Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 25, 2019 –On the final day of the 2019 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, young athletes entered the Kay Arena of Lamplight Equestrian Center with hopes of showing their very best in the FEI Children Individual Test. Following the team test on Saturday, riders were hoping to seal the deal in the division to claim the champion title in the USEF Children Dressage National Championship. Paving the way to success was Lexie Kment and the national championship veteran, Manatee.
Originally a racing Thoroughbred with twenty-two starts to his name, Manatee was purchased by the Kment family four years ago as a fun horse for the Kment sisters to ride. Upon purchasing the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, the family had no idea he would end up a national champion in dressage, winning the 2019 USEF Children Dressage National Championship with Kment.
Thirteen-year-old Kment came to the championships from Palmyra, Nebraska, where she trains with her mother, Jami Kment. Jami is a USDF medalist who has trained many athletes to top ten finishes at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, one of which is Kment’s sister, Kylee, who placed third with Manatee in the USEF Children Dressage National Championship last year. Kment decided that after watching her sister compete in the championships, she was inspired to do the same. With a strong team test under her belt, Kment tackled the individual test with grace, earning a 68.155% from the judging panel. Combined with her test score from day one, Kment was awarded a 69.591% overall to lead the division by just over a point.
Carmen Stephens and the 9-year-old Dutch Welsh Pony gelding Woldhoeve’s Silco were able to maintain their second place standing in the division from Saturday, coming out with an individual test score of 68.393%. The 13-year-old from Saratoga, California, trains with Hillary Martin and has been riding ‘Silco’ since 2016. Despite this being their first time at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, Stephens gave two consistent rides over the two days, bringing her total to 68.524% for the reserve national championship title.
Completing the podium was 14-year-old Missourian Joslyn Allen and Lady Liliana. Allen also trains with her mother and rides a U.S. Festival of Champions veteran. Last year, with Allen’s sister Averi Allen, Mary Adam’s 9-year-old Friesian Sporthorse mare Lady Lilliana was second in the division. This year, the horse returned to the championships to carry another young rider to a top three finish, scoring a 68.988% in the individual test and a 67.635% overall to take third place honors.
Results: USEF Children Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Team Test / Individual Test / Total Score
1. Lexie Kment / Manatee / Jamie Kment / 71.026 / 68.155 / 69.591
2. Carmen Stephens / Woldhoeve’s Silco / Carmen Stephens / 68.65 / 68.393 / 68.524
3. Joslyn Allen / Lady Lilliana / Mary Adams / 66.282 / 68.988 / 67.635
4. Justine Boyer / Lentisco XVIII / Hampton Green Farm / 67.885 / 67.143 / 67.514
5. Josephine Hinnemann / Tom / Josephine Hinnemann / 64.679 / 70.179 / 67.429
6. Maren Elise Fouche-Hanson / In My Feelings / Maren Elise Fouche-Hanson / 66.667 / 67.885 / 67.276
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lexie Kment – USEF Children Dressage National Champion
On being a national champion:
“It truly hasn’t sunk in yet. I was here last year when my sister was third and I told myself that I would be here someday and that I was going to be able to win.”
On her partnership with Manatee:
“He has been with us for four years I think. It has been nice because we got him as a horse that we could just ride, hack and have fun on, so it is cool to see how far he has come. He is an off-the-track Thoroughbred. Yesterday we learned that he went in 22 races and won a little less than half of them. It is nice to see him go from being a pasture horse to being here. We experienced [some of his race horse tendencies] today in the victory lap when we got really close to a chair but we were able to get around it! In the barn he is exactly like a manatee. He falls asleep in the crossties, he drags his feet and he has a super sweet personality. He is a really cool horse.”
On her test:
“Today’s test was a little less energetic because he thinks that he did great yesterday so he should be done! He was just a little less energetic and a little stiff but we worked through it.”
Carmen Stephens – USEF Children Dressage Reserve National Champion
On her test:
“Today’s test went really well. [Woldhoeve’s Silco] was being very good and listening. Everything went as well as I could have hoped for.”
On her partnership with Woldhoeve’s Silco:
“I have had Silco for three or four years now. He is very sweet and has a very funny personality. He is on the older side but has always been unpredictable at times. He has taken me from having fun around the arena to being able to compete here.”
On being a reserve national champion:
“It feels surreal. It is amazing that we have been able to get this far.”
Joslyn Allen – USEF Children Dressage National Championship third place
On her test:
“Yesterday’s test was not my best test so today I was very happy. Yesterday I was 7th and today I was 3rd overall so I was really excited. Yesterday she was very energetic and running through all of the movements which didn’t make it look really nice. Today we just took our time and really went through the movements slowly and calmly.”
On her partnership with Lady Lilliana:
“We got my horse from the Amish and my grandma purchased her from a student of my mom. My sister took her here last year and put all of the Second Level work on her to be second place in the Children’s division. To be back here with me riding her and doing really well is really exciting.”