Chase Hickok and Sagacious HF Dominate US Dressage Finals’ Grand Prix Open Championship


© Annan Hepner : Chase Hickok and Sagacious HFChase Hickok and Sagacious HF

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 11, 2016 – The 2015 ‘Brentina Cup’ U25 Champion Chase Hickok has enjoyed her first year competing in the professional divisions, finding success in Wellington, Dressage at Devon and now at the US Dressage Finals. On Friday night, Hickok and Sagacious HF won the Open Grand Prix Championship with a score of 70.667 percent.

Hickok began leasing Sagacious HF from Al Guden of Hyperion Farm in the spring of 2014. The 17-year-old KWPN gelding was the 2007 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver medalist with Lauren Sammis. In 2013, Caroline Roffman rode him to second place finishes in the Under 25 Grand Prix and Freestyle at the CDIO Aachen.

This was Hickok’s first trip to the US Dressage Finals. “We graduated last year from the under 25 division and were looking for a goal to set for this year,” Hickok explained. “This seemed like a natural choice for us. Having the regional qualifiers and then this later in the season really gave us a nice opportunity to extend our season a bit and cap it off with a really exciting championship.”

© Annan Hepner : Chase Hickok and Sagacious HFChase Hickok and Sagacious HF

Hickok was thrilled with her ride on Friday night. “I have been focusing on Sagacious having positive quiet happy performances, focusing on the harmony,” she said. “It felt like we really accomplished that tonight especially given the atmosphere in there.”

Hickok plans to make the move to open Grand Prix CDI competition during the winter season in Wellington and the atmosphere in the indoor arena Friday night proved a good taste for what’s to come.

“The atmosphere was something that we were really cognizant of and really excited about,” Hickok said. “To dip our toe into that ocean before we go into Wellington and do the Friday night freestyles which have lots of that same atmosphere.”

Hickok expressed her gratitude for the incredible opportunities that Sagacious has presented her with. “I can’t put into word what an opportunity it’s been,” she smiled. “From day one he’s really been such a generous teacher and has made me step up to the plate. He has accelerated and improved my riding in ways that I never anticipated. We’ve had a really fun few years going to Europe and winning the Brentina Cup. It was really exciting to make this jump so smoothly. I think it’s really a testament to what a phenomenal competitor and teacher he is.”

© Annan Hepner : Chase Hickok and Sagacious HFChase Hickok and Sagacious HF

The reserve championship went to Anna Whit Watkins from Moody, Texas, and and her own Oublette, a 20-year-old KWPN gelding, with a score of 68.00 percent.

This was a familiar spot for Watkins and Oublette as the pair were the Grand Prix Open reserve champions at the inaugural US Dressage Finals in 2013.

© Annan Hepner : Anna Whit Waktins and Oublette Anna Whit Waktins and Oublette

Watkins was thrilled with her ride on Friday night, and Oublette ate up the atmosphere in the Alltech Arena.

“My ride was fantastic,” said Watkins “He really likes the crowd and the atmosphere. He gets pumped up and he loves his job.”

Day of Redemption for the Grand Prix Adult Amateurs

For Lauren Thornlow and Kristy Truenback Lund, the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship on Friday was the perfect opportunity to redeem their less than stellar warm-up rides on Thursday.

Lauren Thornnlow and her own Royal Konig, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, made the long trek from Snohomish, Washington, worth it by winning the championship with a score of 64.00 percent.

“It was definitely the comeback kid ride,” Thornlow laughed. “I had a freestyle yesterday and everything that could have gone wrong did.”

© Annan Hepner : Laura Thornlow and Royal KonigLaura Thornlow and Royal Konig

A morning schooling session helped put the pieces back together for the pair.

“After this morning, I felt like we were both on the same page,” she said. “I came out to ride the test and it felt like it really paid off because he was with me the whole time. I was really happy and very proud of him. As far as our connection and communication, it was probably the best Grand Prix we’ve ridden.”

Thornlow found Royal Konig in Germany as a 3-year-old when she was only 16. She had originally been looking for an older horse but the young gelding’s stand out gaits was too much to pass up.

“He showed a lot of talent and already had a single change each way,” she said. “When he went wild he would naturally passage so I thought ‘OK I need to get him!’”

© Annan Hepner : Laura Thornlow and Royal KonigLaura Thornlow and Royal Konig

Reserve champion Kristy Truenback Lund of Wellington, FL also persevered through a setback on Thursday to come out on top in the championship class with a score of 62.70 on her own Akvavit a 13-year-old Spanish Warmblood gelding.

“I actually had a disaster ride yesterday as well,” Lund said. “It was definitely a day of redemption for everybody.”

Lund was thrilled with her ride on Friday especially as she almost didn’t get to make the trip to Finals as she was originally waitlisted for the Grand Prix Championship class.

“He has always liked this arena but it still gets him going a bit,” she explained. “So to get the ones and twos today was fantastic. He will do everything for me – we have a great relationship.”

© Annan Hepner : Kristy Truebenbach Lund and Akvavit  Kristy Truebenbach Lund and Akvavit 

© Sarah Harper : Kristy Truebenbach Lund and Akvavit
Laura Thornlow and Royal Konig

US Dressage Final Results: Friday, Nov. 11 

Grand Prix Open Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Chase Hickok/Sagacious HF/70.667
2. Anna Whit Watkins/Oublette/68.00
3. Sharon McCusker/Wrigley/67.667
4. Heather Mason/Warsteiner/67.00
5. James Koford/Don Principe/66.133
6. Lauren Sprieser/Ellegria/65.967
7. Charlotte Jorst/Kastel’s Akeem Foldager/65.667
8. Nora Batchelder/Bahai/65.633
9. Sara Spofford/Lagrima/64.700
10. Noel Williams/Sir Velo/64.167

Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Lauren Thornlow/Royal Konig/64.00
2. Kristy Truebenbac/Akvavit/62.70
3. Amy Grahn/Zabaco/62.567
4. Kristin Herzing/Gentleman/61.533
5. Suzie Halle/Tennyson-ISF/60.367
6. Mary Callan/Kaboom/60.033
7. Phyllis Sumner/Wilby/59.10
8. Virginia Moon/Plato Carlos/58.20
9. Heather Brady/Don Milenium/57.167
10. Jenifer Gaffney/Fabio/53.80

Intermediate I Open Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Mike Suchanek/Hero L/71.798
2. Ashley Wimmer/Somerhall/71.096
3. Jessica Jo Tate/Montana/70.526
4. Bridget Hay/Faolan/69.956
5. Eliane Cordia-Van/Jewel’s Amethyst/68.289
6. Heather Mendibur/What Happen/67.412
7. Michael Bragdell/Qcredit Hilltop/67.149
8. Jessica Jo Tate/Kynynmont Guns/67.149
9. Susan Ighani/Liaison/66.789
10. Kelli Mardell/Hemmingway/66.754

Intermediate I Adult Amateur Championship
Rider/Horse/ Total Score
1. Rachael HIcks/Fabio Bellini/69.123
2. Jessica Nilles/Wish/68.421
3. Amy Swerdlin/Scholastica/68.202
4. Elma Garcia/Wenesa/66.667
5. Alexandra Krosse/Damani/66.623
6. Terri Sue Wensing/Valentino/66.623
7. Becky Shealy/Zidane/65.482
8. Darcy Gaines/Amigo/65.482
9. Rachael HIcks/Don Cartier/65.307
10. Lezlie Rehagen/Leoluigi/64.342

Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Katherine Lewis/Donneur/68.111
2. Kathryn Bennett/Just Georgie/66.963
3. Lilla Mason/Statesman/66.963
4. Joan Garibaldi/Bravo/65.889
5. Amy Rippy/Harley/65.333
6. Mary Youngblood/Crownprinz/65.185
7. Anne Chapin/Luna Popp/63.556
8. Michelle Freeman/LP Snickers/63.370
9. Janice Turner/Talbot/62.852
10. Jill Dearing/Vignette/62.148

Third Level Open Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Michael Bragdell/Sternlicht Hilltop/72.35
2. Nora Batchelder/Fifi MLW/72.222
3. Shannon Betts/Quartett/72.051
4. Shannon Stevens/Pik L’s Donabella/71.111
5. Shannon Dahmer/Rubico/70.94
6. Martin Kuhn/Rapson/70.299
7. Eliane Cordia-Van/Jewel’s Codiak/70.214
8. Jonni Allen/FWF Princess Jul/69.701
9. Jennifer Roth/Reebok/69.658
10. Angela Jackson/Figaro H/69.487

Second Level Adult Amateur Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Bonnie Canter/Fifinella GCF/72.317
2. Lucy Tidd/Evita/71.057
3. Amy Swerdin/Quileute CCW/71.016
4. Barbara Butman/Balalaika/68.943
5. Ashlee Watts/Hampton/68.699
6. Kelly Grant/Easton/67.927
7. Kendall Brookhart/Rianna/67.683
8. Elisabeth Dewar/Sunshine/66.748
9. Judith Nordstrom/Esteban/66.382
10. Micah Andrews/Who’ll Stop The/66.179

Training Level Open Championship
Rider/Horse/Total Score
1. Missy Gilliland/Windermere DDB/74.167
2. Martin Kuhn/Frazier/73.712
3. Heather Ferguson/G-Star/73.712
4. Mike Suchanek/Duchess L/73.561
5. Shannon Stevens/San Marino/73.182
6. Laura Sevriens/Genevieve HF/71.742
7. Emily Donaldson/Campione/71.591
8. Heather McCarthy/Au Revoir/71.591
9. Jessica Starck/Maestoso Alfaya I/70.985
10. Mike Suchanek/Delta L/70.985

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