Inaugural U.S. Dressage Finals Set to Begin 7 - 10 November 2013

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 08:16
2013 U.S. Dressage Finals

Final entries are in and horse vans have already begun arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY for the inaugural 2013 U.S. Dressage Finals, the first national head-to-head competition of its kind showcasing riders and horses competing for top honors at all dressage levels from Training to Grand Prix as well as musical freestyles, to be held November 7 - 10, 2013. 

Competition will be fierce across 24 championship classes. More than 300 entries were received representing all nine United States Dressage Federation (USDF) regions and including riders from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels, including adult amateurs, professionals, and High Performance riders.

Adult amateur rider Krista Nordgren is traveling from her home in South Portland, Maine to compete her 17-year-old Danish Warmblood Schando (by Schwadroneur) at Prix St. Georges and Intermediate I.  "I had heard about the Dressage Finals and declared on a whim before the Region 8 Championships," Nordgren said.  "It was a huge surprise when I qualified!  I talked it over with my husband and coach, and they encouraged me to go, calling it 'the experience of a lifetime'."  Nordgren's friends and family will also attend the event to cheer her on, including her parents, coach, husband, and young son.  "I have no expectations, but for me it's not about winning anyway," she explained.  "My joy will be in fulfilling a dream of competing at the Horse Park, and competing on a championship stage that few amateur athletes will be as fortunate as me to experience.  I can't wait to get there."

Driving more than 16 hours to Kentucky from the opposite direction as Nordgren is Grand Prix rider Anna Whitfield Watkins of Moody, Texas, who can hardly wait to embark on her Finals journey after an injury jeopardized her riding career.  "Just a year ago I was getting out of the hospital from having major spinal surgery, and was not certain that I would be able to ride competitively ever again," said Watkins.  "But I'm back in the saddle and was thrilled to win my Region 9 Championship classes and secure invitations to come to Kentucky!  I am so excited to come and participate in this inaugural event."  Watkins will ride her Westfalian bred Cipriani (by Casparino) in the Open Intemediate II Championship and her Dutch warmblood Oublette (by Amulet) at Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle.

"I am very excited about this week's US Dressage Finals," said USDF President George Williams.  "I'm overwhelmed by the response from U.S. riders who are traveling from across the country to attend this inaugural competition, the support of our sponsors, and the expertise of our staff and organizing committee in making this event a reality.  I'm proud to be a part of it."

To learn more about the US Dressage Finals visit the official event website at

Photo © Mary Phelps

Related Links
USDF Board Approved 2013 U.S. Dressage Finals
Dates and Locations for 2013 USDF Regional Championships Announced
2013 U.S. Dressage Finals Management Team Announced