The USEA Area Championships are held every year in each of the 10 USEA Areas where the best horses and riders have the opportunity to be crowned the Area Champion at their level. Each Area maintains slightly different qualification requirements for their respective Championships, and that information can be found here.
Now in its seventh year, the Sundance Farm Horse Trials hosted the Area IV Championships this year at the Mahloch family farm in Plymouth, Wisconsin. In order to qualify to compete in the Area IV Championships, riders would need to earn first through fourth place at one event during the qualifying period from October 8, 2019 to September 1, 2020. This Championship is open only to residents of Area IV. There was one championship division for each level from Beginner Novice to Preliminary.
Rebecca Roth and Stephanie Roth’s 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Chapter Two (More Than Ready x Winds of March) captured the Area IV Preliminary Championship title on a score of 41.8. They were fifth after dressage on a score of 35.4 but only added 2.4 time faults on cross-country to move into the lead. Despite one rail down in show jumping, they took home the win.
“My weekend was exciting!” said Roth. “My main goal was to focus on getting the best ride out of each phase. My favorite part of the weekend was crossing the finish line of a challenging cross-country course, knowing we jumped clear. Overall, I was proud of the effort that ‘Deuce’ put in all weekend. I could not have asked for a better partner!”
Jenna Sack and her own 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Imperial Flight (OBOS Quality x LEB Liath) finished second in the championship on 46.8. Third place went to Aidan McCann and Carolyn McCann’s Peekaboo Street (Mercer Mill x Sissy Sassy), a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, on a score of 47.2.
Chris Heydon and Is He A She, her 11-year-old mare of unknown breeding, were 10th after dressage in the Area IV Training Championship. A double-clear cross-country round moved them into the top spot, which the held onto even with a single rail down in show jumping. They finished their weekend on a score of 41.5.
“This was my first time at Sundance,” Heydon shared. “My oh my, they did a great job of putting on a first-class horse trial. Everything was well organized, clean, the weather cooperated (pretty much – there were a couple of cold mornings), cross-country was great fun and challenging, and I loved the rolling show jumping course on grass. I also met some great new friends and neighbors!”
“The highlight of the weekend was my awesome steed taking me from 10th place after a disappointing dressage test to a surprising first place. With everyone taking at least one rail in show jumping, we were lucky enough to hold on to the win, adding to the honor of ‘Izzie’ and I being the Area IV Training Champion for the second year in a row! Love that mare!”
Elizabeth Fettig and Emma Fettig’s Spanning the Globe (Greenwood Lake x Shock Me Forever), a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, held their second-place position for the whole weekend, finishing on a score of 43.4. Kaylee Blazeniak and her own 15-year-old Shire gelding Caballo Oscuro finished in third place on 46.0.
Eleven-year-old Sophie Schroeder and Fernhill Prada, Steve Schroeder’s 12-year-old Connemara mare, were the victors in the Area IV Beginner Novice Championship on a final score of 33.8. “My horse Polly is new [to me] this year and we haven’t gone to many shows yet, so I could not wait to compete at Sundance,” Schroeder said. “The weather was nice all weekend and we had the best time. My favorite part was leading the victory gallop, even though the ribbon fell off and was trampled!”
“I had so much fun because my friends were at the show,” Schroeder said. “Congratulations to them: Katie, Siena, Jenna, and Mya. A special congratulations and BIG thank you to my coach, Julie Bryer of Dynamic Equestrian!”
Myla Jensen and Janelle Fleming’s Big N Broad (South of Broad x Las Colinas), a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were second in the Beginner Novice Championship on a score of 35.5. Juliann Tetschlag and Tigger, the rider’s 12-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, finished third on a score of 35.8.
Leah Lang-Gluscic and Bollywood (Balanchine x Hermione), her 5-year-old Oldenburg gelding, dominated the Area IV Novice Championship from start to finish, adding 4 penalties to their dressage score of 24.8 to go home with the blue ribbon on a final score of 28.8. “It’s always fun to win!” laughed Lang-Gluscic. “I got Bollywood in March from the O’Connors and they really believe in him and I really believe in him so to see him go out and perform this well with only having been competing since June is really exciting. He already seems to get the game.”
Second place in the Novice Championship went to Maia Ramberg and Ingvill Ramberg’s 6-year-old Oldenburg mare WL Bon Bellini (Bon Balou x WL Bourbon Street) on a score of 31.6, and Julie Bryer and her own Fernhill Dynamic (KEC Maximum Joe x Carla), an Irish Sport Horse gelding, rounded out the top three on a score of 34.0.
“It was really exciting to see that level of course in this Area,” commented Lang-Gluscic. “Kelly [Mahloch] and her daughter Ali, who organize the event, are really stepping up the levels in terms of technicality and I think it’s so important for this Area to have a venue that is conscientiously doing this. The event ran very smoothly so huge kudos to them and the whole organizing staff and all the volunteers. I might be biased, because winning does give you a really positive vibe, but they did a fabulous job!”
For full results from the Area IV Championships at Sundance Farm, click here. Congratulations to all the Area IV Championship competitors!
Stay tuned this fall to find out who finishes on top of the other USEA Area Championships! For additional information about the USEA Area Championships and to read other Area Championships Round-Up articles, click here.
There were surprisingly few shakeups to the top of the leaderboards Friday at the MARS Bromont CCI, but the incredibly close scores leave no margin for error heading into Saturday’s exciting cross-country phase across all five levels.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.