While rule changes are the focus of the annual U.S. Equestrian Federation meeting, it’s also a rare opportunity for horseman from all different backgrounds to get together and talk about issues that affect all horses.
Christopher Hickey came out prepared to lay it all on the line in his Intermediaire freestyle with Regent. A true duel for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Intermediaire I Championship developed after Hickey and Lauren Sammis each won a class, but Hickey had his heart set on winning.
Darkening skies greeted Courtney King as she entered the ring for her Grand Prix freestyle with Idocus, but her focus never wavered, and the pair went on to earn their highest score ever of 78.00 percent.
While that was more than enough to give her the freestyle win over Steffen Peters and Lombardi (76.40%), King couldn’t quite catch him for the overall Grand Prix title. The freestyle only counts 20 percent in the calculation for Grand Prix Champion.
Brian O’Connor announced Courtney King and Idocus’ score of 71.76 percent in the Grand Prix Special at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Championship just as Steffen Peters and Lombardi 11 entered the ring, and Peters knew he was going to have to ride better than the day before to best her.
It was close, very close. Peters actually ended up tying with King, and the collective marks broke the tie. King scored five 8s for her position, but Peters received four 8s and a 9, so that may have been the tie-breaker.
Steffen Peters was in the hunt for his second National Grand Prix Championship in a row at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships. He went straight to the top of the leaderboard with this winning Grand Prix test aboard Lombardi 11 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., on June 14.
Last year Peters piaffed to victory aboard Floriano, but this year he passaged into first place (70.41%) with Lombardi over Kristina Harrison-Naness on Rociero XV (67.95%) and Michael Barisone and Neruda (67.45%).