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Felicitas von Neuman-Cosel and Tonico do Top

Show manager Dianne Boyd, Susan Moran and judge Joan Darnell

Julieann Brownson during the doggie costume contest

Megan Carpenter on her own Anky van Weltevreden

Stacey Hastings and Montana

Wendy Bebie on Luminence

Adriane Alvord on Kazul

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Adriane Alvord, Stacey Hastings and Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel Among Big Winners at CBLM Championships at Virginia Horse Center

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Virginia Horse Center Foundation
Release Date: 2014-10-27

Lexington, VA – October 27, 2014 – Winning the Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Grand Prix Dressage Championship once is an impressive achievement in itself, and Felicitas Von Neuman and Tonico Do Top have won it not once, not twice, but, as of last weekend, three times.

“What an accomplishment for this small stallion in the world of big Warmbloods,” said Von Neuman of the 15-year-old Lusitano stallion. “I could not be more proud of him.”

The extraordinary three-peat victory for Von Neuman was just one of many championship honors presented during the 32nd Annual Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial (CBLM) Championships and Virginia Dressage Association (VADA) Fall Competition. The simultaneously run shows, held Oct. 16 – 19, 2014, attracted more than 350 entries to the Virginia Horse Center for one of the oldest and most historic dressage championships in the country.

“Not only do I personally look forward to competing at the VADA Fall Show, I'm always hopeful that I will have qualified for the Championships, either CBLM or Region 1, that are held at our facility at the same time,” said dressage competitor and Virginia Horse Center Foundation secretary Gardy Bloemers. “This is a great time to compete with the best in our area at a wonderful facility
during a particularly beautiful time of year.”

Throughout the weekend, the Horse Center ran classes across seven different rings and awarded championships in divisions ranging from Training Level to Grand Prix.

Among the highlights of the three-day competition were two major night classes: the CBLM Intermediaire I Musical Freestyle on Friday evening and the CBLM Grand Prix Musical Freestyle on Saturday night.

The victory in Saturday night’s feature class went to Von Neuman and Tonico, who earned a score of 73.188 percent and kicked off their winning weekend.

“Tonico has been the crowd favorite for years,” Von Neuman said. “His enormous will to please and the harmony charms the people. He has the biggest heart and gives me more than anyone ever thought he would be capable of.”

The talented chestnut stallion was purchased by Linda and Joe Denniston eight years ago, and he is now in his third year competing at the Grand Prix level with Von Neuman, who trains out of First Choice Farm in Maryland.

“Our freestyle this year is new. I only have shown it three times,” Von Neuman explained. “Linda and I chose the music together. Tonico loves the beat that matches his gaits so well, and many spectators confirmed how much they were entertained and enjoyed watching.”

Von Neuman continued, “The weather for the Championship weekend could not have been better, highlighting the beautiful countryside around the Virginia Horse Center. Everything was very well organized, and the rings were decorated beautifully.”

While Von Neuman and Tonico dominated the Grand Prix Freestyle, the victory in Friday night’s CBLM Intermediaire I Freestyle went to Hallie Ahrnsbrak and Emmitt.

Among the weekend’s other major winners were Stacey Hastings and Adriane Alvord.

Alvord, who rides and trains out of Millwood, Virginia, competed four horses during this year’s CBLM Championships and earned victories aboard Irene Cromer’s Filadelphia and Katharine Rowland’s Kazul.

“I've only had the ride on Kazul since June of this year, and I cannot express how happy I am that Katharine chose me to be his trainer and rider,” Alvord said. “Kazul is one of the sweetest horses I've ever worked with. When I got off of Kazul after my first ride on him, he put his head on my shoulder and gave me a big kiss right on my face! Kazul’s owner joked that it was love at first sight.”

Competing as a young rider, Alvord earned a score of 65.367 percent on Kazul in the USDF Musical Freestyle Test of Choice, picking up a blue ribbon for their performance. On Saturday morning, they followed up that performance with the highest score and the championship in the CBLM Third Level Junior/Young Rider Finals.

“Kazul is a big overachiever, almost to the point of anxiety in the show ring. I have been working on getting him to relax and enjoy his work. I was so proud of him in the Third Level championship class because he stayed in the moment and was completely with me the whole test,” Alvord said.

“VADA always does a great job hosting the Championships and ensuring things run smoothly,” Alvord continued. “Lexington is such a great venue in October. The fall colors and the surrounding mountains make the most beautiful setting while enjoying your ride. It's been nice to see the improvements made to the facility over the past decade.”

Top competitor Stacey Hastings also loves competing at the Virginia Horse Center in the fall, and with good reason. She showed five horses during this year’s CBLM Championships and racked up high scores across the levels, including the highest scores in both the Third Level Freestyle Championship and the Training Level Championship.

The Third Level Freestyle tri-color was earned aboard Claude and Brenda Duet’s Dakota, while the Training Level Championship honor was won aboard Furst Aurum, owned by Ronald Woodock.

In order to claim the Training Level Championship, Hastings and Furst Aurum had to best a field of nearly 40 other horses and riders, and they did so by turning in an extraordinarily high score of 79.464 percent.

“We bought [Furst Aurum] in Germany last winter, as a baby,” Hastings said. “He’s been amazing. He qualified for the National Young Horse Championships as a 3-year-old, and he ended up third in the nation. He won the Regional Championships with a score of 80 percent. I really believe that he has international potential.”

In addition to her accolades in the ring, Hastings was presented with two very special honors during the weekend: the Barbara Silverman Freestyle Award and the Mary Beth McLean Memorial Perpetual Trophy.

The Barbara Silverman Freestyle Award was awarded to Hastings in honor of former VADA member Barbara Silverman, and the Mary Beth McLean Trophy in memory of Mary Beth McLean was given to Hastings as the rider with the highest Prix St. Georges or Intermediaire I CBLM Finals score.

“It was a really successful weekend for sure,” Hastings concluded.

To learn more about events like the 32nd Annual CBLM Championships at the Virginia Horse Center visit


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