Articles: Press Release
Riders Refuse to Let Rain Drown Competition at
2009 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258-2472
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Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2009
By Joanie Morris
Gladstone, NJ - The rain just couldnt help itself. After a dry day on
Friday, the 2009 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions
at the USET Foundation Headquarters like much of the rest of the country,
was again, drenched.
The Grand Prix Freestyle, which was expected to be the highlight of the
weekend didnt disappoint.
But Adrienne Lyle surprised a few (including herself) by ending up on top of
the leader board with Wizard.
Basically, hes a giant chicken with water, said Lyle after sloshing through
the puddles in the arena. He was a little backed off yesterday with the rain
so this morning I went and played in the puddles.
The strategy worked like a charm.
Lyle held her own against some very experienced veterans. The 27-year-old
rider from Ketchum, ID (and 2008 USEF National Brentina Cup Dressage
Champion) rode Wizard in a freestyle that everyone - even in the relentless
rain - really enjoyed.
Im so excited, she said about the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding. It is only
my second time ever riding this freestyle. He was a lot more confident today
and he handled the atmosphere. Im very proud of him.
The pair scored 74.950% for their effort.
Lyle rode to a medley of country music including John Denvers Thank God Im a
Country Boy and the always popular: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.
Im a country fan, thats all I listen to, said Lyle. Were from Idaho, Im
allowed to do country. I thought it was youthful and fun.
Lyle is a disciple of two-time Olympian Debbie McDonald, and her
professionalism and maturity in the ring defy her age. Their freestyle was
difficult and technical, it included double pirouettes and piaffe
Sixth in Fridays Grand Prix (which had been postponed one day due to the
deluge on Thursday) Lyle and Wizard returned with a new purpose on Saturday
Fridays winner had to settle for second in the Freestyle, but Leslie Morse
and Tip Top 926 got to try out a rocking new freestyle.
Tip Top went later on in the class and Morse felt that perhaps the footing
deteriorated a little.
It wasnt slippery, but it was getting heavy, said Morse. It was a bit
tricky, especially on the centerline.
The 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion waltzed his way through the
sloppy footing to the tunes of Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox and The
Eurythmics. They still lead the Championship, which will conclude Sunday
with the Grand Prix Special.
Tip Top was so submissive and on the aids, he did everything I asked and he
did it with a smile on his face, said Morse of her freestyle which scored
Traditionally the Special is held before the Freestyle, but due to the
rescheduling because of the rain the two tests were swapped.
Morse, who owns Tip Top with Laura Petroff, will make some changes to the
new Freestyle now that she has had a chance to test drive it.
Local rider Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF rounded out the top three. The
Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist from the 2007 Pan American Games
used the same Billy Joel music as her small tour freestyle (which is a crowd
favorite) but added the more difficult Grand Prix movements.
The gutsy 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding is in his first year at Grand
Prix. There has been a lot of buzz around him as he has been very impressive
all spring, but Sammis is keeping it all in perspective.
Hes a green Grand Prix horse, she said. Today he went really well, but the
goal is still next year.
Bateson-Chandler Retains Lead in Intermediaire I Championship
The competition got wetter as the Intermediaire I Championship continued on
But Dea II showed even more brilliance in the Intermediaire I test, firmly
cementing her lead in the National Championship which concludes Sunday. The
11-year-old Hanoverian mare performed beautiful half passes and lateral work
for Katherine Bateson-Chandler and was rewarded for her efforts with a score
of 74.579%. In the heaviest of the rain of the class, Bateson-Chandler made
it clear that she wasnt giving anything away.
I was gritting my teeth determined, said Bateson-Chandler. I came up the
hill and saw Jans score and was determined to be on my game. I pushed every
movement she was awesome.
Bateson-Chandler was also fourth on Rutherford. Both horses are owned by
Jane Forbes Clark.
I was much happier with both horses today, said Bateson-Chandler. All season
she has been a little ahead of Rutherford, she is a little more confident in
Jan Brons and Teutobod put forth a seriously good challenge but it wasnt
quite good enough to take over the top spot. He remained second both in the
class and in the overall standings.
The horse did the best he could today, said Brons. He stepped up to the
Teutobod tried very hard for his mark of 74.526%, making the scores very
close at the end of two of the three legs which determine the National
Intermediaire I Dressage Championship.
Shelly Francis and Wig showed a very determined effort and were rewarded
with a much improved result from the Prix St. Georges on Friday. Their score
of 71.737% was good enough for third place.
I knew what I was up against, said Francis. I thought I had a chance if
Katherine made a mistake. This has been such a good competition and so much
All three of these riders have next falls Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
on the radar screen if all the pieces come together for them.
All three are such quality horses, said Jan.
The quality of the entire field was impressive, and Bateson-Chandler, who
came up through the ranks as a groom for Robert Dover, was proud of her
horses in such tough company.
Im honored to be in the company I am in, said Bateson-Chandler. This is a
huge deal for me.
The Intermediaire I Champion will be crowned tomorrow after the freestyle
Brentina Cup Honors Decided by 6/10ths of a Percent; Jocelyn Wiese Wins
In riding todays FEI Young Rider Grand Prix Test (which served as the second
half of their championship) the competition was so close in todays Brentina
Cup class that there was only a .5% spread between the top four riders.
This meant that even though 21-year-old Jocelyn Wiese and Lamborghini were
fourth in the second leg their score of 64.837% was good enough to secure
the overall title. This pair won the first leg of the Championship and their
overall average of 65.368% was just barely good enough to hold the lead over
Alyssa Eidbo and Johnny Cash.
My ride was very good today, said Weise. This test is more difficult for me
than the Brentina Cup test. There was some improvement in my one-tempis, I
was lucky enough to have enough of a lead coming in that I could have a
little leeway. I made a couple of mistakes but I was able to recover and
come out on top.
Eidbo didnt place as high as second in either leg of the Brentina Cup
Championship but her consistent performance with Johnny Cash prevailed.
The 19-year-old from Atlanta, GA was fourth on Thursday and third today,
slipping them into the Reserve Champion spot on a two-day total of 64.697%.
I wasnt expecting to be the Reserve Champion, she said. It was a nice
surprise. I had consistent rides. He did the ones and twos perfectly. I had
bobbles in the piaffe and the pirouette, but he was very consistent.
Eidbo heads to Auburn University in the fall as a pre-Vet major.
The individual class winner for the FEI Young Rider Grand Prix Test was
Lauren Sprieser and Clairvoya, who rebounded after the first round on
Thursday to use the win to move up the standings to fifth overall.
Riana Porter takes Top Honors in Soggy National Junior Dressage Championship
The Junior Championship was decided in the worst of the weather and, despite
brave efforts from all of the riders, it was 17-year-old Riana Porter who
was the best of the group after the two classes. Her two-day total score of
68.427% was good enough for the win.
My horse was perfect, said Porter about riding in the downpour. I thought
why me? But I didnt think I couldnt do it, weve done it before and rain isnt
an excuse for us. It went really well, maybe it didnt feel as well as it
Porter, who is going to be a senior in High School, rode Romax Foldager to a
very mature performance despite the conditions. The California rider made
her cross country trip worth the miles on the strength of her performance
We have come up through the levels together, said Porter about her beloved
Romax. We learned all the movements together.
Her score of 70.368% in the Individual test left her just clear of
yesterdays winner Lauren Knopp, who settled for second in the Individual
test and Reserve Champion overall.
I thought all the horses performed well, said Knopp about the footing. I was
maybe a little conservative in the extensions, but he was ready to go play
in the mud.
Knopp and Rho Dance were very consistent in their test but their score of
68.316% wasnt good enough to repeat yesterdays feat, their two day total
68.347% left them just behind Porter.
The 18-year-old just graduated from Wellington High School, and won the
first round of the Championship yesterday. She is planning on heading to the
FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships this summer.
Other highlights of the days program including a Vaulting demonstration and
a Para Equestrian freestyle.
For live scoring please see
http://www.usef.org/contentPage2.aspx?id=dressagefestival. For blogs and
photos please visit www.clubequestrian.com.
For more information, please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(R) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.