FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Over 300 competitors from throughout the west coast and Canada completed the dressage phase today at Aspen Farms Horse Trials (AFHT) in Yelm, WA. Competitors from Beginner Novice through Intermediate as well as CIC1* and CIC2* divisions faced mixed weather, with periods of sunshine and rain, as well as an afternoon thunderstorm that resulted in a 30-minute hold.
This year’s AFHT boasts the largest CIC2* division here to date with 17 starters from Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, and Canada. Young rider Sophie Click and her Irish Sporthorse gelding, Fernhill Rising (pictured above), are first after dressage with a score of 44.1. This new partnership, together since last November, aims to qualify to represent USEA Area VII in the 2* division at the 2017 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in July. Sophie is already qualified for NAJYRC at the 1* level with her second horse, Hot Wheels. Shortly after the completion of her rides today, Sophie left to attend her high school graduation ceremony.
Sandra Donnelly and her Canadian Warmblood, Belshazzar, are a close second on 44.8 in the CIC2*, with Kiera Carter and Corinthoz in third on 45.2. Sabrina Glaser is tied with herself for fourth aboard Hypona To Be True and Rembrant. The CIC2* competitors will take on Tremaine Cooper’s show jumping course in the newly expanded sand arena beginning at 3:30 p.m on Saturday.
In the CIC1*, Sara Sellmer delivered a convincing dressage performance with the 8-year-old Oldenburg mare, Rubia. “Rubia was super in her test,” Sara said. “I was happy with her frame and rideability. She’s such a nice mover and she’s really good in the connection.” Sara has had the ride on Rubia since last October, and she expressed gratitude to Rubia’s owner, Amy Click, for the opportunity to compete the talented mare.
Stephanie Cooper and her own Thoroughbred gelding, Sketchy Past, are in second overnight on 42.2, within one rail of first. Last year’s CIC1* winners, Maris Burns and Cooley Wick, are in third on 43.
In Open Intermediate, Attila Rajnai leads the division handily on 26.3 aboard Sara Mittleider’s gelding, Harry Houdini. Attila and Harry were the USEA Area VII Preliminary Champions at AFHT last September. Emily Pestl-Dimmitt and Airlington are second in Open Intermediate on a score of 40.
Bianca Linder and Codigo are first in Open Prelminary, and Alessandra Allen-Shinn and Bravo lead Preliminary Rider.
The lower levels also saw high quality performances, with the lowest penalty score of the day (21.2) earned by Isabella Gunningham and Leroy in Junior Training. As always, The Zeit Capital Open Challenge classes were hotly contested in pursuit of cash and other prizes to be awarded Sunday to the top finishers. The Zeit Capital Open Training division, currently led by Anna Stein and The Duke, will ride Jonathan Elliott’s cross-country course starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Final dressage scores and current placings can be viewed online at Startbox Scoring, here. Additional show coverage can be found on the Aspen Farms Horse Trials Facebook page or Instagram @AspenFarmsHorseTrials.
* Photos provided courtesy Lively Manor Photography