Stephanie Early and Colleen Akin Win Their Divisions in the 2008 USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final Presented by Dressage Today®
RELEASE: September 4, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Stacey Meier
Lexington, KY— The 2008 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today® was held August 29-30 at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. Riders came from across the country to compete for the championship in two age divisions— 13 & Under and 14-18 division.
The purpose of the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Program is to promote and reward excellence in equitation, including correct seat, position, and use of aids in the sport of dressage. Junior riders in these finals qualified last year by competing in the Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Final classes held at each of the 2007 USDF Regional Championships, with the top two competitors in each age division being eligible for the finals. This year’s judging panel of Janet Foy, Melissa Creswick and William Solyntjes were given the job of testing the riders and their skills; each age division rose to that occasion making the judge’s job even harder.
In the 13 & Under division, Stephanie Early, of Salinas, CA, topped 10 other riders with a score of 80.333 to take the gold medal riding borrowed horse GP Sarasanna, owned by Ginna Frantz. This was Early’s first time competing at the Finals after qualifying for the championship at the Region 7 semi-finals. Early took home the Hart Trophy along with a Wintec Dressage Saddle.
Winning the silver medal was Alexandra Schenck, of Coco Beach, FL, with a score of 76.333. Schenck was also riding a borrowed horse, Luna, owned by Julie Madriguera. Schenck qualified for the Finals in Region 3 and also was awarded a Passier snaffle bridle.
In third place with a score of 75.333 was Danielle Dever of Hilliard, OH, riding her horse Apollo 97. This was Dever’s second time at the Finals after qualifying in Region 1. Along with the bronze medal, Dever also took home an engraved dressage halter.
With a total of 15 riders in the 14-18 age division, the championship title went to Colleen Akin, of Warwick, NY, with a score of 76.667. Akin was riding a borrowed horse, Volontaire, owned by Kim Barteau. This is her second year competing at the Finals after winning a silver medal in 2006 on a different horse. Akin also took home the Hart Trophy along with a Wintec Dressage saddle.
Earning the silver medal and Passier snaffle bridge was Erin Mullen, of Louisburg, NC, riding her horse Zhivago to a score of 76.500. This is Mullen’s second time at the Finals after qualifying in Region 1.
The bronze medal went to Region 9’s Lauren Hadley, of Ponca City, OK, on her horse Dali. This is Hadley’s third time competing at the Finals, and she took home an engraved dressage halter as part of her third place finish.
Through the generosity of Jayne Ayres and Yvonne Barteau, who helped coordinate with local horse owners, more than half of the juniors from across the country were given borrowed horses to ride. Without their help, these riders would not have been able to attend the Finals.
For more information, contact Jenny Van Wieren, USEF’s Assistant Director of Dressage Sport Programs, at (859) 225-6949 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org