Cesar Parra Clinches Developing Grand Prix National Championship

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 27, 2017 – On the final morning of the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships, Cesar Parra maintained his lead to ride away with the Developing Grand Prix National Championship on Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus–Forst-Design, De Niro). The 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding was bred by Heike Kind in Germany, and he is owned by Parra with Martin Sosnoff.

Cesar Parra and Fasion Designer OLD
Cesar Parra and Fasion Designer OLD

Parra topped the Intermediate II on Thursday with a score of 69.561 percent and he returned to the ring Sunday to earn a 65.792 percent in the Developing Grand Prix. In addition to winning the national title, the pair also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award for the highest score of an Oldenburg in the division.

Patricia Becker and Freedom
Patricia Becker and Freedom

Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois, earned the reserve championship title on Dr. Anne Ramsay’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom (Feuri–Windjammer, Walk on Top). Becker and Freedom earned an overall total of 66.680 percent and they also received the U.S. Bred Award for the Developing Grand Prix division.

Jim Koford rode fan-favorite Adiah HP (Nico–Marje Ant, Anton), a U.S.-bred Friesian Sporthorse mare, to an overall third place finish. Koford picked up the ride on Sherry Koella’s Adiah HP, who is three-quarters Friesian and a quarter Dutch Warmblood, a year and a half ago. The colorful duo moved up from their fifth place finish after they placed second in the Developing Grand Prix with a 66.042 percent.

Jim Koford and Adiah HP
Jim Koford and Adiah HP

The 6-year-olds were the last to head down centerline to vie for the final championship title of the weekend. Andrea Woodard of Wellington, Florida, put in another elegant and clean test on her Oldenburg mare Ravenna (Sir Donnerhall I–Romanze, Blue Hors Romanov). Ravenna was bred in Germany by Britta Luebbers and Woodard bought her as a 3-year-old. They also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award and an overall score of 8.164. The judges commented on the mare’s three clean, clear and high-quality gates, and rewarded her with an 8.6 in the trot, an 8.3 in the canter, a submission score of 8.3 and a prospect score of 8.7.

Andrea Woodard and Ravenna
Andrea Woodard and Ravenna

Werner Van Der Brande, who lives in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, earned the reserve championship on Linda Sommer’s Flyby FLF (Falsterbo–Whirliegirl, Wonderland). In the 6-Year-Old Preliminary Test they received a 7.8 and in Sunday’s test, they were given a 7.98. The Hanoverian gelding’s highlight was in his ground covering canter where they received an 8.2.

Werner Van Den Brande and Flyby FLF
Werner Van Den Brande and Flyby FLF

Michael Bragdell earned the yellow ribbon with an overall score of 7.6 on Anne Howard’s Oldenburg stallion, Finery (Furstenball–Sonetta, Diamond HIT). The pair earned a high score of 8.5 for their active and rhythmic walk.

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championship Results:

Developing Grand Prix National Championship

Rider / Horse / Intermediate II (40%) / Developing Grand Prix (60%) / Total
1. Cesar Parra / Fashion Designer OLD / 69.561 / 65.792 / 67.300
2. Patricia Becker / Freedom / 67.325 / 66.250 / 66.680
3. Jim Koford / Adiah HP / 66.842 / 66.042 / 66.362 
4. Dorie Crow / La Belladonna / 67.193 / 64.542 / 65.602
5. Heather Blitz / Ripline / 65.570 / 65.583 / 65.578
6. Michael Bragdell / Qredit Hilltop / 67.325 / 64.042 / 65.355

6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Preliminary Test (40%) / Final Test (60%) / Total
1. Andrea Woodard / Ravenna / 7.9 / 8.34 / 81.64
2. Werner Van Den Brande / Flyby FLF/ 7.8 / 7.98 / 7.908
3. Michael Bragdell / Finery / 7.6 / 7.6 / 7.6
4. Cyndi Jackson / Sir Amour / 7.12 / 7.64 / 7.432
5. Angela Jackson / Gaston TF / 7.36 / 7.3 / 7.324
6. Bridget Hay / Fauna / 7.28 / 7.26 / 7.268


Cesar Parra – Developing Grand Prix National Champion

On his ride:
“First of all, I’m super happy to get another title here at the national championships. I’m very proud of my horse and super grateful. It takes a whole village to get here; from the owner, groom, farrier, there are so many people who helped me get here. I’m happy I didn’t let them down. I wanted to do well for the horse, the team and for myself. I think the ride today could’ve been better. It is what it is. He got heavy in the hand, but overall, I’m very happy.”

On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“The place is lovely. The stalls are close to the rings, it’s so organized and not crowded. It makes it fun and like a holiday. It’s really fun to come here for the week. It’s a great experience for the horses. Everyone is very friendly. Even in the rain, the footing was excellent.”

Patricia Becker – Developing Grand Prix National Reserve Champion

On her test:
“Freedom is always a bit more tired or a little slower at the end of a big competition. However, today he actually felt really good in his body going in. He coughed a little bit before the second canter pirouette and we lost the connection so that was a little rough. The first piaffe was weak, but the rest of the test he was really with me and really tried. He gave me all of his focus. I was super proud of him.”

Jim Koford – Developing Grand Prix National Championship third place

On Adiah HP:
“She’s new to the Grand Prix and I want her to feel like a champion every time she goes in. She is a horse that makes me happy every day. She looks at me like she is smiling. Every day, the highlight of her day is when she goes to work. I didn’t have any expectations of placing. I want her to be happy and have the best time and feel really good about herself. In that way, it was a win. She smiled the whole time and felt really good about herself. She gives me chill bumps when I ride her. She makes me so happy. She’s sort of like Lady GaGa to me. She is a star. She makes people smile and she makes me smile. If she loves it, I love it. She’s my buddy.”

Andrea Woodard – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Champion

On winning:
“It feels wonderful. This is what I’ve been building up towards for such a long time now. I actually tried to qualify her for the 5-year-olds last year and she got qualified, but I didn’t think she was mentally ready to take the long trip from Florida. This year, I felt like she was much more prepared and mentally ready. We went for it and it paid off. I’m super excited and very happy with her. It feels like we are on the right track and it’s promising for the future.”

On her competition plans:
“We possibly will move up to do the Developing Prix St. Georges, but I always make the decision when I feel how the horse is developing. If I don’t feel like she is going to be ready and I’m going to have to push too much, I’m not going to necessarily go for this particular show next year. Now if I feel like she is mentally ready and can physically cope with it, then I might show up again. I’m very big on feeling the horses and preparing them to the point where I feel like they can handle the pressure. I do not want to put too much pressure on them just because I want to have a title.”

Werner Van Den Brande – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Reserve Champion

On his ride:

“We have been working hard to get him ready and that was the goal. We did it, and it feels really nice. Overall, the trot work was stronger and we had a bit more energy. I felt like he was more with me and I didn’t have to push him all of the time.”

Michael Bragdell – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship third place

On his test:
“First of all, it’s always so exciting to come here. Lamplight is a great facility and puts on a great show with a championship feel. It’s fun to come here and compete. With my horse, I’m so proud of how far we have come and to compete here. Today there was an award ceremony going on in the other ring, and he held it together and stayed focused during the test. I was really proud of him and couldn’t ask more of him.”

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