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Nick Wagman and Don John Hold Early Lead in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Posted by Dana Riddlemoser & Kathleen Landweh
US DRESSAGE FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS | MARKEL/USEF NATIONAL YOUNG AND DEVELOPING HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS | HIGH PERFORMANCE DRESSAGE
Nick Wagman (San Diego, CA.) and Don John hold the early lead in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship following the FEI Grand Prix Test. Wagman and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer, earned a score of 72.630 percent. “It took us a few movements to get into the swing of things. Once we locked and took a deep breath, the piaffe-passage and transitions were some of our best to date. The pirouettes felt really nice. I think the canter work was the strongest part of the test. I think the piaffe-passage is what ended up helping us recover from the shaky start.”
Photo - Nick Wagman and Don John (SusanJStickle.com)
Anna Marek (Williston, FL.) and Dee Clair, Diane Morrison’s 11-year-old KWPN mare, placed second with a score of 68.630 percent. Jennifer Schrader-Williams (Yelma, Wash.) and Millione, Millione Partners LLC’s 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, earned a score of 68.543 percent, placing third.
The FEI Grand Prix Test counts 45 percent of their overall score. They will compete in the FEI Grand Prix Special on Friday, which counts 40 percent towards their overall score. The division concludes on Sunday with the Grand Prix Freestyle, making up the remaining 15 percent.
On the year leading up to the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions:
Wagman: “We went to Europe and competed in two nation cups, which was an honor to be a part of the team. We did well and learned a tremendous amount being in new territory, so that was a really good confidence builder for us. Then we came back and got named the alternates to the Pan American Games, which was another big compliment … the team did great and it was exciting to watch everyone there. Now we’re [at Festival], and we’re trying to stay in the ring and improve. This is one of the shows that is [similar] to a European show in terms of the set up and the environment and quality, so I wanted to be here to keep improving.”
On today’s test:
Schrader-Williams: “He came out a little more tired today. He’s not quite used to the heat being from Seattle, but I thought he put in a pretty solid test. He may have lacked a little more energy than I would have liked, and I had an unfortunate mistake in the one-tempis … but, overall, I was happy with the rideability; he was quiet and listened well, so I’m happy with him.”
Marek: “I was really excited to have a clean ride. [Dee] Clair and I always work on piaffe and passage, trying to get it a little bit more in place and get though with a clean ride. I was just really happy with how everything went. She did everything I told her to.”
On his progression from last year:
Schrader-Williams: “It’s been a long road. His first Grand Prix was last January. He’s a horse that tries extremely hard. My goal is to keep him proud of himself and happy with himself because he’s an overachiever, and it is very easy for him to try too hard in the test.”
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.