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Gallant Reflection HU and WakeUp Take Early Leads in 2015 Markel USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships


Emily Miles and WakeUp (SusanJStickle.com)

AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Wayne, Ill. – Competition continued in the 2015 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center with the preliminary tests for the Six-Year-Old and Developing Horse Grand Prix competitors. Sitting atop the leaderboard in the six-year-old division is Gallant Reflection HU, ridden by Lisa Wilcox. Taking a commanding lead in the Developing Horse Grand Prix were WakeUp and Emily Miles.

FEI Six-Year-Old Young Horse Preliminary Test
Lisa Wilcox and Gallant Reflection HU (SusanJStickle.com)
Lisa Wilcox and Gallant Reflection HU (SusanJStickle.com)


Wilcox and Gallant Reflection HU, bred and owned by Horses Unlimited Inc., went into the early lead in the Six-Year-Old National Championship. The Zweibrucker stallion earned high marks for his ground covering trot, scoring an 8.600. His rhythmic walk also impressed as he presented great potential to excel as a top-level dressage horse and earned an overall 8.040.

“He’s very reactive to atmosphere, so I was very thankful I had a warm-up test on Thursday in the national show. Today I had a fully concentrated horse, he did a fabulous job. I am thrilled with what he gave me today; he is proving to me that he is the awesome horse I know he is. When he gets into the show arena it is great to see how well he can concentrate despite having some internal anxieties, he trusts that he went in and he did his job – that is a good athlete,”

Horses Unlimited Inc. and Wilcox (Loxahatchee, Fla.) have paired at these prestigious championships in the past with great success, winning this Six-Year-Old National Championship in 2009 with Pikko Del Cerro HU.

A veteran of Young and Developing Horse National Championship competition, Miles (LaCygne, Kan.) rode Floretienne, owned by Leslie Waterman and bred by Judy Yancey, to a second-place finish on a score of 7.980. Showcasing an energetic and forward trot, the Oldenburg gelding proved consistent in all three gaits.

“He was a rock star today. I could not have asked for a better test, he was just on and perfect. I have to thank WakeUp for putting me in a position where someone like Leslie, who owns really nice horses, has asked me to train and rider her hoses – that is amazing,” said Miles.

Jordan Rich (Washington D.C.) presented Ellert HB in his first Young Horse National Championship, earning a third-place finish on a score of 7.820. The KWPN gelding, owned by Lucy Tidd and bred by Stal Maathuis, showed great power and energy in the trot, scoring 8.200 and showed good quality and consistency in the walk and canter to score identical 7.600s.
“Being that it is my first time here, the horse was absolutely super and he’s been great all season. He was really honest and took it all in-stride. I couldn’t have asked for a better effort from him, he just tried every stride,” said Rich.

Today’s preliminary test will account for 40% of the overall score, with the remaining 60% being earned Sunday in the final test to determine the National Champion.

Complete Six-Year-Old Preliminary Test Results

FEI Intermediaire II Test (Developing Horse Grand Prix)
Miles and her own WakeUp, the 2014 Reserve National Champions in this division, never looked in doubt this morning as they executed a confident test that was rewarded well with a score of 72.149%.

“Today was great, I am just so thankful to be here. WakeUp has qualified for these championships every year. The only year he didn’t come [to these championships] was when we went to Verden [for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Dressage Young Horses], so this is his last graduating year. He felt solid and strong today, I was super pleased with him,” said Miles.

WakeUp, an American Warmblood stallion bred by Beverly McLean, is one of the most successful horses in these Championships, having won the 2011 Six-Year-Old National Championship and the 2013 Developing Horse Prix St. Georges National Championship.

Taking second place was Marcus Orlob (Annandale, N.J.) and Equestricons ET Viola. The elegant Hanoverian gelding, owned by ET Adventure LLC and bred by Britta White, scored a 68.070%.
“I was very happy. I have to say a big thank you to Debbie McDonald [USEF Developing Dressage Coach], I had a great lesson with her yesterday and she pointed some very good things out that was really helpful today. He was very electric today in the ring and was very fun to ride,” said Orlob. 

Rounding out the top three was Christopher Hickey (Wellington, Fla.) and Cecilia Stewart’s Ronaldo. Showcasing his signature elasticity and fluid gaits, the Danish Warmblood gelding scored 67.558%.
“My horse is quite green at this level, he has been schooling a lot of the Grand Prix movements, but he is a huge moving, very elastic horse so it has taken him longer for him to get strong in the work. He is a super character with a super temperament,” said Hickey.

Today’s scores contributed 40% toward the overall total for the championships. The competition will conclude Sunday with the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test.

Complete FEI Intermediaire II Test Results

The USEF Network will cover the final classes in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges, Four-Year-Old, and Five-Year-Old National Championships tomorrow beginning at 8:00 a.m. CT.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members. Without the support of these organizations and individuals, it would not be possible to support our athletes. The USEF is especially grateful to individuals who give generously of their time and money to support the equestrian teams.