Callie Jones and Don Philippo Dance to Fourth Level Open Freestyle Championship Win

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 12, 2017 – On the final day of the US Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park, Callie Jones, a local from Henderson, Kentucky, secured a champion title in the Fourth Level Open Freestyle in the Alltech Arena. Jones, 19, piloted Don Philippo, her 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding, to the win with a total score of 74.078 percent.

Callie Jones and Don Philippo
Callie Jones and Don Philippo

Jones improved her placing from last year’s US Dressage Finals with Don Philippo, in which she finished third in the Third Level Open Freestyle. Since last year, Jones has also competed with the gelding in the FEI/Adequan North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. In August, the pair earned a third place finish in the FEI Young Rider Team test as part of the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championships. She was excited to be able to compete alongside her trainer of five years, Angela Jackson, in this year’s finals.

Heather Mason and RTF Lincoln
Heather Mason and RTF Lincoln

Heather Mason of Lebanon, New Jersey, took home the reserve championship with RTF Lincoln, her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding. The pair danced to a score of 72.767 percent.

Jackson, trainer of Jones and also a native of Henderson, Kentucky, finished in third aboard Figaro H, her 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, with a total score of 69.189 percent.

Angela Jackson and Figaro H
Angela Jackson and Figaro H

Results: Fourth Level Open Freestyle

Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Callie Jones / Don Philippo / 74.078
2. Heather Mason / RTF Lincoln / 72.767
3. Angela Jackson / Figaro H / 69.189
4. Kaylee Christensen / Don Claudio / 69.156
5. Nicole Harrington / Siri / 67.478
6. Lauren Chumley / Laurel / 66.767


Callie Jones – US Dressage Finals Fourth Level Open Freestyle champion

On her ride:
“I really thought that this was the best freestyle we have ever done this year. It was so consistent and flowing. He was with me the whole time so I was extremely happy with it. I even cried at the end because I was so happy.”

On her freestyle:
“Cynthia Collins made it for me. As soon as I heard this music, I could just imagine myself riding to it and it really fit him, so I knew this was my music. He has a really flowing trot, so I could just see the trot music with his trot. It really worked out well. This year we kept [the choreography] really simple because this was our first year moving up to Prix St. Georges. We didn’t have anything too difficult. I just put down a solid ride and I think that’s what really helped me this time.”

On Don Philippo:
“I love him with everything I have. I think we just bonded immediately. Having that partnership and working as a team really helps us, we just get each other. He’s not an easy horse to ride, you have to know how to ride him. He just listens to me. Once I give him confidence, he’s there for me.”

On her experience at US Dressage Finals:
“This is a big show for me. I’m only 19-years-old and I’m still a Junior/Young Rider, so being here is such an honor. Even making it here is just so fun and exciting for us.”

On competing with her trainer Angela Jackson:
“It’s amazing just being next to her, she is an incredible training. I love her with all my heart. She has helped us grow so much. Just being up there with her is so awesome. I want to be like her one day and I look up to her so much. It’s really cool.”

Heather Mason – Fourth Level Open Freestyle reserve champion

On Lincoln:
“Lincoln I’ve had in my program for a while. I finally bought him about a year ago from his original owner. He was Third Level reserve champion here the very first year. He was out for two seasons with minor injuries that cost him two seasons of showing. He’s been super this year, and next year I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with him yet. It may be small tour and maybe I’ll push him up to the Intermediate II. He needs to learn his ones, otherwise he is ready. Lincoln was spooky going around the outside of the ring, but inside the ring he was very good. He just needs to get a little more strength and more suspension in his trot. He was very with me though, he got his changes and his pirouettes. He’s a very happy horse.”

Heather Mason and Enlighteningh Clinch First Level Open Freestyle Championship

During one of the last championship divisions to be contested during the 2017 US Dressage Finals, Heather Mason claimed the tricolor ribbon in the First Level Open Freestyle Championship on Enlighteningh, a 5-year-old Canadian gelding owned by Anne St. Martin. Mason made the trip to Lexington from Lebanon, New Jersey, and they earned an impressive score of 73.467 percent. In addition to riding a clean test, Mason contributes her high score due to the level of difficulty of her freestyle’s choreography, which included change leads through trot to counter-canter.

Heather Mason and Enlighteningh
Heather Mason and Enlighteningh

Earning the reserve championship was Martin Kuhn of New Berlin, Illinois, with a score of 70.989 percent on Kathryn Fleming-Kuhn’s Washburn SW, a 5-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding. Earlier in the week the pair also finished second in the large Training Level Open Championship, which was the same division Mason and Enlighteningh placed third.

Martin Kuhn and Washburn SW
Martin Kuhn and Washburn SW

Susannah Hamlin of High Springs, Florida, earned the yellow ribbon after receiving a score of 70.867 percent aboard Sharon Hook’s 6-year-old Hanoverian mare Fine Time.

Susannah Hamlin and Fine Time
Susannah Hamlin and Fine Time

Results: First Level Open Freestyle

Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Heather Mason / Enlighteningh / 73.467
2. Martin Kuhn / Washburn SW / 70.989
3. Susannah Hamlin / Fine Time / 70.867
4. Carolyn Laurent / Tam Tam / 70.467
5. Halley Mendenhall / Woodford / 70.178
6. Eline Eckroth / Goffe P / 69.733


Heather Mason – First Level Open Freestyle champion

On her ride:
“I thought he was super today. He was more relaxed because it was a little warmer. We were right with the music and he rode really well through it. This is a freestyle I got about 15 years ago that Cynthia Collins did. The freestyle has done well with various horses I’ve had.”

On Enlighteningh:
“He is a horse of a client of mine that I had seen in an ad online from Alberta, Canada. I told her to buy him sight unseen, and she did. He was just in the process of getting backed. She got him and was just in the process of starting him, then he had a colic surgery two years ago. He came to me to be restarted, and has been with me ever since. Next year he will go back to her again. He has a super trot and canter, and his trot is coming along nicely.”

Martin Kuhn – First Level Open Freestyle reserve champion

On his test:
“He always loves his music, which is Despacito. My wife picked it out and it was very appropriate. The first time I heard it I was like “No way!” but it quickly grew on me. It works for him. I was very happy with him. It was the fourth time we’ve done it.

On Washburn SW:
“He is our second born. We were looking for a name for him and a very dear friend of ours provided the name, who was supposed to be here but unfortunately couldn’t. She would want to be here if she could. Our thoughts are with her.”


First Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship

Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Taryn Anderson / Romulus / 72.556
2. Christine Malpartida / Freudentanzer / 71.911
3. Alexandra Krossen / Nicene / 71.744
4. Carol Cooper / Elton J / 70.989
5. Laurie McCullough-Leibfried / Furst Madiran / 69.311
6. Kimberly Clark / Duvaldez / 69.122

Third Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship  

Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Taryn Anderson / Addison / 70.011
2. Birgitt Dagge / Laxwell / 68.389
3. Kendall Brookhart / Rianna / 68.044
4. Laura Myllykangas / D’iego JRF / 67.833
5. Erin Zimmermann / Aeris / 66.489
6. Birgitt Dagge / Lionheart / 65.556

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