Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 26, 2018 – The final day of competition at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships saw two new champions crowned. In the Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS maintained their top position in the division to take home the win, while Dawn White-O’Connor on Bailarino earned the top tricolor in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship.
In 2016, Stanley was victorious with his KWPN gelding (Idocus-Caliente DG, OO Seven) in the 4-Year-Old National Championship. This year, the pair continued their winning ways in the 6-year-old Preliminary Test on Friday when they received an impressive total score of 8.98. In Sunday’s 6-Year-Old Final Test, Habanero CWS was awarded high marks of 9.2 for his engaged, elastic trot and a 9 for his submission. Along with today’s total score of 8.98, the pair’s cumulative total earned them the national title.
As Stanley bred and raised the gelding himself in the U.S., Habanero CWS was honored for being the highest scoring American bred horse in the division.
Angela Jackson aboard Sandeman impressed the judges with their 6-Year-Old Final Test performance, earning high scores to move them up from third place to win the reserve championship. Sandeman (Sir Donnerhall I–Flora, Florencio I), Julie Cook’s 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding, bred in Germany by Eggerk Groenewold, earned a total score of 8.9 in Friday’s 6-Year-Old Preliminary Test. With their 6-Year-Old Final Test score of 8.52, they earned a total cumulative score of 8.672.
Cesar Parra and his own Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall–Wichita, Wolkenstein II) rounded out the top three in the championship with a total score of 8.54. Parra and Sir Beckmann, the 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding, bred in Germany by Norbert and Petra Fockenberg, was in second place with a score of 8.96 following the 6-Year-Old Preliminary Test. Their performance in the 6-Year-Old Final Test on Sunday morning earned them a score of 8.26, contributing to their cumulative total of 8.54.
After an exciting class filled with ups and downs for combinations in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, Dawn White-O’Connor leapt into the top position to win the national title on Bailarino (Breitling W–Schila, De Niro) with an overall score of 68.635 percent. The 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Four Winds Farms, previously competed in the small tour with Olympian Steffen Peters before Peters moved him up to the Grand Prix last summer with scores in the 70s. White-O’Connor began competing him in the fall of 2017. This week, the pair placed second in the Intermediate II with a 68.088 percent and won the Developing Grand Prix with a 69 percent.
The class leader with a 69.902 percent after the Intermediate II, Alice Tarjan and Candescent (Christ–Farina, Falkenstern II), fell down to eighth place in the Developing Grand Prix with a 63.875 percent after multiple bobbles in the canter tour. The 8-year-old Hanoverian mare, who was bred in Germany by Willi Helms, earned an overall score of 66.286 percent to end up with the reserve championship ribbon. Tarjan originally purchased the expressive mare as a jumper prospect until she noticed her talent for collected upper-level work, and she is looking forward to continue to develop her consistency in the ring.
Jumping from seventh place to finish the division in third place with an overall score of 65.078 percent was finance professional, Amy Lewis of Lemont, Illinois, and Sir Steinerman (Stedinger–Donabella, Don Primero). Lewis’ 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding received a 64.069 percent in the Intermediate II and placed second with a 65.75 percent in the Developing Grand Prix. Bred in the U.S., the pair won the award for the highest scoring American bred horse in the division.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Craig Stanley – Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Champion
On being a national champion:
“It’s very surreal to think that I would even have the chance to have a horse good enough to achieve this and to personally achieve this. Obviously, you need a lot of help along the way. There’s a team of people that are involved in achieving this. I have a picture of [Habanero CWS] as an embryo and I actually pulled him out of the mare myself so it’s been a long journey. It’s exceeded all of my expectations; I thought his mom was pretty good but somehow he’s better.”
On the judge’s comments:
“I’m not going to disagree with anything! The one for me was the word harmony. Regardless of how much you can make them dance and such if someone is watching and their impression of it is harmony between horse and rider that is majorly special.”
Angela Jackson – Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Reserve Champion
On how the horse has developed and becoming reserve champion:
“Last year he was more immature; he was very lanky, tall, and long-legged. I think the winter really put some weight on him and let him mature mentally as well. He was just not quite ready to handle it all last year even though right now he still had a little moment but he was just excited. I think he has developed really nicely. I really put my work into connection and I think that paid off. The connection paid off.”
On the judge’s comments:
“I think for me that was also the highlight; to see that they pointed out the harmony between horse and rider and that for me is always what I strive for. To have that come across here really made it special.”
On what’s next:
“We’re doing a Third Level Freestyle and then we’ll see if we qualify to go to US Finals. The goal for me is to work towards Prix St. Georges to see where he will be as a 7-year-old — that’s always a guessing game. That’s the goal but eventually, the owner would like to compete and show him I just have him for his juvenile exploring years. I’m really thankful that Julie Cook the owner is allowing me to bring this horse along.”
Cesar Parra – Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship third place
On Sir Beckmann:
“The first thing that comes to my mind is that I’m very grateful to be taking home a much better horse. He grew up a lot this week. I love him and he’s a warrior, but at the same time he’s very immature at many things. I’ve known him since he was 2.5-years-old but I was only coaching him from the ground. Katie Reilly was riding him and she was qualified to come here [as a 5-year-old] but then he had a little booboo. We decided it was not worth the risk so we gave him the time and he grew up a lot. I’m just over the moon to see how much he’s grown up. My hopes and dreams are really huge for this guy so we’ll see, time will tell. For us, I have homework to do. I need to go home and work on his roundness and his topline.”
On the competition:
“I had the opportunity to watch both rides from Craig and Angela — the connection was very pretty and it was a very nice topline. As a rider and trainer I do appreciate that very much and I think the judges did too. For me, the connection was not 100% there like I had it the other day, so the judges did not score it as high as they could have in the canter and trot that my horse has. I have been talking to different riders and we all feel it is really nice judging; very positive and educational. When they see something good the scores are coming in high. Before we used to hear ‘very good: 7’ but now they will score up to 9, if it is well deserved. The number matches the comment.”
Dawn White-O’Connor – Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Champion
On the competition:
“This is my first time here [at the Markel/USEF Developing Horse National Championships] and it’s been amazing. I’m very happy with my horse today. I think it was a good group of people and there was a lot of really fun horses to watch. It was a really great experience, the facility is beautiful as well. Everything was really great for us.”
On her participation in the USEF Young Horse Training Sessions:
“We had one of the development clinics with Debbie [McDonald] and Charlotte [Bredahl] and that was really helpful the way the whole program was laid out. To have Debbie there as the second coach and then Charlotte giving you the judge’s perspective. We had two days of schooling then the last day riding through the test and getting their feedback was really very helpful. It’s a really good program because it addresses all aspects not just the riding, so I’m very excited to be a part of that.”
On her highlights:
“I think some of the good things I had today were what I didn’t have the first day and the good parts of the first day I don’t think I had today. He’s very well balanced in everything he does. I wouldn’t say there’s any specific piece of the test that’s hard as much as getting everything to go right in the same test that’s a little bit tricky. I had much better piaffe-passage today but mistakes in both lines of changes so I think that’s him growing up and me getting to know him better but we’ll keep working on that. That’s just kind of how showing goes.”
Alice Tarjan – Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Reserve Champions
On her test:
“Today wasn’t our day but I feel lucky to still be up here. Unfortunately today was a complete disaster. I usually ride the horse at home without spurs but you have to wear them in a test and normally she’d be fine but she took serious offense to it today. I’m still thrilled. It’s a lovely horse and she’ll have plenty of time to figure it out and that’s why they’re here.”
On her plan moving forward:
“I need to practice at home with the spurs sometimes. It’s just the consistency with this horse. Athletically she can do it all; it’s just the struggle of trying to put in a consistent test. She’s very green but clearly the horse is talented so if it takes her a little bit of time to figure it out that’s fine we’ve got plenty of time.”
Amy Lewis – Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship third place
On Sir Steinerman:
“He’s 17.3 hands and I’m 5’3″. He’s a big diesel engine, so it was just really exciting to finally have some of that come together. I didn’t know if I’d be able to come so just to be here with such good riders [is great]. It’s a culmination of taking him through the young horse program and I guess I have to think about what to do next. It was really exciting and I love the program. I need to make it a little easier to keep him together and a little more engagement in the collected work because he’s a bouncy, happy guy to do the work.”
“I got him as an unbroken 2-year-old and he was big then so I figured it was a little bit of a gamble. I broke him as a 3-year-old myself. I have a professional career outside of this so just being able to fit in the rides has been a bit of a challenge. It was important to me to find a U.S.-bred horse and develop him. It’s just been a great experience 80 percent of the time, the other 20 percent sometimes he’s a bit of a handful.”
Results: Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Preliminary Test / Final Test / Total Score
1. Craig Stanley / Habanero CWS / 8.98 / 8.98 / 8.98
2. Angela Jackson / Sandeman / 8.9 / 8.52 / 8.672
3. Cesar Parra / Sir Beckmann / 8.96 / 8.26 / 8.54
4. Alice Tarjan / Harvest / 7.98 / 8.56 / 8.328
5. Sarah Lockman / Balia / 8.28 / 8.16 / 8.208
6. Jennifer Schrader-Williams / Francis HW / 8.38 / 7.98 / 8.14
Results: Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Intermediate II / Developing Grand Prix / Total
1. Dawn White O’Connor / Bailarino / 68.088 / 69.000 / 68.635
2. Alice Tarjan / Candescent / 69.902 / 63.875 / 66.286
3. Amy Lewis / Sir Steinerman / 64.069 / 65.750 / 65.078
4. Emily Miles / Quantum Jazz / 64.118 / 65.667 / 65.047
5. Emily Miles / Floretienne / 66.127 / 64.250 / 65.001
6. Jessica Jo Tate / Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon / 64.559 / 64.917 / 64.774
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