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Region 3 Dressage Finals


By Nancy Brannon, Peggy Gaboury, and others

The Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation Region 3 Dressage Championships and Atlanta National Fall Dressage were held in Conyers, Georgia, October 9-11, 2015 at the Georgia International Horse Park. The 3-day event was hosted by Georgia Dressage & Combined Training Association. The judges included: D Reihl-Rodriguez(S) Arvada, CO; S. Michael (S) Portage, MI; D. Rodriguez (S) Williamsburg, VA; J. Hannon (S) Golden, CO; K. Wysocki (S) Elbert, CO;S.. Mandas (S) Dayton, OH; S. Hotz (S) Erie, CO; S. Geike (S) Lebanon, CT; S. Peterson (S) Penn Yan, NY;  S. Kolstad (S) Florence, KY, Lisa Cox “R” NC. Jan Jacobson “R”NC, Leslie O’Neal, “R” .

The mid-south’s own Peggy Gaboury, Mary Cokeing, and Marty Healy were  co-secretaries and Sandy Donovan was the show entry secretary and manager.  Peggy said it was the “biggest finals ever, for dressage – over 500 horses and over 200 volunteers to the run the show over the three days. The view from the secretary’s office is necessarily limited, but we knew there was plenty of electricity in the air.  Every one of the competitors was there with the secret hope of making it to the USDF National Finals, but only two people out of each championship class – the Champion and the Reserve – are guaranteed to make it.  With classes that ran all day, as the Training and First Level Championships did, competition was intense and the gradual but relentless posting of scores only made that tension more palpable. 

Inevitably, the horses caught all of that, and we had four riders “popping off” on the first day of competition.  No one was hurt, and things settled down after that.  Although any show this size has its glitches, most people were happy to be there, most of the weather was fine, and the show grounds was filled with beautiful horses doing their thing.”
Mid-south riders of interest:

Suzy Hoyt Chandler, riding Belle in Training (64.091% in Training Test 3) and First Levels (60% in First Level Test 3)
Patricia Fannin, rode Roxy Royale in FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Intermediate I. In FEI Prix St. Georges, AA, Championship Class: third place (65.921%). Winner of Intermediare I AA Championship Class (69.737%). When interviewed after it was over, Fannin told Peggy Gaboury she “was thrilled with the win, but the award ceremony, in full dress with victory lap, was far more terrifying than the competition had been.”

Riders from CTDA:  Nina Warren’s student, Jordan Lockwood, on Neodymion, won Third Level Test 3 Jr/YR (67.564%); was second in Third Level Test 1 Jr/YR (65.909%); butdidn’t place in Third Level Test 3 Jr/YR Championship Class( 63.846%).

Emerson Blandford on Cindy Lu Who came in second in Dressage Seat Equitation Medal Semi-Final, 13 &Under (75%). Jessica Wright is her trainer. Emerson also rode Training Level, Test 3 Jr/YR (63.295%), and was just out of the ribbons in First Level, Test 1 (56.852%).

Luann Wagner on Democracy JS (First Level Test 3 didn’t place (67.279% and 63.529%) wassecond in First level test 3 Adult Amateur (74.265%).

 Jana Henry (#362)on Velando, won Second Level test 2 Adult Amateur (62.308%); was third in Second level test 3 Adult Amateur (70.976%); was second in Second Level Test 2 Adult Amateur (66.923%); was first in Second Level Test 3 Adult Amateur 63.659%; placed fourth in Second Level AA Championship Class (66.951%).

Daniel Patterson, who is only 11 years old, placed in the Training Level Jr/YR Championship in St. Louis, in his first year of competing dressage.  He placed sixth out of a class of 14, with a score of 67.614%.  His goal for this year had been to get to the Regional Finals, so actually placing and getting to ride in the awards ceremony was icing on the cake for him!  Daniel rides at Southwind Stables in Olive Branch, Mississippi. 

The Region 3 Championship featured a musical freestyle “competition” at the Saturday night competitors’ party.  It was won by a rider dressed as “Ghost Buster” and included a ghost who hid behind the judge's stand, behind various dressage letters, and behind the big Regional Championships banner, but was eventually slain by the Ghost Buster.

Second place went to a rider dressed as a chicken, who rode to music that included “The Chicken Dance,” the Macarena, and finished with YMCA. This entry got the audience on its feet and dancing.  Judging was conducted by audience volume, which meant some riders got points just for staying on.

In addition to the dressage competition, there were a lot of vendors present, so the competitors had some great shopping opportunities.

For more information about the show, visit:!oct-9-11th-usdf-2015-regional-c---/lcocy.  Official photographer for the show was WNC photo:

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