By Lily Forado
At the premises of Lamplight Equestrian Center, hosting 175 combinations, the fourteenth national championship for the 2020 US Dressage Festival of Champions was held August 18th through the 23rd. The Festival of Champions also known as the United States Youth Championship, brought together the best riders in the country to fight for the coveted national title.
On Monday afternoon, the week kicked off with all horses passing the initial veterinary inspection for the Intermediate I USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship.
The competition requires the riders to run three tests in their quest for the national championship: Intermediate II (40 percent), Grand Prix 16-25 (45 percent), and Freestyle U25 (15 percent).
Seven horse-and-rider combinations completed their FEI Intermediate II including Kerrigan Gluch and Hampton Green Farm’s 13-year-old P.R.E stallion, Vaquero HGF (Cuatrero IV x Encina HGF), finished in second place with a score of 68.147%. A day later, Kerrigan on her mount Vaquero HGF turned in a clean and polished ride to finish first in the class with a 68.744%. Gluch and Vaquero HGF were currently second in the Brentina Cup overall standings. Everything seemed favorable to fight for the gold position, but on the freestyle, Vaquero felt very fresh. In the end, Kerrigan Gluch and Vaquero HGF took home the reserve championship. They earned third place for their freestyle performance, with a score of 68.425%.
Partners for five years, Kerrigan Gluch and Vaquero HGF have been an unbreakable combination with a resume full of podiums. Since 2015, both have ridden in American and European shows with very competitive scores and placed in top positions.
Twelve combinations took the Grand Prix Arena for the FEI Children Team Test and Individual Test of the USEF Children Dressage National Championship.
Lentisco XVIII (Zafiro XIV x Estupenda II) under the reins of Justine Boyer went from less to more. With an average of 69.500%, Justine and Lentisco XVIII closed in the top 5, while in the individual test, they earned the third position with a remarkable 72.810%. Skimming the podium, the American rider placed fourth overall.
The youngest equine competitors of the show fought for the USEF Markel title. Thirteen horse-and-rider pairs completed the FEI Six-Year-Old category. P.R.E horse Hermes BRH (Trajano IV x Revoltosa LXXXVIII) ridden by Stacey Hastings received a 75.600% in the six-year preliminary and 72.200% in the six-year final.