Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship Is Underway

Saturday, August 24, 2019
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Alice Tarjan (Oldwick, N.J.) and Candescent, her nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, lead in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship divisions following the USEF Intermediate II Test with a 70.931 percent. “The horse is a bit of a monster, so I was really happy she played well for the majority. It was an improvement from last year but still a work in progress of course,” said Tarjan. “The connection is slowly improving bit-by-bit. It's far from perfect, but we're working on it. Everything’s getting more reliable; she’s getting more confirmed. [In] the passage, I was able to bring her back and get her hind legs almost from the beginning. Last year, it was kind of a hail mary. The piaffe is not quite on the spot, but it's much less ground covering than last year.”

Photo: Alice Tarjan and Candescent (

Emily Miles (Paola, Kan.) and Floretienne, Leslie Waterman’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, placed second with a score of 68.480 percent. Bridget Hay (Flemington, N.J.) and Faolan, her 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion, earned a score of 68.235 percent, placing third.

The USEF Intermediate II Test counts 50 percent towards their overall score. The Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship will be determined on Sunday following the USEF Developing Grand Prix Test, rounding out the remaining 50 percent.

Complete Results

On today’s test:
Miles:“I was super happy with [Floretienne]. It was a clean test with just a few bobbles here and there, but that is way they are developing grand prix horses. He’s gotten so much stronger, and it’s been really exciting to see his progression. I was really happy with [Quantum Jazz] because he tends to get strong on me, and this test I felt like I could use my corners, use my half halt, so it’s wasn’t the most brilliant test we ever done, but I felt like I [got what] I wanted to achieve, like I could really get the half halts and put him where he should be; that really came through today, and that was the biggest thing to me. So the fact they both ended up in the top five was [great].”

Kristin Wasemiller-Knutson:“I am ecstatic with how she finished today. It wasn’t the cleanest test; we had some bobbles, but overall I could not have been more proud of her. I am really pleased with her piaffe and passage. We worked really hard over the summer to improve that, and I think she did well, and I am very proud of her. This is a big and beautiful venue, much bigger than what we have done before; [I’m] so absolutely ecstatic.”

On goals for the rest of the week:
Hay:“On Sunday, I would like to not have mistakes; I kick myself for the mistakes in the twos. Just to put in a cleaner test… and also still have some horse left on Sunday because he gets a little tired.”

Miles:I just want them to put in good solid, consistent tests; that would be awesome. It would show they know their job, their confident in the ring, and [if] they keep that consistency up, that would be amazing. It would be great for them.”

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