a sweet horse and so relaxed.”

Maureen Sterling: “It is my first experience being here at Lamplight so I think today was about getting rid of my jitters and his [jitters]. He is a very spooky horse and he is very, very playful, [but] he offers me a lot.”

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