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Martin Kuhn and Ronin Go Two for Two at US Dressage Finals

Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted by Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals
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US DRESSAGE FINALS   |   WATCH THE VIDEO

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Martin Kuhn and Ronin Kicks Off First Championship of the Day at US Dressage Finals
Martin Kuhn of New Berlin, IL. (Region 4) and the six-year-old Hanoverian gelding Ronin (Romanov Blue Hor x Something Royal by Sir Donnerhall I, bred in the U.S. by Marcia Boeing) were a tough pair to beat at last year's US Dressage Finals, winning both the 2018 Training Level Open and First Level Open Freestyle divisions. Their successful partnership has only continued to blossom as they returned to Lexington to cruise to victory in the First Level Open Championship with 77.130%. "He continues to be a real delight to train," said Kuhn of his mount, who he owns with wife Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn. "He's probably the most talented horse we've had to work with and to bring along. He's just a pleasure to work with."

Photo - Martin Kuhn and Ronin (Susan J. Stickle)

However, Kuhn's proudest moment was not winning the championship title itself, but watching his student Jenna Upchurch of Chesterfield, Mo. (Region 4) claim Reserve honors aboard her own six-year-old Oldenburg gelding Dante Divino (Dante Weltino x Force Majeure by Furst Romancier) with 74.954%. "We've competed against each other a couple times, but it's fun to compete against him and do so well," Upchurch said of her coach. "There's nobody I'd rather come in second to."

Martin Kuhn Wins Second Title of the Day in Second Level Open Freestyle Championship
Martin Kuhn of New Berlin, IL. (Region 4) and his and his wife Kathryn’s Hanoverian gelding Ronin (Romanov Blue Hor x Something Royal by Sir Donnerhall I, bred in the U.S. by Marcia Boeing) were first down centerline in Saturday's Second Level Open Freestyle Championship, and despite a few rough spots were able to trot to victory with 76.000% for their second victory of the day (watch their winning ride HERE).

"After a few bobbles in the beginning, we got back on track," said Kuhn. "We had a really good simple change and the counter canter was much better than our practice ride where he did a flying change (a clean flying change, but that doesn't count yet!). Overall, I was very pleased despite the rocky start."

Donna Gatchell of Nokesville, Va. (Region 1) and Margaret Groom's six-year-old 14.3-hand Weser-Ems mare Reflection (Ridley x Royal Beauty by Farmer, bred in the U.S. by Chris Rush) earned Reserve honors for their First Level freestyle at last year's Finals, and recycled the same music to move up to Second Level and once again be crowned as Reserve Champions with 72.556%. "She was actually a bit spooky going into the ring, so I had to ride the first few movements conservatively," Gatchell said of her mount. "But when she relaxed, she was actually really good and I was on my music, so overall I was really happy with the ride."

Watch archived streaming videos of Championship classes on the USEF Network HERE. Championship competition resumes Sunday – follow the action through updates on the USDF Facebook page and the US Dressage Finals website, as well as watch live online streaming on the USEF Network. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com