Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 25, 2022 – Competition at the highly anticipated U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, held at the serene Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, continued Thursday, seeing the final day of Intermediaire I competition. The third leg of the championship, the Intermediate I Freestyle that accounted for 15% of the combinations’ final scores, took place in the afternoon in the expansive Grand Prix arena. Laura Graves and SenSation HW, a 9-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Carol and Scott McPhee, were awarded the tricolor champion ribbon at the end of the evening following another stellar performance that was enough to keep them at the top of the podium.

Laura Graves and SenSation HW
Laura Graves and SenSation HW

In their first national championship as a pair, Graves and SenSation HW are proving themselves a force to be reckoned with. Graves and SenSation HW kicked off the division on Monday, taking the top score and an early lead with a 75.117% in the Prix St. Georges test worth 40% of their total score. Nick Wagman and Heatcliff, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer, stepped into the second place position after the first leg, earning a 73.529%, while Emily Miles and Daily Show, an 8-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Leslie Waterman, took third with a 71.646%.

Emily Miles and Daily Show
Emily Miles and Daily Show

Returning to the arena on Tuesday for the Intermediate I test worth 45% of their total score, Graves and the young gelding once again took a firm hold of the lead, securing another blue with a 74.793%. Miles and Daily Show improved upon their score from the previous day, earning a 73.44% and a red ribbon as they edged themselves up the leaderboard. Rebecca Rigdon and Iquem, her own 9-year-old KWPN mare, took a third place finish on a score of 72.234%

Rebecca Rigdon and Iquem
Rebecca Rigdon and Iquem

The division culminated in the Intermediate I Freestyle on Thursday afternoon, with Graves and SenSation HW earning a 76.005% for their efforts in a new freestyle floorplan. Graves was not undefeated this time however, as Miles and Daily Show put their best foot forward immediately following the leading pair to earn a 77.3% for their performance that would score them the blue ribbon for the class. Ali Potasky and Inxs, her own 9-year-old KWPN gelding, finished in third place for their freestyle on a score of 73.41%. 

Miles’ high freestyle score was not enough to edge her past Graves and SenSation HW’s standing in the division, and they closed out the division with the reserve championship honors. Rigdon and Iquem took third place overall. 

Competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will continue Friday, Aug. 26, with the USEF Junior Rider Dressage National Championship and the Dressage Seat Medal Final for 13 and Under.


 Laura Graves – USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Champion

On winning the national championship:
“I’m always so excited to stay in the Top 3 with women. I think it’s so amazing for us to support each other in such a difficult industry, and to see so many smiling faces and people supporting us has topped this week so far for me. 

On SenSation HW:
“It was the second time I’ve ridden this freestyle, the first time in this big atmosphere, and it’s just the beginning. I’m really getting to know him and I’m super proud of the test he put in at the beginning of the week.”

Laura Graves and SenSation HW
Laura Graves and SenSation HW

On her freestyle performance with SenSation HW:
“We put it together at the last minute. I don’t ever like to ‘count my eggs before they hatch,’ so when we realized I was in a good place to qualify for this I decided it was time to put together a freestyle. I always go to Terry Gallo and she helps me put a routine together with music I like and keep the owners happy. We also felt it was important to pick music that could be morphed into something bigger so we can use some of it as [Serenade MF] moves forward to, hopefully, become a Grand Prix horse.”

On SenSation HW’s development:
“It’s been very exciting for me. To take over someone else’s ride is never easy, and there is a lot of added pressure that comes with a horse that has been very successful with another rider. I’m glad we’ve been able to get to know each other to make our own successful partnership.” 

Emily Miles – USEF Intermediaire I Dressage Reserve National Reserve Champion 

On her partnership with Daily Show:
“Daily Show is owned by Leslie Waterman and we bought him at the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing as a two and a half year-old. I was pregnant at the time we bought him, so the joke has always been that my brother got to sit on him before me. But, he’s really coming into his own and I think he’s only going to get better. As a young horse he was a little bit gaucky, but he has really matured. For him to be able to ride that freestyle tonight pedal to the metal was an amazing feeling. 


USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship

Place / Rider / Horse / Owner
1. Laura Graves / SenSation HW / Carol and Scott McPhee
2. Emily Miles / Daily Show / Leslie Waterman
3. Rebecca Rigdon / Iquem / Rebecca Rigdon

FEI Grand Prix Special for the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
1. Alice Tarjan / Serenade MF / Alice Tarjan / 73.467
2. Katie Duerrhammer / Paxton / Kylee Lourie / 71.68
3. Abraham Pugh / Elfenperfekt / Alice Drayer / 68.041
4. Nora Batchelder / Faro SQF / Andrea Whitcomb / 66.765
5. Allison Carmichael / Figaro / Flying Otter Farms / 66.574
6. Emily Miles / Java Dulce / Leslie Waterman / 66.403

FEI Grand Prix 16-25 for Brentina Cup Championship
1. Quinn Iverson / Beckham 19 / Billie Davidson / 70.102
2. Callie Rose O’Connell / Eaton Unitechno / Ruling Cortes LLC / 69.102
3. Emma Smith / Stedemann / Emma Smith / 65.82
4. Callie Jones / Don Philippo / Callie Jones / 65.794
5. Jordan Lockwood / Sagacious HF / Hyperion Farm Ince & Jordan Lockwood / 61.127

FEI Junior Team Test for Junior Rider Championship
1. Madison Sumner / Briar / Madison Sumner & Wayne Sumner / 70.201
2. Tiggy Gates / Shadow’s Dream / Tiggy Gates / 70.05
3. Ella Fruchterman / Holts Le’mans / Todd Fruchterman and Ella Fruchterman 70.049
4. Josephine Hinnemann / Copa Cabana MRF / Natalie Hamilton-Hinnemann / 69.039
5. Emily Jackowski / Havanna 133 / Wesley Dunham / 68.989
6. Kasey Denny / Legende / Amy Denny / 68.383

USEF/Markel Young & Developing Horse National Championships

FEI Prix St. Georges for Developing Prix St. Georges Championship
1. Olivia LaGoy-Weltz / Johnny Be Goode / Fritz Kundrun / 74.558
2. Martin Kuhn / Ronin / Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn / 71.029
3. Katie Duerrhammer / Zaphira / Kylee Lourie / 68.97
4. Karen Lipp / Inigo Montoya / Michelle Klasing / 67.989
5. Callie Rose O’Connell / Iron Lady / Ruling Cortes LLC / 67.499
6. Jordan Rich / Incredible Jack / Kaye Otten / 67.401

USEF Four Year Old Horse Test
1. Adrienne Lyle / Furst Dream / Betsy Juliano LLC / 95.2
2. Alice Tarjan / Ice Princess / Alice Tarjan / 89.4
3. Michael Bragdell / Sir Real / Leslie Waterman / 84
4. Dawn White-O’Connor / Nobility LH / Tiggy Gates / 82.4
5. Alyssa Doverspike Burkett / For Edition / David Wightman, Alyssa Doverspike Burkett & Kimberly Pribble / 81.6
6. Martin Kuhn / Vholt / Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn / 80.8

FEI Five Year Old Preliminary Test
1. Adrienne Lyle / Valor / Kylee Lourie / 92.6
2. Rebecca Rigdon / MSJ for VIPS / Lauren Fisher / 86.8
3. Marcus Orlob / Maximus / Alice Tarjan / 78.6
4. Nadine Schwartsman / Fernando / Christie Cooper / 77.6
5. Benjamin Pfabe / Mondriaan Lynn / Sue Woods / 77.4
6. Justine Wilson / Manhattan / Teresa Long / 77


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