Bragdell, Kment, Peer, and Wagman Secure Final Titles as 2019 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions Concludes
On the final day of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight Equestrian Center, competitors returned to perform their final test of the championships and vie for the coveted national titles on Sunday, August 25: Jamie Kment and Manatee took the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Children Dressage National Champions; Michael Bragell and SenSation HW won the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old Dressage National Champions: Nick Wagman and Don John took home the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Champions; Mackenzie Peer and Quantum MRF rode to the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 National Champions; and Nick Wagman and Ferano won the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix National Champions.
USEF Children Dressage National Championship
Following the FEI Children Individual Test, Lexie Kment of Palmyra, NE, and Manatee came away with the USEF Children Dressage National Championship. She and the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Jamie Kment earned an overall score of 69.59%.
“[Winning the national championship] truly hasn’t sunk in, yet. Last year when [my sister competed], I told myself I was going to be here someday…We got him as a horse that we could just hack with and have fun, and it’s cool to see how far he could come,” said Kment.
Carmen Stephens of Saratoga, CA, and Woldhoeve’s Silco, her 19-year-old KWPN Welsh Pony gelding, earned the reserve championship with a score of 68.524. Joslyn Allen from Pleasant Hill, MO, and Lady Lilliana, Mary Adams’s 10-year-old Friesian Sporthorse mare, placed third with a score of 67.635%.
Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships: Six-Year-Old Division
Michael Bragdell of Colora, MD, and SenSation HW continued their winning trend at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, claiming the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year Old Dressage National Championship. He and the Westphalian gelding owned by Carol McPhee earned a score of 8.78 in the FEI Six-Year-Old Final Test for an overall score of 8.69.
“[This feels] fantastic! It’s wonderful, and it’s always a treat to come here. The facility, staff, volunteers…it’s always put together so nicely. Just to get here, I think it’s a big thing, no matter what division you’re in,” said an elated Bragdell, who won the 2018 Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage National Championship with SenSation HW. “It’s always a little more pressure if you won the year before, and of course you want to be able to stay on top, but I think … you have to roll with the punches and make the judgment call to see where you’re at and if you’re ready to be here.”
Defending Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old Dressage Reserve National Champions was Alice Tarjan from Oldwick, NJ, and Fairouz, her Oldenburg mare, earned the six-year-old reserve championship with an overall score of 8.38. Melissa Fladland from Griswold, IA, and I’m All In, the KWPN gelding she owns with Caphri Dressage, placed third with a score of 8.34. Caitlin Hamar of Hanford, CA, was presented with the highest placed U.S. Bred Horse award for Ion SWF, bred by Mary Nuttall.
USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Nick Wagman from San Diego, CA, and Don John captured the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship. He and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer earned a 76.140 in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle for overall score of 73.287%.
“What a way to end the season. It’s really exciting. Last year was our first real season of Grand Prix, so a year later we’re more confirmed, stronger, and more settled in the test. We went to Europe, and that did a lot for our confidence as well, so I think it’s all just starting to show in the ring here, which is great,” said Wagman, who was the 2018 USEF Grand Prix Dressage Reserve Champion with Don John.
Anna Marek of Williston, FL, and Dee Clair, Diane Morrison’s 11-year-old KWPN mare, earned the reserve title with an overall score of 69.294%. Jennifer Schrader-Williams from Yelma, WA, and Millione, Millione Partners LLC’s 16-year-old Danish gelding, placed third with an overall score of 69.030%.
As part of the winning honors, Wagman was presented with the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) Grand Prix Trophy presented to the USET by Franklin Mint in 1978. In addition he was awarded The Patsy Albers Award. This award is presented to the highest placed rider in the Grand Prix division who represented the U.S. at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The award provides financial support for continuing education and training.
USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18
Mackenzie Peer from Overland Park, KS, capped off a successful week by winning the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 gold medal with Quantum MRF, Nicole Helland’s 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion. The combination, who won the USEF Junior Dressage Reserve National Championship on Saturday, finished with a score of 90.000%.
“To go from being reserve champion and then end as champion, it just feels like the icing on the top,” reflected Peer. “He tried so hard, and it was a long week for us, but he continued to give me his all at the end. It was really unbelievable. I can’t thank him enough, my coach David Wightman, and [Quantum MRF’s] owner, Nicki. It’s been a team [effort], and I’m really grateful.”
Erin Nichols of Yorba Linda, CA, and Jagger DG, DG Bar Ranch’s five-year-old KWPN gelding, earned the bronze medal with a score of 88.000%, while Averi Allen from Pleasant Hill, MO, and Superman, Jonni Allen’s six-year-old Hanoverian gelding, followed with a 86.000% for the bronze medal.
Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage National Championships: Grand Prix Division
Nick Wagman cemented the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship following the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test. He and Ferano, Elizabeth Keadle’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding, placed first in the test with a 71.833 for an overall score of 70.041%.
“[Winning the national championship] certainly exceeded my expectations with Ferano. I came here just excited to be part of it and having qualified. So to come out winning, this is just unexpected, but pleasantly welcome,” said Wagman.
Alice Tarjan and Candescent, her 10-year-old Hanoverian mare, earned the reserve championship with an overall score of 69.723%. Bridget Hay of Flemington, NJ, and Faolan, her 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion, placed third with an overall score of 68.644%. Hay, who bred Faolan, was presented with the highest placed U.S. Bred Horse award.