On the Scene at Dressage at Flintridge 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Photos and Text By Charlene Strickland

Brentina Returns!

La Canada-Flintridge, California, May 26, 2006: The 2005 World Cup was the last time Brentina competed. Not to worry—her fans can celebrate her return to the dressage arena.

At the Dressage at Flintridge show, Debbie McDonald showed the 15-year-old mare is fit and ready to represent the U.S. this summer. About her Grand Prix test, she said, “She's just solid. I know there could be so much more. I can barely touch her, and have to be conservative, especially in the extended trot.”

In the year since the World Cup, Brentina had six months off. “There was nothing clinically lame, but there was a spot showing on the ultrasound,” said McDonald about the mare's leg. After treatment and rest , she brought Brentina back into show-ring fitness.

“I wanted the fitness to be enough. And she's been telling me for month that she's ready.”

Brentina earned 75.83 in the test, from judges Jessica Rasenhousen, Jayne Ayres, and Natalie Lamping. McDonald aimed this show to support her request for a bye for the team selection for the August World Equestrian Games. “I'm letting everybody know that she's fine and feels great.”

She added, “After one year, you wonder if you can still do the test. Now I have one test under my belt.”

McDonald won't know if her bye is awarded until after the Gladstone selection trials next month. That decision also determines if she'll take Brentina to Europe to earn additional scores, or skip WEG for neck surgery. “Either way, I totally accept whatever decision they make.”

Photos and Text By Charlene Strickland

Ashley Schempp Wins Young Rider Team Test

College student Ashley Schempp proved her partnership with Mowgli, earning praise from trainer, Steffen Peters: “In the warmup, it seemed like she really did her homework.”

“We have both learned together,” said Schempp, of Encinitas, California. Her 12-year-old Dutch gelding had been at third level when she first worked with Peters at a clinic. She moved to the Peters barn in October 2005, and started college at nearby Mira Costa Community College.

“For the Prix St. Georges, we've worked mainly on the pirouettes, and his left half pass,” said Schempp. She appreciates her horse's attitude, saying he is “a very sweet, generous horse.”

That temperament has been why “Mo” progressed to Prix St. Georges. Peters noted, It's neat to get a horse to that level, because he has a good attitude. He wasn't the most supple, yet she made the horse extremely ridable.”

Schempp added, “His conformation isnt the greatest. He has a short neck, and his croup is high. But he is a good guy. Not a lot fazes him, and you can really trust him.”

She moved south from northern California, to train with Peters. “His teaching is great.” Majoring in kinesiology, she's able to combine her college career with dressage. She also has support from her parents, who after the Team Test took over Mo's coolout. And she'll celebrate her 19th birthday at the show on Sunday.