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Junior Team Challenge at Southwind Stables


By Peggy Gaboury

Southwind Stables, in Olive Branch, MS, held their first open dressage schooling show on Saturday, May 30. The show was well attended by Southwind students, with at least entry from outside the barn. The show was well organized and offered good food. 

In addition to dressage classes, this show was the first in the area to offer Prix Caprilli classes. The Prix Caprilli classes are dressage tests with jumps in them. There are no jump combinations with related distances, so it is not like jumping a course at a hunter/jumper show.  There is a test for each level from Intro through First, but these tests are designed for horses with both jumping and dressage experience.  The horse is not expected to maintain the steady, on-the-bit frame shown in a regular dressage test, but to show some roundness and relaxation in the movements between jumps.  The collective marks are for gaits and jumping style in the first box; for impulsion; for submission; and for rider position and effectiveness in the next boxes respectively.  The version of the tests used was prepared for Lendon Gray’s “Dressage 4 Kids” competition.

One venturesome rider, Jeanette Lippy, came prepared to try the Prix Caprilli.  She had entered the Training Level test, but kindly agreed to ride through the Intro Level test as well, so that riders in the audience could see the tests and be more confident about trying them next time.  A lot of students at Southwind Stables also compete in the Meg Ford shows and do some eventing, so it is hoped that these classes will attract some new riders and interest in an “expanded” dressage test.  The classes will be offered again in upcoming shows, so there will be more opportunities for other riders who would like to give them a try.

After the class, Jeanette remarked that she had enjoyed it, and so had her horse.  She found that the test lay-outs allowed her to ride him easily forward to the fences, and the dressage movements in-between helped both her and the horse to relax and focus on rhythm and balance in the tests.

For those who are interested, the Prix Caprilli tests are available on the Delta Dressage Association (DDA) website, If you try them, you’ll like them. Right, Mikey?

This competition was the third in the Junior Team Competition series that is being sponsored by Delta Dressage Association.  Southwind Stables entered three teams of junior riders. The Mad Hatters, comprised of Megan Patterson, Daniel Patterson and Alli Stewart, have represented Southwind Stables in two previous competitions at the Midsouth Dressage Academy in Hernando, MS.  On this occasion their score of 65.567% came in second to the AutoBots – Katie Beninati, Sela Ward and Cole Skinner, who averaged a score of 67.052%.  Third place was taken by the Neverquit team, Kendall Connor, Sela Ward, and Avery Yarbro, who scored 62.344%.  Kendall has only been riding for 8 months, so riding on a team was a brave start for her in dressage competition.

Southwind Stables also fielded DDA’s first Adult Dressage Team: The Rusty Stirrups, composed of Emma Miller, Chris Patterson, and Lois Knopp.  For both Chris and Lois, this was a first dressage showing experience, and they competently rode Intro A and Intro B for their team. Emma Miller is the head instructor and trainer at Southwind Stables. The Rusty Stirrups’ team score was a very respectable 63.175%.  Delta Dressage welcomes other adult teams in the Dressage Team Challenge; just come and ride at the shows, and let us know your team name and members’ names.

The show concluded with some fun games classes.  “Command” was won by Katie Beninati and “Ride-A-Buck” was won by Alli Stewart.  It was so windy that the eggs blew off the spoons in the walk, so we gave up on that one. Maybe next time…

The next shows in the series will be at Southwind Stables on July 25 and at Mid-South Dressage Academy on Sept 5.  Information about the shows and the team competition is available at, and at the MDA events page on Facebook.  Full score results for team competitions are on the Delta Dressage Association website: Come join us at our next shows and share the fun!

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