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Sonesta
Sep. 27, 2011, 10:41 AM
These two stories just posted in the Houston Dressage Society newsletter and I thought it important enough to repost them here (and they come on the heels of the news that a Texas rider, Allie Cyprus, won the FEI Pony Championships at Gladstone Festival of Champions):

FIRST STORY:

Texas Riders Make Clean Sweep at Lamplight
By Rebekah Wesatzke

The 2011 USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals were held Aug. 26 to 28 at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. Two riders from Region 9, both from Texas, and both Houston Dressage Society members, competed.

Bronwyn Cordiak of Dallas, TX competed in the 13 and under division, Marlena Kurz of San Antonio, TX competed in the 14 and over division. Both riders won their division and took home the championship and the Gold Medals.

Bronwyn competed on a borrowed horse from Grand Prix Equestrian. She rode Sarasenna GP to a score of 78% and demonstrated a solid lower leg with a soft rein contact. Bronwyn regularly trains with Paige Windham and Bert Von Hassler.

Marlena also competed on a borrowed horse owned by Stephanie Fettig. She rode Ode to a score of 84% and demonstrated effortless transitions with a soft and consistent contact and correct seat. Marlena spent the summer as a working student for Rebekah Wesatzke in preparation for the competition.

The judges for both divisions were Janet Foy, Christel Carlson, and Michael Osinski. Both girls received so much support from their families, friends, trainers and new friends that supplied them with their mounts for the show. Neither girl would have accomplished their national wins without all the generosity. It really does take a village!

And as the competition came to an end, there were a lot of people wondering “Who are those girls from Texas?” What a great end to a great weekend - a clean sweep by the girls from Texas in the National Dressage Seat Medal Finals!

SECOND STORY

Wentz Leads 2011 Para-Equestrian Dressage National
Championships By Helen Murray

Saugerties, NY – A blast of autumn greeted riders on the second day of 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships as temperatures dropped to near 40 degrees overnight. The cool weather did not stop the best Para-Equestrian competitors in the U.S. from achieving strong scores in their Freestyles. Competitors from the five different grades (athletes are graded based on the severity of their disability) of Para-Equestrian Dressage are vying for the National Championship title.

Jonathan Wentz, a member of the Kentucky Equine Research U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, heads the field in the National Championship with his WEG partner, NTEC Richter Scale.

Wentz (Richardson, TX), who has two rides in the Grade 1b division, used the experience he gained last year in Kentucky. He rode his coach Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale to a score of 71.515% in Friday’s Team Test, which counts for 40% of the overall score, and produced an eye-catching Freestyle today to score 71%. Wentz will try to maintain his lead in tomorrow’s finale, the Individual Test.
Wentz found that his experience at last year’s WEG has served him well: “You know what the judges are looking for,” he said. “At WEG I learned how to fight for it and read the judges’ sheets and work on what they were looking for.”

In the Freestyle test which counts for 20% of the cumulative score, Wentz demonstrated smooth transitions and increased the degree of difficulty within the test by riding shoulder-in and intricate figures. The free-flowing test was only hampered by a bobble in the walk.

“Richter was great, he performed absolutely how I was hoping he would. The mistake was mine in the free walk.”

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 10:46 AM
I guess it depends on what you qualify as a "step child" in dressage, in the USA. I mean, it's not like TX is producing Olympic riders.

Not taking anything away from the achievements of those you've mentioned, it's just the title of your post that has me scratching my head.

amm2cd
Sep. 27, 2011, 11:05 AM
I guess it depends on what you qualify as a "step child" in dressage, in the USA. I mean, it's not like TX is producing Olympic riders.


Velvet, I think the same could be said for the majority of these United States...

Dressage has really grown in Texas since I started showing there. It's nice to see region 9 has become competitive on the national level.

Sonesta
Sep. 27, 2011, 11:09 AM
Velvet, there have been many snide remarks over the years about "Texas dressage." Implication being that being competitive in Texas was just not worth bragging about.

Jessica Ransenhousen even made the comment in a clinic in Texas a few years ago to a competitor that "Unless your only goal is to be competitive in Texas, you need to....."

So, I am very pleased to see this national recognition.

Maybe not producing any Olympic riders, yet....

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 11:27 AM
Jessica Ransenhousen even made the comment in a clinic in Texas a few years ago to a competitor that "Unless your only goal is to be competitive in Texas, you need to....."



I'm not so sure that was a bad comment to make. I mean, most people only have aspirations to win in their area. They don't think big. Or they think that the big guys in their local area are the best and the ones to emulate, and often that's not true. Sometimes people are only winning due to lack of competition, not due to any great skills.

I grew up in an area and at a time when I was thinking that riders in my little pond were actually great. Then I left and started working for other people in other parts of the country and realized they were not. They were the best we had in our area. They weren't great.

So her comment is probably just reality.

It sounds like things are getting better and people are doing well. Next step is to push past the US and start having riders compete successfully in Europe. :D One step at a time. With all the horses in TX, it's going to happen sometime. The only thing that's been holding TX back is the same thing that holds a lot of other parts of the country back. It's the fact that the people with money bring in the good trainers/clincians and either horde them for their own purposes, or they only bring in people who will tell them they are wonderful even when they ride horribly. As long as they ride well enough to win locally, some of the rich people don't care.

Get those young riders geared up and connected up so they can go get a job as a WS for some top trainers here and in Europe. Then beg them to come back home and teach. :yes:

leilatigress
Sep. 27, 2011, 11:35 AM
I agree it's a big step and dressage really has come a long way in Texas. DD has been at this almost 4 years now and in that time the dressage scene has at least decided to show up. We're not there yet but we're getting there and it's about damn time!

meupatdoes
Sep. 27, 2011, 02:05 PM
Well, Lurena Bell was qualified for the Pan Am games until an unfortunate injury kept her horse out, if my understanding is correct.

So there are apparently some people who can ride worth a hill of beans in TX.

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 02:32 PM
Mopey, where do you hear these things?

This was the list that was published immediately following the selection at Collecting Gaits. Didn't she compete in the GP only?

http://usef.org/_IFrames/newsdisplay/viewPR.aspx?id=7599&star=true

Kadenz
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:02 PM
Well, Lurena Bell was qualified for the Pan Am games until an unfortunate injury kept her horse out, if my understanding is correct.

So there are apparently some people who can ride worth a hill of beans in TX.

This isn't accurate. She may have qualified for and been invited to the selection trials, but she did not compete in the trials at Gladstone, and therefore cannot have been qualified for the Pan Ams.

Equibrit
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:02 PM
Didn't Jessica Blackmon win that (seat thingy) too ?

meupatdoes
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:21 PM
This isn't accurate. She may have qualified for and been invited to the selection trials, but she did not compete in the trials at Gladstone, and therefore cannot have been qualified for the Pan Ams.

I wasn't talking about this year.

This was several years ago as far as I know.

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:28 PM
I wasn't talking about this year.

This was several years ago as far as I know.

Oh man, I'm SO glad I forgot to login and use my ignore today. :lol:

How could she have qualified for this Pan Am team YEARS ago????

Kadenz
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:48 PM
Doesn't look to me like Lurena Bell competed at the 2007 or 2003 Festivals of Champions either. Must've been a long-ago Pan Am team that she almost-qualified for.

I don't know this person at all; I just looked up the entry lists and her scores and I don't see when she was competitive enough to have been on a PanAm team. That doesn't preclude her being a good rider; I just wish people would be a *little* more specific when touting their supposed achievements. Especially when it's so easy to verify.

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 03:52 PM
Doesn't look to me like Lurena Bell competed at the 2007 or 2003 Festivals of Champions either. Must've been a long-ago Pan Am team that she almost-qualified for.

I don't know this person at all; I just looked up the entry lists and her scores and I don't see when she was competitive enough to have been on a PanAm team. That doesn't preclude her being a good rider; I just wish people would be a *little* more specific when touting their supposed achievements. Especially when it's so easy to verify.

Well, we don't know that she has touted the accomplishment that Mopey is claiming. Mopey said she's "heard" it somewhere. So, I would blame Mopey with confusing riders and facts.

cnm161
Sep. 27, 2011, 04:18 PM
There have been a couple prior dressage seat medal winners from Tx. Rachel Campbell ('06), Jessica Blackmon ('05). Sorry, I don't remember which age category.

Furthermore, Claire Darnell represented TX well at Gladstone.


Oh man, I'm SO glad I forgot to login and use my ignore today. :lol:

How could she have qualified for this Pan Am team YEARS ago????


That's not even something anyone said...

leilatigress
Sep. 27, 2011, 04:41 PM
http://www.centerlinescores.com/Rider/Details/52916 Centerline scores for Lurena
http://www.belleterrehorse.com/index/Home.html

LOVE Lurena! Fantastic clinician and really great with the kids.

BetterOffRed
Sep. 27, 2011, 04:45 PM
There have always been standouts from Texas: Lurena Stanley, Sue Casey, Pam Fowler Grace, Fran Dearing, Whit Watkins, Lyndon Rife, Amy Bock, Devon Kane, etc. Heck, it was only a few years ago that you could watch Sabine Schut Kery on Jorrit and Tinus or Heather Blitz on Arabella and Otto in the Las Colinas Equestrian Center (awesome!). And most recently, Rachel Campbell and her sister Anna both won the National Dressage Seat medal as well. They are both trained by Kai Handt at NTEC, the same trainer as Jonathan Wentz. (As an aside, NTEC is super competitive in show jumping as well.) Adding Claire Darnell!

But until Texas is a draw like Florida or California- it will always be a step child and our top riders will always go out of state or to Europe to be competitive. I would love to see Texas get a short international show season, similar to the polo season in Houston.

And speaking of step child, I really feel for the Region 9 Young Riders for dressage. I would love to see them get the TLC to get to the national level like the Area 5 Eventers and the Zone 7 Show Jumpers and hunters.

Velvet
Sep. 27, 2011, 04:51 PM
I would also like to see Texas find a way to have some big shows and a big season--drawing people from all over the country (and internationally). I mean, they have many, many venues for reining and other western riding. Some of those places are gorgeous, have covered rings and fans to keep people cool. If they can find a way to get some big sponsors, then it could fly. There should be a way. There's still a LOT of money in Texas. Oil industry aside, there are other companies in the DFW area that could probably sponsor something big--IF you can show them the pay back.

Maybe with the AQHA pushing into dressage there will be a way to find some funding for a class or two and get something jump started? (Something not just for quarter horses?)

SGray
Sep. 27, 2011, 05:21 PM
slightly ot -- was 1994 the last US Olympic Festival?

amm2cd
Sep. 28, 2011, 12:26 PM
I would also like to see Texas find a way to have some big shows and a big season--drawing people from all over the country (and internationally). I mean, they have many, many venues for reining and other western riding. Some of those places are gorgeous, have covered rings and fans to keep people cool. If they can find a way to get some big sponsors, then it could fly. There should be a way. There's still a LOT of money in Texas. Oil industry aside, there are other companies in the DFW area that could probably sponsor something big--IF you can show them the pay back.

Maybe with the AQHA pushing into dressage there will be a way to find some funding for a class or two and get something jump started? (Something not just for quarter horses?)


I doubt that the AQHA is pushing anyone around. Fact is that there are some very nice, big shows in Texas.

While there is a lot of money in Texas, that isnt the point of this whole thread. The point is that the horses and riders of region 9 are becoming more and more competitive on a national level. Horses have gotten nicer, and the riders are getting better instruction. It's a win-win for everyone.

Velvet
Sep. 28, 2011, 02:39 PM
I doubt that the AQHA is pushing anyone around. Fact is that there are some very nice, big shows in Texas.

While there is a lot of money in Texas, that isnt the point of this whole thread. The point is that the horses and riders of region 9 are becoming more and more competitive on a national level. Horses have gotten nicer, and the riders are getting better instruction. It's a win-win for everyone.

Um, okay, so you read that I hated TX when I said I wanted them to have big shows and that they have great facilities?

AQHA is pushing it's way into doing MORE dressage--thus they are the guys with big sponsors and maybe open shows could hop on their coat tails.

Yes, it's a topic started about the riders doing well, but the idea was also brought up on how to make it even better. :rolleyes:

esdressage
Sep. 28, 2011, 02:51 PM
Well I think it's really fun to see such lovely horses and riders coming out of Texas. My interest is actually a bit selfish, as my husband's a Texas native and frequently talks about moving back to Austin. I wouldn't mind being around some of these great ladies and their horses! :)

amm2cd
Sep. 29, 2011, 10:25 AM
Um, okay, so you read that I hated TX when I said I wanted them to have big shows and that they have great facilities?

AQHA is pushing it's way into doing MORE dressage--thus they are the guys with big sponsors and maybe open shows could hop on their coat tails.

Yes, it's a topic started about the riders doing well, but the idea was also brought up on how to make it even better. :rolleyes:

I never implied that you hated Texas... Not sure where you got that idea.
My point was that the AQHA and dressage shows are not competing for the same venues.
And, unless it's been changed again, AQHA points may be awarded in dressage, but must be earned at an AQHA reccognized USDF show where all of the judged are AQHA members.

Which, of course, is a moot point as the vast majority of riders- even in Texas- ride warmbloods, thus could not participate at an AQHA show.

Sorry for the OT post, OP.

Jcanton
May. 4, 2013, 11:34 PM
Yes she did. Although that is a competition for 14-18 year olds.... Not comparable to the Olympics.... Even though it is a national championship. I believe my wife is the only Young Rider (from texas) to make it back to the freestyle some years ago. Good job Jessy!

Some of our best Olympians are not from America. Something to remember as long as we are saying bad things about Texas..... Region 9 has the most seat medal winners. Only 3 people in dressage every four years make it to the Olympics. That is a dream not a realistic goal, for most riders.

We should all enjoy our horses and teaching and comrades. After all, it's the journey, not the destination.

J-Lu
May. 5, 2013, 12:15 AM
Interesting thread content. Texas isn't a stepchild of dressage at all, in my opinion. People complain about it but the numbers support the fact that it isn't a stepchild. Lurena Bell was and is an excellent rider (to those on this thread who doubt her). Many young horse riders came out of Texas, including Darnell, Blackmon, Morris, etc. Many young horses came out of Texas including Calimar, Donates and many Canaan Ranch horses, Collectors Item, etc. Texas has phenomenal breeding and imports, such as from Martha Diaz /Red Wind Farm, Whit Watkins, NTEC, Canaan Ranch when they were there and all of their clients since, etc. Our winning paraolympian horse came from Kai Handt's NTEC dressage. Floriano, an Olympic dressage horse ridden by Steffan Peters, was imported and funded by Melanie Pai, a Texan at the time. Texas has clinics with some of the best international trainers and judges. Yes, I know first hand that people complain about Region 9 and Texas, and I enjoy dispelling these complaints about Texan riders, trainers and breeders. Edited to add, some posters on this thread are very successful TX-trained riders. Hmmmm...