Horse pairs and single, pair and four-in-hands of ponies are competing for USEF National Championship titles at the 2011 CAI-B Live Oak in Ocala, Florida. The first phase of competition, dressage for the FEI classes is now complete.
Shelly Temple of Windsor, S.C., put herself well ahead of the competition, winning the FEI Single Pony dressage with a score of 41.60. Driving her Morgan LR Ami B-Line, Temple was happy with her score. “With Michael Freund’s help, we are working toward elevation and expression. It’s challenging to do both and be accurate and consistent.” She’s happy with the progress they are making, but knows that there is still work to do. “Michael and Fred (Freund, Michael’s brother) have been a tremendous help to us all.”
Jennifer Matheson of Aiken, S.C. earned a dressage score of 50.82 driving Katrina Becker’s pair of German Riding Ponies, Danyloo and Topper. Matheson is the defending USEF pair pony champion and hopes to make it two in a row.
The lone entry in the FEI pony four-in-hand class is Allison Stroud of West Grove, Pa. Stroud scored 52.48 with her four Connemara ponies.
One point separates Misdee Wrigley-Miller from Joe Yoder after dressage in the FEI horse pair class. Wrigley-Miller scored 45.95 to stand first in dressage. President of the Jury Diana Brownlie noted “The first two places showed some excellent basic paces and some nice movements which bodes well for the future of the U.S. Team. They were also notable for their excellent presentation
The best dressage score in the FEI single horse class was earned by Marcie Quist of Vass, N.C. driving her nine-year-old Hackney gelding Halstead’s Shale. “I was really pleased, but disappointed that I had that mistake in the reinback. We got into a spot I couldn’t get him to back up.”
Hometown favorite Chester Weber gave himself over a 22 point cushion to take into the marathon, earning 37.63 penalty points from the five-person jury. Weber is driving two new horses in his team this spring provided by his sponsor Jane Clark. “They are a welcome addition to the program,” said Weber. “They’ve added depth and they’ve added quality. It takes a little time to figure out where they best fit, so we’re working on it slowly. This is the third competition they’ve done but never in the same position.” Weber also commented how invaluable it is to his driving program to have a sponsor like Jane Clark.
Intermediate and Preliminary competitors will drive their dressage tests on Friday.