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USEF Children and Junior Action at the Dressage National Championship

Sunday, August 23, 2020
Posted by Kathleen Landwehr and Leslie Potter
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US DRESSAGE FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS   |   YOUNG RIDERS

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Twelve combinations began their quest for the USEF Children Dressage National Championship with the FEI Children Team Test. The FEI Children Tests have judges on the short side focusing on technical marks, while judges on the long side focus on the quality marks.

Lexie Kment (Palmyra, Neb.) and Manatee, the 2019 USEF Children Dressage National Champions, hope to defend their title, they are off to a great start. Kment and Jamie Kment’s 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding had a smooth, flowing test to earn a score of 76.725% with solid technical marks and high quality marks from the judges.

“Today’s test went really great,” said Kment. “He was super on my aids and we had a good test. It was better than I was expecting if we are being truthful.”

Maren Elise Fouché-Hanson and In My Feelings, her 25-year-old grade pony gelding, placed second with a score of 72.325%. Kat Fuqua (Atlanta, Ga.) and Dreamgirl, her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, were third with a score of 71.700%.

From the Mixed Zone:

What were some highlights in your test?

Kment: “Some highlights in the test were my leg yields. Those felt really great. The canter-walk [transitions] felt really good, and the halts felt really good.”

Is there anything you want to improve upon in your next test?

Kment: “My last halt was a little wild. That is definitely something that I can do to get better, and we will see what tomorrow brings.”

How has your partnership developed in the past year?

Kment: “It has developed a lot. He is definitely my baby boy. We have really been working on his suppleness and throughness, and it has been going really well.”

Adequan®/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship

Averia Allen
Averi Allen and Superman. (Photo: SusanJStickle.com)

Sixteen combinations had their focus on taking home the Adequan®/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship title. Averi Allen (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) and Superman put forth a solid effort in the FEI Junior Individual Test, earning a score of 70.637%. Allen, a frequent USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final competitor, and Jonni Allen’s seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding maintained their lead from Friday to win the overall national championship with a score of 70.723%.

“It’s overwhelming. I am really happy! I don’t really know what to say. I’m just really happy,” said Allen. “I’m proud of my horse and thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way. My mom is very helpful with everything.”

Annelise Klepper (McCutchenville, Ohio) and Happy Texas Moonlight, Shannon Klepper’s 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, claimed reserve national champion honors with an overall score of 69.627%. Sydney Lipar and Herzkonig were third with an overall score of 68.178%.

From the Mixed Zone:

Tell us about your test.

Allen: “I feel okay about it. We have done better ones. I think I just held back way too much. I felt like if I pushed him more, then we would have had incidents. I am really happy with it other than the fact that I waited too long and just was maybe a little afraid. I didn’t want to make a mistake. Other than that, I think he stayed with me pretty much.

“I am happy with the changes. He did all of them basically when I asked, unlike yesterday. I am happy with our walk pirouettes; they were a little nicer. Then, the medium trots, I felt like they were a little bit better.”

Klepper: “I was really, really proud of my horse. He was amazing. We were a little bit lethargic during team test day [on Friday], so I was really trying to push him forward and go for everything a little bit more. The trot work was a lot better, but it was also a lot more tiring. The canter work was a little bit slow, which I didn’t realize until after the fact. Overall, it was a clean test, which is really exciting. I was just really proud of my horse. He really gave me his all, which is all you can ask for. I was just happy. The score was the same as yesterday, but I felt like we had improved a lot, so I was just really, really happy.”

What is next for you?

Allen: “I believe next year we will do young riders. I’m not entirely sure. We will have to see how winter goes with getting there. After that we will do U25 and then see how it goes throughout the years

Klepper: “I am still 15 so I am probably going to be doing juniors for at least another year or so. I will see how that goes, maybe dabble a little bit in Prix St. Georges. In the immediate future, my horse is getting a big break, which is nice. He is just going to be home with us and go do some trails and just enjoy and be a horse. After that, who knows. Young riders is hopefully on the trajectory and, like Averi said, U25 in the more distant future. Yeah, just taking it every day.”

Ride times and results

Competition concludes Sunday with classes in the Young & Developing Horse Arena beginning at 8 a.m. CDT and the Grand Prix Arena at 8:30 a.m. CDT.

Keep up with the 2020 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on USA Dressage Facebook and Instagram featuring Instagram Stories. Use #USADressage and #FestivalofChampions.