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Country’s Top Combinations Ready for 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight Equestrian Center

by Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department | Aug 21, 2018, 7:57 PM EST

Wayne, Ill. – The 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions is set to begin at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and will run August 21-26. A total of 14 national championships will be held this year, and four divisions had their horse inspections on Tuesday to kick off the festivities.

USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championships presented by Dressage Today

Molly Paris and Countess (SusanJStickle.com)

For the first time in several years, a full field of 12 combinations will contest the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championships presented by Dressage Today. Codi Harrison (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Katholt’s Bossco, her 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, top the ranking list. Molly Paris (Charlotte, N.C.) and Countess, her 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, are the top returning combinations from 2017, having finished in third place.

The rising stars will perform the FEI Intermediate II Test on Wednesday for 40% of their overall score, followed by the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Test on Thursday for 45%. The championship will conclude on Saturday with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle counting for the final 15% of their overall score.

USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship

Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero (SusanJStickle.com)

A total of 15 combinations will compete for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship in the division’s first appearance at the venue. Heather Blitz (Wellington, Fla.) and Praestemarkens Quatero, her nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, have had strong showings this past year to top the Intermediaire I ranking list. Jennifer Baumert (Wellington, Fla.) and Handsome, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, were fifth in last year’s championship and hope for an improved placing after strong performances this season.

The competitors will begin with the FEI Prix St. Georges Test on Wednesday for 40% of their overall score, followed by the FEI Intermediate I Test on Thursday for 45%. The championship will come to a close on Saturday with the FEI Intermediate Freestyle counting for the final 15% of their overall score.

USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel's Nintendo (SusanJStickle.com)

Six combinations will vie for the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship in the division’s debut at Lamplight. Charlotte Jorst (Reno, Nev.) and Kastel’s Nintendo, Kastel Denmark’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, top the Grand Prix ranking list heading into the national championship, but they are up against solid competition, such as last year’s fifth-place finishers Mette Rosencrantz (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Marron, her 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding.

The combinations will perform the FEI Grand Prix Test on Thursday for 45% of their overall score, followed by the FEI Grand Prix Special on Friday for 40%. The championship will conclude on Sunday with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle counting for the final 15% of their overall score.

USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship

Callie Jones and Don Philippo (SusanJStickle.com)

Twelve combinations will compete in the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship. Nicole Scarpino (Mims, Fla.) and Lambada 224, her 11-year-old Hanoverian mare, lead the ranking list heading into this week. Callie Jones (Henderson, Ky.) and Don Philippo, her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, were fourth in last year’s championship and gained experience this summer as part of the 2018 Dressage European Young Rider Tour, which is linked to the Discover Dressage™ USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program.

The FEI Young Rider Team Test on Wednesday counts for 50% of their overall score, while the FEI Young Rider Individual Test on Friday contributes the final 50% to determine the national champion.

Live coverage of the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will be on the USEF Network beginning at 8:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday.

Find out more information about the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and view the ride times and results.

Keep up with the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions on Facebook (@USEFNetwork, and @USADressage), Instagram (@USEFNetwork), and Twitter (@USEFNetwork) for all the latest from the ring and behind the scenes. Use #FestivalofChampions, #USADressage, and #BrentinaCup.