Young Riders, Juniors And Ponies Take Over At U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions

Jun 13, 2014 - 9:55 AM

June 13—Gladstone, N.J.

The young riders began the day in the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship in the pouring rain at 8 a.m. at the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions.

Anna Buffini and Sundayboy

Anna Buffini was full of praise for Sundayboy after their winning ride in the Young Rider Team Test. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Devon Wycoff and Power Play

The rain may have thrown some competitors for a loop, but not Devon Wycoff and Power Play. Wycoff says the inclement weather had no effect on the pair’s performance, posting a score of 67.18 percent to take third place in the Young Rider Team test. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Jaclyn Pepper and Taboo

Jaclyn Pepper was able to ignore heavy rain and a stock tie malfunction to place fourth in the Young Rider Team test with Taboo. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Eleni Econopouly and Dauphine of Belair

Dauphine of Belair doesn’t allow her mane to be braided, so Eleni Econopouly came up with a unique hairstyle solution. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Wet, wet, wet

The young riders soldiered on through very wet conditions. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Then the juniors took over the ring for the Junior Team test in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship.

Allison Cyprus and Madoc Gareth

Allison Cyprus rode a lovely test aboard Welsh Cob Madoc Gareth to win. He competed with full feathers, and his browband was a perfect complement to his heart-shaped star. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Feivel Rears

Bebe Davis had a difficult start on her first junior ride when Feivel Mousekewitz, a horse Davis says is usually unflappable, took exception to a cameraman covered in a rain cloth. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Feivel Is Good

But Davis persevered and finished her test with Feivel Mousekewitz in good form. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Bebe Davis and Rotano

And Feivel Mousekewitz’s barnmate, Rotano, brightened Davis’ day by trotting into second place. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Cassie Schmidt and Velasquer

Cassie Schmidt said today’s class was her first experience riding Velasquer in the rain, but it didn’t stop the pair from taking third in the Junior Team test with a score of 68.02 percent. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Fashion Forward

Cameron Dauterive sported a fashionable shadbelly in her Junior Team test aboard Don Giovanni. Photo by Sara Lieser.

Kristin Counterman and Billy

At 22, Bellinger is the oldest horse showing at the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions, and Kristin Counterman, at 13, is one of the youngest. Photo by Sara Lieser.

The sun came out for the pony riders, who rode the Pony Rider Team Test today, which will count as half of their score for the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship.


Finishing at the top of the pony pack is nothing new for Poldy 10, who won the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions Pony Rider Team test in 2012 with Bebe Davis, but it was Katrina Sadis who took the reins for today’s winning ride in the very same division, scoring almost a full 4 points above the next highest competitor with a 70.38 percent. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Hanna Benne

 Hanna Benne said her pony Helluva Dream Maker was a bit lazy today, but he pulled through notheless to post a score 66.56 percent, taking second place in the Pony Team test, and Benne has high hopes for a perkier pony for Sunday’s competition. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Jessica Fan

Jessica Fan said precocious pony tendencies aside, Madoc Prince Phillip tried his heart out for her in the ring to score a 65.94 percent, good enough for third place in the Pony Rider Team test. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Eva Larsen

Eva Larsen gave her pony Laffran Sponti a big hug after their test. Unfortunately, she was eliminated for carrying her whip in the ring. Kristin Counterman was also eliminated for wearing plain rowel spurs, which are not legal for pony competition. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Only one rider in the Intermediaire I, Sara Spofford-Bilinski aboard Lagrima, got to compete today due to heavy thunderstoms that came through. The Intermediaire I has been rescheduled for tomorrow. Competition resumes at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.

Find full scores on

Read all the Chronicle’s coverage from the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions.


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