Dressage and eventing enthusiast Beth Collier writes for The Equiery and other publications, and can be reached at dressage@equiery.com
by Beth Collier

Who’s Who in Maryland Dressage 2006
   Every dressage rider who took the time and effort to train, take lessons, endure the weather, and dress up last year certainly deserves an award, regardless of final scores or placings. Here are my favorite Maryland dressage horse and rider combinations from 2006.
   For the uninitiated, “BLM” refers to the Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships Oct. 19-22 at the Virginia Horse Center. “GAIG/USDF” refers to the Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 1 Championship Show Oct. 6-8 at the Horse Park of New Jersey. BLM and GAIG/ USDF are the two major USDF Region 1 Championships. Riders earn qualifying scores at United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) licensed dressage shows. USDF Region 1 includes Maryland, and Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, the eastern part of West Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and Washington, DC.

   New in 2006: The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Four Year Old Dressage Test was added to the repertoire of FEI Young Horse Dressage Tests. The USEF created a different Four Year Old Dressage Test that was used in the inaugural Four Year Old Division at the USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Championship Sept. 8-10 at the Kentucky Horse Park. The FEI also added the North American Junior Championship (NAJC), using FEI junior tests similar to USEF Fourth Level. A rider may compete as a junior from ages 14 to 18. This championship took place Aug. 1-6 at the Virginia Horse Center, as part of the prestigious show known as the FEI North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship (NAJYRC). Riders ages 16 to 21 may compete as either juniors or Young Riders, but not both. If competing as Young Riders, they ride tests similar to FEI Prix St.-Georges level.
In 2006, one of the hottest topics among both politicians and citizens (and one of great interest to dressage riders) was the possibility of a new multi-use Maryland Horse Park. The site under consideration is the old Navy dairy farm near Gambrills, but the Maryland General Assembly will need to work hard for enough political support to make funding a reality.

Now, on to those Maryland dressage stars:
Grand Prix
Medallion, a Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Bob and Karen Turner, was ridden to acclaim by Janna Bakhramova of Dark Horse Stables in Rocky Ridge. This was a super consistent pair, and always fun to watch.
Intermediaire II
Kelly Corrigan and Wenzel Lad won the BLM Intermediaire II Championship Finals.
Intermediaire I
Vanessa Swartz of Windsor Manor Farm in Sandy Spring ushered Orlando to a sixth place in the GAIG/USDF Intermediaire I Open Championship.
Intermediaire I Adult Amateur
Robin Shehan and Marsaelis placed third in the GAIG/USDF Intermediaire I Adult Amateur Championship; they were fourth in the BLM Intermediaire I Finals. Prix St.-Georges (tie) Liebesfurstin, owned by Debbi Bly and ridden by Susan Graham-White of Port Republic, placed sixth in the BLM Prix St.-Georges Championship.
Becky Langwost-Barlow of Preston rode Welfenstein to a fifth place in the GAIG/USDF Prix St.- Georges Open Championship. The latter pair also placed fifth in the BLM Prix St.-Georges Final.


FEI Level Musical Freestyle
Vanessa Swartz and the aforementioned Orlando scored an amazing 78.62% at the Dressage at Lexington Show at the Virginia Horse Center.
FEI Five Year Old Young Horse
Unitas, with Teresa Butta of Glen Burnie in the saddle, scored 6.7 out of a possible 10 and placed 19th out of 24 entries in the Consolation Finals for the Five Year Old Division at the FEI World Championship for Young Dressage Horses in Germany Simply earning the qualification to represent
the U.S. in international dressage competition is an impressive accomplishment for any young horse. Unitas also placed fourth in the USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Five Year Old Championship Division in Kentucky.
FEI Four Year Old Young Horse
BW-Callista, bred by Blue Waters Farm, owned by Leslie Valente and ridden by Tami Glover of Hilltop Farm in Colora, won the inaugural USEF/Markel Young Dressage Horse Four Year Old Championship in Kentucky. By Hilltop Farm’s Contucci, BW-Callista scored 9 out of a possible 10 for a final overall score. Breeder Linda Santomenna of Chesapeake City was there to cheer them on to victory.
Fourth Level
Upper Marlboro resident Sharon Myers was a blue ribbon winner at the Potomac Valley Dressage Association (PVDA) Spring Show with Cedrick.
Third Level
Jennifer Truett of Dancing Horse Farm in Upper Marlboro won the GAIG/USDF Third Level Freestyle Championship with Lydia DHF. They were also seventh at the GAIG/USDF Third Level Open Championship. Marylanders bid Truett a fond farewell, however, as she has since relocated to Ohio.
Second Level
Pacino, owned by Hilltop Farm of Colora and ridden by Hank Hutson, placed second in the GAIG/USDF Second Level Open Championship and sixth in the BLM Second Level Senior Rider “B” Finals. Pacino also qualified for the USEF/Markel National Young Horse Dressage Championship for the Six Year Old Division, an honor only accorded five Maryland horses.
First Level
Rossignol, owned by Colora’s Hilltop Farm and ridden by Tami Glover, was third in the USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Championship Consolation Finale for Five Year Olds in Kentucky and fourth in the BLM First Level Senior Rider “B” Finals Division.
Training Level
The aforementioned BW-Callista, bred by Blue Waters Farm, owned by Leslie Valente, and ridden by Hilltop Farm’s Tami Glover, won the BLM Training Level Senior Rider “B” Finals and the GAIG/USDF Training Level Open Championship.
Training Level Adult Amateur
Dorie Forte of Woodbine placed fifth in the GAIG/USDF Training Level Adult Amateur Championship Class aboard Froelich. The pair was sixth in the inaugural Four Year Old Division at the USEF/Markel Young Horse Dressage Championship in Kentucky.
USDF Walk-Trots
Tracey Goeller-Trainum and Dascha won the PVDA High Score Award for USDF Introductory Level Senior. Julianna LaBoy and Moose On The Loose were the ones to watch at USDF Introductory
Level Junior, winning the PVDA High Score Award for that division.
Pas de Deux
Frederick’s own Trish De Rosa and CFS Wolf joined forces with Heather Fay and Strollin’ Cash for a second place ribbon in the BLM Pas de Deux Musical Freestyle Championship.