Olympian Michelle Gibson and Don Angelo Win Inaugural USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International
RELEASE: September 19, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Stacey Meier and Jennifer Keeler
Lexington, KY – “The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home” and it certainly did shine brightly on Olympian Michelle Gibson and her new star Don Angelo in the inaugural USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship, sponsored by the Dutta Corporation and Performance Sales International. Following up on their winning Developing Horse Test ride on Saturday, Gibson and Don Angelo made the Prix St. Georges test look effortless in earning a test score of 70.000% for an overall average of 69.960% and the National Championship title.
Owned by Terri Kane’s Diamante Farms, Don Angelo (Don Larino x Elektina by Rubinstein I) is a 2000 dark bay Oldenburg stallion, bred in Germany by Hartmut Janssen. Last year, Gibson and Don Angelo were Reserve Champions at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Eastern Selection Trial in Raleigh, NC, and were short-listed for the FEI World Breeding Championships in Verden, Germany.
The day before the championship, when asked what her approach would be for the following day, Gibson said her strategy would be to put in the best ride she can and to strive to get the most out of Don Angelo which was exactly how it turned out. “I’m really proud of him,” said Gibson. “He’s only seven years old. He’s not so experienced in the ring. He’s a beautiful horse, he’s fun to ride I’m proud of him. What more can you ask for?”
Next steps for Gibson and Don Angelo include looking to qualify for the 2008 USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship and to prepare him as a mount for 21-year-old dressage rider Devon Kane.
Taking the Reserve Championship was South Carolina’s Shawna Harding and her own 8-year-old bay Danish Warmblood gelding Come On III (Comeback II x Canna by Lantaan; bred in Denmark by Klove-Morgensen) with a total score of 67.334%. Finishing in third overall was another Young Horse graduate, the 8-year-old dark bay Hanoverian stallion Don Principe (Donnerhall – Papagena by Prince Thatch, bred in Germany by Adelheid Bruenig). Don Principe is owned by Maryanna Haymon and was ridden to an overall score of 66.919% by James Koford.
The USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship was created to provide a step for 7- to 9-year-old horses between the Young Horse ranks and High Performance at the Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I level. This inaugural championship attracted 14 entries from around the country, some traveling to Kentucky from as far away as California and Washington in order to compete for the title of National Developing Horse Dressage Champion.
Dr. Ulf Möller of Performance Sales International and Tim Dutta of the Dutta Corporation were both in attendance and were pleased to see the high quality of the horse and rider combinations in the championship, some of whom had competed previously in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program and who were the first to make this important step towards a future in the High Performance arena.
“This new program is revolutionary in our country in order to identify and develop our future U.S. Team horses,” notes Tim Dutta of the Dutta Corporation. “We are proud to support this program and look forward to its continued growth.”
For more information, contact Jennifer Keeler at (859) 225-6924, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org