Susan Jones and Sara Stone Dance To Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship Titles

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 11, 2017 – On a chilly day at the Kentucky Horse Park, eight freestyle divisions took place in the US Dressage Finals. In the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship, Kentucky local Susan Jones rode to the win aboard her 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Reliance. The pair represented Region 2 and earned a total score of 71.067 percent in their Beach Boys-medley freestyle. Jones balances her dressage training with a full-time career as a CEO of a company that specializes in new product development.

Susan Jones and Reliance
Susan Jones and Reliance

Lisa Rush of Dell Rapids, South Dakota, earned the reserve champion ribbon after earning a score of 70.989 percent on Finestep HW, her 8-year-old Westphalian gelding. Finestep HW had a rough start to his week at US Dressage Finals. He slipped in the lunge ring on Wednesday, which caused his stifle to be sore and Rush was concerned he wouldn’t feel 100% by the time of their finals test. However, when she schooled him early on Saturday, he felt fantastic and ready to deliver an impressive freestyle to a medley of Earth, Wind and Fire.

Lisa Rush and Finestep HW
Lisa Rush and Finestep HW

Rounding out the top three was Katelyn Myllykangas on Kate Phillips’ 16-year-old Lipizzan stallion, Favory Canada. Myllykangas danced to a freestyle consisting of Harry Potter songs and received a total score of 70.667 percent.

Results: Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Susan Jones / Reliance / 71.067
2. Lisa Rush / Finestep HW / 70.989
3. Katelyn Myllykangas / Favory Canada / 70.667
4. Stacy Rose / Otto / 68.422
5. Kathy Nardi / Alada High Socks / 68.144
6. Cariann Wlosinski / Rhiannon / 67.867


Susan Jones – US Dressage Finals Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle champion

On her ride:
“It was a special ride. This was the best I’ve ever done. It was a bit of a surprise in a nice way. He’s very calm, which is why I love him. I’ve worked with him since First Level all the way up. Six mounted police rode past the warm-up ten minutes before my ride and he was super feisty. I’ve been working very hard and used all my training to keep him calm and harness the feistiness I usually never get. He was awesome. He stayed with me the entire way. I have to thank those police officers who rode past my warm-up ring! The energy level and the trot work was really good. I think my shoulder-ins were nice today. There really wasn’t a weakness in the test.”

On Reliance:
“I’ve had Reliance since he was 7 years old and he’s almost 15 now. He’s been my teacher. I got him to build my confidence and learn to be the best dressage rider I can be. He’s lived up to his name and he’s taught me so much. This is my fourth nationals with him. This is the first time I’ve ever won a class, so it’s really special.”

On her future plans:
“I’ll head down to Florida to train with Tina Irwin. He’s getting pretty good at the Prix St. Georges test and hopefully, we will try Intermediate I too.”

On her music:
“I ride to a medley of the Beach Boys. It’s all about dancing. When I hear the music I feel like I can dance. I’m not very musically inclined, but I feel like I can dance like a princess with my horse.”

Lisa Rush – US Dressage Finals Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle reserve champion

On her ride:
“I had a really energetic ride. Fin felt great. He is usually a pretty forward horse which is a good thing. He had a little mishap here on Wednesday so I was just really fortunate to be able to ride him. He had been a little off, he fell and hurt his stifle. He felt wonderful today. This morning he felt fantastic. We rode to Earth Wind and Fire. I wanted something that people could recognize and they could dance to as well. I think a freestyle should be really fun.”

On Finestep HW:
“4 years ago, I brought him over from Germany. I’ve been riding and training him through Fourth Level. We came last year and were reserve champions at Third Level last year. He has a lot of personality. He’s a lover, he’s smart and he works really hard for me. I sold my Grand Prix horse to try to do it again with him and he’s been great.”

On her future plans:
“I’d like to try Developing Prix St. George next year, that’s our goal. We don’t have trainers, a few people fly in to give some lessons, but I drive four and a half hours to Minnesota to train, weather permitting. I try to do it once a month.”

Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship

In the Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship, Sara Stone of Lake In The Hills, Illinois, topped the leaderboard on Gotham, her 6-year-old American Warmblood gelding. Her freestyle music was by One Republic and was edited by Brittany Burson.

Sara Stone and Gotham
Sara Stone and Gotham

Ashley Miller, a family nurse practitioner, and Hickeys Creek, her 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, earned a score of 69.833 percent to go into second place. It was Miller’s first time competing in the finals and made the trip up from Fort Myers, Florida. The pair has not had alot of time in the saddle this fall due to shoeing issues and then Hurricane Irma putting a damper on their competition schedule, so Miller was thrilled her horse performed well.

Following closely behind in third place with a 69.489 percent was Michelle Moreland, from Lexington, Kentucky, on her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare.

Michelle Morehead and Silhouette
Michelle Morehead and Silhouette

Results: Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Sara Stone / Gotham / 72.844
2. Ashley Miller / Hickeys Creek / 69.833
3. Michelle Morehead / Silhouette / 69.489
4. Veronica Ucko / Impressive Stuff / 69.267
5. Becky Salinger / Arriba / 69.056
6. Judith Nordstrom / Esteban / 68.800


Sara Stone – US Dressage Finals Second Level Adult Amateur champion

On her ride:
“He was very relaxed – the most relaxed he has been all weekend. We schooled earlier in the day and it was a little bit rough but he came out a totally different boy and ready to swing. He worked really well. This is our third year coming to nationals, he came for Training, First and Second. He’s just been incredible. I’ve learned so much from him. He keeps getting better and better. With it being my first year doing freestyle, I was quite nervous.”

On her experience at US Dressage Finals:
“I love this horse show. It takes a village just to ride and train these horses every day, so I always thank everyone. To be fortunate enough to come back to this horse show every year and see competitors from all over the nation is just the best. It’s the best horse show of the year.”

Ashley Miller – US Dressage Finals Second Level Adult Amateur reserve champion

On Hickeys Creek:
“I’ve owned him for twelve years. My first horse unexpectedly passed away. I was not going to get another horse right away but I picked up our local dressage club newsletter and saw this little thoroughbred. I rode him for three weeks before I bought him, and I knew I had to have him. He’s going to be with me until the day he dies.”

On her ride:
“Hickey is OTTB so he tends to get quick and tense. We are from Florida so this weather is shocking to us. He trained to race when he was younger and was actually in Kentucky. He was very well behaved though. He’s a steady eddy type of guy. I’m working on getting him working through his back and more forward. He came and brought it and I’m very pleased with him. He’s almost sixteen, so we’ve been feeling some pressure to reach our goals. He’s taught me so much through our strengths and weaknesses together as a team.”

On her music:
“My music is a mix of Madonna. I try to choose music that makes people stop and watch. Last year we did First Level to Phil Collins, which was awesome. We picked Madonna because we wanted something that people could tap their foot to and relate to. We might do Michael Jackson next year.”


Grand Prix Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Lynnette Wadsworth / Wietze G / 66.417
2. Jennifer Drescher / Blue and White Raven / 66.058
3. Kristin Herzing / Gentleman / 64.333
4. Michelle Baker / Collingwood / 62.892
5. Kristy Truebenbach Lund / Akvavit / 61.675
6. Jenifer Gaffney / Fabio / 61.108

Intermediate I Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Alexandra Krosse / Damani / 70.842
2. Elma Garcia / Wenesa / 68.792
3. Terri Sue Wensinger / Valentino / 66.75
4. Birgitt Dagge / Walk of Fame / 66.175
5. Bryana Smith / Tanzeln / 65.683
6. Judy Ethell / Richthofen 7 / 64.475

Intermediate I Open Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Melissa Taylor / Ansgar / 74.058
2. Nicole Levy / Floratina / 71.817
3. Jennifer Conour / Daisy Van Witten / 70.658
4. Kelli Mardell / Hemmingway / 70.233
5. Nora Batchelder / Micanopy RH / 70.067
6. Kristen Becker / Don Vino / 69.725

Third Level Open Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Angela Jackson / Femke Zarma Tf / 74.100
2. Angela Jackson / Figaro H / 72.211
3. Nicole Harrington / Camomila MCD / 70.711
4. Nicole Harrington / Siri / 70.567
5. Kayla Barteau / Sundance / 69.033
6. Anthea Kin / Finian / 68.711

Second Level Open Freestyle Championship
Rider / Horse / Total Score
1. Hailey Guard / Dalwhinney / 74.556
2. Kristen Becker / Amadeus / 71.544
3. Kate Phillips / Neapolitano Gloria / 70.522
4. Linda Strine / Eagle Fan Bosksicht / 70.322
5. Angelia Bean / Capitano / 69.844
6. Sammi Jo Stohler / Gunner / 68.344

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