Mill Spring, N.C. – Competitors in the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship took to the show ring at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on Friday to complete their FEI Para Team Tests. At the end of the first day of competition, Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.) and Rowan O’Riley’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding El Corona Texel led the standings in the CPEDI3* National Championship, scoring a 76.372% for first place in the Grade III Team Test.
“This is our third year together,” said Hart of Tex. “He’s the one that I took to [the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018], so he and I have got a bit of history in the ring together, which is super beneficial. I’m here without my coach, which is a first for me, so I had to really trust Tex to go in the ring and trust the plan that we had made, and he really came through for me today.”
Hart also took second place in the Grade III Team Test riding Fortune 500, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding who she says is “a giant, 17.2-hand Labrador retriever.” With the unexpected break from showing for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hart was able to enjoy a varied training routine with her horses this year.
“With everything kind of shut down, we just worked on basics at home and played ‘brain games’ with them so that they weren’t always in the ring doing dressage and technical training,” said Hart. “We did cavaletti and obstacle courses just to get them exposed to different things and get them thinking. I think it really helped them come out super fresh.”
Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is currently in second place in the National Championship standings with Going for Gold LLC’s11-year-old Hanoverian gelding All In One. The pair scored a 75.119% in the Grade I Team Test.
“He’s owned by Georgina Bloomberg and I was lucky enough to be able to work with him because of her,” said Collier. “He’s the most talented horse that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. When we go in the ring, we really click. He eats up the show ring and it’s like no other feeling I’ve felt before. I don’t have to push him. He has that really nice, flowy walk that we’re looking for in a Grade I horse. He’s the best partner I could ask for.”
Heading into tomorrow’s individual test, Collier will be looking to build on her successful first ride.
“Overall, I want to keep the tempo and the connection the same, which are the big things,” said Collier. “The first halt and the serpentine are two things that I can definitely improve upon tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to.”
Competition in the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship continues on Saturday with the FEI Individual Tests starting at 10:25 a.m. EDT.
The 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship will be streamed live on USEF Network throughout the weekend. Click here to watch.
View a gallery from the horse inspection here.
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