Willy Arts and Waterloo SE Win Four-Year-Old Division in the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships
RELEASE: September 16, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Stacey Meier
Lexington, KY – With the second day underway in the 2007 Markel/United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Young Horse Dressage Championships presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, Willy Arts and Waterloo SE claimed the title of National Champion in the four-year-old division, besting 19 other horses to win with a score of 8.62. It was Kentucky’s own Kathy Priest and her horse Reliance who took Reserve Champion with a score of 8.16.
Arts continued their success from the day before in the four-year-old optional warm-up class where they finished in the top spot. Bred in the U.S., Waterloo SE, a black Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Siegi Belz-Fry and DG Bar Ranch (OO Seven x Showbiz by Jazz; bred by Siegi Belz-Fry), is new to competing and Arts remarked that this was only Waterloo’s fourth time at a show.
“The warm-up class Friday went really good; today [Saturday] he was even a bit more relaxed, I think, a little bit more used to everything,” said Arts. “Yesterday he had a very steady ride. He is just a really relaxed horse with a lot of scope in his gait. He’s very focused.”
Arts and Waterloo SE came a long way to compete in this championship— they traveled from California to Kentucky— but Arts felt that Waterloo handled the travel well and competed like he was at home.
“We had a great experience and I think it’s a super program in order to select young horses at an early age especially in this big country. To start them and promote them and also follow the training… you are going to see some really good FEI horses coming up.”
In the Reserve Champion spot was Priest and Reliance, a bay Oldenburg gelding (Rohdiamant x Gesstine by Classiker; bred and Germany by Oliver Kotschofsky). Priest is both the owner and rider of Reliance.
Simultaneously as the four-year-old Young Horse Championship was taking place, in the adjacent ring, the inaugural USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International began for the first time. In the end, it was Michelle Gibson and Don Angelo who finished with the top score of 69.899. Owned by Diamante Farms, Don Angelo (Don Larino x Elektina by Rubinstein I) is a dark bay Oldenburg stallion. Coming in second place with a score of 67.172 was James Koford and Don Principe, a dark bay Hanoverian stallion (Donnerhall x Papagena by Prince Thatch; bred in Germany by Adelheid Bruening) owned by Maranna Haymon.
“He’s really starting to come into himself over the last year,” said Gibson. “I was happy with my ride. I’m thrilled with how he did. This is a really great opportunity for the horses in this age range to have something to work towards and have something to do as a stepping stone.”
Gibson, who has been riding Don Angelo for nearly two years, said that she could not ask for more from her seven-year-old mount even though he was a bit distracted because he could see some ponies who were working close by in another ring.
“The arena we were in looks out over and he thought those ponies out there jumping were very cute and he’s a stallion, so he was a little distracted, which is unusual for him,” Gibson said. “He’s normally very focused, very ‘I’m right here and we’re going to do the job’.”
Gibson and Don Angelo will go on to compete for the championship title Sunday. As for her strategy, Gibson said that she will try to put in the best ride she can and will strive to get the most out of Don Angelo.
Earlier Saturday, the five and six-year-old Consolation Final took place under sunny blue skies and cooler temperatures making it ideal for both the horse and rider. In the five-year-old Consolation Final, it was Anna Whitfield Watkins and her dark bay Westfalen gelding Cipriani (Casparino x Roxanan by Rabino; bred in Germany by Herman Giesselmann) who had the top score of 7.28. Ericka Reinig and Lucchetti Ranch's bay Hanoverian gelding Donavan (Domiro x D'Lilah by Diamont; bred in the U.S. by Glenwood Farms, Inc.) who had the second top score of 7.04. Both horses and riders are included in the five-year-old championship class Sunday.
In the six-year-old Consolation Final, Priest continued her successful day with her bay Oldenburg gelding Ronaldo (Rockwell x Eireen by Ehrentusch; bred in Germany by Thomas Holling) who finished in the top spot with a total score of 7.26. Nancy Hinz and her bay Oldenburg gelding Collector's Item (Clintino x Pancona by Contango; bred in Germany by Franz Diekmann) finished second with a total score of 6.80. These two riders and their horses will compete in the six-year-old championship class.
The show concludes Sunday, September 16 with the five and six-year-old championships along with the Developing Horse Championship.