Endel Ots and King's Pleasure Clinch Markel/USEF Young Horse Seven-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

Monday, August 29, 2022
Posted by Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian



Fifteen combinations closed out Festival of Champions riding the FEI Seven-Year-Old Final Test of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Seven-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. Endel Ots and King’s Pleasure won the test with a score of 7.8129. Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and Heidi Humphries’s 2015 KWPN stallion clinched the inaugural championship with a score of 7.8295.

Photo - Endel Ots and King's Pleasure (SusanJStickle.com)

“I loved it,” Ots said of his test. “Couldn't be better. I didn't ride him yesterday. We just took him on a hand walk and just itched him, let him roll, turn him out a little bit. So, we had a lot of power and energy. He really stayed with me, so I couldn't be happier.”

Watch the full class.

Cesar Parra (Whitehouse Station, N.J.) and Fanta 4, Parra and Gina Raful’s 2015 Hanoverian gelding, finished second in the FEI Seven-Year-Old Final Test with a score of 7.6914 and with Reserve Champion honors on an overall score of 7.6181. Amanda Perkowski (Wellington, Fla.) and Sonata MF, Next Level Performance Center Inc.’s 2015 Hanoverian mare, were third in the FEI Seven-Year-Old Final Test with a score of 7.6100 and third overall with a score of 7.5992.

Overall championship results

From the Mixed Zone:

Tell us about your tests.

Parra: “I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because he is a totally different horse. ‘Fanta’ until now, to me, has been a bit too quiet. And it's getting harder trying to keep him on my aids, so I rode him until the last minute I was allowed to ride to get in the ring, but I was happy he came out good and the judges liked it. He is an amazing horse. I really love him. I mean, I've been riding him now for like two years and really in love with him.

Perkowski: “I was really happy with my ride. I've had her since October, so we're relatively new. But, you know, I feel we've come a long way and I'm happy to be here. So, I was happy with the test.

What is the background on this horse?

Ots: “So I had actually sold my friend's horses to the owner of King's Pleasure, Heidi Humphries. And when I met her, I had a feeling when I met her, really great vibe and energy, so throughout the years when I've won with Lucky [Strike] and then teamed [for the 2019 Pan American Games] with Lucky and won with Everdance, I would just send her articles through Facebook and then all of a sudden one day she said, ‘I want to buy a horse.’ And then I sent her a couple of options and I didn't hear anything. And then I just messaged her back and I said, ‘Hey, no pressure if you want to. If you don't…’ And she said, ‘Oh no, he’s coming tomorrow.’ And I was like, ‘Who, which one?’ And so then King’s Pleasure came in. I really wanted to do six-year-olds last year with him, but he was so green. I mean, he didn't know changes, no shoulder-in, no half-pass or anything. Heidi is relatively new in dressage, so I just told her, ‘Listen, if you trust me.’ I actually for her birthday about 10 months ago, I gave her a silver frame and it said ‘Seven-Year-Old 2022 National Champion King’s Pleasure.’ And I said, there'll be a photo in that frame with your horse with the championship ribbon on there. I gave that to her and she was like, ‘Well, it's no pressure. I don't want it.’ And I said, ‘No, no, no. I see it, I feel it, I know it is there.’ And she is just a fabulous, wonderful owner who does everything for her horse.”

Special Awards

The top three combinations in all of the Young Horse and Developing Horse divisions had their names added to a lottery to win a custom saddle from N2 Saddlery. At the conclusion of the event and the subsequent drawing, Endel Ots won the prize.

Two Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Best Turned Out Awards were presented on Sunday. Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship competitors David Blake and Lion Heart and Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship competitors Nora Batchelder and Amillion FS collected the honors.

Watch the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on demand on USEF Network.

Complete Results