USET Foundation Awards National Intermediaire I Championship Trophy to Christopher Hickey and Regent
RELEASE: July 5, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation awarded the 2007 Intermediaire I Dressage Championship Trophy to Christopher Hickey and Regent at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions presented by Paul Miller Auto Group, held June 14-17 at Gladstone, NJ.
The USET Foundation awards the Intermediaire I Dressage Championship Trophy annually to the winner of the Intermediaire I National Championship. Ivan Bezugloff, Jr., the founder and editor of the former Dressage and CT
—the first national periodical dedicated to the sport of dressage—donated the trophy to the United States Equestrian Team. The first recipient was Lendon Gray in 1981.
At the Dressage Festival of Champions, Hickey, 38, of Colora, MD, riding Regent (Flemmingh x Jenny), a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Brenna Kucinski, earned an overall score of 72.063% to win the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Intermediaire I Championship, which was also a Pan American Games Selection Trials.
The championship was comprised of three rounds of competition held over three days. Hickey and Regent won the Prix St. Georges with a score of 71.150%, placed second in the Intermediaire I with 71.400%, and won the Intermediaire I Freestyle with 74.500%. The classes were weighted 45% for Prix St. Georges, 30% for Intermediaire I, and 25% for Intermediaire I Freestyle.
"I am honored and pleased to have competed in this championship and to have been presented with this trophy from the USET Foundation," Hickey said. He noted that Gladstone, the historic headquarters of the USET Foundation, is a special competition grounds for him, especially the Dick and Jane Brown Dressage Arena and the famous barns of Hamilton Farm. "Gladstone gives a grand feeling and appearance," Hickey said. "The ring is amazing and to stay in the barns at USET is so fun. It's a wonderful feeling for the riders and the owners, and that's very important."
During the awards presentation at the Dressage Festival, Kucinski accepted the USET Foundation Intermediaire I Dressage Championship Trophy. The original trophy donated by Bezugloff remains on display at Gladstone while the keeper trophy is now on display at Hilltop Farm in Maryland, where Hickey is the director of training. "It's in our viewing room at the main office at Hilltop Farm in one of our trophy cases," he said. "I'm very happy about it. It's a great addition to our trophy case, that's for sure!"
Hickey described what the Intermediaire I Dressage Championship Trophy represents, noting, "It has such meaning to it. It means that so much has been put into the horse's training and care, and the relationship between the owner and the rider is long and building and developing. Winning a trophy like this, you learn to appreciate trophies even more because when you walk into another farm that has trophies on display, it gives you more respect for what goes into earning them."
As the winner of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Intermediaire I Championship, Hickey was also named as a member of the team that will represent the United States at the Pan Am Games, which will be held July 14-29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After the Pan Am Games, Hickey will represent the U.S. in Verden, Germany, August 2-5, aboard Hilltop Farm's Cabana Boy in the five-year-old division at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in Dressage.
"I believe this is the first time a rider has been on a U.S. team and the Young Horse Championships in the same year," Hickey pointed out. "At Hilltop we are very excited for me to go to the Pan Am Games and then also a few weeks later turn around and go to Germany with a five-year-old. That just gives me a wonderful feeling to be able to qualify and represent the U.S. in two major international shows in the same year." Previous Recipients of the National