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Stovall, Doverspike, and Tarjan Claim First Championship Titles in the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships

by Julian McPeak, US Equestrian Communications Department | Aug 26, 2017, 11:22 PM EST

Wayne, Ill. – The first set of champions were determined at the 2017 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships today. Anna Stovall and Frankie claimed the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship. Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555 maintained their lead to become the national champions of the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old division, while Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF claim the Markel/USEF Four-Year-Old Championship title. Today’s tests counted 60% towards their overall score with the remaining 40% derived from Thursday’s first round tests.

Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship

Anna Stovall and Frankie (Photo by: SusanJStickle.com)

Stovall (Chesapeake, Va.) and Frankie, Catherine Haddad-Staller’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare, put in a beautiful test, not

only winning the USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Test, but also claiming the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship title. Placing fourth in Thursday’s preliminary test with a 68.42%, combined with her winning score of 71.17% on Saturday, her overall score totaled 70.07%. Watch their winning test.

“In the first test, I wanted to ride a little conservatively and point to point and demonstrate that we can execute the test technically,” said Stovall. “Then today, I felt comfortable going ahead and giving her a little bit of gas, and it paid off.”

The combination has been working together since the mare was three. Bred and owned by Haddad-Staller, Frankie has been exclusively ridden by Stovall since they began working together. Their first trip to the Markel/USEF Developing Horse National Championships has proven to be an exceptional one.

“I love [Lamplight]! It has been a great experience. It is a beautiful facility and it’s so well run, so I have really enjoyed every moment of it,” said Stovall.

Endel Ots and Lucky Strike (Photo by: SusanJStickle.com)

Moving up from third place following Thursday’s test with a 68.59%, Endel Ots (Wellington, Fla.) and Lucky Strike placed third in Saturday’s class with a score of 70.63%, boosting the combination to reserve champion in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship.  

When asked about the difference in the performance today with Max Ot’s seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Ots responded, “I just relaxed a little bit more and let him go and try for it. It was a nice, clean test and I was very happy with him.”

Carly Taylor-Smith (Malibu, Calif.) and Nikki Taylor-Smith’s seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding Rosalut NHF earned third in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship with a total score of 69.41%. They also earned the Oldenburg Award and U.S.-Bred Award, given to the highest scoring Oldenburg by the Oldenburg Horse Breeder’s Society and U.S.-bred horse, respectively.

“My test was very different than Thursday. He was one hot tamale,” said Taylor-Smith. “He is still only seven and I know he is still green and has a little growing up to do. Overall quality of that horse is really special. I am still very happy despite his spicy-ness.”

Taylor-Smith scored a 70.43% in Thursday’s preliminary test, winning the class, and a 68.72% in Saturday’s test, placing sixth.

USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Test results

Markel/USEF Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555 (Photo by: SusanJStickle.com)

After a winning preliminary test on Thursday, Alyssa Doverspike (Wildomar, Calif.) and her own Hanoverian gelding Darius 555 held on to the top position to claim the overall Markel/USEF Five-Year-Old National Championship with a score of 7.74. The walk was the highlight of her test, earning her an 8.80 from the judges and proving that her approach to this second test was the right one.

“I’m so proud of [Darius 555]. He is such a good boy,” said Doverspike. “I left the walk as is, like I tried to do the day before. He

was a little tired in the canter, but I really felt like I had more forward movement in the trot.”

Doverspike reaffirmed what a special opportunity it is to ride at these national championships, saying, “It is an honor to be here amongst the best young horses in the country and some really good riding…The atmosphere can be a little bit more intense. It pushes you and it pushes your horse; you can see how they handle that type of pressure. I really love that and it is such a good group of people. The horses are challenging, so you get a lot of good insight and advice from other riders and trainers who have been down that road.”

Judy Kelly and Quintess (Photo by: SusanJStickle.com

The combination scored 7.76 on Thursday in the preliminary test and a 7.74 in Saturday’s final test. Watch her winning test here.

Judy Kelly (Clarkston, Mich.) and her own Hanoverian mare Quintess placed fifth in the preliminary test on Thursday with a 7.60. Improving to second in the final test with a score of 7.74, the combination took second overall with a final score of 7.68.

“I tried to go forward a little bit more and add the power. I know she does have power,” said Kelly. “The first day was a little tricky…she had a good school yesterday on the day off and [I] just tried to add more power to it. I am very proud of my girl too. She is a great worker.”

Craig Stanley (Madera, Calif.) and his own KWPN gelding Habanero CWS were third with an overall score of 7.63. The combination finished second in the preliminary test on Thursday with a 7.72 and placed third in the final with a 7.58.

“I thought my test was better than I did on Thursday. We just had one bobble…again, I am really grateful that I managed to get here and have a sound horse, and a sound horse to take home. I’m really happy,” said Stanley.

FEI 5-Year-Old Final Test results

Markel/USEF Four-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF (Photo by SusanJStickle.com)

Alice Tarjan (Frenchtown, N.J.) held her positions with the top two horses of the Markel/USEF Four-Year-Old Dressage National

Championship, bringing home the championship title with the Hanoverian mare, Serenade MF, bred by Maryanna Haymon, and the reserve champion title with her own Oldenburg mare Fairouz.

In the preliminary test on Thursday, Tarjan scored an 8.40 with Serenade MF, improving upon that score slightly in the final test with an 8.48. Serenade MF was also the recipient of the U.S.-Bred Horse Award, for the highest scoring U.S.-bred horse in the class. Watch their winning test.

“I think Serenade put in a really solid test her first day – you want to try to duplicate that,” said Tarjan. “The canter work was better for the most part. She felt great, so I was really happy about that.”

Tarjan and Fairouz also improved upon their preliminary test score of 8.0 to an 8.2 in the final test. Fairouz received the Oldenburg Award, as the top placing Oldenburg in this class.

“Her canter work was better, so I was happy. The judges really liked her trot, so that was great. I thought I was giving away a lot of points on little things, but, luckily, the judges are forgiving because she is four, which makes sense. I was pleased [the horses] were happy. They were good with the environment, so mission accomplished. It was good for them – a good experience here,” said Tarjan.

With a passion for bringing young horses up through the levels, Tarjan said that the first three years of training a young horse is like Christmas every morning.

“I love training the young horses,” said Tarjan. “It is what I live to do every day. It is fun when they are young because they come along so quickly. It’s like unwrapping a Christmas present – you never know what’s inside as you train them up. I love the process and how they develop. I love seeing them move up through the levels. It is so much fun – they make so much progress.”

Kimberly Dougherty and Celebration (Photo by: SusanJStickle.com)

Kimberly Dougherty (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and her own Oldenburg mare, Celebration held tight to their third-place position, but also improving their performance. Thursday’s preliminary test yielded a score of 7.9 for the combination, which they improved to an 8.0 in the final test, giving the combination an overall score of 8.02.

“[Celebration] came out with more power. She was actually a little fresh, which was exciting because I was not worried about her being lazy in there,” said Dougherty. “I thought she was super today. I had a little bit more power than I had two days ago. She was rideable and I think, overall, for her first time here, I am really happy with her.”

USEF 4-Year-Old Horse Test results

Find out more information about the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships online.

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