Wakeup and Pikko del Cerro Win 6-year Old and Developing Horse Champion's Title

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 11:37
2011 U.S. Young Dressage Horse Championship

Competition finished up Sunday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center as the top 6-year-olds and developing horses in the U.S. vied for top honors in the U.S. Young Horse Dressage Championship and U.S. Developing Horse Dressage Championships. While Pikko Del Cerro was the big leader in the Developing Horse Championship, Wakeup and Bon Chance tied for first place in the 6-year old U.S. Young Horse Championship, but Wakeup was given the title because he's American bred.

The U.S. Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International proved to be a showcase of both the U.S. breeding programs and the success of the Young Horse Dressage Program. Three of the horses that contested these Championships, including winner Pikko del Cerro HU, are U.S. bred, while seven are graduates of the Young Horse program.

Horses Unlimited's Pikko del Cerro HU (by Pik L out of Rohweena by Rohdiamant) claimed the championship with rider Lisa Wilcox (Loxahatchee, FL) after earning an overall score of 70.482%. In today's test which counted for 60% of the Championship score, the Hanoverian stallion again displayed the great ring presence he showed on Friday but appeared less settled in the Final Test resulting in a few miscues with Wilcox.

"I underestimated his condition, I didn't have him on my leg today." Of the horse's added enthusiasm today, Wilcox said, "He was a bit squirrely." They were the second-place finishers for today's Final Test with a score of 70.686. They also were awarded the highest U.S.- bred horse award for their performance over the weekend.

Pikko Del Cerro HU and Wilcox head to Gladstone, NJ, in two weeks to contest the 2011 National Intermediare I Championship and Selection Trials for the 2011 Pan American Games Dressage Team. Wilcox believes the 2009 6-year-old National Young Horse Dressage Champion is a star for the future.

"There is a lot of potential there; it's just a matter of unveiling it," she said. "There is a lot more trot and passage, he is definitely a Grand Prix horse."

The winner of today's Developing Horse Final Test was Pie (by Worldly out of World Lady by World Cup I) ridden by Caroline Roffman, who put in polished performance to score a 71.176%. Roffman collected Reserve Champion honors piloting her own Hanoverian gelding to an overall score of 69.653%.

Pie, who Roffman has had since he was 4 years old, has always been a bit of challenge - but the Wellington, FL,resident has kept at it because she believe the future shines brightly for him.

"He is very sensitive and emotional," she said. "He has developed very quickly and shows a lot of talent for the future." Roffman reflected about the Final Test, "Today he was a little tired which is out of character but he did everything I asked for."

Third place in both today's Final Test and the Championship went to Sharon McCusker and her own Wrigley (Son Deniro - Pinomia by Rohdiamont). The pair from Ashby, MA, scored a 70.196% in today's test and earned an overall score of 69.205%. The Dutch Warmblood gelding demonstrated an expressive trot today and executed quality flying changes.

McCusker is ecstatic with the way the powerful horse has matured this year and performed over the weekend. "I am thrilled with him. He has come on so well this year."

Judging the Final Test for the 2011 Developing Horse Dressage Championship were Jeanne McDonald, Linda Zang and Maryal Barnett.

WakeUp and Bon Chance Tie on First Place in 6-year old Championship

The Final Test for U.S. Young Horse Dressage Championship 6-year-old division, again judged by McDonald, Zang and Barnett, was the final class of these Championships. And in a fitting end to fabulous weekend that showcased the best up-and-coming horses in the country, top honors were left up for the taking until the final horse of the day.

Emily Wagner and her own American Warmblood stallion Wakeup (Wagnis - Maiden Montreal by Macho), the winners of Friday's Preliminary Test, were the last pair to compete. They trotted their way to third place in the Final Test scoring an 8.64, which earned them an overall score of 8.736. Four horses earlier, Roffman rode her own Bon Chance (Bellisimom - SPH Wintersong DE by Weltmeyer) to an impressive score of 8.88 in the Final Test. With scores from Friday's test counting for 40% of the overall, Bon Chance finished on a score of 8.736.
After consolation of the rules and procedures, Wakeup was crowned U.S. Young Horse Dressage Championship for the 6-year-old division, as in the result of a tie for National Champion or Reserve Champion, the U.S.-bred horse prevails.

Wagner (La Cygne, KS) was pleased with her horse's performance in today's test, for which he earned a 9.0 for submission and 8.7 for General impressions.

"I was really happy with him," Wagner said. "Today, the thing was he was tired. At the end of a five-day horse show, he was just lacking flair. His flying changes and half pass were great."

For the third time in the week, Roffman claimed Reserve Champion honors.

"I am so happy, you don't dream that will ever happen," Roffman said. "I hoped to get one Championship or Reserve throughout the weekend. I am on cloud nine."

Bon Chance, last year's 5-year-old Young Horse Dressage Champion, displayed a ground covering walk, for which he scored a 9.2, and a phenomenal uphill canter which was rewarded with an 8.8. The canter score would have been significantly higher without mistakes in the flying change.

However, Roffman was elated with the Hanoverian gelding, who obviously loves the limelight of the championship stage. "He shows off, he loves to do this. He's always fun to ride; ambitious, fun and spirited. He's everything."

Third place overall was awarded to Faye Woolfe's Aesthete (Trento B - Unusual by Gribaldi), who earned an overall 8.728. Silva Martin (Unionville, PA) guided the lovely KWPN gelding to a score of 8.8 in the Final Test, earning them second place in today's class.

The winner of the 4-year-old division in 2009, earned scores of 8.7, 8.8 and 8.9 for the walk, trot and canter respectively today and was rewarded for his expressive movement with a general impression score of 8.8. Martin was pleased with the horse throughout the weekend.

"He couldn't have gone better," she said, "I have a fabulous horse."

Scott Hassler, USEF Young Horse Dressage Coach, has been involved with this program since 2005 and was extremely impressed with the week's competition and the talent and diligence displayed. "There was no clear winner coming into the Championships. You really had to ride and work for it."

Hassler also was supportive of the process to break the tie. "I think the rule where we pick the American horse over the European is the right thing."

Wagner was also completely supportive of the program that allowed for horses to be scored closely, as it is a chance to recognize all the effort put in to training.

"It is cool, the two best horses should tie. I've known Caroline throughout Young Riders and she works so hard. Silva works so hard. So it's great."

-- USEF Press release
Photos © Chuck Swan - Mary Phelps - www.phelpsphotos.com

Complete coverage of the 2011 U.S. Young Horse Championships on Dressagedaily.com

Related Links
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