Small Horses Prove To Be a Big Force at 2019 NDPC Small Horse Dressage Championships

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Posted by Yellow Horse Marketing for the National Dressage Pony Cup


Wren Burnley-canter-revise.jpg

It would be a challenge to hit a bigger home run than the wildly-successful debut of the NDPC Small Horse Dressage Championships during last year’s National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC) Championship Show. But NDPC founder Jenny Carol’s innovative idea to recognize the achievements not only of ponies but also of horses under 16 hands wasn’t just a flash in the pan, as proven by last weekend’s impressive increase in division entries for the 2019 event. More and more riders of smaller-stature equines representing a multitude of breeds from across North America jumped on the bandwagon to showcase their talents in the dressage ring at this year’s championship showcase at Lamplight Equestrian Center from July 19-21.
Here is a recap of the newly-crowned class of NDPC Small Horse Champions:
In the Intro Level divisions, placings remained unchanged across both days of championship competition, but in the Junior ranks Sophia Novosel of Glen Carbon, Ill. and Linda Freeman’s Half-Arabian mare TT Ebony Lace+// showed an impressive improvement in her second test to win the title with an overall average of 64.407%. Also riding a Half-Arabian to victory was Rebecca Nowak of O’Fallon, Ill. riding Mary Skittino’s mare Miz Beyberry to victory in the Adult Amateur division with 66.750%. Getting her show career off to a promising start by winning the Intro Level Open championship title with a two-test average of 67.938% was the three-year-old Westphalian mare Lady Rapture, owned and ridden by Kari Felton of Belle, Mo.
At Training Level, a dominant first-round score helped Grace Henry of Geneva, Ill. and her Paint cross mare Worth Every Penny trot straight into the winner’s circle in the Junior division with a top two-day average of 68.793%, while for Young Riders Kylee Haddad of Franklin, Mich. and her NASPR gelding PL Mojito earned the champion’s sash with 63.880%. Amy Gray’s long drive north from Nashville, Tenn. proved well worthwhile as she and her KWPN gelding Henry Hamilton left no doubt as to who would be crowned as Training Level Adult Amateur champions, sweeping both rounds to win with a combined score of 72.931%, while in the Open division Sarah Travis of Delano, Minn. and Won Silver Dollar (Hanoverian mare owned by Sarah Travis & Simon McCarthy) also proved to be much the best with a victorious two-test average of 71.121%.
For Juniors contesting First Level, Caitlyn Massey of Arlington, Tenn. rode Cheryl Beckers’ Bashkir Curly gelding Mikato to the overall win with an average of 68.695%. As the only combination to earn an average of 70% or greater, Koby Robson of Southern Pines, N.C. and her Lusitano mare Ziva topped ten rivals to trot away with the First Level Open title on the strength of an average of 70.131%, while for Adult Amateurs Mary Fischer of Maple Plain, Minn. and Sheri Fischer’s Arabian gelding Apocalypto CLL earned the win with 68.451%.
At Second Level, Katia Szwejbka of Loretto, Minn. with Julie Szwejbka’s Paint gelding JS Treasured Dude as well as Nicolette Blasgen of Frankfort, Ill. aboard Lynne Taylor’s Half-Arabian gelding Cool Hand Luke KF earned the Junior and Young Rider division titles with two-round averages of 63.068% and 62.049%, respectively. Valarie Boatman of South Lyon, Mich. and her Arabian gelding MSU Supersticious+/ emerged victorious in the Second Level Adult Amateur ranks with 64.377%, while in the Open division, Wren Burnley of Fulton, Ky. and Anna Hopla’s Lusitano gelding Icon were an unbeatable force in the large field of competitors, sweeping both tests for an overall average of 68.926%.
Laney Widmer of Monroe, Wis. and Brandi Widmer’s Arabian gelding DRA Cavalli earned the Third Level Junior Championship with a combined score of 59.948%, while fellow Arabian breed competitor Heather Kohl of Mokena, Ill. and Chief Shahlon++// (Arabian gelding owned by Kayla Smith) earned the Adult Amateur title with 63.106%. In the Third Level Open division, Sarah Travis of Delano, Minn. piloted Michelle King’s Lusitano gelding Hamurabi Interagro to victory with 67.763%.
At Fourth Level, Kelly Smaltz of St. Charles, Ill. and Agata Rekucka’s Trakehner gelding High Five overcame a disappointing first round score to bounce right to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday and earn the overall Adult Amateur Championship with 65.856%, while in the Open division the championship title was presented to Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn of New Berlin, Ill. with Donna Andrew’s Arabian mare Silverr Mistique (66.217%).
In FEI-level competition, Kayla Smith of Petersburg, Ill. and her Arabian gelding Sundara BFA earned the win in the FEI Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur division with a two-test average of 60.148%, while in the Open ranks Lauren Chumley of Baptistown, N.J. and Melissa Dowling’s German Riding Pony gelding Nikolas dominated the field, sweeping both day’s tests for a top combined score of 70.956%. In the FEI Intermediate I Open division, Haley Maddon of Madison, Wis. rode Ingrid Krause’s Haflinger gelding Anton IK to a much-improved score in the second round to win the overall title with 64.412%.
Wrapping up two intense days of competition were freestyle performances, where Valarie Boatman and MSU Supersticious+/ earned their second championship title of the weekend, this time in the USDF Freestyle Adult Amateur division, while in the USDF Freestyle Open ranks, Kate Phillips of Sauk Rapids, Minn. rode her Lipizzan gelding Neapolitano Gloria to the win. And the final title of a memorable weekend was presented to Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn, this time riding to victory with Ida Noll’s PRE stallion Madrono XXXVI in the Open FEI Freestyle division.
See complete results on the National Dressage Pony Cup website HERE. Catch up on all of the Pony Cup action from the weekend on the NDPC Facebook page, and to find out more information about the National Dressage Pony Cup programs, visit the NDPC website at www.dressageponycup.com.

Photo: John Borys Photography