Music Fills the Air on Fourth Day of 2019 US Dressage Finals
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Posted by Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals
Music filled the air across the Kentucky Horse Park on the final day of competition as horses and riders danced their way to new national titles at the 2019 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® held November 7-10 in Lexington, KY.
Photo - Beth Parsons Bird (Region 1) and Fahrenheit enjoy their victory lap after winning the Third Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship at the 2019 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®. (Susan J. Stickle)
Among the victors was Beth Parsons Bird of Southern Pines, N.C. (Region 1) who won the Third Level Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship aboard her 13-year-old KWPN gelding Fahrenheit (Florenco I x Revanche by Rivero II) with a winning score of 70.922%. "I was very nervous going in since this is my first year doing a freestyle,” she admitted. “I initially wanted some happy, upbeat music but it didn't fit my horse at all, so my freestyle designer Cynthia Collins picked out music from Power Rangers and Call of Duty. It's very dark but it fits him well. It wasn't what I wanted at first but now I love it."
Parsons Bird found her way back to the saddle after taking some time off for family, and if it wasn’t for her mother and trainer Lucy Parsons she may never have cantered down victory lane at the Finals. “Right before Thanksgiving three years ago, I called my mom to ask her what she was bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. She said 'I'm going to Germany to find a horse,' and off she went and she found Fahrenheit,” Parsons Bird laughed. “I had had six years off from riding and two children via C-section, so I was really unfit. I could barely ride a centerline straight! It took a good year to get back in shape, but we've been really solid all year.”
Less than one-tenth of a point out of the lead, Heather Fultz of Land O Lakes, Fl. (Region 3) and her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare SS Seraphina returned to the Finals to earn Reserve Championship honors with 70.889%. "To me, musical freestyles are the best because I'm a music teacher, so I love to ride along to the music. I put the music together and did the choreography, so during the ride I am all smiles,” Fultz said of her Beauty and the Beast-themed performance. “It's such a great experience to be here at the Finals. Everyone is so kind and it's wonderful to meet new people. Every time I come back I think, 'Wow, I can't believe I'm here!'"
Region 8 Riders Sweep Top Spots in First Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
A field of 25 competitors enjoyed the fall sunshine in the Murphy Ring for the First Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship, and emerging victorious with 70.911% was Elizabeth Charpentier Allwein of Pawling, N.Y. (Region 8) with her own seven-year-old KWPN gelding Heart Throb SCF (Jazz x Divine SCF by Krack C, bred in the U.S. by Carlos and Karin Jimenez). Not bad for someone who, before qualifying for the Finals, didn’t really have any interest in doing a freestyle.
“This is just unbelievable,” said an emotional Charpentier Allwein. “I never believed we could even do a freestyle let alone at the Finals until Heather Mason pushed me to do it. We chose music by Harry Connick Jr. and from Stand By Me because I love how the rhythm matches my horse so well and has a happy sound to it. He was so good – I’ve had him since he was two and a half and I started him myself at home. We’ve had our challenges but he’s such a wonderful horse and a lot of fun.”
Finishing less than a tenth of a point out of the top spot with a score of 70.867% was Reserve Champion Jennifer Miranda of New York, N.Y. (Region 8) with her own six-year-old Oldenburg mare Hhemlock (Hotline x Lhoretta by Loerke, bred in the U.S. by Maureen Swanson). “This is our second time here at the Finals and once again it’s been fabulous, the show is amazing and the management and volunteers are so awesome,” said Miranda. “My horse is only six but she was really on the aids and listening to me and held her own today.”
Kimberly Frederick Takes Training Level Adult Amateur Championship Home to California
A tough field of 25 horses and riders trotted down centerline in the Claiborne Arena on Sunday morning for the Training Level Adult Amateur Championship, but rising above the crowd was new Finals champion Kimberly Frederick of Lincoln, Cal. (Region 7) with her five-year-old Hanoverian mare Fantastica CS (Furst Romancier x Lady Lieselo by Londonderry) with a top score of 70.172%.
Frederick decided to come to Kentucky for the first time with barn mates and trainers Kevin and Ericka Reinig. “We have a great camaraderie at the barn and that made a journey like this so enjoyable,” Frederick said. “Overall, I just had fun today. My mare was such a good girl, I was pleased with everything about my ride and I couldn’t ask for more. I've enjoyed my entire experience this weekend. I want to be a better rider and so I wanted to come here and compete against the best."
Jeanne Brose of Minneapolis, Minn. (qualified in Region 2) rode her six-year-old KWPN gelding IL Divo (Bon Bravour x Deluna by Kansas C) to a close second with 70.057%. “He’s a young horse too and we had to work through some nerves early in the week, but today he was calm and confident when we went into the ring and we had a very nice ride,” Brose explained. “It's such an incredible opportunity to see the best of the best riders and participate in such an electric environment. It's an honor to be here.”
2017 Champion Returns to Finals for Fourth Level Open Freestyle Championship
Former Second Level Open Freestyle Champions Hailey Guard of Huntersville, N.C. (Region 1) and her 11-year-old KWPN mare Dalwhinney (UB-40 x Windsor CA by Warkanson, bred in the U.S. by Susen Shumaker) came back to the Finals to earn another title, this time in the Fourth Level Open Freestyle Championship with a winning score of 73.256% – watch their winning ride HERE.
“For the last two years we used music from the Nutcracker which is a nice light type of music that suited my mare’s floaty movement style, so this year we used music from the Peter Pan soundtrack because it was along the same lines,” Guard explained. “Today we were right on our timing in the test, and I was particularly proud of our pirouettes which have been a little bit of a work in progress, as well as our changes that were super straight.”
After earning top honors in the Third Level Open Freestyle division on Friday, Jennifer Roth of Pataskala, Ohio (Region 2) and her self-described “quirky” 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Serengeti (Sir Donnerhall x Feldbunte by Painter's Row) also added the Fourth Level Open Freestyle Reserve title to their growing resume with 71.700%. “It was breezy out there so the atmosphere was electric, but once again he was a very good boy and contained his enthusiasm until the very end,” she laughed. “I was thrilled because it was probably the best ride I’ve had on him all year. It’s always great just to qualify to be here let alone do so well and have so much fun with my entire team.”
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 http://www.usdressagefinals.com.