5 Amazing Moments in Dressage in 2019

James Koford gives Adiah HP a pat at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®. (ChelseyBurris photo)

By Chelsey Burris

As 2019 draws to a close, we remember a few of the amazing moments that made this year unforgettable.

Callie Jones Awarded Fiona Baan for Second Year in a Row

Last year’s recipient, Region 2’s Callie Jones, again won the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy, named for the late US Equestrian dressage team leader, as the overall highest-scoring dressage young rider. Presenting were USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch and USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams. (Photo by by Meg-McGuire.com)

The Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North (NAYC) are a great opportunity for young dressage stars to show their skills each summer. The Young Rider who earns the highest combined average score in the three dressage tests (FEI Young Rider Team, Individual, and Freestyle) is awarded the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” trophy. For the second year in a row, Callie Jones and her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Philippo, took home this honor. The Region 2 rider placed first in the team, individual, and freestyle tests with an overall combined average of 73.344%.  

Team USA Brings Home Silver Medals from Pan Am Games

2019 US Pan American Games dressage team silver medalists Nora Batchelder, Sarah Lockman, and Jennifer Baumert (Photo by Kim and Allen MacMillan and Sarah E. Miller/MacMillan Photography)

The 2019 Pan American Games, held in Lima, Peru, saw Team USA continue their dressage successes from last year.  Nora Batchelder, Jennifer Baumert, and Sarah Lockman combined their powers for a silver medal winning team performance.  In the individual Intermediate I Freestyle, Lockman and her horse First Apple recorded a personal high score of 78.890%, earning them a gold medal.  Team USA, who had already punched their ticket to Tokyo via the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, will now set their sights on the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Adiah HP & James Koford Dazzle at Finals

Adiah HP and James Koford (ChelseyBurris photo)

With a flashy chestnut and white paint coat, it’s hard to miss Adiah HP in the ring.  The eye-catching mare with James Koford aboard won the Grand Prix Freestyle Championship Open and Grand Prix Championship Open at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® last year, and were back to defend their titles in 2019.  In scintillating style, the pair danced through their freestyle to be crowned Grand Prix Freestyle Champion again this year.  They also successfully defended their Grand Prix Championship Open title. Check out their freestyle here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1644849788906252

First-ever Dressage Team medal for Region 4 at NAYC

The Junior team’s 2019 win was the first gold medal for a Region 4 NAYC dressage team. Team chef d’équipe David Wightman (front) stands with Hannah Thiher, Maggie Elsbernd, Averi Allen, and Nicolas Beck. (Photo by by Meg-McGuire.com)

Team members Averi Allen, 15, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, on Superman; Nicolas Beck, 15, of Chanhassen, Minnesota, on Campari; Maggie Elsbernd, 16, of Excelsior, Minnesota, on Zeestar Texel; and Hannah Thiher, 17, of Maple Grove, Minnesota, on Delfiano were all NAYC first-timers. Their rookie status proved to be a nonissue, with the Juniors achieving another milestone: the first NAYC gold medal for a Region 4 dressage team.

Suppenkasper Named Horse of the Year

Suppenkasper ridden by Steffen Peters (photo by Jennifer O. Bryant)

With 8 wins in 8 outings in 2019, it’s hard to argue with Suppenkasper’s prowess.  Among his victories, the 11-year-old KWPN gelding had stellar performances at the Adequan® West Coast Dressage Festival I, III, and IV, and the Del Mar National Horse Show.  His personal best score for the year was an 80.99%. Suppenkasper, whose name translates to “picky eater,” is owned by Four Winds Farm LLC and ridden by Steffen Peters. For his outstanding 2019, Suppenkasper has been named the Adequan®/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year, and his connections accepted the honors at the Salute Gala and Annual Awards Banquet at the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in early December .


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