Aug 29, 2021

Rider Reflections: The Area III Champions Chime In

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff

Area III held their annual Area Championships earlier this summer during the Stable View Summer Horse Trials and, as always, the competition was fierce! With championship classes offered in 12 divisions from Beginner Novice to Intermediate, the weekend was full of top-class competition. We caught up with some of the Champions from various divisions to discuss this year’s Area Championship competition.

Intermediate Winner: Elisa Wallace and Riot Gear | 29.90

Elisa Wallace and Riot Gear. Photo by Harper King Media.


After adding just 3.6 seconds of time to their dressage score to finish on a 29.90, Elisa Wallace and Eileen Kenney's 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding Riot Gear brought home the victory in the Intermediate Area III Championship. Wallace has had the ride on the gelding lovingly known to his fans on YouTube as "Ryebread" since he was 8-years-old and has spent 2021 giving him a solid foundation at the Intermediate level. Of the Area III Championships, Wallace shared, "Going into cross-country I had quite a buffer so I don’t want to push to make time, but I did want to practice coming on the time I wanted so I aimed for ten seconds over and he was perfect. I always love competing at Stableview as they are a top class facility. They did an amazing job for the championships."

Preliminary Winner: Blake Fortson and Quiana AF | 32.00

Blake Fortson and Quiana AF with Jenny Caras/ Photo courtesy of Blake Fortson

The Preliminary Champions Blake Fortson and Quiana AF (Quite Easy x All That Glitters) added just 2.8 seconds of time to their dressage score to secure the champion title. Fortson and the 7-year-old Oldenburg mare made the move up to the Intermediate level following the championships and he hopes to start the mare's FEI career this fall. “Q has been an amazing horse every step of the way, and Waylon Roberts has really helped me to be more effective and consistent as I’ve produced her up the levels. I’m glad that this year’s champs were a proper championship course that tested her, and she showed us that she was ready for the next level."

Modified Winner: Crockett Miller and Mr Panda | 34.20

Crockett Miller and Mr Panda. Photo by Kimberwick Visuals


The 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Mr Panda (Abbeyfield Comet x Clooneen Tara Lady) snagged the win in the Modified Championship with owner/rider Crockett Miller. "This year's championships, although hot, will definitely be one of my favorites because of the location. I am a huge fan of Stableview and how they take care of their competitors along with their impeccable footing. Nothing beats the gaze and graze with Aiken's beautiful sunset view!”

Junior Training Rider Winner: Devon Tresan and Zavallo | 28.60

Georgia native Devon Tresan and Zavallo (Zavall VDL x Ava) stole the show in the Junior Training Rider division after finishing on their dressage score of 28.60.

Training Horse Winner: Morgan Batton and Jamaican Vacation | 31.10

It was the 6-year-old Oldenburg mare Jamaican Vacation (Orchard Hill’s Snapdragon x Casablanca) who won the Training Horse Championship at Stable View with owner Morgan Batton in the irons.

Senior Training Rider Winner: Lauren Alexander and Excel Star Over the Moon | 29.80

Lauren Alexander and Excel Star Over the Moon/ GRC photography.

Topping the field in the Senior Training Rider division was Lauren Alexander and her 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse Excel Star Over the Moon. Alexander and “Leo” are set to contest the Training Rider division at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. “Winning the Area III Championships was super exciting,” Alexander commented. “I struggle with balancing being a full-time nurse and mom with my riding. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself with my riding and forget to slow down and enjoy the journey. I am incredibly lucky to have a quality horse like Leo to produce, despite his quirks! He truly is a horse of a lifetime for me. I'm looking forward to many more opportunities with him!”

Junior Novice Rider Winner: Sidnee Milner and BeauJeste | 31.90

Wrapping up the Junior Novice Rider division with the Champion title in hand was Sidnee Milner and her 16-year-old Welsh gelding BeauJeste (Wicked Court Jester x Mine Forever). The pair started and remained at the top of the 20 starter field and finished on their dressage score of 31.90.

Novice Horse Winner: Julie Richards and Fernhill Happyness | 29.50

Kelsey Lindrup’s 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Happyness (Road to Happiness x Killossery Bella) secured the win in the dressage portion of the Novice Horse Championship after scoring 29.50 with Julie Richards in the tack.

Senior Novice Rider Winner: Erin Nance and Fine Way to Fly | 28.10

Erin Nance bested a field of 25 in the Senior Novice Rider Championship aboard Fine Way to Fly. The 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Good Reward x Sunblaze) secured a dressage score of 28.10 which would carry the pair through the weekend to the win.

Beginner Novice Horse Winner: Mary Carol Harsch and Theodore al Coda | 28.00

Mary Carol Harsch and her own 16-year-old Sport Pony Theodore al Coda (Whitty Boy x Chelsea’s Melody) won the Beginner Novice Horse Championship from start to finish on their dressage score of 28. “Stableview always provides a first class venue,” shared Harsch. “The Championships were even more so! “Coda” had a blast on their cross-country! I’ll always cherish that victory gallop on my little pony after stadium.”

Junior Beginner Novice Rider Winner: Ashley Dowdy and My Mella Bella | 29.30

Competition was fierce in the Junior Beginner Novice Rider Championship, but Ashley Dowdy and her own 6-year-old Thoroughbred mare My Mella Bella (Gradar x Maliziosa) topped the field of 17 and brought home the top prize after closing out the class on their dressage score of 29.30.

Senior Beginner Novice Rider Winner: Nina Celeste Braun and Abraxas | 28.30

Having won their last two outings, Nina Celeste Braun and her 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Abraxas (TurnWest x LilacsandLaughter) kept up their winning streak by stealing the show in the Senior Beginner Novice Rider Championship. The horse and rider duo sailed to the top of the roster on their score of 28.30.

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Looking Back at the 2022 USEA Classic Series

The USEA is so incredibly proud to allow the thrill of the 'chase to live on for those who want to experience the unforgettable rush of the classic long format three-day event through our USEA Classic Series events. Long-format events from the Beginner Novice to Preliminary levels are still a reality with the USEA Classic Series and include roads and tracks, steeplechase, and cross-country on "endurance day," as well as horse inspections. In addition, educational activities are offered at the USEA Classic Series Events to help prepare competitors, especially those who are contesting their first-ever long format event.

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Dec 02, 2022 Sponsor

Ride iQ Renews Partnership with the USEA

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce the return of an official USEA Educational Collaborator, Ride iQ. Ride iQ is a mobile app that allows riders to take audio lessons with top coaches while they ride, an opportunity that hasn’t existed before. In 2023, the USEA will partner with the company to offer exclusive content in collaboration with the USEA’s Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) and the EA21 program, as well as creating other unique educational opportunities.

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