Darius 555 and Serenade MF Claim 4 and 5-Year-Old Dressage National Championships

Wayne, Ill. ­– Aug. 26, 2017 – After the Developing Prix St. Georges division wrapped up, the 5-year-olds took to the ring to conclude their championship. Alyssa Doverspike rode Darius 555 (Don Darius–Barcelona, Boss) to clinch the national title with an overall score of 7.748. The judges enjoyed the elegant Hanoverian gelding’s cadence and elasticity of his trot. Doverspike is a full-time groom for her trainers David Wightman and Kathleen Raine of Adventure Farms and traveled to Wayne, Illinois, from Wildomar, California.

Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555
Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555

Judy Kelly of Clarkston, Michigan, jumped up from fifth place after Thursday’s test on her Hanoverian mare Quintess (Quarterhall–Wakira, Wolkenstein II) to earn the reserve championship. She purchased the mare last year in Germany and the pair received a 7.684 as their overall total.

Judy Kelly and Quintess
Judy Kelly and Quintess

The 2016 4-Year-Old Young Horse National Champions, Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS (Idocus–Caliente DG, OO Seven), returned to Lamplight Equestrian Center and rounded out the top three. Stanley, of Madera, California, and his homebred KWPN gelding earned an overall score of 7.636. The duo was awarded the U.S. Bred Award in the 5-year-old division.

Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF
Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF

In the 4-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, mares dominated the top three positions. Alice Tarjan swept the champion and reserve champion titles on Serenade MF and Fairouz, respectively. Serenade MF (Sir Donnerhall–Duet MF, Don Principe) was bred by Maryanna Haymon and won the U.S. Bred Award after topping the field with an overall score of 8.464. The judges gave the black Hanoverian mare high marks of 9 for her walk and an 8.8 for her trot, while remarking on her potential as a top dressage horse.

Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF
Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF

Tarjan’s other mount, a German-bred Oldenburg mare named Fairouz (German-bred Oldenburg mare, finished the division as the reserve champion with a total score of 8.192. She also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award. Kimberly Dougherty maintained her third place position from Thursday with her elegant Oldenburg mare Celebration (Coer D’Amour–Rhythm-N-Blues, Rosenthal) and ended on an overall score of 8.02.

Kimberly Dougherty and Celebration
Kimberly Dougherty and Celebration

For results and starting times, visit www.foxvillage.com. For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. Live streaming will be available on the USEF Network. Riders will vie for the remaining two national titles of the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships Sunday, Aug. 27, in the Developing Grand Prix division and the 6-year-old division.

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships Results:

5-Year-Old Young Horse Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Preliminary Test Score (40%) / Final Test Score (60%) / Total
1. Alyssa Doverspike / Darius 555 / 7.76 / 7.74 / 7.748
2. Judy Kelly Quintess / 7.6 / 7.74 / 7.684
3. Craig Stanley / Habanero CWS / 7.72 / 7.58 / 7.636
4. Birthe Laufer / Furstentusch N / 7.66 / 7.52 / 7.576
5. David Wightman / Hotshot / 7.48 / 7.54 / 7.516
6. Nadine Schwartsman / Harvard R / 7.42 / 7.56 / 7.504

4-Year-Old Young Horse Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Preliminary Test (40%) / Final Test Score (60%) / Total
1. Alice Tarjan / Serenade MF / 8.44 / 8.48 / 8.464
2. Alice Tarjan / Fairouz / 8.06 / 8.28 / 8.192
3. Kimberly Dougherty / Celebration / 7.99 / 8.04 / 8.02
4. Carlos Santos / Inferno M / 7.88 / 7.74 / 7.796
5. Michael Bragdell / Debonair MF / 7.5 / 7.82 / 7.692
6. Michael Bragdell / SenSation HW / 7.64 / 7.36 / 7.472


Alyssa Doverspike – 5-Year-Old Dressage National Champion

On her test:
“I’m so proud of him. He’s such a good boy. We left the walk as-is like I tried to do the day before. He was a little tired in the canter, but I really felt like I had a little bit more forward movement in the trot. I felt like we really showed a difference in the trot so I was really happy with that.”

On the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships:
“It’s an honor to be here amongst the best young horses in the country and really good riding. The tests are a little more complicated and challenging for the young horses. I think it really pushes the horses. You can see what they’re made of a little bit. The atmosphere can be a little more intense. It pushes you and your horse, and you can see how they handle that type of pressure. It’s such a good group of people. The young horses are challenging, so you get a lot of good insight and advice from a lot of other riders and trainers who have been down that road.”

Judy Kelly – 5-Year-Old Dressage National Reserve Champion

On her test:
“I tried to go for it a little more and add more power. I know she does have power. She had a good school yesterday on the day off. I’m very proud of my girl too. She’s a great worker.”

On Quintess:
“I’ve had her for one year. I looked at her last July as a 4-year-old and was very impressed then. I purchased her in Germany. I came to this show last year and just showed in the open show after owning her for three weeks to get a baseline. So that was her only show last year. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to qualify let alone make it here, but that’s why I’m super happy with her. I had my eye on doing the young horse championships and was able to make it.”

Craig Stanley – 5-Year-Old Dressage National Championship third place

On his test:
“I thought my test was better than Thursday’s. We just had one bobble that was a little bit unexpected. I’m really grateful that I managed to get here and have a sound horse to take in. I’m really happy.”

Alice Tarjan – 4-Year-Old Dressage National and Reserve Champion

On her tests:
“Serenade put in a really solid test the first day so it is hard to duplicate. If I could have duplicated that I would have been happy. For the most part, the canter was better. The judge thought she was tightened up, which I believe, so I’m going to have to work and be more aware of that. When I came up to the warm-up and went to go do a stretchy trot, she tried to buck me off and I thought, ‘Woah, this is great, she’s all hot and fresh.’ I always worry with the young horses that they will be tired by Saturday. It’s a lot of traveling for them. She felt great. With Fairouz, the canter work was also better so I was happy. The judges really liked her trot so that was great. I was worried in the test that I was throwing away little points like bending in the corner. I was pleased and they both had great energy. It was a good experience for them here.”

On training young horses:
“I love training young horses — it’s what I live to do every day. It’s fun when they are young because they come along so quickly. To start with a horse that is unbroke and then to walk, trot, and canter and teach them to go on the bit, it’s like unwrapping a Christmas present. You never know what’s inside. You train them up and every few weeks you are like, ‘Wow, look at that step!’ If they do it once, they can duplicate it. It’s a matter of seeing it initially and then it’s a matter of training it. I love the process. Between 3 and 6 years old, it’s so fun. They make so much progress. Those three years is like Christmas every morning.”

Kimberly Dougherty – 4-Year-Old Dressage National Championship third place

On her ride:
“I was worried she was going to come out today and be tired but she came out with more power and was actually fresh, which was exciting as I wasn’t worried about her being lazy in there. I thought overall she was super today and I had more power than I had two days ago. She was rideable and I am really happy with her.”

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