Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 23, 2019 – Continuing the day of youth competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, FEI Young and Junior Riders rode down centerline in the Kay Arena. Taking the top honor in the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship was Kayla Kadlubek and Perfect Step, while Jori Dupell and Fiderprinz 2 captured the attention of judges to take home the win in the first test in the USEF Junior Rider Dressage National Championship division.
In the Young Rider Individual Test, Kadlubek and Perfect Step continued their domination in the division and rode in perfect harmony to score 72.647%. A total of 142.843 meant that the pair led the ranks out of the competitive field and claimed the championship tricolor in the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship. The record year marks the conclusion of Kadlubek’s second to last year in the Young Rider division as she hopes to carry on competing with Perfect Step nationally and internationally in the future.
Kadlubek started her partnership with the 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding two years ago when his owner became unable to ride and donated the talented chestnut to Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids program. A year of hard work was put in by the young rider to get her new partner’s fitness back in top form. Now under his partnership with Kadlubek, the once shy gelding boasts an exuberant personality that extends into the show arena. Perfect Step also served as Kadlubek’s mount at North American Young Rider Championships earlier this month where they led Region 1 to victory in the Young Rider Dressage Team Test. This year, the pair were also selected to represent the U.S. in Europe as a member of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athletes Program.
Receiving the reserve national championship title was Quinn Iverson and Billie Davidson’s Black Diamond CL. With an individual test score of 68.676%, Iverson and ‘Coal’ finished out their first and last championship competing in the Young Rider division as she is aging out with an overall total of 138.627. An unfortunate mistake in the four tempi changes cost the pair valuable points on the score card, but that didn’t stop Iverson from taking home the red tricolor ribbon and being proud of her test. Iverson is under the tutelage of U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald and Olympian Adrienne Lyle and has helped develop ‘Coal’ up the levels. The 13-year-old KWPN gelding will be taking a well-deserved vacation after the championships, resting up for what Iverson hopes to be a transition year to the Under 25 Grand Prixs.
Bianca Schmidt and Lou Heart completed their tests to slide into third place in the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship. Schmidt rode the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding to a 69.657% in the individual test, securing herself a dream-worthy top-three finish with a total score of 138.33. Schmidt sang the praises of ‘Lou’ following her test, expressing how grateful she was to have him as a partner that has opened so many doors for her as a rider.
Earlier in the day, in the Junior Rider Team Test for the first-half of the USEF Junior Rider Dressage National Championship, Dupell and Fiderprinz 2 earned the top honors of the day, scoring a 69.949%. Dupell, who has shown at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions two years prior, first started out in the Pony Rider division and has since moved up to the Juniors with her new mount. Fiderprinz 2, her own 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, has been partnered with Dupell for a year-and-a-half, and the pair recently traveled to the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) at Old Salem Farm in New York. There, they won the Junior Rider Freestyle Individual silver medal and earned the highest score in the Junior Rider Team Test.
In between the NAYC and the Festival of Champions, Dupell had the opportunity to stay at Patricia Becker’s farm in Wisconsin. Dupell believes that the experience at NAYC helped her greatly in her preparation for the U.S. Festival of Champions, and she is aiming to ride a clean and consistent test in the next portion of the competition, the Junior Rider Individual Test, that will account for 50% of her overall score.
Finishing in second place was Mackenzie Peer riding Quantum MRF, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Nicole Helland. The pair earned a score of 69.596% to put themselves in a strong position going into the second phase of the championships. Peer has been partnered with Quantum MRF for three years and trains with David Wightman. As Wightman is based in California, Peer attends clinics with him once per month regularly, but has been training with Martin Kuhn in Illinois for the following two months in preparation for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions to gain a bit more consistent training.
Annelise Klepper and Happy Texas Moonlight, owned by Shannon Klepper, finished in third place with a score of 69.495%. Klepper and Happy Texas Moonlight also attended the NAYC in New York just a few weeks ago, where they won the Junior Rider Individual gold medal with a score of 71.44%. Happy Texas Moonlight is a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding that the Klepper family got for Christmas last year. Together, the dynamic duo have yet to place under third place in a recognized show and individually, they are undefeated at the FEI level. Continuing their success, the pair earned yet another top three finish for their record, this time from the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.
Results: USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship
Rider / Horse / Team Test / Individual Test / Total Score
1. Kayla Kadlubek / Perfect Step / Kayla Kadlubek / 70.196 / 72.647 / 71.422
2. Quinn Iverson / Black Diamond CL / Bille Davidson / 69.951 / 68.676 / 69.314
3. Bianca Schmidt / Lou Heart / Eliana Schmidt / 68.676 / 69.657 / 69.167
4. Katherine Mathews / Soliere / Peridot Equestrian LLC / 68.088 / 69.265 / 68.677
5. Kaylee Christensen / Chateau 28 / Kaylee Christensen / 66.029 / 66.863 / 66.446
6. Kaylee Christensen / Don Claudio / Kaylee Christensen / 65.245 / 67.010 / 66.128
Results: Junior Team Test
Rider / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Jori Dupell / Fiderprinz 2 / Jori Dupell / 69.949
2. Mackenzie Peer / Quantum MRF / Nicole Helland / 69.596
3. Annelise Klepper / Happy Texas Moonlight / Shannon Klepper / 69.495
4. Isabelle Braden / Dali De La Ferme Rose / Erin Braden / 68.030
5. Nicolas Beck / Campari / Nicolas Beck / 67.222
6. Katherine Teehan / Zinca / Katherine Teehan / 66.768
Kayla Kadlubek – USEF Young Rider Dressage National Champion
On her test:
“I am so happy with him today. He was with me the whole time and he really just gave me the extra energy I was looking for – I wish I had it the first day but I am very happy that I got it today and got him under me, uphill and pushing. The trot work was so much more uphill and nice, and the medium extensions are always fun with him because he just goes. It was a nice clean test so I was really happy.”
On taking home her first individual championship:
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet. It is something you dream about for years so to make it actually happen it is incredible. I couldn’t do this without my horse, he has been with me every step of the way. [I am so thankful to] Lendon Gray and Suzanne Dansby for letting me ride this horse, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He has opened up so many doors for me and I am so grateful to have him as my partner.”
On her partnership with Perfect Step:
“When I got him he had been in and out of work for a year sadly because his owner had some health issues so she couldn’t really ride. It took a good year to get him fit and back in shape again. He was very shy at first and now I have spent so much time with him and he has come out of his shell. He loves to make funny faces and stick his tongue out at you. He has always been such a special horse and I knew he had this in him so I am happy that he is feeling great and that I am finally able to get this out of him now.”
On the Emerging Athletes Program:
“It is such a huge confidence boost because going over [to Europe] it is such a powerhouse of young riders who are scoring in the 75s where we are just now reaching that level, which is great. It is exciting to watch them really go for it in their test and it makes you say ‘Oh, I actually can push for a little bit more to achieve those higher scores and if something goes wrong then it just bring you down a little.’ It is really helpful to go there and then come back here with confidence.”
On her plans for the future:
“I still have one more year of young riders so I am hoping to keep this horse going and try for Europe again so I will be down in Florida. I am currently not in school. I have taken a couple years while I have this horse to really focus and grow so that I can do the best I can now.”
Quinn Iverson – USEF Young Rider Dressage Reserve National Champion
On her test:
“I was very happy with my horse. I had an unfortunate bobble in the canter changes but we brought it back together and got the threes. Overall, I am just incredibly happy with this horse. I never thought I would be back here with [Black Diamond CL] after all of the things I have done with him, so I am very happy to just have him here with me – it has been a crazy journey with him.”
On her plans for the future:
“It was my first and last year doing this because I am aging out of Young Riders. Hopefully after this Coal will a vacation, he has earned himself some time outside and lay low for a while. After that we may try and bump him up to the U25s and see if he can do that. I have known Coal since he was six years old so I got the ride on him when he was ten. I was a jumper before so I am still figuring out dressage. It would be really cool if I could end up finishing him to Grand Prix. I am taking some time off of school and I will continue working with Debbie [McDonald] and Adrienne [Lyle] down in Florida and see what we can get from there.”
Bianca Schmidt – USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship third place
On her test:
“I am really happy with Lou. We had a solid, clean test and our tempis were great. It was much more fluid than the first day so we improved a lot from the first day to the second day and I am really happy with him. He did a really good job today.”
On her partnership with Heart Lou:
“I have had Lou for a year and a half now. When I first got him he was very sweet. He is a big black lab who loves bananas and will eat my breakfast if I leave it out at the horse show! Over the past year I have gotten to know him so much better and he will now nicker at me every time I walk into the barn isle. He has learned to trust me a lot and it is a very strong relationship that I have built with him.”
On her plans for the future:
“I am going off to college tomorrow but I will continue riding Lou and I will take him with me to college and continue to train with my trainer, Allison Saderlarson, and hopefully do Young Riders again at NAYC and at Festival [of Champions]. [I will be attending] Notre Dame and I am thinking about [studying] finance.”
Jori Dupell – Junior Team Test winner
On her test:
“I was really happy with it. It was pretty steady, a bit conservative and we did have one mistake but I was happy overall with it. This is my third year here – last year I did Juniors and my first year I did Ponies. I love this show, it is my favorite show of the year.”
On her partnership with Fiderprinz 2:
“We are just coming off of North American [Young Riders Championships] so it was a bit rushed coming back and forth but we had a really nice opportunity to stay with Patti Becker at her farm in Wisconsin in between the two shows, so that was really nice. I have had him for a year and a half now so we have really gotten to know each other a lot better. Everything is a lot easier and more fun. [Before I got him] he was in Germany with a professional. She had him from the time he was four until I got him so it was a big adjustment for him to have a kid all of a sudden but he has done well.”
On Fiderprinz 2’s personality:
“He is really goofy and really fun. He loves food – he is the most food motivated horse I have ever met! He can be a little bit silly on the ground so we have to be really careful with him not hurting anybody but he is a happy horse that just wants food!”
On tomorrow’s test:
“[I am hoping for] a clean test. We had some problems at NAYC and I just want to get out there and make it a positive experience for him.”
Mackenzie Peer – Junior Team Test second place
On her preparations for Festival of Champions:
“It has been kind of crazy because my trainer David Wightman lives in California so we have been doing clinics once a month. Two months ago I went to a barn here in Illinois and rode with Martin Kuhn so that I could get a little more consistent help before we came. I got here Sunday so I have been working with David since then and he has been coaching me. It has been kind of hectic but it is super now so I am really happy.”
On her partnership with Quantum MRF:
“I have been riding him for about three years now and he is the sweetest horse I have ever worked with. He is like a giant teddy bear – I think of him like a lapdog because he would be if he could. He is super willing and if I make a mistake asking for something he is like ‘What do you want, lady?’ but we figure it out together. We have a super partnership between the two of us.”
On her test:
“I thought our test was super. I was really happy with him and he gave me his all. We had a couple mistakes – I asked for a little bit too much here and there but we figured it out so I am excited for tomorrow to work that out, balance it a little more and see what he needs tomorrow. I am just super happy with how it went.”
For results and starting times, visit Foxvillage.
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