Articles: Press Release
Weather and Winners at Day Three of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF
Festival of Champions
King Wins the Day but Peters Best Overall in the Grand Prix, Barteau
Holds on to Young Rider Lead and Sammis Takes Middle Leg of Pan Am
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2007
Gladstone, NJ - It was a busy day at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF
Festival of Champions on June 16th, the Freestyle - the third and final
part of the Grand Prix, the second part of the Intermediaire I Pan
American Games Selection Trial and the finale of the Young Riders
Championship made for plenty of spectating in unsettled weather at the
USET Foundation Headquarters.
The finale of the Grand Prix closed out the third day of competition and
the Freestyle and the perfect weather attracted large crowds and
provided plenty of entertainment. The weather had been beautiful all day
until a storm began to roll through as Steffen Peters began his test.
The storm held until just before Kristina Harrison-Naness was set to
start her test and the competition was then delayed for 60 minutes.
The first pair in the ring, Tami Crawford and Markant, went to the lead
with a score of 68.15% which held until the winner of the first two
Grand Prix classes, Steffen Peters - the first rider of the final
rotation - marched into the ring with Lombardi and served notice that
his lead was not going to be wrested easily.
His test started with passage and piaffe and the Celtic music matched
the horse's animated action beautifully. A unique canter - piaffe - walk
combination showed the 12-year-old Holsteiner's versatility.
"I was at the ultimate today with this horse," said Peters. "After the
last two days he felt more honest and more reliable in the changes. I
thought the pirouettes were even better - that was the ultimate for
Lombardi. This was his third Freestyle. Certainly the girls gave me a
run for my money especially today. Because I didn't know if he would
make a Grand Prix horse it's just a really big thrill."
Idocus and Courtney King had other ideas than to let Lombardi and Peters
sweep the division. Idocus, the 17-year-old KWPN stallion had not felt
like himself over the first two days of the competition but showed his
return to form in the Freestyle for King. Moving to the music from the
Wizard of Oz the pair showed off lots of beautiful flying changes and
very good pirouettes. Extremely expressive trot work scored well
throughout the test.
"I was needless to say thrilled," said King. "I thought Idocus was a
little bit better than yesterday. He had a good motor, he was
expressive. During the Grand Prix I thought I wouldn't make it through
the end of the competition. But I'm getting more comfortable riding him
with more risk and that was our highest score yet in the Freestyle."
Harrison-Naness put on a game face after the storm with Rociero, the
12-year-old Andalusian stallion, and despite looking a little flat
footed after warming up twice put forth a stellar effort and finished
third with 71.9%.
Good changes, and Rociero's typical workmanlike approach to his test
picked up scores for the hard trying duo. The classical music suited the
pair who looked very composed and confident throughout the entire test.
"I started listening to rap music to get myself psyched up," said
Harrison-Naness. "He was a little tired, I had to warm up twice. He
usually has a little bit more engine. In the passage the footing felt so
flat it was hard to gauge how much suspension I had. It was definitely a
little tricky to ride but. He handled it great."
When it was all over, Peters won his sixth Festival Championship and
Lombardi still reigned supreme finishing with three day total of
72.084% to win the Grand Prix Championship in convincing style. King and
Idocus rocketed up the rankings on the strength of their Freestyle test
to end up second on 70.172% and Harrison-Naness achieved her goal of
consistency and ended up third with 69.527%.
Sammis Turns Tables on Hickey in Pan Am Selection Trial
Two little horses got big scores in the Intermediaire I test, serving as
the second leg of the Pan American Games Selection Trials. Hyperion
Farm's 16.1 hand Sagacious HF, ridden by Lauren Sammis, tried as hard as
he could and was rewarded with a score of 72.3%. A local New Jersey
rider, Sammis was greeted with plenty of praise upon completing her
test. 27-year-old Katherine Poulin-Neff and the even more diminutive
Brilliant Too grew in stature when they cruised down the centerline and
into third place. The winners on Thursday - Christopher Hickey and
Regent split the pair of smaller horses for second.
In second after the first day of competition, the 8-year-old Dutch
Warmblood gelding, Sagacious HF, demonstrated very strong half pass and
pirouettes. Marred by two small mistakes, he and Sammis received 8s and
9s in their collective marks which more than made up for the bobbles.
"I knew after I messed up that change that I had to get 9s on my
pirouettes," said Sammis who has a very active sales business in New
Jersey. "He just tries so hard. The whole horse has changed so
dramatically. He just feels really, really great. He learned how to
passage and that's a big thing for a horse going from Prix St George to
Grand Prix. That's when your horse is really learning to collect. Its
this new button that has just appeared. It gives a horse a lot more
Hickey put in another animated effort with Regent to switch places with
Sammis and end up second on a score of 71.4%. Lots of animation from the
flashy 9-year-old Dutch gelding held the judges' attention for the
second time The pair received very good marks on some of their canter
work and pirouettes. Lower marks on the half-pass in the trot and a
couple of mistakes in the extended canter allowed Sammis the lead.
"I added a little more power to my horse today," said Hickey. "Thursday
I did a fairly quiet conservative test and today I felt like we were in
a good enough spot to add a little more power and add a little more
risk. There were a few places that I did a little too much risk. Too
much risk in the extended canter, too much risk in the two-tempis, they
got a little big for my own good. You need more risk to bring your
scores up in this sport but it needs to be smartly channeled. But I'm
very pleased with my horse."
Hickey, who is the resident trainer at Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD rode
Brenna Kucinski's gelding to another very solid performance. Hickey was
gracious in expressing his gratitude to all of his supporters.
Standing at only 15.2 hands, Brilliant Two, an 11-year-old Dutch
Warmblood/Thoroughbred Cross, is by Brilliant out of the Thoroughbred
mare, Brigetta. He and Poulin-Neff stepped up their performance from the
opening day and were rewarded with their score of 70.7%.
"I took a little more risk today," Poulin-Neff explained. "In the Prix
St. George I was nervous and I made a mistake and I typically do better
in the Intermediaire than I do in the Prix St. George. Overall I was
really happy with him. He had no mistakes, he was very fluid. He
listened to me. I was really happy with my ride."
The number of entries for the final leg of the tomorrow's Pan American
Selection Trial, the Intermediaire Freestyle has changed. Carol Lavell's
horse Much Ado has fallen ill and Susan Halasz felt her horse, Paradiso
B, was not up to his normal performance today. Upon the advice of the
veterinarians both have been withdrawn. Ten horses will now compete in
tomorrow's Intermediaire Freesyle.
Barteau Best of the Young Riders
The Young Riders completed their championship to lead off the third day
of competition. Kasandra Barteau, of Gilberts, IL, the winner of the
first test on Thursday stood out again and was much the best with
Gabriella - finishing the second day of competition with a score of
Gabriella, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare moved happily through the test,
and although they lacked a little of the accuracy demonstrated on
Thursday, both horse and rider seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
Gabriella was rewarded with a huge hug at the end of her test. Their
two-day score of 69.3% left them the clear winners of the Young Riders
"I'm very, very happy and excited and pleased with my horse," said
Barteau. "She worked really well. It's definitely exciting, I'm really
excited, even more so now, for young rider's next month. My goal is to
keep being here and hopefully do the Brentina Cup and then it would be
amazing if I could eventually do the small tour. I really know my mare
and I think that's a real benefit."
Overall, Ashley Schempp and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding Mowgli from
Encinitas, CA were fifth in Saturday's competition but were able to hang
on to their second place finish overall with their score of 65.6%.
"Today was not as up to par as it was on Thursday," said Schemmp. "He
got a little long which makes it a little harder to get the changes.
It's definitely a little hard for me. Overall I can't believe it was a
possibility to rank that high. They really make you work for it. It's a
great group of girls."
Schempp was impressed with the camaraderie and professionalism on the
East Coast and with the Festival in general.
"It's top notch," she said. "I'm very gracious just to be here, coming
from California, I've heard the names and it was great to get a chance
to meet some of the riders,"
Third overall in the Young Riders Championship was Hannah Shook and
Capetown, Like Schemmp, they didn't quite match their performance of the
previous day but it was good enough for third.
Runner-up on the day with a score of 66.6% was Jocelyn Weise from Keene,
NH. With her 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood Lamborghini she executed very
good trot work and lots of 7s for her flying changes. In third was
Caroline Roffman and Rigaudon. They put in a very workmanlike
performance and improved their score by three points from the first day.
On a final mark of 66.35% they slipped into third.
For more information, please contact Joanie Morris, High Performance
Communications Manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. USEF press releases
and full results from this event are posted at www.usef.org
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