On the first day of competition for the 6-Year-Old Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship, Wakeup and Emily Wagner won the Preliminary test with an 8.88. In the Championship test today, Bon Chance and Caroline Roffman won with an 8.88. But that wasn’t the only similarity of scores between the two horses; they also managed to finish with exactly the same overall number—an 8.736.
The tie had to be broken, and when it was Wakeup and Emily Wagner were declared the champions for a simple reason—the stallion was born and bred in the United States.
“It’s almost cool that it happened that way because I know Caroline from Young Riders, and we’ve been around each other for a long time it seems like. And everyone wants to have the ride of their life here and do the best at the most important shows. Everyone tries so hard and wants to do so well. They are two really good horses, so why not let them tie?” said Wagner, 23. “It’s cool they break it for the U.S. horse because I think that’s what the program is meant to do is promote breeding in the U.S.”
While Wakeup wasn’t the best today (he was third in the Championship test), he still impressed the judges with his gaits and willingness. The American Warmblood (Wagnis— Maiden Montreal, Macho) earned an 8.5 for trot, 8.5 for walk, 8.5 for canter, 9.0 for submission and 8.7 for general impression. His score today was an 8.64.
“We think he’s a really super horse,” reported the judges from today’s panel. “He maintained the cadence of the trot well in the medium, extended and collected paces.”
The judges (Linda Zang, Maryal Barnett and Jeanne McDonald) did remark that Wakeup looked a little more tired today, and Wagner, La Cygne, Kan., reflected that she felt that in the ring.
“I was very happy with Wakeup,” Wagner said. “He felt super in warm-up, really on the bridle, and then he was just a little tired in the ring. It’s the end of a five-day show, and he was tired. I didn’t have the flair that I could have, but he did everything I asked of him. He was just super; changes were super on the aid and his contact stayed the same the whole time.”
Wagner is graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in biology in December and then plans to head for Lilo Fore’s farm in California for intensive training.
Roffman, 22, was thrilled with the 6-Year-Old reserve title—her third reserve championship of the show. She was also second in the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship on Pie and second in the 5-year-old division with San City.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “You don’t dream of that happening. I’m on cloud nine. I have a really super team behind me helping make it all happen.”
Roffman, who rides with Lars Petersen in Wellington, Fla., and just started her own business with Endel Ots, won last year’s 5-year-old title with Bon Chance. Today he picked up scores of 9.2 for the walk, 9.0 for trot, 8.8 for canter, 8.5 for submission and 8.9 for general impression.
“He’s a very special horse,” Roffman said. “He’s really talented and loves to show off. He’s any rider’s dream, I think.”
Silva Martin and Faye Woolf’s Aesthete were second in the Championship test and third overall with a final score of 8.728. “Stately” earned a 9.0 for submission, 8.7 for general impression, and then an 8.5 for his walk, trot and canter. “That was a very nice test today,” said the judging panel. “We were happy to see you had more control over his hind legs in the canter today.”
Pikko Del Cerro HU Picks Up Developing Horse Title
Lisa Wilcox was worried she wasn’t going to have enough horse left for the Developing Horse Championship test. But when Pikko Del Cerro HU was bouncing around the ring during the awards ceremony after winning the overall championship, she realized she had plenty.
“He was really energetic today,” said Wilcox, of Wellington, Fla. “I think I sort of underestimated his condition. At home we do 45 minutes of walking every evening, and he’s put on a good condition on him. I thought in the awards ceremony on Friday he was a little subdued. I took him out and got him right on my leg after that, but I didn’t have him right on my leg today. He was a little squirrely, ticklish, hot. I had to work a little harder."
Wilcox’ work paid off however, with the Dutch Warmblood (Pik L—Rohweena, Rohdiamant) stallion taking second in the class (70.68%) and the overall championship (70.48%). Roffman and her Hanoverian (Worldly—World Lady, World Cup I) Pie won today’s test with a 71.17 percent, giving them a total of 69.65 percent.
Wilcox is hoping the 8-year-old, owned by Horses Unlimited, will one day take the Grand Prix ring by storm. “He’s got a lot of potential, and I haven’t unveiled it all,” she said. “I’m getting wonderful glimpses of passage.”