Bebe Davis and Feivel Mousekewitz
Wayne, Il. – Aug. 27, 2016 – The Young Rider Championship came to a nail-biting finish with the FEI Young Rider Individual test results shaking up the leaderboard on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Lamplight Equestrian Center. Bebe Davis, of Wellington, Florida, was trailing in fourth place after the first day of the AGCO/USEF Young Rider National Championship, but when she cantered down the centerline on Saturday, she was determined to improve. She earned a score of 71.447 percent in the Young Rider Individual test to jump to the win on her 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Feivel Mousekewitz.
“I’m over the moon happy and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Davis said. “Yesterday was more for me to get my confidence and get back into the mental mindset of competing. I had a really clean ride and I was really happy with it. Today had a little more extravagance and a little more brilliance that was lacking yesterday.”
Davis, 18, had a busy summer representing the United States in the Young Rider Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany, and Compiegne, France.
“It’s been such a great year and I don’t really know what could top this!” Davis continued. “The European tour was such a great experience and I feel like I learned so much from there that I was able to bring here.”
Davis will be starting her first year of college next week at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, which will give her the opportunity to continue her riding while pursuing a major in fashion marketing and entrepreneurial studies. Though she is excited about starting classes, Davis was thrilled that she made the decision to compete at the Festival of Champions. Davis also placed sixth in the Young Rider Championship on the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Rotano.
“I love Lamplight,” Davis explained. “The venue is beautiful, the stabling is great and the footing is awesome. I’ve never experienced a championship with the young horses as well so it’s great to have the up and coming rider along with the up and coming horses.”
Rachel Robinson and Indira, a 12-year-old Westphalian mare owned by Jeff Robinson, improved from their third place position after the first day of competition to finish as reserve champions. The pair earned a 70.307 percent in their Young Rider Individual test.
“Today we put in a much cleaner test than yesterday,” Robinson explained. “She was pretty tired yesterday so we had a 20 minute warm up. We had a lot more energy, which definitely carried through especially in the canter work and again we had really great pirouettes today so that was a highlight.”
Robinson is an aspiring veterinarian studying behavioral neuroscience and chemistry at the University of San Diego. This is her first year competing in the Young Rider division and she plans on competing in it one more year before she moves up to the U25 Grand Prix.
Nicholas Hansen, the triple gold medalist at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Young Rider Championships, lead after the first day of competition, but finished the division in third after earning a 69.342 percent on his own 15-year-old Westphalian gelding Ritter Benno.
“I thought the test today was a lot better than it was yesterday,” Hansen said. “It flowed a little better and the trot work had a little bit more energy and impulsion coming from behind than he did yesterday. Overall I was able to get a really good test out of him today.”
Next week Hansen will also be heading to begin his first year at Bloomsburg University where he plans on studying finance with a minor in anatomy and physiology.
AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship
Jenna Upchurch of Chesterfield, Missouri, maintained her lead on her own 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Greystoke, and the pair clinched the Junior National Championship after earning a score of 69.123 percent in the FEI Junior Individual test.
“We improved a lot on the basic flow of the test and the one bobbe that we did have we recovered from quickly, which was great. I was really proud of how he went,” Upchurch said.
Upchurch won the individual gold medal, as well as the freestyle gold medal, at the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior Championships in Colorado. After her successful season, Upchurch plans on moving up to the Young Rider division next season.
Marline Syribeys of Atlanta, Georgia, rode Hollywood, her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, to the reserve championship with a score of 68.684 percent in the FEI Junior Individual test.
“I was really happy to have a clean ride and he seemed to be a little more energetic today, which was nice,” Syribeys explained. “It’s really nice to have all the hard work pay off and to have good rides.”
Juliet Hess came into the championship as an underdog by scraping into the qualified field in twelfth place, and she proved she deserved to be here by finishing in third with a score 68.711 percent in Saturday’s test. Hess resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and rode Julia Stainback’s 13-year-old Belgian gelding Diano.
“I was just so happy to even be here and to be able to compete and watch everyone else ride,” Hess said. “I actually didn’t have the cleanest of tests because I went off course. I was trying to focus on getting his neck out more and letting him be less tight in the jaw and I think that paid off in the end.”
Also featured on Saturday at the Festival of Champions was the first test of the USEF Pony Rider National Championship, which will conclude on Sunday. Seven of the nation’s top pony riders have come to Lamplight to compete for the championship, and Hannah Irons, 16, of Queenstown, Maryland, and Bodhjan, a 17-year-old KWPN Sport Pony gelding, jumped into the lead with a score of 67.521 percent after the Pony Team test even after losing a shoe in the arena. Bodhjan is no stranger to the national championship as he was Bebe Davis’ former FEI pony who she donated to Dressage4Kids, and Irons has had the ride on for the past year.
“He tried his heart out for me and I couldn’t be happier,” Irons said. “He has taught me so much. We’ve had our ups and downs because he can be a little tricky to ride. Today he really waited for me and tried to listen to me and that’s what we have always been striving for — having that relationship so we grow together.”
Emma Count of Columbia, Maryland, came in second place on her 7-year-old New Forest Pony mare Wicked Games with a score of 65.342 percent.
“I was so pleased with her and I’m amazed that we’ve come this far,” Count explained. “I think my favorite part of the test was the canter work because that has been such a highlight the entire year. For tomorrow I’m hoping to improve the overall relaxation and suppleness.”
AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship Results
Rider/Horse/YR Team Test/YR Individual Test/Total
1. Barbara Davis/Feivel Mousekewitz/68.640/71.447/70.
2. Rachel Robinson/Indira/68.728/70.307/
3. Nicholas Hansen/68.947/69.342/69.145
4. Allison Cyprus/Madoc Gareth/68.728/66.974/67.851
5. Kristin Counterman/Three Times/67.237/67.939/67.588
6. Barbara Davis/Rotano/65.263/69.298/67.
7. Kayla Barteau/Raymond/63.114/65.570/
8. Rebekah Mingari/Elzarma/62.895/64.605/
FEI Young Rider Individual Test
1. Barbara Davis/Feivel Mousekewitz/71.447
2. Rachel Robinson/Indira/70.307
3. Nicholas Hansen/Ritter Benno/69.342
4. Barbara Davis/Rotano/69.298
5. Kristin Counterman/Three Times/67.939
6. Allison Cyprus/Madoc Gareth/66.974
7. Kayla Barteau/Raymond/66.570
8. Rebekah Mingari/Elzarma/64.605
AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship Results
Rider/Horse/Junior Team Test/Junior Individual Test/Total
1. Jenna Upchurch/Greystoke/70.270/69.
2. Marline Syribeys/Hollywood/69.414/68.
3. Juliet Hess/Diano/68.288/68.711/68.
4. Anna Weniger/Don Derrick/68.333/68.377/68.355
5. Jackson Gillespie/Westpoint CB/67.793/67.456/67.625
6. Allison Nemeth/Dafoe/66.171/68.026/67.
7. Callie Jones/Don Philippo/68.604/64.781/66.693
8. Abigail Fleischli/Laguna/65.991/65.
FEI Junior Rider Individual Test
1. Jenna Upchurch/Greystoke/69.123
2. Juliet Hess/Diano/68.711
3. Marline Syribeys/Hollywood/68.684
4. Anna Weniger/Don Derrick/68.377
5. Allison Nemeth/Dafoe/68.026
6. Jackson Gillespie/Westpoint CB/67.456
7. Abigail Fleischli/Laguna/65.658
8. Kayla Kadlubek/Freewill/65.493
FEI Pony Rider Team Test
1. Hannah Irons/Bodhjan/67.521
2. Emma Count/Wicked Games/65.342
3. Julia Lee Barton/Bonnaroo/65.000
4. Hannah Irons/My Lucky Charm/64.372
5. Katelyn Mosle/Bennos Watermark/63.846
6. Grace Sacoman/Jordy/63.846
7. Sailor Boden/Blitzwane/60.000