Heather Blitz and Ripline Win Six-Year-Old Title at Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships
Monday, August 25, 2014
Posted by Chris Stafford
Pan American gold medalist Heather Blitz won the FEI Six Year Old Finals at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships riding Oak Hill Ranch's Approved Danish Warmblood Stallion Ripline (Hotline x Riviera - Cavan) with a score of 88.2% at Lamplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, Illinois on August 24, 2014. Ripline was also awarded the Top U.S. Bred Horse Title. Blitz, who is the Head Trainer at Cutler Farm in Medfield, MA, has trained Ripline through his young career and the partnership has proved consistent winners throughout the levels. The week began for them on Friday with a very close second place on a score of 83.0%, just 0.8 off the winner, in the FEI Preliminary Test for 6-Year-Olds (2009) and concluded with the FEI Six Year Old Final Test where Blitz and Ripline headed a field of fourteen finalists to clinch the title."Ripline was so wonderful," said an ecstatic Blitz. "He is very serious about his job and is happy to do it. There was not one millisecond in the test today where he wasn't 100% there for me and doing exactly what I wanted him to. He really makes it seem easy. He is an uncomplicated stallion who is such a pleasure to train. The weekend really built up nicely to a wonderful peak performance in the final. It's the best he's felt in the show ring ever. The judges really had their work cut out for them having to rate so many high quality horses in all the classes this year and that's super exciting for our country. And so many of them were U.S. bred. Success on so many levels. I look forward to starting the Developing Horse PSG with Ripline this winter and perhaps try for the 2015 PanAm team."
Oak Hill Ranch's owner and Ripline's breeder, Richard Freeman shared his reaction to winning this important championships: "It is wonderful to know that Ripline is in the care and training of a top trainer like Heather. She has the skill and patience to draw out his talent. As the product of several generations of Oak Hill Ranch's breeding, I anxiously await his further development."
Blitz had a hectic schedule flying back from Europe to the U.S. to ride in the championships and returning right after the competition this weekend to coach U.S. Para-Equestrian Annie Peavy who rides in the Grade III competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
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