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USEA Area III Championship


Alana Grace and Splish Splash on their stadium round.

Splish Splash is flying and Alana Grace is smiling after a double clear stadium round.
By Splash Eventer

Alana Grace Vogel - Youngest Rider to Complete a Championship Division at the Area III Eventing Championships
On May 4 and 5, 2013 the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Area III held its championship horse trial at Poplar Place Farm in Hamilton, GA.  In order to compete in the championships riders had to complete qualifying rides throughout the year prior to this event. 

The Beginner Novice Rider Division required a rider to place 1st through 5th and have a clean cross country run at qualifying events. Junior Riders are defined by any rider under the age of 18.  Alana Grace Vogel achieved her qualifying scores on Splish Splash, her 13-year-old Appaloosa pony, by winning River Glen Horse Trials in November 2012.

Horse trials have three phases. The first phase is a dressage test.  After the dressage phase of the Area III Championship competition, Alana Grace and Splish Splash were tied for 9th place. 

The second phase of this event was cross country. The weather on the weekend of May 4 in Hamilton, GA was rain-filled. Conditions were treacherous as riders galloped cross country on the rolling terrain. There were 11 starters in the Beginner Novice Junior Rider Championship Division.  The difficult conditions contributed to many riders suffering stops, refusals, and time penalties on course. Alana and Splish Splash literally splashed their way through the course, clearing all obstacles with ease.  They made the optimum time with plenty of seconds to spare.

After cross country Alana and Splash were tied for fourth place.  The final phase of the weekend’s event was show jumping.  Alana and Splish Splash soared through this phase double clear- no rails down or time faults.  The tie was broken by the best time of the rider who was closest to optimum time on Cross Country.  Alana and Splash finished 5th in their Championship division - Beginner Novice Junior Rider.  She received a prize package of numerous horse related items.

Alana was also recognized by Poplar Place Farms with a special award for being the youngest rider to complete a championship division.  She received a large bucket full of great goodies donated by Walgreens to use at future horse trials.

Alana and Splish Splash are moving up to Novice at their next horse trial.  They are also qualified and will compete at the USEA Championships that will be held in September in Tyler, TX. Alana Grace is a member of West Tennessee Pony Club and trains regularly with Jim Graham at Meadow Run Farm in Florence, AL.

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