Roffman and Hafner Score National Titles on Final Day of 2012 U.S. Championships
The 2012 U.S. Dressage Championships came to a close Sunday with National Champions being crowned in Intermediaire I and Under 25 “Brentina Cup” competition in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena in Gladstone, NJ. Intermediaire I Freestyles and the Under 25 Grand Prix were presented to the Ground Jury of Lois Yukins, Hilda Gurney, Jane Weatherwax, Axel Steiner and Janet Foy.
Caroline Roffman followed up her 2011 “Brentina Cup” win with the 2012 U.S. Intermediaire I title. Brian Hafner claimed his first National Championship in the “Brentina Cup” Championship.
Roffmann Wins Intermediaire I Championship
Roffman (Wellington, FL) and Pie narrowly missed sweeping the three tests of Intermediaire I Championship; placing third in Sunday’s Freestyle but scored a decisive victory in the National Championship. Their score of 73.925% counted for the remaining 15% of her championship average of 74.535%.
The 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding was competing in only his second Freestyle and Roffman felt he picked-up for her on Sunday in the test set to the music of Britney Spears and Katy Perry.
“It’s his second Freestyle ever and it’s the first time I’ve done that particular one, so probably not the best preparation today. He was better than I was today and if you’re both not going to be on then it’s better he’s the good one. So how could I be upset.”
Heading into Sunday’s final test, Roffman knew that she had a good cushion in the championship standings.
“I figured if I finished decently then I had a prayer. I figured if I could finish and do it half decently then there might be a good chance [of winning].”
David Blake finished second in both the Freestyle and the Intermediaire Championship with Teresa Simmons’ Royal Prinz, earning 75.225% today and finishing on an overall total of 72.353%. The 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding performed a powerful test in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena set to the song “Rock Opera”.
Blake (Encinitas, CA) was pleased with his horse’s effort in the Freestyle and throughout the weekend.
“Today we pushed it a bit and had some fun, he usually livens up a bit with the music. He was very good,” said Blake. “Obviously you would like to win but second is pretty good.”
Heather Mason and her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Warsteiner, were the winners of the Freestyle with 75.75% and finished third in the championship on a score of 71.827%. Mason (Lebanon, NJ) has shown numerous times at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions but her 2012 performance is her biggest score to date.
“He was very good, very solid; his pirouettes were very good,” Said Mason. “This is a very nice finish to the weekend. “
Brain Hafner Wins “Brentina Cup”
In Young Adult “Brentina Cup” competition Brian Hafner (Penngrove, CA) proved unbeatable as he claimed his second blue ribbon of the weekend on his way to earning his first National Championship. On Sunday, he rode his own and Rebecca Hafner’s Lombardo LHF to a score of 69.860% to finish the championship on an average of 70.264%.
Hafner has had the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, since the horse was four and they have come up the ranks together. They came to Gladstone on top of the National Brentina Cup Ranking List and delivered on expectations.
“It’s been such a long road, even this past year competing and qualifying has been a dream come true.”
The 23-year-old was very pleased with his horse’s performance but believes that Lombardo has yet to show his best.
“There’s just small mistakes that need cleaning up, so there’s potential to be better. Overall I’m really happy how solid he’s been and at this competition. He’s been so steady for both tests,” Said Hafner. “I’m fortunate to have such a great horse. Once we get everything a little more polished he’s going to be a great horse.”
Heather Ann Beachem was making her third trip to the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and produced her best performance in 2012. The Alpharetta, GA native and her own Windsong cruised to a score of 67.651% in Sunday’s FEI Young Rider Grand Prix Test to place third in the class on her way to collecting Reserve Champion honors. In 2011, Beachem rode the now 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding to third place in the National Championship.
Beachem was very pleased with her improvement over the years and believes the Young Adult “Brentina Cup” requirements suit her horse.
“I came here three-years ago and didn’t do so great. Each year it has gotten better,” said Beachem. “He loves the piaffe, he likes the ones. He’s a special little horse.”
Placing third in the National Championship was Mary Cameron Rollins and her Rose Noir 2 on an average of 68.374. Rollins (Wellington, FL) and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare scored 69.209% in Sunday’s test to place second in the class.
Rollins was competing in her first year of Young Adult “Brentina Cup” competition and was thrilled with her result.
“This I think was my sixth test today. I’m pretty happy to be sitting where I am right now.”
Photos © Sue Stickle