Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship Off to a Hot Start

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Posted by dana



Melissa Fladland and I’m All In (Jazz x Tavita) got off to the early lead following the FEI Six-Year-Old Preliminary Test for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship. She and the KWPN gelding she owns with Caphri Dressage earned a score of 8.86.

Photo: Melissa Fladland and I'm All In (

“We had just gotten him about seven or eight months before last [year’s Festival of Champions]. He had come from Europe and was trying to gain muscle and get stronger. Over the winter, my main coach Katherine Bateson-Chandler and I worked really hard to strengthen him, got him ready for this, and I think it showed today,” said Fladland. “When I went down centerline, it was like he said, ‘Hey, I got this,’ and I am like, ‘Okay.’ I just kind of went with him. He just did his thing; it is really awesome. He is a pretty cool horse.”

The 2018 Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Champions Michael Bragdell (Colora. Md.) and SenSation HW (Sunday x Donata), Carol McPhee’s Westphalian gelding followed with a score of 8.56. Pablo Gomez (Wellington, Fla.) and Servus Ymas (San Amour I x Romana), Yeguada De Ymas S.L. and Christina Danguillecourt’s Hanoverian gelding, placed third with a score of 8.52.

The FEI Six-Year-Old Preliminary Test counts 50 percent towards their overall score. They will finish on Sunday with the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test, making up the remaining 50 percent.

Complete Results

On SenSation HW’s progression:
Bragdell:“It’s a big step from the five-year-old division to the six-year-old division … It’s a bit more technical. Like most horses, you have to take your time and see where you’re at and feel them out to see how the development is going, whether they are going to be ready or not to make this jump. As the year progressed, I felt better and better about it, and here we are.”

On today’s test:
Bragdell:“I was really happy with how steady he was. He felt super relaxed through the back. I felt that he did everything for me. I had a little bobble in the second change, but that was totally me. I relaxed a little too much. I think cleaning it up a little bit for the last day, and we’ll be good to go. There’s so many good horses here; it’s such a tough competition. You really have to ride for every inch, but it’s great for the competition. It’s fun and eggs us on.”

Caitlin Hamar:“I was first to go, so I felt a little bit of pressure, but he was right there with me the whole time. I think I had my top ride that I have ever had on him, so that was really special. He’s a super horse; he gives me a 110 percent every time I sit on him. I was super happy with my ride; there’s a lot of really good horses in this class, and I felt we were right there with them, and that was really special.”

Marta Renilla:“I became a U.S. citizen last year, so I was very excited to have the developing young classes. I think I have much more horse than he gave to me. Maybe I was too conservative and very correct … I could have shown more horse, but he did everything I asked. He’s a superstar. He’s always with me in the ring.”

On I’m All In’s Personality:
Fladland:“He likes to play; he likes to eat and be loved on all the time. He likes you to play with his tongue. He is a people horse; he just loves to have you in his face. If you are cleaning his stall, he tries to bite the rake, or if you are sweeping he tries to bite the broom. He is quite the character.”

On returning to the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions:
Gomez: “I really enjoy this show. It’s amazing what the United States is doing for the competition of young horses. We wanted to come back and have a great experience.”

Keep up with the 2019 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on USA Dressage Facebook where you can find winning rides and daily photo galleries, USEF Network Twitter, and USEF Network Instagram featuring Instagram Stories. Use #USADressage and #FestivalofChampions.