Bronwyn Cordiak, Donna Tella and Furst Fiorano Storm to Impressive Victories

For Immediate Release
Saturday, August 27, 2011

Source: USEF

Wayne, IL - As many people on the East Coast braced for Hurricane Irene, those at the Lamplight Equestrian Center enjoyed another day of sunshine and beautiful temperatures. Medals were awarded in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today 13 & under division and champions crowned in the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships 4- and 5-year-old divisions.

Bronwyn Cordiak & Sarasanna GP (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).
Bronwyn Cordiak & Sarasanna GP (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).

The USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today kicked off competition in Ring 2, with 10 of the best 13-year-olds and under in the U.S. displaying their equitation expertise. The class began with all the competitors working around the ring together at the walk, trot and canter. Next the horse and rider combinations individually demonstrated a pre-selected pattern.

The pattern which asked for leg yield and three changes of lead through the trot on the diagonal was considered to be quite difficult by the competitors as well as judges Janet Foy, Christel Carlson and Michael Osinski.

Bronwyn Cordiak (Dallas, TX) rode Sarasanna GP to the victory scoring a 78%, demonstrating supreme equitation highlighted by a solid lower leg and soft rein contact. Cordiak's victory was doubly impressive as the 9-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Grand Prix Equestrian, was borrowed for this competition.

Cordiak wanted to make sure that Sarasanna GP was able to stay fresh throughout the entire class and therefore utilized an abbreviated warm-up. The strategy worked as planed and the 13-year-old was thrilled especially with the complexity of the final pattern.

"We didn't have a long warm-up but in the pattern she did well," Cordiak said. "The diagonal was a little difficult."

Second-place honors went to Rison Naness of Burbank, CA, who borrowed Anakin from Dr. Kaye Eileen Willard to score 73%. Naness was the last to perform her pattern and used the opportunity to showcase her strong position and correct lower leg position. While waiting for her turn she made sure the Oldenburg/ Thoroughbred cross gelding stayed attentive.

"The walk, trot and canter were really good, the best they've ever been," Rison said. "I was last in the pattern and the whole time I was walking I worked the bit to make sure he stayed attentive."

Mallory Kent (Birmingham, AL) rode her mother Leigh's Sir Luckas to third-place, scoring 71%. Kent trotted to third place on the strength of her position highlighted by a steady rein contact. The Danish Warmblood gelding had an extra spring in his step to start the class thanks to the cooler climates compared to the Alabama summer heat.

"In the beginning he was a little crazy but at the end he was really good," Kent said. "I was really happy."

From the onset of the class it was clear to all three judges who the top three would be but the order of placings was under discussion until the very last ride.

"All three judges had these three in our top group at the beginning," Foy said "I think at the end of the day, the difficulty of the pattern sorted out the top three."

The 5-year-old division of the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship was up for grabs all the way through the class. Hampton Meadows, LLC's Donna Tella (Don Picardi - Gesa by Glorieux) was the final horse of the division and from the first centerline made it clear she would not be beaten.

Werner Van Den Brande & Donna Tella (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).
Werner Van Den Brande & Donna Tella (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).

The Oldenburg mare ridden by Werner Van Den Brande executed a polished performance that oozed charm and personality. For Saturday's Final Test the pair earned an 8.68 after scoring high marks for their canter (8.9) and 9.0 for both the trot and general impression mark. Combined with the Preliminary score, which counted for 40% of the overall, Donna Tella won the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship 5-year-old division on an 8.648.

"In Thursday's first test she was lovely in the ring," Van Den Brande said. "But she was a little bit better today. She was more awake and relaxed."

Winning today's championship was not only special for Van Den Brande but also for everyone at his Loxahatchee, FL, base. "Credit also goes to the team at home. This is a dream come true."

The winner of Thursday's Preliminary Test, Caroline Roffman and San City (San Remo - Bounty by Bolero), had to settle for Reserve Champion honors in the division after placing third in the Final Test.

The Hanoverian stallion once again collected high marks for their trot and canter but a few bobbles kept them from equaling their first mark.

Roffman (Wellington, FL) was still very pleased with San City, a horse she has only been riding a few months, and his performance throughout the weekend. She was equally thrilled with the way he has developed over the time of their short partnership. "The first day he was the best he's ever been. I am really proud because he came here as a 4-year-old and was 14th. He has just showed how much he's grown-up and matured but also shown his rideability."

San City, who also is a breeding stallion, will return to owner Linda Crabtree and spend the rest of the season eventing with Crabtree's daughter Katie Wooten-Bryant.

Second place in the Final Test went to Lauren Chumley and Alice Tarjan's Somer Hit (Sandro Hit - Rhussia by Rotspon) who scored an 8.48 for their effort. Saturday's score combined with their 8.3 from the Preliminary Test meant they finished these Championships in third place.

Chumley was able to improve her trot work today and still demonstrated quality canter and walk gaits for which they scored 8.8 and 9.0, respectively. Despite having only ridden the Hanoverian stallion for three months, Chumley was able to pilot Somer Hit to the highest U.S.- bred horse award.

Chumley was thrilled with her horse's effort this weekend but looks forward to training the exciting prospect each day. "He is just really fun, a high quality horse and great to work with."

The judging panel of Janet Foy, Gary Rockwell and Anne Gribbons enjoyed the entire class and were extremely pleased with the level of talent and training displayed.

Foy commented, "It so much fun to judge this; the quality of horses and riders and training is so high."

Saturday's Championship competition wrapped up with the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship 4-year-old division. All 15 horses that trotted into Ring 2 displayed an immense amount talent and potential for the future. However, it was Alyssa Pitts riding Melissa Mulchahey's Furst Fiorano claimed top honors with a classy performance.

The Westphalian gelding (Furst Piccolo - Donna Lorenza by Donnerbube) demonstrated great cadence to score 8.5, with the highlight being the powerful trot work, which earned a 9.2. The judging panel - again composed of Foy, Rockwell and Gribbons - awarded Furst Fiorano an 8.8 for general impression.

Alyssa Pitts & Furst Fiorano (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).
Alyssa Pitts & Furst Fiorano (Photo: Chuck Swan/Swan Studios, LLC).

"Today's ride went well; he was very good in the trot but got tired in the canter," said Pitts. "He's the best horse I've ever ridden."

The Snohomish, WA, resident works with veteran U.S. rider and Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games Bronze medalist Steffen Peters and looks forward to the future with the immensely talent gelding.

"I hope to be back here next year doing the 5-year-olds," Pitts said.

Finishing a close second was George Williams (Delaware, OH) with the talent Horizon (Hotline - Revue by Don Schufro) on a score of 8.48. Elizabeth Juliano's Oldenburg mare showed great elasticity in the trot and phenomenal reach in her walk, as well as scoring an 8.5 for her canter. Her very willing and trainable demeanor led to a score of 9.0 for a general impression mark from the judging panel.

Williams knew from the first time he rode her that he had a star for the future. "With Horizon, the first time I sat on her I had a real rapport. She is a dream to ride; very smooth and work comes easily to her."

Third-place honors went to Oldenburg, Germany, native Lientje Schueler and Regalo (Rosario - Dandiell by Nandino) who scored an 8.3 on the strength of a fabulous walk gait. Schueler, who has been based with Shannon and Steffen Peters in San Diego, CA, for six years, thinks the world of Pinky Robert's Oldenburg gelding.

"He's a very fun horse, he gives it his all all the time." Schueler was extremely impressed with Regalo's perseverance today. "He was tired today but kept trying; his heart was the high point today."

The highest U.S.- bred horse award in the 4-year-old division went to Casanova (Lauwersmeer Laka - Abolien by Indiaan) who is owned and ridden by Jocelyn Hamann.

Judging panel member Anne Gribbons was ecstatic about the quality of horses seen in the 2011 the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship and has great faith in the program, which is now in its 10th year.

"It's been amazing, between the 6-year-olds yesterday and the 4 and 5-year-olds today, we did not have to cover up anything," Gribbons said. "It's been so exciting, fabulous. Stick with it long enough and it works out."

Competition concludes tomorrow at the Lamplight Equestrian Center with the Final Test for the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship sponsored by The Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International, the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships 6-year-old division and USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals presented by Dressage Today 14-18 division.
als presented by Dressage Today 14-18 division performing in an optional warm-up class.

In the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship 6-year-old division the standard was set earlier. Members of the 2005 foal crop demonstrated fluid gaits and a strong foundation in advanced movements such as half-pass and flying changes.

Emily Wagner (La Cygne, KS) and her own American-bred Warmblood stallion Wakeup performed a strong and powerful test to score an 8.88. The judging panel of Janet Foy, Gary Rockwell and Anne Gribbons rewarded Wakeup (Wagnis - Maiden Montreal by Macho) for a mature performance demonstrating phenomenal cadence in the trot work and a fluid walk tour. The pair made their 10-hour drive from Kansas well worth the trip scoring a 9.2 for their trot, an 8.8 in the walk, 8.5 and 8.9 for the canter and submission respectively. Their general impression score, a 9.0, was the highest of the day.

For Wagner, today's performance was especially meaningful as Wakeup is a member of the second generation of horses she has competed successfully. "His dad was my Young Rider Horse. It's so cool because I know his whole family, his brothers and half-brothers," she said.

For more information about the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage, Developing Horse Dressage, and Dressage Seat Equitation and Medal Programs please visit:  

For news, results, video and photos from these Championships please visit


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