Wayne, Ill. - An elite group of young and talented dressage athletes competed for championship honors in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals on Sunday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Judges examined the riders’ equitation skills in two phases, individual patterns and group work patterns. Camille Molten claimed top honors in the 13 & Under division, while Isabel Gregory won the 14-18 division.
13 & Under Division
Molten (Mount Pleasant, S.C.), trained by Michelle Folden, bested a field of 14 competitors with Magnito II, Heather Valentine’s 10-year-old Welsh Pony cross gelding, in the 13 & Under division to earn the gold medal. With standout canter-trot serpentines, complete with smooth transitions, Molten exhibited impressive equitation skills for a score of 89.000%.
“My pony was really good,” said Molten. “This is a really fun show and you see a bunch of people that you usually don’t get to see. You can always watch rides and see really nice horses. It’s so fun.”
Training with her mother Amy Lynn Denny and Michael Dumas, Kasey Denny (Hutto, Texas), earned the silver medal with a score of 88.000%. She and Feyock, Amy Lynn Denny’s 20-year-old Westphalian gelding, have been working on their seat and leg position in preparation for these championships.
“My test went pretty good,” said Denny. “He needed to stay straighter during the transitions, but he was good. It is a fun show and you get to see a lot of nice horses, meet new people, and make new friends.”
Averi Allen (Pleasant Hill, Mo.), who also trains with her mother Whitney Allen, earned the bronze medal riding Celtic Grace for a score of 87.000%. With Celtic Grace, a 14-year-old Friesian Sport Horse mare owned by Bobbi Wojtowicz, Allen has been working on her core and seat, knowing that this is an important part of riding properly and exhibiting proper equitation.
Complete 13 & Under division results
Gregory (Dallas, Texas), trained by Benny Pfabe, portrayed confidence as she completed two smooth phases to win the 14-18 division gold medal with a score of 88.000%. She borrowed the nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Atoftens Cherick from Leslie Barker. During the past couple of days, Gregory trained with Andi Patzwald, who helped her adjust to a new horse on a short timeframe.
“This was a really fun experience,” said Gregory. “It’s really cool to see riders from across the country that you hear about but never see in person, so it is interesting to see them and the quality of horses. It is a really good learning opportunity.”
Caroline Garren (Atlanta, Ga.) won the silver medal with Fontane, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding, borrowed from Denise Cole. Garren, who trains with Karen Lipp, worked with Fontane a week prior to the final and focused on keeping him relaxed which paid off in their test.
“We were able to improve from the practice round and feed off what the judges were saying. I made his walk freer and my trainer helped [smooth out] trot to canter extensions. I was happy with the trot work, and making all this go smoothly was really important to me,” said Gregory.
Abigail Fleischli (Dallas, Texas) and Laguna, her 12-year-old Hannovarian mare, won the bronze medal with a score of 86.000%. Fleischli trains with Yvonne Kusserow, who once trained Gregory and the 2016 14-18 division gold medalist Allison Hopkins.
Complete 14-18 division results
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