(Excerpt from the Yellow Horse Marketing Press Release of Nov 8, 2013)
Thirty-Year Wait is Over as First National Titles Are Awarded at Inaugural US Dressage Finals Presented By Adequan®
For the first time in almost 30 years, national titles for adult amateur and open dressage riders from Training Level to Grand Prix were presented today at the inaugural US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. A full day of intense competition extended into a festive evening as special celebrations were held to mark this historic event.
During the first set of awards ceremonies at midday, EMILY WAGNER (La Cygne, KS, qualified in Region 2) thoroughly enjoyed her victory lap around the Alltech Arena after topping 20 other competitors in the Intermediate I Open Championship. Wagner was aboard her longtime partner and U.S.-bred American Warmblood stallion “WAKE-UP“ (Wagnis x Maiden Montreal by Macho, bred by Beverly McLean Tetrick/Red Mare Farm) to earn a winning score of 72.412%. “It was a thrill to ride in that ring today,” Wagner said. “This venue is just amazing for this event.” Just a month ago Wagner and “WakeUp” were at the Kentucky Horse Park for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by the Dutta Corp., where they placed third overall in the Intermediaire I division. Even as she debated making another 10-hour trip to Lexington, Wagner knew she had to come. “I wanted to support it, and I think everyone should want to be here,” she explained. “The Regional Championships have always been our biggest event of the year, but now with the Finals I think it’s fun to be able to showcase all the hard work that everyone’s done throughout the year and then bring it together for a national event; I think that’s important for the sport.”
International rider, trainer, coach and “S” judge Kathy Connelly was the official commentator for USEF Network coverage, and she was impressed by what she saw from the Adult Amateur classes. “This is a huge accomplishment just to be here,” she noted. “We have seen some spectacular performances today, and I am very impressed with the quality of the riding.”
A huge crowd gathered at the Alltech Arena for a “Taste of the Bluegrass” dinner and evening festivities, including opening ceremonies and a special presentation by USDF President George Williams to unveil and dedicate the new Janine Westmoreland Malone Perpetual Trophy, to be presented by USDF at the US Dressage Finals for the Adult Amateur Prix St. Georges Champion. Spectators then enjoyed Grand Prix championship competition as both adult amateurs and open riders competed for the nation’s top honors in each division.
Competition resumes Saturday at 8:00am ET as ten new Finals champions will be crowned throughout the day. Follow the action through updates on the USDF Facebook page and the US Dressage Finals website, as well as watch live online streaming of Saturday evening freestyle competition on the popular USEF Network (www.usefnetwork.com). To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.