Rogers and Mingari Take the Lead in Pony and Young Rider National Championship Classes

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 26, 2017 – The USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship as well as the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship kicked off on Saturday afternoon at the Lamplight Equestrian Center with the FEI Team Tests in each division. The team test and the individual test each make up 50 percent of the riders’ overall score in the championship.

Suzannah Rogers and Adrenaline Rush
Suzannah Rogers and Adrenaline Rush

In the FEI Pony Rider Team Test, it was Suzannah Rogers, 15, of Atlanta, Georgia, who took the lead in the division. Aboard her 14-year-old Haflinger gelding Adrenaline Rush SBF, Rogers earned a score of 63.846 percent to secure the blue ribbon.

Jori Dupell, 16, of Wilsonville, Oregon, finished the team test in second place, earning a score of 62.521 percent with her 17-year-old Half-Arabian gelding Toy Story. Sailor Boden, 13, of Canyon Lake, California, rounded out the top three with Blitzwane, a 19-year-old German Riding Pony gelding. The horse-and-rider combination earned a score of 62.436 percent.

Rebekah Mingari and Allure S
Rebekah Mingari and Allure S

In the FEI Young Rider Team Test, 21-year-old Rebekah Mingari of Louisville, Kentucky, claimed both first and second place. Mingari took the blue ribbon with the 11-year-old KWPN mare Allure S, earning a score of 70.132 percent. With Allure S’s daughter, 8-year-old KWPN mare Elzarma TF, Mingari rode into second place with a score of 68.684 percent.

Callie Jones, 19, of Henderson, Kentucky, finished in third place with Don Philippo, a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding. The pair earned a score in the team test of 67.807 percent.

Both the FEI Pony Rider Individual Test and the FEI Young Rider Individual Test will take place in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena on Sunday, Aug. 27, to determine the champions of each division. The FEI Young Rider Individual Test is set to begin at 8 a.m., and the FEI Pony Rider Individual Test will begin at 1:35 p.m.

FEI Pony Rider Team Test

1. Suzannah Rogers / Adrenaline Rush / 63.846
2. Jori Dupell / Toy Story / 62.521
3. Sailor Boden / Blitzwane /62.436
4. Meredith Denton / Just G / 61.624
5. Olivia Massotti / Viktor / 61.239
6. Camille Molten / Magnito II / 59.658

FEI Young Rider Team Test

1. Rebekah Mingari / Allure S / 70.132
2. Rebekah Mingari / Elzarma TF / 68.684
3. Callie Jones / Don Philippo / 67.807
4. Anna Weniger / Don Derrick / 67.719
5. Kristin Counterman / Three Times / 66.535
6. Sophia Schults / Farley 4 / 66.404

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Suzannah Rogers – FEI Pony Rider Team Test winner

On Adrenaline Rush:
“I got him for Christmas and he’s the best Christmas present ever. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. We finally got to where we could actually ride and compete in the FEI ponies, so to win the first day is a dream come true.”

On her test:
“We had some bobbles, but everything else was pretty good. I felt really good about it. We were showing that we had a good partnership and we’re just a team together. For tomorrow, I’ll definitely keep my reins a little shorter. I find myself working from his neck instead of pushing from behind, so I’m working on keeping my hands forward and getting him through and over his back. The main thing is the partnership.”

On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“I love the people I’ve met here. Every person doing the FEI pony I’ve met is really nice and the venue is really great.”

Jori Dupell – FEI Pony Rider Team Test second place

On Toy Story:
“I’ve had him since I was 10, and he was a hunter pony when I bought him. He went blind, so we started dressage. He doesn’t see out of his left eye, which makes counter-canter and things on the rail difficult. In the test, we struggle with that usually. The simple changes are always difficult, but we work through it. He was a good boy. Tomorrow, I’ll definitely keep the reins shorter and keep him a little bit more through. We’ll practice the special four-loop serpentine and hope he stays calm.”

On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“Everyone is super nice and the arenas are so close to the stalls. It’s so organized and nice.”

Sailor Boden – FEI Pony Rider Team Test third place

On Blitzwane:
“He’s actually my trainer’s pony. He was calm today so that was good! I’m just really happy to be here with him. For tomorrow, I need to keep him a little more active and off my leg. I’ll keep the hind end a little more active and just hope for the best.”

On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“The people are really nice. Traveling from so far, I get to meet a lot of new people. It’s a lot of fun.”

Rebekah Mingari – FEI Young Rider Team Test winner and second place

On her test with Allure S:
“She was awesome today. She was really with me and we just had a blast in the arena. Tomorrow with her, I want to focus on a little more impulsion in the trot and more cadence in the walk work as well.”

On Elzarma TF:
“She was a little bit spooky going around the arena today, but luckily I got her to focus on me just before we went down centerline. Tomorrow, I’m hoping that she’s a little more at ease and more confident in me as a rider. I was really proud of her though, she hasn’t shown in a while. She did an incredible job as an 8-year-old.”

On her background with the horses:
“Karen Dunn is the owner of both, and Allure S is the dam of Elzarma TF. Last year I began riding Elzarma in January. We just kind of winged it and hoped to make it to NAJYRC, and we did. We ended up winning the silver medal in the freestyle, which was a huge accomplishment for her. Last year we also showed here at the Festival of Champions, and that arena was a little spooky. She likes to see other horses, so for her to not see anything is a little bit scary. She’s been an incredible partner and I adore her. My trainer, Angela Jackson, actually trained Allure S all the way through the young horse program as well as developing Prix St. Georges and developing Grand Prix. There were always hopes that I could take Allure to do the U25. Last year around October, we made the transition so that we had a year to start our partnership together before the U25. I got to compete both of them this year in the Young Rider division. It’s been so much fun and they’re both so similar yet so different.”

On the championships:
“I like that there are multiple championships with the best in our nation. You get to watch the young riders and the young horses as well as the junior and the children divisions. I think it’s really cool to have everybody here, and it creates a great atmosphere. These are beautiful show grounds and everyone here is really awesome.”

Callie Jones – FEI Young Rider Team Test third place

On her test:
“I was happy with our test today. In the warm-up he was really spooky and not really with me, so I was a little nervous going in. When we got in the ring, he was with me in the trot work. In the canter work, he got down a little in his poll. That’s what I want to improve tomorrow. I’ll get him more uphill in the canter work. Overall, I was really happy with how he was today.”

On the championships:
“It’s really fun watching everyone and watching the future of dressage, now having the children division here. Seeing everyone we see at NAJYRC and just supporting each other is really great. I love being here at Lamplight, it’s a really cool show grounds.”

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