Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023

Young Riders Are Front And Center At U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions Day 3



Aug. 24—Wayne, Ill.

The future of the sport took the stage today at the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Three champions were crowned, and one division finished their first test. Read on to learn about the winners!

Ellanor Boehning continued her domination of the pony division today when she won the FEI Pony Rider team test to take home the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship at the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions. Abby Fodor and her former reining pony Slip And Slide earned the reserve championship.

“I didn’t really expect to come here and do as well as I just did,” said Boehning, 12, San Diego. “Honestly it feels kind of like, what just happened?”

Her test today with Kabam, a 15-year-old German Riding Pony gelding (Heidbergs Nacho Nova—Cahira, Mozart II), scored a 68.46 percent, which was lower than her winning score yesterday due to a few small mistakes.


Ellanor Boehning and Kabam. Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

“When we first went in, he was super, but then we got to the centerline 8-meter circle [and] he hit his back leg on the fence and decided to do a flying change, so then we stopped and had to redo it,” she explained. “We also picked up the wrong canter lead when we went back to do the second 8-meter circle, but I realized it before I did that. Other than that he was amazing!”

Boehning has had Kabam, a former combined driving pony, for four years.

“When I first got him, the person who was selling him would get on, and he was definitely a little hot,” she said. “Then my mom [Ann Boehning] got on, and he was hot for her too. Then when I got on he was perfect. We definitely clicked from the start. He’s really just the pony for me. He likes to be talkative; he’s super cuddly and friendly; he likes to take naps, and he loves bananas. He’s just really fun.”

Watch Boehning’s winning test, courtesy of USEF Network:


Callie Jones has been having a season most young riders only dream about. She earned team and individual gold at the Adequan FEI North American Youth Championships (New York) in early August and spent part of her summer in Europe competing on the CDI circuit as part of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program young rider tour.

Today she capped off her year with the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship aboard Don Philippo, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier—Wild Night, Warkant).



Callie Jones and Don Philippo. Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

“I was super happy with today’s ride,” she said. “Wednesday he was really fired up. He was probably more fired up today. I did get a little nervous, but I had to remind myself to stay relaxed to give him the confidence. Our trot work was super. We did have one mistake in the canter transition, but it was OK. After that we kept it together. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Jones won Wednesday’s team test (72.25%) and finished second in today’s individual test (70.14%) behind Veronica West and Nobleman (71.07%).

“This was a goal of mine,” said Jones, a junior at Murray State University (Kentucky). “Achieving that goal was so amazing. I couldn’t have done it without my parents and my trainer Angela Jackson and ‘Phil.’ He’s just incredible, and he gave me his all this year. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Watch Jones’ ride, courtesy of USEF Network:

Callie Jones & Don Philippo 2018 USEF Young Rider Dressage National Champions“This was another goal of mine… to win the young rider division. Achieving that goal feels amazing.” – Callie Jones on winning the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship aboard her own 10 year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Philippo. She came in 2nd in today’s FEI Young Rider Individual Test (below) scoring a 70.14% and won Wednesday’s FEI Young Rider Team Test to take the overall Championship title at #FestivalofChampions

Posted by USA Dressage on Friday, August 24, 2018

Jones, 20, Henderson, Kentucky, said she made sure not to put any pressure on herself all year. “Honestly I just wanted this to be a positive year and a positive experience,” she said. “I didn’t want to go in having high expectations. I wanted to have a good learning year.

“Overall I’ve just learned to take risks,” she added. “It’s OK to take risks. In Europe I really learned that even over there everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is human. To get the bigger scores you have to take risk. Overall this year my confidence has just gone up tremendously.”


Camille Molten, reigning champion in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, 13 and under division, defended her crown aboard Wildwych Bamboozle. The American-bred 7-year-old Connemara gelding (Wildwych Thunder Snow—Rudgeway Silver Filigree, Oxenholm Matador) was previously a para-dressage horse in Colorado. Molten’s trainer, Michelle Folden, found Wildwych Bamboozle when she was looking for a pony for her para rider, who was downgraded to walk only soon after “Bamboozle” made the trip to Charleston, South Carolina.


Wildwych Bamboozle helped Camille Molten defend her title in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, 13-and-under, division. Photo by Kieran Paulsen.

“Bamboozle needed a more ground-covering walk than what he has to stay in para,” Folden said. “So we knew we were gonna have to sell him, and then he got injured and had to take a year off. He and Camille paired up once he was ready to get back to work, and it’s worked out really well.” 

Molten, 14, said she had several lessons on the longeline to prepare for the championship. She said the past year has taught her about focusing on the basics, both in Bamboozle’s rehab and her own riding, and her appreciation for doing simple things right is why she enjoys the dressage seat championships.

Watch Molten’s winning ride, courtesy of USEF Network:


Winning Ride: Camille Molton USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals 13/Under“It [felt] great. I tried not to expect anything and just try to ride my best and I’m really glad it turned out the way it did. ”

For the second year in a row, Camille Molton wins the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals 13-and-Under Division at #FestivalofChampions!

Posted by USA Dressage on Friday, August 24, 2018


Emma Asher swept the FEI Junior team test, placing first and second with Traneenggaards Akondo (Come Back II—Jako’s Akido, Andiamo) and Don Fredo HD (Don Frederico—Kordula) despite some added “pizzazz”.


Emma Asher dominated the FEI Junior team test. Photo by Kieran Paulsen.

“I had a lot of highlights in my test with Traneenggaards Akondo,” said Asher, 17, of Greenwood Village, Colorado. “We were solid on a lot of stuff I’ve really been working on. We had a couple of bobbles in our canter and our first halt, but he was really fantastic. He’s definitely a unicorn. With Don Fredo HD, he was on fire today. In the warm-up he was really tense and around the outside he was spicy, but he was really good in the test until the last extension, then he had to add a little pizzazz.”

Watch Asher’s winning test, courtesy of USEF Network:

Winning Ride: Emma Asher and Traneenggaards Akondo“He was really fantastic, he’s a really good boy. He really knows his job and he’s been teaching me a ton and really accelerating my learning”
Emma Asher and Traneenggaards Akondo lead the USEF Junior Dressage National Championship after scoring a 70.85% at #FestivalofChampions!

Posted by USA Dressage on Friday, August 24, 2018

For full results, click here.

USEF Network is live streaming the competition each day.

For more from the U.S. Dressage of Festival of Champions and the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships check out the Sept. 24 print edition of The Chronicle of the Horse.




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