Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship Is Underway
Saturday, August 24, 2019
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 (SusanJStickle.com)
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.
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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