USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship Kicks Off

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Posted by Dana Riddlemoser & Kathleen Landwehr



Claire Manhard (Cardiff, Calif.) and Wilfonia lead the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship. Manhard and her 16-year-old KWPN mare had a forward, fluid performance in the FEI Intermediate II Test to earn a score of 68.912 percent. Their partnership has developed since it began in 2016, and they presented a lovely picture in their test.

Photo - Claire Manhard and Wilfonia (

“I think everything – the connection, self-carriage, her energy – was super. [Wilfonia] was coming and collecting in all the corners. She is usually super strong and powerful, so I focus a lot on keeping her together and collecting and making sure that she is balanced,” Manhard explained. “This was definitely the best beginning of the test that I have had. The piaffe and passage were really good. Today, we have the meter forward, so I let the piaffes move a little bit, and I was able to keep her active and moving really well behind, so I think we got good scores from that. The passage was super animated and lofty, so that was great. And then the walk, usually, she gets a little tense and nervous in this environment, but I felt like her medium walk was really nice and relaxed.”

Anna Buffini (San Diego, Calif.) and Wilton II, her 16-year-old KWPN gelding, had a smooth test to collect second-place honors with a score of 68.738 percent. Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) and Vaquero HGF, Hampton Green Farm’s 12-year-old Andalusian stallion, had an exciting test as the horse gains experience at the level, tallying a score of 68.706 percent.

Wednesday’s FEI Intermediate II Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score for the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship. Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Test counts for 45 percent and the championship concludes with Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Freestyle, which counts for 15 percent of the overall score.

Complete division results 

On Wilfonia’s winning personality:
Manhard: “Her temperament is the best. She's the sweetest horse. She knows how to speak on command. She knows her left and right hoof. She knows kisses, she knows how to grab a sugar out of your lips. Yeah, she's hilarious. I love her.”

On competing with a barnmate:
Buffini: “Claire Manhard, who won, is my training partner at home, so she trains with Gunter Seidel. We train, and we watch each other everyday, and we push each other. Basically, all year long we were like, ‘We don’t care who is one or we don’t care who is two, as long as we can try to be one and two we are going to be happy, so this is like a dream come true on top of all of it.”

On preparing for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions:
Gluch: “I was just talking to my groom about that earlier. This has been a goal of mine through the whole season – the Wellington season as well as this summer. I have stayed home, and focused, and worked hard every day to prepare and think of all the little things like harmony and just the overall picture because those little details do help throughout the test more than sometimes I think. I think I focused a lot on that and his attitude and him just enjoying what he is doing, and I think it paid off today.”

On their tests:
Rachel Chowanec: I was really, really thrilled with him. We've only been together three and a half months. This is still a new partnership; to even have qualified to get here with him is just unbelievable. And his breeder's here from Spain, so that's a lot of fun. And to go in and be able to get our tempis. He was solid, and he was in my hand, and I felt we were a partnership together.

Hope Cooper: “I really loved our ride. This is our first year doing I-2, Grand Prix, and my first year, so we are very new to this. I thought that he couldn’t have been more with me. Obviously there is a lot to improve on given that it is our first year. I think we have a long way to go until it feels really solid all the time, but I couldn’t be happier with how much he gave me. I feel like that was one of our better tests we have had this far at this level.”

Anna Weniger: “It was really good. This is my first year doing the U25. [Don] Derrick and I did Young Riders last year, and this is a really big step up, so just getting here was a big deal. I am super proud just to be able to compete here, so I went in the ring today and I told myself, ‘You know, it’s really hard and we are just going to do the best we can.’ And it turned out pretty well. There were lots of little things we need to improve, but I was thrilled, especially when I saw my score. I was ecstatic.”

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.