Tarjan, Doverspike and Taylor-Smith Go Into Lead on Day 1 of Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 24, 2017 – The first divisions of the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships took to the ring on a beautiful day at the Lamplight Equestrian Center Thursday, Aug. 24. 

Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF
Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF

The 4-year-old division kicked off the opening day of the national championships and Alice Tarjan of Frenchtown, New Jersey, dominated the class placing first and second in the preliminary test. Tarjan rode her black Hanoverian mare, Serenade MF (Sir Donnerhall–Duet MF, Don Principe), bred by Maryanna Haymon, to the win with a score of 8.44. She followed close behind with her German-bred Oldenburg mare, Fairouz (Franziskus–Diva, Don Frederico) on a score of 8.06. Rounding out the top three was Kimberly Dougherty on her Oldenburg mare Celebration (Coer D’Amour–Rhythm-N-Blues, Rosenthal) with a 7.99.

The judges awarded Serenade MF high marks for her expressive, uphill trot, ground-covering walk and active canter. Their general impression was a positive one as they recognized the mare’s trainable qualities and forward gaits. Tarjan’s other mount, Fairouz, was rewarded for her light-footed, active trot, which the judges believed to be the main highlight. Her clear, rhythmic walk, as well as overall rideability and obedience, earned her high marks to slide into second place.

Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555
Alyssa Doverspike and Darius 555

Alyssa Doverspike and her Hanoverian gelding, Darius 555 (Don Darius–Barcelona, Boss) made the three-day trip from Wildomar, California, well worth it after winning Thursday’s 5-year-old preliminary test with a 7.76. Doverspike is a full time groom for her trainers David Wightman and Kathleen Raine of Adventure Farms and she attributes her success to knowing Darius’ personality inside and out as she is very hands-on in his daily care. The pair earned the highest mark of 8.8 for their walk from the judges who were pleased with his clear rhythm and shoulder freedom.

Angela Jackson of Henderson, Kentucky, and Craig Stanley of Madera, California, tied for second place in the 5-year-old preliminary test with a score of 7.72. Jackson rode Julie Cook’s Hanoverian gelding Sandeman (Sir Donnerhall I–Flora, Florencio I). Stanley returned to Lamplight Equestrian Center on his homebred KWPN gelding Habanero CWS (Idocus–Caliente DG, OO Seven) as the pair won the 4-Year-Old Young Horse National Championship in 2016.

During the Developing Prix St. Georges division, Carly Taylor-Smith saved the best for last and rode Nikki Taylor-Smith’s 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding Rosalut NHF (Rosenthal–Legacy, Salut) to win with a 70.439 percent. The pair has had success throughout their young horse career as they won the 4-Year-Old Young Horse National Championship in 2014 and the 5-Year-Old Young Horse National Championship in 2015.

Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF
Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF

Nora Batchelder of Williston, Florida, earned a 69.298 percent and placed second on her 8-year-old Hanoverian mare Fifi MLW (Fidertanz–Wolkenstanza MLW, Wolkentanz I). Endel Ots rounded out the top three aboard Max Ot’s 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie–Heidi, His Highness) with a score of 68.597 percent.

For results and starting times, visit www.foxvillage.com. For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. Live streaming will be available on the USEF Network. The Developing Grand Prix division will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 25.

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championship Results:

4-Year-Old Preliminary Test:

1. Alice Tarjan / Serenade MF / 8.44
2. Alice Tarjan / Fairouz / 8.06
3. Kimberly Dougherty / Celebration / 7.99
4. Carlos Santos / Inferno M / 7.88
5. Michael Bragdell / SenSation HW / 7.64
6. Michael Bragdell / Debonair MF / 7.5

5-Year-Old Preliminary Test:

1. Alyssa Doverspike / Darius 555 / 7.76
2. Angela Jackson / Sandeman / 7.72
2. Craig Stanley / Habanero CWS / 7.72
4. Birthe Laufer / Furstentusch N / 7.66
5. Judy Kelly / Quintess / 7.6
6. David Wightman / Hotshot / 7.48

Prix St. Georges Test:

1. Carly Taylor-Smith / Rosalut NHF / 70.439
2. Nora Batchelder / Fifi MLW / 69.298
3. Endel Ots / Lucky Strike / 68.597
4. Anna Stovall / Frankie / 68.421
5. Nora Batchelder / Faro SQF / 68.246
6. Kelli Mardell / Hemmingway / 67.588


Alice Tarjan – 4-Year-Old Preliminary Test winner

On Serenade:

“I bought her as a foal. As a yearling, she was so tiny and had a hunter way of going, but she got better and better after I returned from Florida this year. By the time Devon rolled around, I was convinced she was a really super horse. Serenade has no weaknesses other than the fact that she cribs. She has a super walk, trot and canter. She never tells you that she doesn’t want to play ball. You can trail ride her or put a kid on her and walk around with a cotton lead rope wherever you want. That horse is the whole package.”

On her tests:

“Serenade didn’t feel as great when we got here Tuesday. She’s not spooky but she gets a little backed-off and behind the leg, which messes with the connection. Yesterday it was still a little bit of an issue, so I was hoping by today she would be settled. I got on her today and the warm-up felt great. She understands her job in the ring. She’s young, but the balance is coming along. I was really pleased with her. She’s very rideable and trainable. My other horse, Fairouz, is a really solid horse too. The right canter needs a lot of development. We just need a little bit more time to be able to show it.”

Kimberly Dougherty – 4-Year-Old Preliminary Test third place

On Celebration:
“This is my first time at the championships. I’ve had my mare since she was 6 months old. She’s big and long, which is one of our biggest challenges. It’s always a challenge to try to put her more together and keep her going uphill. She can be a little slow sometimes, which is something we’re still working on. Today she brought her game face. She had a long trip from New York so she has been super tired since she got here, but today she came out and tried to dance. I’m really happy with her today.”

Alyssa Doverspike – 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test winner

On Darius 555:
“My trainers David Wightman and Kathleen Raine, as well as their coach Johann Hinnemann, saw Darius as a 3-year-old, and then a year later his breeder [ Dirk Ettwig] still had him. When I was in Europe grooming for David for the championships in Ermelo, I tried him and then brought him home. David rode his half-brother, Silberpfeil, in the 6-year-old final [at the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses]. He was a great find for me, and without my family, I would not have him and not be where I am today. I have a ton of support in my Adventure Farm team so I’m very lucky.

On her test:
“It’s a long drive from California so I was happy with his energy. I can really depend on him in the walk a lot and I let him do his thing. I tried to keep the trot moving forward. I would love to have more impulsion on Saturday. He has big gaits so if I can get him really powering from behind, he is such a fun ride. I’m very impressed with the horses competing here. You never know how you will stack up against the whole country when you are qualifying so it’s great to see great riding and horses.”

Angela Jackson – 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test second place tie

On the Markel/USEF Young Horse National Championships:

“These championships are very special to me — I always feel like a winner when I get an invitation. It’s a special show and it’s a wonderful way for young horses to shine. I’m very thankful to have the championships. I was super happy with my horse even though he was a bit scared. It means the world to me that he trusted me and really worked for me.”

Craig Stanley – 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test second place tie

On Habanero CWS:
“It’s special to be able to come here — this is my sixth time and to be here on a homebred is even more special. I thought he did really well today. He was with me. He was my first foal out of Caliente DG, who competed here for 3 years herself. I’m really happy I could make it with her first baby.”

Carly Taylor-Smith – Prix St. Georges Test winner

On Rosalut NHF:

“In 2014, he was just a gangly baby. We’ve stuck with it and gone up the levels. His biggest quality is that he’s a born performer. Every time I take him out he loves to show off to people. Today, I had a pretty good ride I thought. Some blips in my extensions, but overall the quality of my work felt really good. He felt really soft. We are on the road to hopefully the end result being grand prix, so I feel like we are getting there and I’m very happy.”

On Lamplight Equestrian Center:

“It’s a fantastic facility. The arenas are really good and the footing is super. It’s fun and everyone is friendly.”

On the Developing Horse Program:

“I think it’s a really good guideline and a super stepping-stone for horses. It certainly pushes you to where your horse needs to be. I feel like my horse is following the program pretty well.”

Nora Batchelder – Prix St. Georges Test second place

On Fifi MLW:

“She’s a little green at the Prix St. Georges, this is only the third time she’s done it. She was a little nervous when she got in there and was backed off by the atmosphere, but I thought she got better as the trot work went on and got through the canter work. I was really proud of her. I think for the next test I want to get her more powered up and feeling confident in herself. I think we’ll be in a really good spot.”

On the Developing Horse Program:

“I think it’s great for them to get in this kind of atmosphere when they’re younger to learn and have a bit of a crowd. They get used to that before it really counts.”

Endel Ots – Prix St. Georges Test third place

On Lucky Strike:

“Our end result is hopefully the grand prix. I think my test today was a little bit lazy and backed off. He tried really hard. The trot work was good but he was a little bit tired in the canter work. I was happy with how much he tried for me. I’m super happy to be here and among these great people. I had a really great time.”

On the Developing Horse Program:

“I think it’s nice because it gives you goals for your young horse. To compete against other horses in a similar age group I think is a really nice thing. The goal setting part is a super important part of development.”

All Festival of Champions Horses Cleared in Horse Inspection

Running alongside the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships are the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals as well as youth divisions from the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. The horse inspection for the Festival of Champions was held Thursday evening at Lamplight Equestrian Center, and it was clear sailing for all entrants, who will go on to compete for top honors over the next several days. Junior Rider Allison Nemeth’s 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding Dafoe was held for re-inspection but passed.

Riders vying for the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship and the USEF Children National Championship will all have their first tests Friday. The USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship and the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship will head down centerline for the first time on Saturday.  

Rebekah Mingari and Elzarma TF
Rebekah Mingari and Elzarma TF

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