Virginia Woodcock Earns Top Marks in the Kickoff to the USEF Children Dressage National Championship

Sunday, August 28, 2022
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Twelve combinations rode the first of two tests in the USEF Children Dressage National Championship. Virginia Woodcock and The Safari Party won the FEI Children Team Test on a score of 78.750%. Woodcock (Atlanta, Ga.) and the 2009 North American Sport Pony gelding owned by her, Elizabeth and Richard Woodcock had a harmonious test to earn top marks from the judges.

Photo - Virginia Woodcock and The Safari Party (SusanJStickle.com)

“I was I was really happy with his walk work,” said Woodcock of the highlights in her test. “That can sometimes be a bit iffy. But he was really working with me through there. And then I also felt like the canter loops were really nice.”

Watch the winning ride.

Autumn Vavrick (Oxford, Mich.) and Dante, her 2007 Hanoverian gelding, finished second with a score of 77.800%. Bennett McWhorter (Baton Rouge, La.) and Fortoula, his 2002 Trakehner mare, were third with a score of 76.725%.


From the Mixed Zone:

Tell us about your test.

Woodcock: “He started great in the warmup. Sometimes he can be a little opinionated. He has his pony side in him. But he was really nice and forward over the back. So, I was really excited going into my test and feeling pretty confident, which I've found throughout the years is super important with horses because if they don't trust you, then the whole test is not going to work out.

“So, I went in and I just listen for his breathing and I was like, ‘I can do this.’ And just kind of collected myself and went down that centerline. And I always tell my parents that there’s a kind of silence and peace that you get right when you salute. And I felt that so really happy with my ride.”

Tell us about your horse.

Woodcock: “His name is ‘Fari.’ He's a very, very sweet little guy. He has his moments. He picks and chooses his people and I'm very lucky to be one of those people.”

How long have you been riding him?

Woodcock: “I had him for two years now. And when we got him, he was eventing and he was just doing Training Level [dressage]. My trainer Anneliese Vogt-Harber has been so amazing helping me work through the levels. He is the first horse I've owned, so it's been a great journey with him.”

Competition concludes Sunday at 8 a.m. CT in the Markel Arena with the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, while the Grand Prix Arena starts at 8:30 a.m. CT with the FEI Children Individual Test of the USEF Children Dressage National Championship.

Watch the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions live stream this week on USEF Network.

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