Gluch, Frederick, Hickok on Top after First Day at 2015 U.S. Youth Riders Championships

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 12:37
2015 U.S. Dressage Championships

On Friday 21 August 2015, 29 combinations kicked off the 2015 U.S. Dressage Championships for pony, junior, young and Under 25 riders at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. On the first day of competition three tests were contested: the FEI Young Rider Team Test, the FEI Junior Team Test, and the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Test with Kerrigan Gluch, Mickayla Frederick and Chase Hickok topping the leader board.

Gluch Tops Young Rider Team Test

It has been five years since Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) performed in a competition at Lamplight Equestrian Center when she appeared in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals as a 13-year-old. She showed her development as her and Hampton Green Farm’s PRE Vaquero HGF had a consistent ride to lead the Young Rider division with a 69.290%. They executed smooth half-passes and were fluid through the bend, which Gluch says has always been a difficulty.

“I thought the test felt the best it ever has in the show ring; everything we talked about yesterday, and in the warm-up this morning, I thought about it and did everything I was supposed to do. Everything was really consistent today; that was our main goal. Our bend has always been an issue and today it felt really nice. I would have liked his canter to feel a little more fluid, but overall, I was really pleased with him,” said Gluch.

A mere four-thousandth of a point separated Gluch from second-place finisher Catherine Chamberlain (Murrieta, Calif.). New to Young Rider National Championships, her and Kimberly Pribble’s KWPN Avesto Van Weltervreden had good trot and canter work and executed smooth pirouettes for a score of 69.254%. As a horse that has not always been consistent in the Young Rider tests, Chamberlain was thrilled with today’s performance.

“I was really happy with my ride. I didn’t have any major mistakes and thought everything went pretty well. Now, it’s just cleaning up the details and making sure I am very concise with the pattern,” said Chamberlain.

Following in third place was Natalie Pai (Wellington, Fla.) and Melanie Pai’s Fritz San Tino with a 66.14%. For a duo that struggles with the fours, Pai and Fritz San Tino excelled at them today. They added a successful trot tour to highlight their test.

Mickayla Frederick Wins Junior Team Test

Mickayla Frederick (Johnston, Iowa) and her and Robert Susa’s Hanoverian Wrainier Q came out strong today and excelled in the trot and the half-passes to take first place in the FEI Junior Team Test of the Junior division with a score of 70.315%. Frederick was happy with the test, but recognizes the need for improvement.

“I thought my test went great overall. I definitely see room for improvement in overall suppleness and straightness,” said Frederick.

Trailing Frederick by three points for second place was Tillie Jones (Lincoln, Neb.) and her own Danish Warmblood Boegelys Mauricio with a score of 67.658%. Boegelys Maurico and Jones came to the ring relaxed, but struggled a bit in his half-passes.

“My horse did very well on being light and supple. I think I may need to work on my half-passes,” said Jones.

Coming in third was Pony Rider veteran Kristen Counterman (Ashburn, Va.) and Caroline Stephens’ KWPN Three Times with a 67.342%. They had a little trouble with the trot, as it was not as supple as Counterman would have liked. However, they showed off nice canter work with big, expressive changes.

Chase Hickok Wins Under 25 Short Grand Prix

Although Chase Hickok (Wellington, Fla.) noticed tension with Hyperion Farm.’s KWPN Sagacious HF before heading into the arena, she masterly managed the apprehension and executed the Short Grand Prix Test beautifully to take first place with a 67.186%. They demonstrated nice extensions, which Hickok says is not always a highlight for him, and a fluid canter tour. However, they struggled a bit with their trot zig-zag.

“I can go in there [arena] and always seem to nail the changes. It’s a confidence builder for me. I always have to work on the piaffe with my horse to make it better, but other than that, I was pretty happy with that. The half-pass could have been better, otherwise I try to put a lot of energy into my canter tour because that is what really seems to shine with my horse,” said Hickok.

Sierra Keasler (Wellington, Fla.) and Caroline Roffman’s Danish Warmblood Lux Stensvang were not far behind Hickok and Sagacious HF as they took second with 66.465%. They executed a test with good changes, but were inconsistent with the canter and pirouette work. Rounding out the top three was Kate Peper (Gainesville, Fla.) and her own Russian Warmblood Akela with a 63.233%.

“My second pirouette could have been better, and I struggled a bit with the piaffe- passage, keeping the power and keeping the energy throughout the transitions. That is what I was really trying to focus on today. However, the last passage was a great feeling for me,” said Keasler.

Photos © Sue Stickle

Related Links
Scores 2015 U.S. Youth Riders Championships
America's Young Riders Convene for 2015 U.S. Dressage Championships