Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 23, 2019 – Following the FEI Grand Prix Special at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, Californian Nick Wagman remained at the top of the leaderboard on Friday with a stellar performance on his mount Don John. The USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, that includes three phases to count towards the overall total, has now seen two of the three classes required and Wagman has held onto his strong lead.
In Thursday’s Grand Prix Test that accounts for 45% of the total score, Wagman and Don John, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer, dominated the field to take first place and establish an early lead. Keeping up the momentum, the pair earned a score of 72.957% in the Grand Prix Special on Friday afternoon, which will count towards 40% of their total score. The Grand Prix Freestyle will make up the remaining 15% of the championship’s total score and will take place on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 25.
Finishing in second place was Anna Marek and Dee Clair, Diane Morrison’s 11-year-old KWPN mare. The combination was awarded a score of 69% for their effort in the Grand Prix Special, maintaining their position in the division from the previous day. Looking forward to the final phase of the competition, the Grand Prix Freestyle, Marek is excited to showcase the mare’s talents in a fun freestyle routine produced by Applause Dressage.
Also maintaining her position from the previous day, Jennifer Schrader-Williams rode Millione into third place. The 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Millione Partners LLC earned a score of 68.468%.
Results: FEI Grand Prix Specia
Rider / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Nick Wagman / Don John / Beverly Gepfer / 72.957
2. Anna Marek / Dee Clair / Diane Morrison / 69.000
3. Jennifer Schrader-Williams / Millione / Millione Partners, LLC / 68.468
4. Jim Koford / Adiah HP / Sherry Koella / 67.596
Nick Wagman – FEI Grand Prix Special winner
On his test:
“Today I feel was one of my best tests. [Don John] felt fantastic. In the warm-up I already knew I had him so it was good and he was much more energetic — not as fresh as yesterday, so I could ride him a little more today. We had an unfortunate mistake in the ones, which happens but it is a costly one because it is a double coefficient. Other than that, it was one of those tests that you come out and can’t wait to watch the video because you hope it looks as good as it feels. It was really clean so I can’t complain.”
On his freestyle:
“Unfortunately [I have not made any changes] because we went to Europe in the spring and I wasn’t riding the freestyle there. I was only riding the Special so I didn’t have time to make any adjustments. It will be the same freestyle as last year but my plan is to up the music before season ends and adjust accordingly. It is just nice to be here and improving from last year. Scores aside, when you are riding everyday you get to see the progress and to look back at videos and think ‘Wow, he really is looking like a real Grand Prix horse.’”
Anna Marek – FEI Grand Prix Special second place
On her test:
“Well Anne [Gribbons] told me to get more energy in the piaffe so I went for a little bit more today. Clair and I haven’t done the Special anywhere near as much as we have done the Grand Prix so it was a little like we both had to get off of our toes, doing changes off the other diagonal and the piaffe from the walk. Clair was great! She was a really good girl. Everyday she comes out and is like ‘Let’s go!’”
On her freestyle:
“Karen Robinson [of Applause Dressage] made our freestyle and she made it specifically for Clair. We have probably ridden it four times. We have practiced it at home and it is really fun, it is cute that it fits her little dainty way of going. We are excited about the Freestyle, that’s the fun part!”
Jennifer Schrader-Williams – FEI Grand Prix Special third place
On her test:
“I was really happy with the test. Overall, the rideability was there and it felt like it was a relaxed but powerful test. I felt like I really articulated everything I wanted to do through the movements. We had an unfortunate stall out in the final piaffe, he is normally so honest about that so I think he just got tired at the end. I really can’t say anything negative about his effort today, he was super.”
On what she is looking forward to in the final test:
“Just trying to keep him fresh. He is definitely getting tired so he will get a day off tomorrow. I really enjoy his music so again, we just want to do a clean test. Hopefully it is something the crowd can enjoy. My tempis can sometimes be tricky so if he gets the two first lines of tempis then I have a plan A and a plan B.
For results and starting times, visit Foxvillage.
Live streaming will be available on the USEF Network
Full competition schedule, click here.
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