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Stacey Hastings on Dakota, winners of the $1,000 USDF Musical Freestyle, pictured with Dressage at Lexington show manager Debbie Rodriguez and Virginia Horse Center Foundation Secretary Gardy Bloemers

Marne Martin-Tucker skips out the ring with her blue ribbon following her victory in the $1,000 FEI Musical Freestyle

Allison Brock and Rosevelt

The SHAC winning team, "Bays 'R Us," included Megan Carpenter, Jesse Ginsburg, Liberty Seaford and Cathy Scholten (listed in no particular order).

Dressage at Lexington would not be possible without the tireless efforts of show manager, Debbie Rodriguez.

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Silver Anniversary Dressage at Lexington Strikes Gold at Virginia Horse Center

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Virginia Horse Center Foundation
Release Date: 2014-07-16

Stacey Hastings, Marne Martin-Tucker and Alison Brock Among Weekend’s Big Winners 

Lexington, VA – July 16, 2014 – This past weekend marked the 25th year of Dressage at Lexington at the Virginia Horse Center, and with over 400 horses entered, the silver anniversary of the show was nothing short of gold.

Highlights of this year’s event, held July 11–13, included a Dressage Sport Horse Breed Show, performance classes ranging from Training Level to Grand Prix, the Prix St. Georges Challenge, the Sporting Horse Amateur Challenge (SHAC) and, for the first time, the $1,000 USDF Musical Freestyle and the $1,000 FEI Musical Freestyle.

Both newly added freestyle classes were generously sponsored by the Virginia Horse Center Foundation (VCHF) as part of the organization’s efforts to continue to expand and improve the high-quality dressage competitions held at the Horse Center throughout the year.  

Riding away with the inaugural Dressage at Lexington Freestyle wins were Stacey Hastings and Dakota in the $1,000 USDF Musical Freestyle and Marne Martin-Tucker and Royal Coeur in the $1,000 FEI Musical Freestyle.

Martin-Tucker and her own Royal Coeur, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare, topped the $1,000 FEI Musical Freestyle class with a score of 74.124 percent for their Intermediaire I Freestyle.

“It’s exciting because this year is our very first year showing freestyle, for both her and me,” Martin-Tucker said. “Our freestyle in Lexington was our fourth freestyle. We’ve actually been the high score FEI freestyle at the last three shows that we’ve done, even over open riders even though I’m an adult amateur. We’re really fortunate to be having a great year, and it’s just been a lot of fun.”

Martin-Tucker also enjoyed riding at the Virginia Horse Center, a facility at which she has competed for some time.

“It’s a wonderful facility in our area,” Martin-Tucker said. “It’s a real treat now with the new management. The fact that they’re giving prize money and really looking to invest in the facility is wonderful.”

Fellow freestyle winner, Stacey Hastings, is also no stranger to riding and competing at the Virginia Horse Center. She cites 1996 as the first year she competed there, and she’s been back almost every year since.

“My truck is kind of on automatic pilot to the Virginia Horse Center,” Hastings joked. “I go there quite a bit. Dressage at Lexington is so well run. [Show manager] Debbie Rodriquez does such an incredible job every year.”

Hastings and Dakota, owned by Claude and Brenda Duet of Bessemer City, NC, earned the victory in the $1,000 USDF Musical Freestyle with a high score of 77.55 percent.

Hastings plans to continue to compete Dakota at Third Level throughout 2014, and both she and Martin-Tucker will return to the Virginia Horse Center in October for the 32nd Annual Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships, hosted by the Virginia Dressage Association.

Other highlights of the weekend included Allison Brock and Rosevelt’s win in the Lexington FEI Grand Prix, and a victory for the “Bays ‘R Us” Team in the Sporting Horse Amateur Challenge (SHAC) team competition.

Brock and Rosevelt, a 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, took home the lion’s share of the prize money in the Grand Prix with a score of 77 percent. Brock followed up her winning ride with a second place finish and a score of 74 percent on Os Nervi, a 15-year-old Andalusian stallion.

In the SHAC team competition it was Megan Carpenter, Jesse Ginsburg, Liberty Seaford and Cathy Scholten who earned the victory for their team, “Bays ‘R Us,” aptly named for their four bay mounts.

The SHAC is open to amateur riders who have never competed above Intermediaire I, and the team competition is designed to reward the highest scoring group of riders.

Rider and trainer Alison Head of Looking Glass Farm in Hamilton, VA, trains three of the four winning riders (Carpenter, Ginsburg and Seaford), and was proud of how all four riders performed throughout the weekend.

“They did a great job,” Head said. “I like bringing students to Dressage at Lexington because it’s a nice place for them to get a really big dressage show experience, and yet the features like the SHAC allow the amateurs to feel like they really can be competitive even in such a big environment with a lot of top professional riders. I think that’s nice. Then, for me, I enjoy the Prix St. Georges Challenge, and I love riding with a lot of the good FEI horses that are here.”

Cathy Scholten, who trains with Donna Gatchell, and her mount Casey were the final additions to the Bays ‘R Us team, and they proved to be a vital contributing factor. The pair earned an incredible score of 80.172 percent in their First Level test, a score that would hold up as the highest score of the entire weekend.

To view more results from 2014 Dressage at Lexington and to learn more, visit To find out more about the Virginia Horse Center and to view upcoming events, visit

The Virginia Horse Center (VHC) hosts over 100 equine events a year. In 2013, VHC provided 51,455 stable nights with an estimated 205,000 guest days and a combined local economic impact estimated at over $53 million statewide and $37 million in Lexington and Rockbridge County.

The VHC is situated on a 573-acre site with 8 barns to accommodate 750 horses in permanent stabling. Indoor stabling can be increased to 1,200 horses with the use of temporary stalls. VHC hosts 19 show rings, including two large arenas and a five mile Olympic cross country course. Four of the VHC barns are winterized with close access to the 4,000 seat indoor coliseum. VHC is recognized for the excellent footing of its show rings and the durable construction of the concrete stalls. VHC also offers camping facilities and on-site food and beverage services.


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