June 3, 2014 -- The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team kicked-off on Tuesday in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena at the USET Foundation Headquarters, with 23 of the 24 entries completing the FEI Team Tests in their respective grades and earning the first 40% of their championship score. For the majority of the day competitors, officials and spectators enjoyed picturesque weather until rain and thunderstorms rolled in for the final division of the afternoon. The final competitors of the day, Marsha Cullen and Latte, were forced to stop midway through their Grade II test because of lightening in the area. They will perform their Team Test on Wednesday morning before all entries return to ride the FEI Individual Tests.
Earning the highest marks of the day from the Ground Jury of Adrienne Pot, David Schmutz, and Kristi Wysocki and heading the field after Tuesday is Grade II rider and five-time USEF National Champion Rebecca Hart with Schroeter's Romani on a score of 75.098.
Hart (Unionville, Penn.) and her own 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare produced an expressive and flowing effort on Tuesday to hold the early lead in the National Championship. The combination who are in their first competitive season together have continued to progress throughout 2014 and the two-time Paralympian has been working diligently to improve the mare's performance in the ring.
"I was really happy, it was one of those test you enjoy the whole way through," said Hart. "We've been working on her performance and consistency in the ring because she can be a little distracted and to have her go down the centerline and really focus was great."
Hart spent much of the spring competing Schroeter's Romani in Europe and believes the experience was invaluable.
"I think the European tour really helped us on our focus."
Margaret McIntosh (Reading, Penn.) is making her second National Championship appearance this week in Gladstone and impressed with flowing, accurate 1A Team Test. The former eventing rider and her own eight-year-old Rheindlander mare scored 72.391 to hold second place in National Championship competition after Tuesday.
"We've been working really hard to get Rio more forward and consistent," said McIntosh. "And she was the best she's ever been today."
Lying in third place in the championship are Grade 1A competitors Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Tx.) and her own 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Nice Touch who scored 71.304 in the afternoon session.
Susan Treabess (Winters Calif.) and Kathryn Hill's nine-year-old PRE stallion Kamiakin, the first combination down centerline in the Dick and Jane Brown Arena, were the winners of Grade IV Team Test with a score of 69.444. As the final entry in Tuesday's Grade III competition, Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno's 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lancelot Warrior proved unbeatable scoring 71.220. Hart and Schroeter's Romani were the top placing finishers in Grade II competition with just Cullen and Latte needing to perform her Team Test on Tuesday morning. In Grade 1B, Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) bested herself posting a score 70.667 with Victoria Dugan's 14-year-old Warmblood gelding Willi Wesley. While, McIntosh and Rio Rio were the winners of the Grade 1A Team Test.
For score, results and orders of go visit; http://www.foxvillage.com/fvdshowresults/(gk5mitujwaurfi55exs2hqvs)/Class.aspx?sh=2364&cl=3
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