Friday, May. 24, 2024

Simonson, Screnci Are Day 1 Winners At Festival Of Champions

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Competition at the 2023 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions in Wayne, Illinois, kicked off Monday with the first tests for the Neue Schule/USEF Intermediaire I National Championship and the Adequan/USEF Para Dressage National Championship. 

In the FEI Prix St. Georges test for the Intermediaire I championship, Christian Simonson, Ventura, California, took home the first blue ribbon of the show, earning a score of 72.76% with Son of a Lady, Christina Morgan and Clifton Simonson’s 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Soreldo—Western Lady, Welt Hit II).

The pair most recently competed at CHIO Aachen (Germany) last month, where they finished third in the Young Riders freestyle.

Christian Simonson and Son of a Lady. Devyn Trethewey/USEF Photo

“We’re coming off the back end of Aachen, and it’s a very intense show grounds there,” Simonson said after his test. “I just wanted to deliver a good, clean test, but I also know that this is one of the final observations for the Pan Ams as well, so I did kind of want to go after it and take those points, push where I could. 

“He’s such an incredible horse, and I feel so grateful to ride him,” he said. “He’s just like, ‘Yes, Dad, OK. We’ll do it.’ He’s very special.”

Watch their winning test, courtesy of USEF Network and ClipMyHorse.TV:

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Charlotte Jorst finished second on Federle (71.79), and Nora Batchelder was third on Nova (70.97). See full class results here.

In the opening class of the para dressage national championship, Cynthia Screnci, Boca Raton, Florida, and Sir Chipoli, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Sir Donnerhall—Vivalucienne TKS, Carabas) she co-owns with Volado Farms, scored 68.54% to move into the top spot on the leaderboard after the FEI Para Grand Prix A test.

“We had a good test today,” Screnci said. “It was very solid. It was very smooth. Those are the things we’ve been working on with him. 

“He’s an ex-Grand Prix horse, so one of the things that we really want to do is work on our simple changes because Grand Prix horses get confused with simple changes,” she added. “That’s something that we’re really working on, making them smooth and prompt so I was very, very pleased with him today.”

Cynthia Screnci and Sir Chipoli. SusanJStickle.com Photo

Holly Bergay and Niguel finished second (66.92) and Elle Woolley and Deucalion (66.44) were third. See complete results here.

Competition continues today with the FEI Intermediaire I test for the Intermediaire I championship and the FEI Para Grand Prix B for the para dressage championship. Classes will be livestreamed on USEF Network.

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