Six National Dressage Titles Crowned at Lamplight Equestrian Center

Cesar Parra Clinches Developing Grand Prix National Championship

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 27, 2017 – On the final morning of the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships, Cesar Parra maintained his lead to ride away with the Developing Grand Prix National Championship on Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus–Forst-Design, De Niro). The 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding was bred by Heike Kind in Germany, and he is owned by Parra with Martha Sosnoff.

Parra topped the Intermediate II on Thursday with a score of 69.561 percent and he returned to the ring Sunday to earn a 65.792 percent in the Developing Grand Prix. In addition to winning the national title, the pair also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award for the highest score of an Oldenburg in the division.

Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois, earned the reserve championship title on Dr. Anne Ramsay’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom (Feuri–Windjammer, Walk on Top). Becker and Freedom earned an overall total of 66.680 percent and they also received the U.S. Bred Award for the Developing Grand Prix division.

Jim Koford rode fan-favorite Adiah HP (Nico–Marje Ant, Anton), a U.S.-bred Friesian Sporthorse mare, to an overall third place finish. Koford picked up the ride on Sherry Koella’s Adiah HP, who is three-quarters Friesian and a quarter Dutch Warmblood, a year and a half ago. The colorful duo moved up from their fifth place finish after they placed second in the Developing Grand Prix with a 66.042 percent.

The 6-year-olds were the last to head down centerline to vie for the final championship title of the weekend. Andrea Woodard of Wellington, Florida, put in another elegant and clean test on her Oldenburg mare Ravenna (Sir Donnerhall I–Romanze, Blue Hors Romanov). Ravenna was bred in Germany by Britta Luebbers and Woodard bought her as a 3-year-old. They also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award and an overall score of 8.164. The judges commented on the mare’s three clean, clear and high-quality gates, and rewarded her with an 8.6 in the trot, an 8.3 in the canter, a submission score of 8.3 and a prospect score of 8.7.

Werner Van Der Brande, who lives in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, earned the reserve championship on Linda Sommer’s Flyby FLF (Falsterbo–Whirliegirl, Wonderland). In the 6-Year-Old Preliminary Test they received a 7.8 and in Sunday’s test, they were given a 7.98. The Hanoverian gelding’s highlight was in his ground covering canter where they received an 8.2.

Michael Bragdell earned the yellow ribbon with an overall score of 7.6 on Anne Howard’s Oldenburg stallion, Finery (Furstenball–Sonetta, Diamond HIT). The pair earned a high score of 8.5 for their active and rhythmic walk.

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championship Results:

Developing Grand Prix National Championship 
Rider / Horse / Intermediate II (40%) / Developing Grand Prix (60%) / Total

1. Cesar Parra / Fashion Designer OLD / 69.561 / 65.792 / 67.300

2. Patricia Becker / Freedom / 67.325 / 66.250 / 66.680

3. Jim Koford / Adiah HP / 66.842 / 66.042 / 66.362
4. Dorie Crow / La Belladonna / 67.193 / 64.542 / 65.602

5. Heather Blitz / Ripline / 65.570 / 65.583 / 65.578

6. Michael Bragdell / Qredit Hilltop / 67.325 / 64.042 / 65.355

6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship 
Rider / Horse / Preliminary Test (40%) / Final Test (60%) / Total

1. Andrea Woodard / Ravenna / 7.9 / 8.34 / 81.64

2. Werner Van Den Brande / Flyby FLF/ 7.8 / 7.98 / 7.908

3. Michael Bragdell / Finery / 7.6 / 7.6 / 7.6

4. Cyndi Jackson / Sir Amour / 7.12 / 7.64 / 7.432

5. Angela Jackson / Gaston TF / 7.36 / 7.3 / 7.324

6. Bridget Hay / Fauna / 7.28 / 7.26 / 7.268


Cesar Parra – Developing Grand Prix National Champion

On his ride:

“First of all, I’m super happy to get another title here at the national championships. I’m very proud of my horse and super grateful. It takes a whole village to get here; from the owner, groom, farrier, there are so many people who helped me get here. I’m happy I didn’t let them down. I wanted to do well for the horse, the team and for myself. I think the ride today could’ve been better. It is what it is. He got heavy in the hand, but overall, I’m very happy.”

On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:

“The place is lovely. The stalls are close to the rings, it’s so organized and not crowded. It makes it fun and like a holiday. It’s really fun to come here for the week. It’s a great experience for the horses. Everyone is very friendly. Even in the rain, the footing was excellent.”

Patricia Becker – Developing Grand Prix National Reserve Champion


On her test:

“Freedom is always a bit more tired or a little slower at the end of a big competition. However, today he actually felt really good in his body going in. He coughed a little bit before the second canter pirouette and we lost the connection so that was a little rough. The first piaffe was weak, but the rest of the test he was really with me and really tried. He gave me all of his focus. I was super proud of him.”

Jim Koford – Developing Grand Prix National Championship third place

On Adiah HP:

“She’s new to the Grand Prix and I want her to feel like a champion every time she goes in. She is a horse that makes me happy every day. She looks at me like she is smiling. Every day, the highlight of her day is when she goes to work. I didn’t have any expectations of placing. I want her to be happy and have the best time and feel really good about herself. In that way, it was a win. She smiled the whole time and felt really good about herself. She gives me chill bumps when I ride her. She makes me so happy. She’s sort of like Lady GaGa to me. She is a star. She makes people smile and she makes me smile. If she loves it, I love it. She’s my buddy.”

Andrea Woodard – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Champion

On winning:
“It feels wonderful. This is what I’ve been building up towards for such a long time now. I actually tried to qualify her for the 5-year-olds last year and she got qualified, but I didn’t think she was mentally ready to take the long trip from Florida. This year, I felt like she was much more prepared and mentally ready. We went for it and it paid off. I’m super excited and very happy with her. It feels like we are on the right track and it’s promising for the future.”

On her competition plans:
“We possibly will move up to do the Developing Prix St. Georges, but I always make the decision when I feel how the horse is developing. If I don’t feel like she is going to be ready and I’m going to have to push too much, I’m not going to necessarily go for this particular show next year. Now if I feel like she is mentally ready and can physically cope with it, then I might show up again. I’m very big on feeling the horses and preparing them to the point where I feel like they can handle the pressure. I do not want to put too much pressure on them just because I want to have a title.”

Werner Van Den Brande – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Reserve Champion

On his ride:
“We have been working hard to get him ready and that was the goal. We did it, and it feels really nice. Overall, the trot work was stronger and we had a bit more energy. I felt like he was more with me and I didn’t have to push him all of the time.”

Michael Bragdell – 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship third place

On his test:
“First of all, it’s always so exciting to come here. Lamplight is a great facility and puts on a great show with a championship feel. It’s fun to come here and compete. With my horse, I’m so proud of how far we have come and to compete here. Today there was an award ceremony going on in the other ring, and he held it together and stayed focused during the test. I was really proud of him and couldn’t ask more of him.”

Rebekah Mingari Dominates AGCO/USEF Young Rider National Dressage Championship, Suzannah Rogers Earns USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 27, 2017 – Rebekah Mingari continued to dominate on the final day of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions at the Lamplight Equestrian Center with her two mares, Allure S and Elzarma TF. The 21-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, claimed not only the champion title of the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship on Allure S, an 11-year-old KWPN mare, with an overall score of 69.474 percent, but she also won the reserve championship aboard Elzarma TF, an 8-year-old KWPN mare, with a total score of 68.202 percent.

Kerrin Dunn is the owner of both of Mingari’s mounts. It’s a family affair as Elzarma TF is the daughter, via embryo transfer, of Allure S. Mingari’s trainer of eight years, Angela Jackson, competed both mares up through the young and developing program before giving Mingari the opportunity to compete them. Mingari recently graduated from the equestrian business program at the University of Louisville and currently works as the professional trainer at Dunn’s Timbach Farm. Next year, Mingari plans to compete Elzarma TF in the Developing Prix St. Georges division and hopes to move up into U25 classes with Allure S.

Jumping up to finish in overall third place was 19-year-old Anna Weniger of Apex, North Carolina, aboard Don Derrick with a score of 67.917 percent. Don Derrick is owned by her mother Dawn Weniger, who trained the 13-year-old NRPS gelding up through Grand Prix before handing over the reins to her daughter last year. The young rider studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will take a break from riding during the fall semester as she will be studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship, Suzannah Rogers, 15, of Atlanta, Georgia, held onto her lead in the individual test and claimed the championship title with her 14-year-old Haflinger gelding Adrenaline Rush SBF. The pair’s team test score of 63.846 percent, combined with their individual test score of 64.106 percent, gave them an overall score of 63.976 percent that helped them maintain their top placing.

Jori Dupell, 16, of Wilsonville, Oregon, also maintained her position after the individual test, taking home the reserve championship with her 17-year-old Half-Arabian gelding Toy Story. The horse-and-rider combination’s score of 62.521 percent in the team test, along with their individual test score of 64.756 percent, gave them an overall 63.639 percent.

Sailor Boden, 13, of Canyon Lake, California, took home third place in the championship with Blitzwane, a 19-year-old German Riding Pony gelding. Boden and Blitzwane also finished in third place during Saturday’s competition, earning a score of 62.436 percent in the team test. The pair’s team test score, combined with their individual test score of 63.130 percent, secured their third place finish with an overall 62.783 percent.

U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions Results:

AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship

Rider / Horse / Team Test (50%) / Individual Test (50%) / Total

1. Rebekah Mingari / Allure S / 70.132 / 68.816 / 69.474

2. Rebekah Mingari / Elzarma TF / 68.684 / 67.719 / 68.202

3. Anna Weniger / Don Derrick / 67.719 / 68.114 / 67.917

4. Callie Jones / Don Philippo / 67.807 / 67.721 / 67.764

5. Sophia Schults / Farley 4 / 66.404 / 68.289 / 67.347

6. Kristin Counterman / Three Times / 66.535 / 66.974

USEF Pony Rider National Championship

Rider / Horse / Team Test (50%) / Individual Test (50%) / Total

1. Suzannah Rogers / Adrenaline Rush / 63.846 / 64.106 / 63.976

2. Jori Dupell / Toy Story / 62.521 / 64.756 / 63.639

3. Sailor Boden / Blitzwane / 62.436 / 63.130 / 62.783

4. Olivia Massotti / Viktor / 61.239 / 62.439 / 61.839

5. Camille Molten / Magnito II / 59.658 / 62.927 / 61.293

6. Meredith Denton / Just G / 61.624 / 60.244 / 60.934


Rebekah Mingari – AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Champion and Reserve Champion

On her ride on Allure S:
Allure today was a bit more focused and she listened more to me, which was really fun. We had a great ride again and I went out and had a good time with her. She’s such a worker bee.She does her job and she really tries  when she’s in the arena — that’s what I love about her. Today, we had more cadence in our canter and trot work compared to yesterday. She was more supple through her neck.”


On Elzarma TF:

“She was less spooky today and she was hotter, which was a lot of fun in the arena because I could redirect that energy. I had a blast with her and we had a clean test. She was really incredible.”

On her sweep of the Young Rider division:

“It’s an incredible feeling [to win both the championship and reserve championship titles]. I rode Elzarma as a 4-year-old and she was my project horse. She really taught me how to develop young horses and I’ve watched Allure since she was 6-years-old and I’d occasionally get on her. She was always the ultimate dream horse to ride. It’s so cool to see these girls grow up and our partnership together is incredible. I love both of them. To win this is amazing. It’s a dream come true.”

Anna Weniger – AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship third place

On her tests:

“I had really fun rides both days. Yesterday, we had one mistake. In one of the trot extensions, he broke to the canter. Today, I was trying to ride a clean test, which we did. I wanted to ride the most accurate test I could and squeeze every point out. It worked out really well. I’m really lucky to get to ride such a cool horse. He is super well trained and he has taught me so much. It’s incredible to be able to compete at these competitions with him.”

Suzannah Rogers – USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Champion

On her championship win:

“This has been my dream since I was 12— to have a pony and win. This is sadly my last year to do it so it felt really cool to win. To have that feeling that I was the competition and everyone was looking to me to try to beat was amazing. Rush is just my best friend. We’re partners, and if we stick to each other and do what we know to do, we can win. So that’s what we did. In the future, I might go to juniors. I really want to move my pony up to Prix St. Georges before I go to college. I’ll keep building a partnership with him and keep loving him. I’m so happy to have the support of my coach, my parents and God.”

On her test:

“He was really good. We had more power. Like I said yesterday, we just needed more power and better cadence. I just made sure that he was supple through his neck and body.”

Jori Dupell – USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Reserve Champion

On her reserve championship win:

“It was amazing. I’ve had my pony for 17 years, and I was never expecting anything like this with him. To pull that out feels awesome.”

On her test:

“He’s a super hot pony and has always been that way. We just had to get the power under control and be able to use it in the parts of the test that I needed to use it. That was a big part of our score improvement today. He tried so hard for me and it was awesome.”

Sailor Boden – USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship third place

On her third place finish:

“Last year we got seventh place and barely kept it together, and this year we moved up to third place. I’m really proud of that.”

On her test:

“I’m so proud of getting this far with my pony from three and a half years ago doing Training Level. He’s been a really hot pony all his life, and for him to really calm down and give his heart to me is really nice. I felt like the canter work was really good today.”

Camille Molten and Isabel Gregory Claim Gold in Dressage Seat Medal Finals

On the final day of the U.S. Festival of Champions, the medalists were decided for both the 13 & Under and 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals. The 13 & Under class that kicked off at 8 a.m. in the Equo Arena proved to be competitive amongst the young riders. After all of the rides had been completed, it was Camille Molten, 13, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, who was awarded the gold medal and the title of champion.

Aboard her 10-year-old Mustang/Trakehner Cross gelding Magnito II, Molten earned a score of 89 in the equitation class. The young rider, who has been riding since the age of 5, trained with Michelle Folden to refine her skills for the medal finals. Previously, she had competed in the 2015 Dressage Medal Seat Finals, where she placed third. With her improvement in the years that followed, she was able to claim the gold medal at the 2017 medal finals.

Kasey Denny earned the silver medal aboard Feyock, a 20-year-old Westphalian gelding, after the pair earned a score of 88. Averi Allen claimed the bronze medal with her performance on the 14-year-old Friesian sporthorse mare Celtic Grace, earning a score of 87.

In the 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals class, Isabel Gregory took home the gold medal aboard Atoftens Cherick, a 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, with a score of 88. The pair was a new partnership, as Atoftens Cherick was borrowed for the medal finals when Gregory’s horse came up with an injury. With a focus on having a smooth ride and showcasing her technical skills, Gregory was able to impress the judges and claim the victory.

Both the gold and bronze medalists in the 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals had spent time training with Yvonne Kusserow out of Dallas, Texas. While Gregory’s main focus in showing this year was the Young Rider division, she was excited to vie for the honors in this year’s medal finals. Gregory had competed in the semi-finals three times previously, and 2016 was the first year that she qualified for the finals.

Just behind Gregory, Caroline Garren took home the silver medal with a score of 87. Garren rode Fontane, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding, who was also borrowed for the medal finals. Abigail Fleischli and Laguna, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, earned the bronze medal after earning a score of 86 in the class.

13 & Under Dressage Seat Medal Finals

1.Camille Molten / Magnito II / 89.0

2.Kasey Denny / Feyock / 88.0

3.Averi Allen / Celtic Grace / 87.0

4.Ella Fructerman / Recess / 80.0

5.Tessa Holloran / Usela / 79.0

6.Saskia Paul / Humble Hazel / 78.0

14 – 18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals

1. Isabel Gregory / Atoftens Cherick / 88.0

2. Caroline Garren / Fontane / 87.0

3. Abigail Fleischli / Laguna / 86.0

4. Mackenzie Peer / Macu / 85.0

5. Callie Jones / Figaro H / 80.0

6. Olivia Turcott / Prosecco / 78.0


Camille Molten – 13 & Under Medal Seat Finals gold medalist

On her ride:

“My pony was really good. I leg-yielded from the wrong letter and he was a little spooky in the corner, but other than that it was good. It was really fun.”

On her preparation for the competition:

“I’ve been training with Michelle Folden for eight years. Equitation is important because your riding affects the horse, and you are judged on your riding. It’s important to not just sit there and look pretty, but actually ride the horse. To practice, my friends and I lunge each other and work on our equitation. During our lessons, we work mostly on equitation as well.”

Kasey Denny – 13 & Under Medal Seat Finals silver medalist

On her ride:

“I felt like my test went pretty well, but he needed to stay straighter during the transitions. He didn’t quite do his free walk and cut the corner off. I thought the canter-trot serpentine was the best today. In our pony test we have a four-loop serpentine with a walk transition. The trot transition is a little easier for him so that was good today.”

On her preparation for the competition:

“I think the equitation is important because you get to learn how to use your seat and legs more. You are able to ride your horse better. I’ve especially been working on my seat, legs and upper body position.”

Averi Allen – 13 & Under Medal Seat Finals bronze medalist

On her ride:

It was pretty good — my transition to the canter from trot was not by the letter, and she wasn’t listening by C very well. It got a little tense, but other than that it was good.”

On her preparation for the competition:

“I’ve been riding with her since I was 3 years old. Equitation is important because sometimes you realize you have to get your core and legs stronger so the horse listens to you better. I’ve been working on getting my core and legs stronger, as well as practicing without stirrups. ”

Isabel Gregory – 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals gold medalist

On her ride:

“I didn’t have a big goal going in because this is my first time at the finals and I’m riding a borrowed horse. I really just wanted to focus on having a smooth test and I feel like we accomplished that. We really improved from our training the past few days. He got a little stuck at some points in the test, but I felt that he was really listening to me and I was able to push him through it. I thought [the championships] were a really fun experience. It’s cool to see riders from around the country that you hear about but never see in person. It was really interesting to see the quality of horses too. There is so much going on and it’s a really good learning opportunity.”

On her riding background:

“I started riding when I was 11 but it wasn’t seriously riding. After that, I trained with Yvonne Kusserow and Abby six years ago. I actually showed Young Riders this season, but my horse was injured so I was fortunate to have a horse to borrow for the finals.”

Caroline Garren – 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals silver medalist

On her ride:

“I have a lovely borrowed horse this time also. I did the practice round so I really tried to build off what the judges were saying, such as making his walk a little more free and following. My trainer really helped me work through making my trot to canter transitions smooth. Not all of them went smoothly, but I felt like I really put in effort to help him and support him in those. I was very happy with our trot work. Just making that all go smoothly was very important to me today.”

On her preparation for the competition:

“I train with Karen Lipp. I was actually able to have the horse the week before the competition from his lovely owner Denise Cole. We really focused on getting to know him and keeping him relaxed when he got here. We just made sure that he felt confident so I could look beautiful.”

Abigail Fleischli – 14–18 Dressage Seat Medal Finals bronze medalist

On her ride:

“I’ve been competing in the Young Rider division so I didn’t do the warm-up class. Going into the finals, I really wanted to have a smooth test as well. We actually competed in the 2015 Dressage Seat Medal Finals, and I would say I focused too much on myself and wasn’t as effective with my aids because I wasn’t as worried about what Laguna was doing. For this test, I really tried to focus on keeping her in a frame that was really adjustable, in addition to focusing on myself. That helped the overall picture.”

On her preparation for the competition:

“I train with Yvonne Kusserow. Prior to this competition we were focusing mainly on the Young Rider stuff. We focused on building a lot of expression into her gaits. I think in doing that, we also made her more rideable and easier to adjust, which helped for the Dressage Seat Medal Final class.”

Rebekah Mingari and Allure S
Rebekah Mingari and Allure S
Andrea Woodard and Ravenna
Andrea Woodard and Ravenna
Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD
Cesar Parra and Fashion Designer OLD

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