Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 22, 2020 – On the second-to-last day of competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, a new champion was named in the USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. Averi Allen maintained her lead from the Junior Team Test where she scored a 70.808%, being awarded 70.637% on Saturday afternoon in the Individual Test to capture the title with a total of 70.723%.
Allen and Superman, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jonni Allen, rode in just one show before qualifying for the championships this year, so she was pleasantly surprised and speechless after her dreams became a reality in winning the tricolor with such a young horse.
“I wasn’t expecting to make it here honestly because we only went to one show, but once we got past that and came here, I calmed down,” Allen said. “I felt like everything needed to be relaxed and calm, taking it nice and slow. I think just calming myself down a little bit was the main thing. Right when I went in I just took a breath and said, ‘Okay, you can do this.’ I think that helped a lot. I’m really happy with it other than the fact that I think I held back too much and didn’t want to make a mistake. He stayed with me though, I’m happy with the changes and our walk pirouettes were a little nicer. The medium trots were a little bit better too.
“The first year I came here was for Dressage Seat Medal Finals, last year I did the Juniors as well as the dressage seat medal,” she continued. “It all feels overwhelming, but I’m really happy. I don’t really know what to say, I’m just proud of my horse and thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way. My mom is very helpful with everything. I believe next year we will do Young Riders, but we have to see how winter goes with getting there.”
Annelise Klepper and Happy Texas Moonlight, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Shannon Klepper, took home the reserve championship. Klepper and Happy Texas Moonlight also maintained their position on the leaderboard after the Individual Test, today earning a score of 69.608%. With their team test score of 69.646% taken into account, they claimed second place with a total of 69.627%.
“I was really proud of my horse — he was amazing,” Klepper said. “We were a little lethargic during Team Test day, so I was really trying to push him forward and go for everything a little bit more. The trot work was a lot better but it was also a lot more tiring — the canter work was a little bit slow which I didn’t realize until after the fact. Overall, it was a clean test which was exciting, and I’m really proud of him. He really gave me his all and that’s all you can ask for. The score was the same as yesterday but I felt like we had improved a lot, so I was just really happy.
“I’m still fifteen, so I’m probably going to be doing Juniors for at least another year, maybe dabble a little bit in the Prix St. Georges,” Klepper explained about her future plans in the sport. “In the immediate future my horse is getting a big break. He’ll just be home with us, go do some trails, and enjoy being a horse. After that, hopefully Young Riders is on the trajectory and U25 in the more distant future. Just taking it day by day.”
Sydney Lipar and Herzkonig, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Denise Lipar, took home third place in the championship with a total score of 68.178%.
In the first leg of the USEF Children Dressage National Championship, the Children Team Test, reigning champions of the division Lexi Kment and Manatee topped the leaderboard. Kment and Manatee, a 17-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, scored 76.725% in Saturday morning’s test, putting them in a good position prior to the individual test on Sunday morning.
“Today’s test went really great. He was super on my aids and we had a good test. It was better than I was expecting if we’re being truthful. Some highlights in the test were my leg yields, they felt really great. The canter to walk felt really good too. My last halt was a little wild so that’s something I can do a little better for next time. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!
“Our partnership has developed a lot, he is definitely my baby boy,” she said. “We’ve really been working on his suppleness and thoroughness. It’s been going really well.”
Maren Elise Fouche-Hanson and In My Feelings, a 25-year-old gelding, finished in second place with a score of 72.325%. Fouche-Hanson and the In My Feelings earned the reserve championship title in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 13 & Under the day before, and made it clear that they are working hard to go home with another top placing at this year’s championships.
Kat Fuqua and Dreamgirl, her own 12-year-old KWPN mare, finished in third place with a score of 71.7%.
Competition will resume on Aug. 23 at 8 a.m. with the USEF 6-Year-Old Final Test.
Results: USEF Junior Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Owner / Team Test (50%) / Individual Test (50%) / Total Score
1. Averi Allen / Superman / Jonni Allen / 70.808 / 70.637 / 70.723
2. Annelise Klepper / Happy Texas Moonlight / Shannon Klepper / 69.646 / 69.608 / 69.627
3. Sydney Lipar / Kerzkonig / Denise Lipar / 67.778 / 68.578 / 68.178
4. Lydia McLeod / Honneur B / Lydia McLeod / 67.778 / 67.892 / 67.86
5. Miki Yang / Rapsodie Espagnole / Four Winds Farm / 65.556 / 69.412 / 67.484
6. Maggie Elsbernd / Zeestar Texel / Maggie Elsbernd / 68.99 / 64.363 / 66.677
Results: Children Team Test for the USEF Children Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Lexie Kment / Manatee / Jami Kment / 76.725
2. Maren Elise Fouche-Hanson / In My Feelings / Maren Elise Fouche-Hanson / 72.325
3. Kat Fuqua / Dreamgirl / Kat Fuqua / 71.7
4. Emi Yang / Garden’s Sam / Four Winds Farm / 71.35
5. Justine Boyer / Lentisco XVIII / Hampton Green Farm / 69.5
6. Kasey Denny / Hemingway KW / Amy Denny / 68.725
Learn more about PS Dressage’s U.S. Festival of Champions Sponsor, Biostar US: Created by equine nutrition expert Tigger Montague, BioStar US is an organic, whole food supplement company for equines and canines. BioStar US is the leading source of whole food nutritional supplements for dogs and horses and provides raw, dehydrated, wheat-free, organic and non-GMO options. BioStar US has been certified by the Non-GMO Project and only uses the highest quality tested ingredients.