Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Twelve combinations competed in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test to determine the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship title winner. For the second time on Sunday, Alice Tarjan claimed the top two spots in a national championship. Tarjan and Serenade MF, her 2013 Hanoverian mare (Sir Donnerhall x Duet MF, Don Principe), won the class with a score of 75.833%, took the national champion title with an overall score of 75.519%, and the won Highest U.S. Bred Horse Award. Tarjan and Harvest, her 2012 KWPN stallion (Connaisseur x Naomi, Ulft), were the reserve champions with an overall score of 71.689% Tarjan is a member of the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program with both horses.
Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF (SusanJStickle.com)
“I am pretty happy,” Tarjan said of her test with Serenade MF. “There are a lot of things that we could improve upon, but that horse just goes out every time and does the job, and I don’t know what more you could ask for.”
Emily Miles (Paola, Kan.) and Java Dulce, Leslie Waterman’s 2011 Danish Warmblood gelding (Jazz x JJ Dolche Gabbana, Deemster), were third with a score of 71.241%.
Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and RS Damon, Jessica Friedrich’s Wurttemberger gelding (Don Diamond I x Marzurka H, HPM Meeteur), won the Best Presented Horse at the Horse Inspection presented by Grayson-Jockey Research Club Foundation. It is awarded to the best presented horse at the horse inspection. The ground jury considers condition, grooming, and interaction with the judges.
From the Mixed Zone:
Alice, what are your thoughts on such a successful weekend?
Tarjan: “The whole thing has been so surreal. I’ve been busy all week just riding, so I haven’t had time to process anything yet. It’s just been jumping from horse to horse, making sure I remember the test, and know how to ride each horse for each test. Riding the young horses is a little different, I don’t bother to visualize a test, and maybe that’s a mistake, but I just get on and take them around. It’s been different having a bunch of young horses.”
Talk about your horses.
Tarjan: “‘Shrimp’ just goes in and does her job. Harvest is a little more sensitive, and a little greener in the movements. He had several mistakes today. I think the quality is good, but it’s very much developing still.”
Miles: “I was so proud of Java. He came in ranked 15th, so we weren’t even sure if we were going to make it for a while, and I was joking that it would be a fun class to watch, but I had no expectations. I knew that he was getting better consistently throughout the season, and he had that last year off. He’s gotten more solid. I’m super proud of him. I hope he keeps getting better and going on.”
Watch the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions live stream presented by Adequan® this week on USEF Network.