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
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
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
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
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.
James Alliston made out like a king earlier this summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm with wins in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L aboard Paper Jam and Nemesis respectively. We caught up with Alliston to chat about his horses, competing on the West Coast, his time in the States, and how it compares to competing in England.
Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.