Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023

What You Need To Know: U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions



Hundreds of the country’s best dressage riders, from teens and ponies to top Grand Prix pairs, are arriving in Wayne, Illinois, this week for the annual U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships. 

This marks the second year that para-dressage riders will contest their championship at Lamplight Equestrian Center, as part of the Festival of Champions, rather than at a separate show. The USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, with divisions for ages 14-18 and 13 and under, will showcase the newest generation of dressage talent.

Last year, Adrienne Lyle won both the 4-year-old and 5-year-old titles at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships with Fürst Dream and Valor (pictured), respectively. Lindsay Berreth Photos

Because of the ongoing vesicular stomatitis outbreak in California, additional biosecurity measures are being implemented during the festival, including having all horses from that state stabled in one barn.

In total, 16 national champions will be crowned across the week:

• Markel/USEF Young Horse 4-year-old
• Markel/USEF Young Horse 5-year-old
• Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-year-old
• Markel/USEF Young Horse 7-year-old
• Markel/USEF Developing Prix St. Georges
• Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix
• USEF Children
• USEF Pony Rider
• Adequan/USEF Junior
• Horseware Ireland/USEF Young Rider
• Adequan/USEF Brentina Cup Under-25
• Neue Schule/USEF Intermediaire I 
• Neue Schule/USEF Grand Prix
• Adequan/USEF Para-Dressage 
• USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, 13 and under
• USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, 14-18

(From left) Debbie Stanitski, Sydney Collier and Mia Rodier-Dawallo celebrated during the ceremony for the 2022 USEF Para Dressage National Championship, the first year the competition was held in conjunction with the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.

When: Aug. 21-27. Check out a complete class schedule here.

Where: HITS Chicago at Lamplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, Illinois.

Results: Results will be posted here.


How You Can Follow Along: The Chronicle will be on-site bringing you gorgeous photos, great interviews and behind-the-scenes stories. Make sure to follow along at, as well as on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse

How You Can Watch: USEF Network will provide start-to-finish coverage of both arenas.

Useful Links and Information:

• All of the Chronicle’s coverage.

• Brentina Cup competitor Emma Smith’s video blog.
• Complete schedule.
• Official Festival of Champions page
• Don’t forget to follow the Chronicle on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse.
• We’ll have more reporting from the competition in the Oct. 16 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.




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