Returning Champions Prepare for 2023 US Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan®
Source: Jump Media for the US Dressage Finals
November 8, 2023 – Lexington, KY – Riders are packing and preparing for this week’s US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® which runs November 9-12, 2023, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Traveling from across the United States, horses and riders from Training Level to Grand Prix, young riders to adults to open, will compete to take home national honors in this head-to-head championship event.
Having competed in all 10 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, Penelope Sachs of Evanston, IL, returns as a two-time national champion with her mount Frisbee 55, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding by Fifty Cent. They captured the Fourth Level Adult Amateur and Freestyle titles in 2022 but will move up to the FEI tests in the Prix St. George and Intermediate 1 classes this year.
Despite inclement weather at the 2022 Finals, Sachs was pleased to show outside due to Frisbee’s aversion to the Alltech Arena. This year, however, they will have to compete indoors, but Sachs and her trainer Heather McCarthy have a plan that includes regular exposure in the ring during schooling times.
“I have to say, I’m trying very hard to maintain my composure about this,” admitted Sachs. “I’m hoping he will hang on to his sanity and won’t leave too early, and we rock our test. I can’t believe I’m riding in the Alltech Arena. That’s a big deal for anyone. I watch the people I admire ride in that arena, and suddenly I’m going to ride in there. I’m working on my inner calm!
“It will be a serious test for us,” she continued. “Last year I knew I was on top of Fourth Level, but there is a big difference between Fourth Level and FEI Prix St. Georges.”
Sachs, her barnmates, and trainer Heather McCarthy will bring nine horses to this year’s US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®.
“Another fun thing is to come down with a crowd,” she said. “There is a shoulder to cry on, or someone to rejoice with, and people who can watch. We have everyone from Training Level to Grand Prix in our group. I love coming down to Finals. It’s such a special atmosphere.”
LeMieux/US Dressage Finals Regions Cup Team Competition
For the third year in a row, the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® will host the Regions Cup team competition. New for 2023, LeMieux is this year’s title sponsor of the Regions Cup, and teams will receive prize packs of their quality products. LeMieux is USDF’s newest corporate partner and is globally recognized for its outstanding technical horse and rider wear, with a focus on style. The popular Regions Cup team competition brings a special component to the Finals, giving riders a new sense of camaraderie and inclusion as they ride not only for themselves, but for their region.
Each region fields a team of four horse-and-athlete combinations from different levels that are chosen based on their scores at the Regional Championships. They include combinations from Training/First Level, Second through Fourth Level Adult Amateur, Training through Fourth Level Junior/Young Rider, and FEI Level. The highest final score achieved by each athlete/horse combination in a non-Freestyle US Dressage Finals class at the required level will be used in calculating a Regional Team's results and to find the winning teams.
In 2022, the champion team from Region 4 had an average score of 73.078% from Martin Kuhn and Vholt (76.379%), Penelope Sachs and Frisbee 55 (68.426%), Raegan McCool and Monique’s Minuet RSW (71.724%), and Martin Kuhn and Ronin (75.784%). Region 8 was the reserve champion, while Region 3 took third place.
Full 2022 Regions Cup team competition results can be found HERE.
Additional returning champions from 2022 include:
Taylor Allen and Fleur De Lis
Emma Batchelder and Fifi MLW
Michael Bragdell and Louisville HTF
Anartz Chanca and Dante Rubin M.R.
Anartz Chanca and Dazzle
Caroline Colby and My Lorino
Ella Fruchterman and Holts Le’mans
Linda Kimbell and Louis Vuitton MTA
Martin Kuhn and Ronin
Heather Mason and Manuskript SCF
Heather Mason and RTF Lincoln
Heather Mason and Schmoky Quartz
Laurie Saldana-Rich and Straight Horse de Milla
Jennifer Truett and Absolute Dream
Hundreds more horses and riders will be contesting divisions through the week at the “Centerline of Champions” for top prizes and personal best scores. Don’t miss a minute – come in person to watch with free general admission or view online at USEF Network.
Follow along with stories of this year’s winners on the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® website.
Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit www.usdf.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (859) 971-2277.