Sep 03, 2021

OTTB Wins Inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship Wire-to-Wire

Julie Wolfert and Namibia receiving the Modified Trophy in Remembrance of Ashley Stout. KTB Creative Group Photo.

For Immediate Release: The inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds decorated its first champions Friday morning with professional Julie Wolfert leading the pack aboard Namibia.

The Bucyrus, Kansas native guided her 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Tizway x Kitty Tracks) to top placings throughout the entire three-day competition and never gave up their first-place score. After earning a 25.2 in the starting dressage phase, the two were tidy and timely over both cross-country and show jumping phases to finish with only their first score.

Julie Wolfert and Namibia. KTB Creative Group Photo.

“One out of 1- times will this horse usually go completely clear in the show jumping so I am thrilled today was that one,” Wolfert laughed. “He really stepped up to the plate today and despite the fact that he did get a little influenced by the environment, I felt like he was listening well and almost grew wings out there!”

She was also the first recipient of the Modified Trophy in Remembrance of Ashley Stout. The trophy honors the memory of the late junior rider Ashley Stout who passed away tragically in a cross-country schooling accident in 2019 alongside her partner, Avant Garde. Ashley won the Junior Beginner Novice 14 and Under Championship in 2017 and had plans to move up to the new Modified level the year of the accident.

“I feel really honored to be the first to receive such a meaningful award,” Wolfert stated. “I want to give a big hug and shout out to that family and tell them how sorry I am for their loss but their way of honoring her is just beautiful and a lot of horses and riders are going to benefit from this new level.”

Namibia, who raced under the name Katchup Tiz and won $6,165 on the track, was the winner of the TIP award with his finish of 25.2 while Finntastic took the reserve of the TIP for the division.

Martin Douzant and Beall Spring Seahawk in the awards ceremony. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Reserve ribbon honors were received by Martin Douzant and Beall Spring Seahawk as they added nothing to their dressage score for a finish on 28.5. Douzant has built a long-standing partnership with Thora Pollak of Beall Spring Farm in Maryland and has successfully campaigned many of their home-bred Swedish Warmbloods. Just the previous day, Douzant was again in the winner’s circle with another Beall Spring Farm offspring, Olympus.

“These horses exemplify what we are looking to produce in our program,” Douzant explained. “We have a great relationship with the farm to help start and develop all of their young horses and it has been a long, trustful relationship.”

Both his top mount from the Preliminary Horse division and Beall Spring Seahawk have been under the tutelage of Douzant since the young age of 2 years old.

“Both myself and Thora [Pollak] are very excited to have two horses doing so well at this level,” he confirmed. “We are grateful to have such quality horses as wonderful representations of the bloodlines and the farm.”

Heidi Grimm Powell and Finntastic. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Amateur competitor Heidi Grimm Powell made her mark against the professionals as she and her 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (A.P. Prime x Faith Tested Raye) Finntastic leapt from sixth to third place to round out the top three. Powell was also the recipient of the Highest Placed Adult Amateur award for the division.

“Finn is just amazing and has come so far even though he had a bit of a rough start,” Powell gushed. “He has had so much heart right from the start but was very insecure and I am lucky enough to have had some fantastic trainers and coaches to help me bring out the best in him.

“I am just so happy to have been able to take this journey with him because this has been a new experience for me as well,” she added. “This is the highest level I have reached as well, and being able to be up here at the very to[ with these two professionals is very humbling, I am so pleased.”

The Highest Placed Young Rider award went to the fourth place winner Caroline Dannemiller aboard Fernhill Dreaming.

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About the USEA American Eventing Championships

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. With over 1,000 entries the 2021 AEC is set to be the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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