Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships: Six-Year-Old Division Awards Michael Bragdell and SenSation HW the Crown
Monday, August 26, 2019
Michael Bragdell (Colora, Md.) and SenSation HW (Sunday x Donata) continued their winning trend at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, claiming the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Six-Year-Old National Championship. He and the Westphalian gelding owned by Carol McPhee earned a score of 8.78 in the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test for an overall score of 8.69.
Michael Bragdell and SenSation HW (SusanJStickle.com)
“[This feels] fantastic! It’s wonderful, and it’s always a treat to come here. The facility, staff, volunteers … it's always put together so nicely. Just to get here, I think it's a big thing, no matter what division you're in,” said an elated Bragdell, who won the 2018 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old National Championship with SenSation HW. “It’s always a little more pressure if you won the year before, and of course you want to be able to stay on top, but I think … you have to roll with the punches and make the judgment call to see where you're at and if you're ready to be here.”
Defending Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old Reserve National Champions Alice Tarjan (Oldwick, NJ.) and Fairouz (Franziskus x Diva), her Oldenburg mare, earned the six-year-old reserve championship with an overall score of 8.38. Melissa Fladland (Griswold, Iowa) and I’m All In (Jazz x Tavita), the KWPN gelding she owns with Caphri Dressage, placed third with a score of 8.34
Caitlin Hamar (Hanford, CA.) was presented with the highest placed U.S. Bred Horse award for Ion SWF, bred by Mary Nuttall.
On continuing the success with their horse:
Bragdell: “He ended up being able to [compete] here as a four-year-old. Ever since then, he's really come into the system and really progressed nicely. He’s a wonderful horse to have in the barn. I feel very fortunate that Carol [McPhee] has him with me and lets me do what I can do with him and is so supportive.”
Fladland: “We had him a year now last October, and we spent that year training and working with Katherine [Bateson-Chandler], and then over the summer with Jennifer Baumert trying to get him strong, ready, and reliable. This was not something we were shooting for; we were really working towards the FEI levels, and he just kept getting better and better, and we just kept going and what do you know? ‘We're here’. He’s been super. He never quits, and he keeps going. He just keeps adding more and more each time I ride him.”
Tarjan: “I'm really happy with how she did. She's been second every year, so she's very consistent. I didn't think she was quite ready … [but we wanted to] get some experience, so I'm thrilled with how we ended up.”
Relive the 2019 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on USA Dressage Facebook where you can find winning rides and daily photo galleries. Watch on demand content from the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on USEF Network with promo code FESTIVAL19.