The Area V Championships wrapped up on Nov. 4-5 at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas.
The first part of the Championships was held from Sept. 23-24 at Meadowcreek Park Fall Horse Trials in Kosse, Texas.
Meet the newest champions below!
Novice Champions: Hannah Corlett & Ernest Fuerst Dance | 28.3
In the Novice championships at Meadowcreek Park, it was Hannah Corlett, of Fort Worth, Texas, and her own Ernest Fuerst Dance, a 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Wild Dance x Sandance) who took home the win on a score of 28.3 They broke a tie with Elle Snyder and Oakland Quality, who took home the reserve championship.
“We had a great weekend,” said Corlett. “‘Ernest’ was brilliant in the dressage. I forgot the walk steps, which was disappointing because he is so good at that. I was thinking too far ahead to stay in the moment, and lots of movements could have been more beautiful, but we got away with an alright score, and he jumped so nicely in the stadium. We've had to work on ditches, so jumping clean cross-country was the biggest relief.”
Corlett earned a 10 on her first centerline in dressage, which was her favorite part of the weekend.
“He was so perfect, and it just felt amazing to trot into a ring looking like that,” she said.
She’s had Ernest for almost two years and has worked on taking this slowly to make sure he’s happy and confident. “I'm just trying to be the best rider I can be for him, and he's so great to make up for my mistakes as often as he does,” she said.
She credits her mother and trainer, Noreen Corlett, for giving her opportunities to ride and compete growing up and helping her through the levels, as well as giving advice for her own students now.
“I'm grateful to her for answering my phone calls when I was on my own, trying to teach in the middle of nowhere in college, and continuing to answer when I came home to Curragh [Equestrian Center] and couldn't figure out how to run the riding school.”
“It's been such a privilege to have such a beautiful horse for myself,” she said. “I'm very grateful to Mary D'Arcy for her constant help as well, and to Julie Richards for loving Ernest so much she said he had to go to Texas.”
Beginner Novice Champions: Savannah Ware & Worth The Wait | 26.6
In the Beginner Novice Championships at Meadowcreek Park, Savannah Ware and Worth The Wait, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Machen x End Of The Hill) finished on their dressage score of 26.6 for the win.
Ware, of Rockwall, Texas, said she was coming off a difficult week before the championships and had to work hard to focus.
“We were able to work through it, and in the end have an phenomenal learning experience,” she said. “The best part of the weekend is always cross-country—socializing, and walking the course with other competitors. We love the hospitality at Meadowcreek. Their events are always special.”
Ware said “Sammie” is, “a brave and forgiving partner that has helped me work through my ‘squirrel moments’ and works hard at every competition. I am grateful he gets to be part of our family.”
Preliminary Champions: Katia Martynuk & Adiesta Moon | 47.5
Katia Martynuk decided to haul in both days of the championships from her base in Rockwall, Texas, to the Texas Rose Horse Park.
Because that’s not typical, she admitted it was a bit chaotic trying to get everything done and walk her cross-country course, but her best friend Liz Anderson flew in from Washington to help groom. She ended the weekend with the Preliminary championship, adding a handful of time on cross-country and a rail and 2.4 time penalties in show jumping.
“‘Archie’ got his best dressage score at the level and generally felt much more rideable as he tends to get tense in the ring,” she said. “It was the biggest and most technical [cross-country] course we have had to face. Archie was so brave and just got better and better as the course progressed. Having the best support team in the world made it all even better and so much easier. ·
Martynuk’s had Archie, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Street Boss x Citizen Kitten) for about three years, buying him straight off the track in July 2020.
“I had a gut feeling about him and turned out to be right,” she said. “He's such a careful jumper and so brave. I've done most of his training myself and have definitely learned from my mistakes. I'm excited to see how our partnership continues to grow in the next year.”
Modified Champions: Anna Pierce & Dream Weaver | 46.6
While Anna Pierce was the only competitor in the Modified championship, the win was incredibly special.
Pierce, McGregor, Texas, said that her 6-year-old Trakehner gelding (Platinum vom Rappenhof x Danicka) was competing in his third modified competition.
“I only had the goal of giving him confidence-building rides in all three phases, and he packed me around all three phases like he had shown this level for years,” she said.
She’s had the gelding since he was 4. He’d come to her green broke with intentions to be started with basic dressage and jumping training and then be sold.
“But we had a very strong connection from the first time I sat on him, and I had a feeling that this horse was going to be something special,” she said. “I am very excited that my parents helped me purchase him this August, and we are very excited to train him up the levels and see how far we can go.”
Training Champions: Lauren Lambert & FE Alfonso Z | 30.5
Professional Lauren Lambert, Bartonville, Texas, had a busy weekend at the Texas Rose Horse Park, competing six horses at five levels from Novice through Intermediate.
“I was thrilled to remember all dressage tests and jump all the jumps in the correct order!” she said.
She rode her own and Anna Hailey’s FE Alfonso Z, a 5-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca Z x Indira van de Veldhoek). It was the gelding’s second Training level event and second win.
“I spotted Alfonso Z warming up for his first recognized event this spring in Ocala,” said Lambert. “Besides his raw talent, his big kind eye and lovely expression drew me in. It was a bit of love at first sight. Anna and Sean Hailey had interest in going in on an exciting horse, and he was the one.”
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.