Aug. 24—Wayne, Ill.
As a top Grand Prix rider aboard the U.S.-bred Paragon, Heather Blitz knows the importance of supporting breeders in her home country, so it was no surprise when she topped the 6-year-old division at the Markel/U.S. Equestrian Federation Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships aboard Ripline, a U.S.-bred Danish Warmblood stallion.
“I was really impressed—I read through the program and at least half of the horses in each class are U.S.-bred and that’s huge,” she said of the championships. “It’s a lot more nice horses being bred in this country than we’ve ever had. I’m really encouraged by that.
“Today was what every horse trainer dreams of—you want your horse to peak at the right time and I just feel like today was his peak over the past 30 days,” she continued. “It’s a little bit of a guessing game and knowing your horse, but this time I managed it right and got him to peak. That was the best he’s ever been in the show ring for me, ever, and I’ve shown him since he was 4-years-old. Every hair on his body was obedient and listening and right there, not over the top, not under it, just right there.”
Ripline (Hotline—Riviera, Cavan) was bred by Blitz’s longtime supporters, Oak Hill Ranch. She co-owns him with the breeders and is proud to be riding a homebred.
“I’ve had him in training since he was 3 ½ and have loved every day of riding him,” said Blitz. “He develops very quickly and easily—he’s a great horse, a lot of future and talent for the big tour internationally I think, so it’s very exciting. He has so much to offer in rideability, personality and talent. He’s a very textbook and fun horse to ride and I wish more were bred just like him.”
Ripline is already schooling Prix St. Georges movements and Blitz hopes to move him into the developing Prix St. Georges division next year.
Keep Your Eyes Up
Bronwyn Cordiak’s preparation for the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final, 14-18, involved a lot of time on the lunge line without stirrups and it paid off as she topped the class with a 90.0 riding Dschingis Blue.
“I know that coming here, it’s a long class with a lot of really good riders with fabulous positions,” said Cordiak, 16. “My ride was good. I knew that it was hot and I wanted to keep her rested and prepared for the class. She did really well with the weather and I’m very proud of her.”
The high school junior from Argyle, Texas has partnered with the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare for about two years.
“We’ve just been going up the levels,” she said. “We started at training and first level and we’re now doing third level and juniors. She just keeps getting stronger and stronger. I’m so honored to be here with her today. She’s a very good show horse. Sometimes she can be kind of silly and mareish, but she loves to compete and I think it brings out the best in her. She’s just fabulous.”
After the warm up class on Friday where the judges gave personal comments to each of the riders, Cordiak tried to keep the mare more balanced in trot and keep her a bit more straight in her leg yields as she rode her pattern in the final.
The pattern featured a right leg yield away from the track, then a left leg yield back, and a tough diagnonal line with two changes of canter lead through trot, but it posed no problems for the pair.
“I constantly remind myself, ‘Look up, shoulders back, heels down, always giving with my hands,’ and always trying to look my best and give a smile,” said Cordiak. “Sometimes I tend to get a little intense-looking, but then I remind myself to smile and just try to be the best I can be.”
- Sabine Schut-Kery topped the developing horse Prix St. Georges aboard Sanceo, an 8-year-old Hanoverian stallion (San Remo—Rivera, Ramiro’s Son II) on a final score of 76.91%.
"You look to have all your ducks in a row, but in the end you don't know until you have them home," Schut-Kery said. "To me the most important part is the work ethic and the willingness, and this horse, as an example, has the biggest heart and the best work ethic and willingness. You just cannot know when you go and try them a couple times. You can get a feel for them and see the gaits, but it's always a little bit of playing poker, and you just hope it turns out."
- Check out videos of all the rides from Saturday and Sunday at USEFnetwork.com.
- For full results, visit FoxVillage.com.
- Check out the September 15 issue if The Chronicle for more action from the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage Championships.