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Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Johnny Be Goode Deliver in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship
Sunday, August 28, 2022
MARKEL/USEF NATIONAL YOUNG AND DEVELOPING HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS | US DRESSAGE FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS
Ten combinations completed their final test in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship with the USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Test. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Johnny Be Goode delivered another strong performance to win the class with a score of 72.333%. LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and Fritz and Claudine Kundrun’s 2014 KWPN gelding’s scores this week clinched the National Champion title on an overall score of 73.223%.
Photo: Markel's Kaitlyn Naughton, Brandon Seger and Mary Phelps join Charlotte Bredahl and judge Jodi Jones Lees to present the award to Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Johnny Be Goode. ©Susan J Stickle
“He's still new to me, and we're still learning a lot together. He's still quite young, and he needs quite a few miles,” said LaGoy-Weltz. “But I was really pleased with how he stuck with me and did everything I asked and handled everything despite being hot. So, you can't ask for more than that. I feel like this is such a great place to develop horses. USEF does a great job and really gives it a championship atmosphere. So, it's been really awesome experience to bring a horse like him along and bring him here and start to get to know him.”
Martin Kuhn (New Berlin, Ill.) and Ronin, his and Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn’s 2013 Hanoverian gelding, were second in the USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Test with a score of 71.333% and took home Reserve Champion honors with an overall score of 71.211%.
Jackie Ahl-Eckhaus (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Jett MVS, her 2014 KWPN gelding, were third in the USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Test with a score of 69.666% and third overall with a score of 68.642%.
From the Mixed Zone:
How long have you been riding this horse?
LaGoy-Weltz: “Since December. I think we've done a handful of shows. We qualified in two shows to come here. He is owned by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, and so they just asked me to start riding him in December. They had all discussed it and Ali [Brock] is a good friend of mine and also helps coach me along with Debbie McDonald. When the horse needed a change of rider, they thought that it would be a good fit to put him in training with me. So. I'm the lucky girl who got to ride him.”
Ahl-Eckhaus: “I bred him. I foaled him at my house. And I kept him in the beginning because he was really little. The saddle would slide up the withers when he was four. But there was something about him. That’s how he got the name Jet. He used to spark around and he thought he ran the farm.
Kuhn: “My wife found him as a foal and had our eye on him. We had a student who was interested in him and bought him, so we've had him from the beginning.”
What do you like about Festival of Champions?
Ahl-Eckhaus: “The exciting thing is making it here. Just getting on the list and being able to come is just wow.”
Kuhn: “Being in this show, this ring with these riders and these amazing horses is a privilege. And to do it here so close to home and in such a beautiful facility is really a tremendous blessing.”
The top three combinations in all of the Young Horse and Developing Horse divisions will have their names added to a lottery to win a custom saddle from N2 Saddlery.
Saturday’s top three athletes from the Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, and Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship had their names added into the lottery.
On Sunday, the top three athletes from the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, Markel/USEF Young Horse Seven-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, and Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship will have their names added into the lottery, and the winner will be selected at the conclusion of the event.
USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Champions M.K. Connatser and Blitz und Donner won the EquiFit Best Presented Award.
USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship competitors Shannon Stevens and Ferrari won the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Best Turned Out Award.
Watch the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions live stream this week on USEF Network.