A final group of champions' names was written in the history books on Sunday as the California Dressage Society Championship Show came to a close in Rancho Murieta, CA, with a roster full of new Great American/USDF and CDS Horse of the Year titles presented throughout the afternoon.
The final day of competition meant that the last coveted CDS Horse of the Year titles were up for grabs, and they would not be won easily. Whitney Harrington of Agoura Hills, CA won the Rubinstein Memorial Trophy for Adult Amateur Grand Prix with her charismatic Austrian gelding "Laredo 183" on a score of 65.798%. The Pelton Family Trophy for Open Intermediaire II was awarded to Olympian Hilda Gurney of Moorpark, CA riding Barbara Parkening's American Warmblood gelding "Gulliver" (66.316%), while in the Adult Amateur division, Tami Carter (Santa Rosa, CA) rode her Hanoverian gelding "Donnato" to the blue ribbon with a score of 64.342%. In the Intermediaire I Freestyle, Northridge CA's Sean Cunningham and "Luminence" (Trakehner gelding owned by Hilda Gurney) followed up yesterday's CDS Horse of the Year title for Open Intermediaire I with yet another win, earning the Lilian Van Dahn Trophy on a score of 71.563%.
In a fight for the CDS Open Training Level Horse of the Year honors, Rachel Wade of West Sacramento and the six-year-old Rheinlander mare "Cambria" scored a decisive win with an overall average of 76.214%, earning the highest marks from the judging panels in both rounds of competition to win the Peter and Bonnie Lert Perpetual Trophy for owner Joyce Nugent. Kim Frederick (Lincoln, CA) also rode to big scores with her Dutch Warmblood gelding "Caribbean Veluw", dominating both classes of the Adult Amateur Training Level championship to earn an overall 76.632% and claim the Melissa Creswick Perpetual Trophy. The Full Cry Perpetual Trophy for Adult Amateur First Level was awarded to Kristine Hegglin (Danville, CA) who swept both classes in her division with Carol Di Maggio's Oldenburg gelding "Rubin Ali" to finish with 72.294%. Jennifer Dainer (Pleasanton, CA) and her Dutch Warmblood gelding "Zeneth" proved to be unbeatable at Second Level for Adult Amateurs, first claiming the Great American/USDF title on Friday and now also the Two-Tone Malone Trophy for CDS Horse of the Year on an overall score of 67.862%. Adult amateur Charlotte Jorst of Reno, NV will need to make space in her trophy case for two more awards, as she won the Stanford Dressage Club Trophy for Third Level with Skagen Holdings' Hanoverian satllion "Wilkins" (72.172%), as well as the Fox Run Perpetual Trophy at Fourth Level with the Dutch gelding "Adventure" (73.997%). Leslie Webb of Bakersfield guided Sherry Tourino's Trakehner stallion "Eisenherz" to his second title of the weekend, taking home the Judith Elias Perpetual Trophy for CDS Open Third Level Horse of the Year with 71.638%.
Juniors and young riders also competed for top honors in their new CDS Horse of the Year divisions, offered for the first time this year. Leslie Ayers of Reno, NV earned the top spot in a competitive Training Level division to earn a winning average of 69.770% with her Dutch gelding "Eclipse DG", while the Hanoverian gelding named "Fein Style" did indeed carry his owner/rider Kate Douglas of Los Gatos, CA in fine style to victory at Second Level (65.840%). At Third Level, with Olivia Zeilinger from Danville, CA, and her Dutch Warmblood partner "Stentano" once again put together a winning performance on an overall two-test average score of 66.156%, and Jessica Pierce (Ramona, CA) topped the Fourth Level championship on a combined score of 61.653% with her Oldenburg gelding "Sterling".
Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 7 Championships also concluded today, with titles awarded at First, Fourth, and Intermediaire I levels, as well as for Young Riders. In a highly-competitive Open First Level Championship, the top five horse/rider combinations were within three points of each other, but ultimately emerging victorious was Karen Ball of Coto de Caza, CA riding Alan and Theresa Reese's five-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding "Calimero" to the top score of 72.903%. Juniors and Young Riders also contested First Level, with Kathy Van Camp's five-year-old Oldenburg gelding "Dax" looking like a new star under rider Riana Porter of Santa Rosa, CA, earning an impressive score of 73.710%. Bakersfield's Leslie Webb rode Harmony Sporthorses' Dutch mare "Harmony's Armani" to win the Open Fourth Level Regional Championship on a score of 73.500%, while Anne Seemann of Livermore, CA decisively won the Adult Amateur division aboard her Dutch Warmblood gelding "Veneciano" with 71.000%. In the Open Intermediaire I division, Sean Cunningham and "Luminence" earned their second victory of the day on a score of 69.737%, while in the Adult Amateur division, Sheryl Ross of Menlo Park, CA added a Regional Championship title to yesterday's CDS Horse of the Year victory by earning a score of 68.553% on her Danish gelding "Lancaster". Jaclyn Pepper of Santa Rosa, CA finished off her weekend with another win, this time with her NAYRC partner "Taboo" in the he Young Rider Team Test Championship (67.697%), and in the JR/YR Prix St. Georges division, Becca Hess (Calabasas, CA) rode her Hanoverian "Wonka" to the win on a score of 64.342%. Finally, In the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Final (13 and under division), Parish Richman of Monte Nido, CA continued her equitation winning streak with her Appendix Quarter Horse gelding "Maverick Ever So Clever" (75.000%). Already the recipient of multiple championships over the weekend, Quinn Lancaster (Coto de Caza, CA) added an equitation title to her resume by winning the 14-18 division with "Uganda" on 85.000%.
"I'm thrilled with the way this year's show has gone," said CDS President Kevin Reinig. "The facility here at Murieta Equestrian Center gets better every year, and I was so impressed by how all the show management, officials, and competitors worked together to keep the show going through some weather challenges. We had a terrific turnout of entries, outstanding quality of horses, and a great group of competitors with a great attitude and competitive spirit, all of which has made it a really fun show. I was also happy to see so many junior riders come to the show to take advantage of the new Horse of the Year divisions; I think the addition of these junior/young rider classes was a huge success and a great opportunity for the youth to compete here. All in all, the annual CDS Championships are always a great show, but this was above and beyond my expectations."
Complete daily results, schedules, and additional competition information about the California Dressage Society Championship Show is available on the CDS website, www.california-dressage.org.
The California Dressage Society, formed in 1967, is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering interest in dressage. It is one of the largest dressage organizations in the nation with more than 4,000 individual members in its 36 Chapters and a rich history of equestrian sport on the West Coast.