Wayne, Ill. – The second day of competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions brought back entries in the Neue Schule/USEF Intermediaire I National Championship and the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship for their second tests of the show.
Neue Schule/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
The Intermediaire I entries completed the Intermediate I Test today, and Christian Simonson (Ventura, Calif.) came back for his second win with Son of a Lady, Christina Morgan and Clifton Simonson’s 2011 Danish Warmblood gelding, after yesterday’s victory in the Prix St. Georges Test. The pair posted a 73.469% in today’s test, keeping them in first-place standing for the national champion title. The PSG Test accounted for 40% of the total championship score and the I-1 contributes 45%. The remaining 15% comes from the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle, which will take place on Thursday afternoon.
Current Overall Standings:
- Christian Simonson and Son of a Lady
- Nora Batchelder and Nova
- Charlotte Jorst and Federle
From the Mixed Zone:
Take us through your test today.
Christian Simonson: Today I rode [Zeaball Diawind] first and had a couple of little mistakes, so then coming in on ‘Sonny’ today I really wanted to deliver a good, clean test. I think that was my biggest goal. This is the last day of the important tests for Pan Am observation, so I wanted to make sure I delivered again for that as well. But he’s such a special horse, I just love him. He’s so honest. When he gets hot in there, there were a couple of times I was like, ‘Easy, buddy,’ and he actually listened to me. He really calms down. I think over the past two years going all over the world, we’ve kind of developed this really deep level of trust with each other where I can be like, ‘All right, let’s do this,’ and he’s like, ‘Okay, Dad. Let’s do it,’ and that was kind of the feeling today.
What can we look forward to in your freestyle?
CS: I’m really excited, I actually have a brand-new freestyle for Son of a Lady that is a little more difficult than my freestyle in the past, so I’m excited to rock out with him in there, and we’ll see how it goes.
Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship
Contenders for the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship title completed their FEI Para Grand Prix B Test. Elle Woolley (Ocala, Fla.) and her own Deucalion, a 2014 Hanoverian gelding, performed a clean test to earn a 69.333% from the judges, placing at the top of the class and moving into second place in the overall standings.
Current Overall Standings:
- Cynthia Screnci and Sir Chipoli
- Elle Woolley and Deucalion
- Holly Bergay and Niguel
- Andie Sue Roth and Aniko
From the Mixed Zone:
Tell us about your partnership with Deucalion.
Elle Woolley: I imported him as a 3-year-old from Germany sight unseen. He was a handful. I’ve had him six years—he turned nine this summer—and we only started showing about two years ago. And when I started showing, I could not even get him down centerline, so this is a big deal for us. He kind of turned a corner, maybe six months ago, and he decided showing is all kinds of fun. He loves it when people fawn over him. But we’ve really worked on the trust for six years, just done everything I could to formulate that bond and that partnership, which I think sets us apart.
Walk us through your test today.
EW: It started off great. I think we had a really nice first centerline and our halts are really coming. I was focused on some feedback that I had from a judge yesterday in the last test. We’re working on getting some straighter symmetry in both reins of contact, which is something I struggle with having only one hand. He’s very flexible through the neck, so I focused a lot on just maintaining more contact on the left rein, because my habit is to take more contact on the right and kind of neck rein, which is when we get the tilt, so I just focused mainly on that. I wanted to go for more engagement and more impulsion, so I remembered to keep my leg on throughout all of my transitions. I had a little bit of a mishap at the end, right before my final turn and centerline. The rubber band that secures my left leg in my stirrup popped. But I’ve had that happen before in other tests and the show goes on so you’ve just got to carry on. My horse makes up for a lot for me, so I trust him. He’s gonna carry me through, so I just went for the end and finished really strong.
What can we look forward to with your freestyle?
EW: I have a really exciting freestyle. It’s really personal to me. I picked out some pretty ominous, powerful music, but my horse has a tremendous amount of show presence and he can really carry that. It doesn’t overpower him, but it’s very emotional. It’s the soundtrack from Peaky Blinders and mixed in with Westworld and the orchestral version of Painted Black. So it’s got some cool elements in there. It really showcases his cadence and the fluidity of his gait. And he loves the music a lot, so we’re going to really bring it.
2023 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions Livestream
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