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Catherine Chamberlain and Avesto van Weltevreden with USEF Managing Director of Dressage Hallye Griffin, Judge Lois Yukins, and USEF Dressage Youth Coaches George Williams and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker

Mickayla Frederick and Wrainier Q

Allison Nemeth and Pablo S

Christina Vinios and Folkestone

Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF

Alice Tarjan and Tiko

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Championships Awarded to Up-And-Coming Dressage Horses and Riders at Lamplight

Written by: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge and Annan Hepner
Client: Lamplight Equestrian Center
Release Date: 2015-08-22

Wayne, IL – August 22, 2015 – The spotlight is on the rising stars of dressage this week at Lamplight Equestrian Center, and five champions to watch in coming years were crowned Saturday during the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships and the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp.

Young Rider Catherine Chamberlain and Junior Mickayla Frederick earned Festival of Champions titles, while the 4-year-old Tiko (ridden by Alice Tarjan), the 5-year-old Rosalut NHF (Carly Taylor-Smith) and the Developing Prix St. Georges horse Folkestone (Christina Vinios) won championships in their respective Young and Developing Horse divisions.

U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp.

AGCO/USEF Young Rider National Championship 

Catherine Chamberlain wasn’t sure about bringing Avesto van Weltevreden to Lamplight for the Festival of Champions, even though she already had plans to attend with her Under 25 Grand Prix horse, Verdicci. Avesto van Weltevreden, nicknamed “Vito,” was coming off a busy summer: he toured in Europe, competing with Chamberlain in the Young Rider Nations Cup at Hagen, and then traveled to Kentucky for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships [NAJYRC], where he and Chamberlain earned team gold and an individual silver.

“We thought he might be too tired, but he came home from that and was super fit and feeling good,” Chamberlain explained. “At the last moment, we decided to take a chance and bring him. Obviously it’s gone really well. I’m thrilled. I have to really thank his owner Kimberly Pribble for allowing me to ride him and take this journey with him.”

The decision paid off, as she and Vito earned an overall average of 69.43 percent over two days of competition – each worth 50 percent of the final score – to clinch the Young Rider Championship. 

“It’s been really great,” Chamberlain said. “I’ve never been to this facility before, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m really thankful to able to come here. Having the Young and Developing Horse Championships alongside is really inspirational to see all those top riders and see the quality that we have in the United States.”

Chamberlain, who also earned triple gold medals at the 2014 NAJYRC with Verdicci, is wrapping up her last year at Young Riders.

“It’s actually my first national title - what better way to go out?” she said. “There’s really nothing better. This whole Young Rider experience has been really an amazing opportunity and an amazing journey. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve finished very last at North Americans (NAJYRC), I’ve finished first at North Americans, and everywhere in between. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride.”

She added, “Each new step teaches you something, and I think you have to learn to become open to the whole process. To finish out with a highlight means a lot to me. I’m thankful to everyone – the whole team behind me, the sponsors of this event and especially the horse. At the end of the day they’re the ones that have to go out there and work with us and really give their all. I really owe a lot to him.”

Kerrigan Gluch, who led after Friday’s Young Rider Team test, scored 68.289 percent for Saturday’s Individual test and finished on an average of 68.794 percent for the reserve championship with Hampton Green Farm’s Vaquero HGF, an 8-year-old P.R.E. stallion.

“My test felt really nice,” Gluch said. “It wasn’t quite as fluid as yesterday, but my canter tour I thought was really energetic and good. Our pirouettes were the best they’ve ever felt in the ring, so I was happy with that. He really surprised me doing this level this year – I never would have expected it. I can’t ask for anything more.”

AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship 

The Junior Championship came to a nail-biting finish with the FEI Junior Individual test results shaking up the leader board. Though Kristin Counterman placed first with a 69.474 percent in Saturday’s Individual test, it was not enough to upset the overnight leader, Mickayla Frederick on Wrainier Q, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Frederick managed to hold onto the lead with an average score of 69.171 percent.

“I’m still in shock and so proud of my horse for getting me here,” said Frederick. “I definitely felt like today I was really riding; I wasn’t just along for the ride.”

Counterman rode Three Times, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to the reserve championship with an average of 68.408 percent. She was also awarded the Anita Owen Perpetual Silver Stirrup Trophy for her outstanding sportsmanship.

“I was so pleased with my test today and felt like I could ride every step and go for a high mark,” said Counterman. “He was with me every step of the way, and everything went great.”

Also featured on Saturday at the Festival of Champions was the first test of the USEF Pony Rider National Championship, which will conclude on Sunday. Eight of the nation’s top pony riders have come to Lamplight to compete for the championship, and Allison Nemeth and Pablo S, a 19-year-old Weser Ems German Reit Pony gelding, jumped out to a strong lead with a 70.94 percent after the FEI Pony Team test.

“Today my pony was a lot more energetic and collected then he usually is, and he really listened to me,” Nemeth explained. “For tomorrow, I really want to work on our medium and extended trots because today he broke into the canter, and I want to fix that.”

Mckenzie Milburn placed second with a 66.496 percent on Darius, her 21-year old Westphalian gelding. This is the first national championship for both Milburn and Nemeth.

“Lamplight is a gorgeous facility, and I am so happy I was able to come,” Milburn said. “I could not have done it without my trainer’s help and my family who pitched in to help.” 

Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships

Christina Vinios and Folkestone were sitting second after Thursday’s first test of the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Championship division. Leading up to Saturday’s final test to determine the championship, Vinios decided it was time to go all out.

“I really wanted to fight for every point,” Vinios said. “I wanted to rev it up a little. The first day I wanted a clean test, and I was a little nervous, but today, I told myself that if I want to beat these people, I need to step it up! Luckily it worked.”

Vinios earned a score of 72.402 percent in Saturday’s USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges test to claim the championship with an overall score of 71.248 percent, switching places with Heather Blitz and Ripline, who took the reserve championship with an overall score of 70.158 percent. Thursday’s FEI Prix St. Georges test counted for 40 percent of the final score, while Saturday’s test counted for the remaining 60 percent. 

Folkestone, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Fidertanz-EL. Kattulika, Rubenstein), has been with Vinios since he was 4, and she has brought him up through the levels with help from several trainers along the way. Juan Matute is coaching her at the Championships, and she credited him with being “the last piece of the puzzle” and making a big difference in her performances this week.

Although Blitz moved down in the rankings from Thursday, she said she was pleased with the reserve championship result for Ripline, a 7-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Blue Hors Hotline-Riviera, Blue Hors Cavan) bred in the U.S. and owned by Oak Hill Ranch.

“I think his reliability is one of his highlights,” she said. “In general, there are no surprises. He is the most honest horse I have ever shown. Just to think that a horse his age can be ranked second in the nation – I couldn’t be happier.”

Five-Year-Old Young Horse Championship 

Carly Taylor-Smith describes Rosalut NHF as a very easy, uncomplicated horse, and the pair made winning look like a piece of cake as they sailed to victory in the 5-year-old division. Over two days of competition, they earned an overall score of 8.46, giving them a lead of half a point over their nearest competitors. 

Saturday’s panel of judges – Jayne Ayers, Jeanne McDonald and Louise Koch – praised Rosalut’s quality, noting that the horse “looks like a pleasure to ride” and “makes it look so easy.” They awarded scores of 9 for submission, 8.5 for overall impression, 8 for both trot and walk, and 8.4 for canter.

“The horse was on today,” Taylor-Smith said. “We have such a good partnership, and I know him so well. We fit like a glove – I think that’s the best part about us. I know him, and he knows me. We have so much trust that the test just felt flowing.” 

Rosalut NHF, an Oldenburg gelding (Rosenthal-Legacy, Salut), was bred in the U.S. by Margaret D. Neider and is owned by Taylor-Smith’s mother, Nikki Taylor-Smith.

Gail Redinger rode Formancier, her own Dutch Warmblood gelding (Furst Romancier-Baileys, Don Romantic), to the reserve championship with an overall score of 7.96, moving up from fifth place after Thursday’s preliminary test. Redinger drove the gelding from Idaho over three days to make it to her first Young Horse Championships.

“I’m thrilled!” Redinger said. “I was hoping I could improve from Thursday and show him off a little bit more. He’s so reliable, and if I ask him correctly he is always there for me. I probably was a little tense the first day – I’ve never been here before. You really want to do well!”

Four-Year-Old Young Horse Championship

Alice Tarjan had a strong hand to play in the 4-year-old division after qualifying two of her own outstanding young horses. After the first test on Thursday, she was sitting in first and second, and she went on to take the championship with Tiko and third place overall with Donatella M. 

Tarjan said rider error was to blame for Donatella’s lower score on Saturday, but that motivated her even more to give Tiko the best ride she could and clinch the championship. She and Tiko, a Danish Warmblood mare by Temptation and out of a mare by Akinos, finished on an overall score of 8.06 with highlights in the trot and canter. 

“Tiko was really good; I was quite pleased,” Tarjan said. “She showed what she can do at home, so that’s all I can ask for.”

Moving up from third place to take the reserve championship were Brooke Voldbaek and Sonnenberg Farm LLC’s Generosa S. While Generosa S, a KWPN mare (Uphill-Zen Rosa, Farrington), was initially the second alternate for the 4-year-old division at the Championships, she proved she truly belonged among the rest, earning an overall score of 7.79.

“I’m so excited to be in second,” Voldbaek said. “I came out today and I was tearing up just because it’s not where I expected to be. This is a great place. The horses have done really well here; it’s really horse-friendly. I can’t wait to come back.”

The USEF Network will feature live streams of Sunday's competition at Lamplight Equestrian Center. For results and starting orders, visit For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit


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