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Lamplight Equestrian Center Hosts Markel USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage Championships

Endel L. Ots and Donatus receive the Developing Horse Grand Prix Championship from Jane Weatherwax and Markel owners Lisa and John Seger.

Program Awards 2014 Dressage Champions 

Wayne, IL – August 23, 2014 - Lamplight Equestrian Center hosted the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage Championships presented by Spectators filled the VIP tables to watch the final day of competition for the Developing Horse Grand Prix Championship, the FEI Five-Year Olds, the USEF Four-Year Olds, and the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 13 and under. The event was also live streamed by USEFNetwork. Sunday will include the Championships for the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges, the FEI Six-year olds and the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18.

The Program
The Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program (for four, five, and six-year-old horses) promotes the importance of selective breeding and correct training of horses in the United States, and encourages participation of breeders, riders, and trainers of young horses in dressage competition. The purposes of this program are to encourage the properly structured development of young dressage prospects through the training scale; to identify and recognize outstanding talent and the training of international-caliber horses; and to prepare these horses for future careers at the FEI level and participation on U.S. High Performance teams.*
The Markel/USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championships presented is for 7-9-year-old horses competing at the FEI Prix St. Georges level and for 8-10-year-old horses competing at the Grand Prix level. This program is part of USEF's initiative to recognize up-and-coming dressage talent for High Performance - not only for riders, but also for horses.*

Lamplight Equestrian Center’s owner, Nina Moore, is pleased to have an event of this caliber in the Midwest.

“It’s a privilege to hold this event,” said Moore. “The USEF dressage committee, the organizers and the riders select Lamplight because they like the facility and the management. We have been selected for the 2015 Championships as well and look forward to hosting it again. It’s a great program and it attracts quality horses.”

The competition consists of two days of tests for each division.  The first test is weighted at 40% and the second and final test is weighted at 60% to arrive at the overall score. All exhibitors must qualify between January 1 and July 28 of the current year to enter.

USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Championship
Starting the morning off with a win in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Final was Endel L. Ots and Donatus, a ten-year-old Wurttemberger gelding owned by Everglades Dressage of Wellington, FL. The pair had the top score of 68.640 in the Intermediare II from Thursday and a score of 69.917 in the Developing Grand Prix test today for the overall score of 69.406 to hold the lead.


“I was super happy with my test today,” said Ots.  “I tried to push it a little bit more in the piaffe passage today; I was a little conservative the other day. He tried his heart out right until the end and it was super positive and really fun.”

Ots, a supporter of the program, has a four-year-old he shows as well and plans to continue to bring horses along through the program.

Emily Wagner and Wakeup have participated in the program for several years, winning the Reserve Championship this year.

Finishing in reserve was today’s class leader, Emily Wagner, 26, and Wakeup, who also won the Best American Bred Horse in the division. The pair resides in LaCygne, KS. Wagner and her mount scored 68.246 in Thursday’s class and a 70.042 for today’s win and a total of 69.324 for second place honors.

“Overall I was super happy with his concentration level and his softness,” said Wagner. “I was really happy with him but the piaffe passage needs to develop a bit, it’s coming but was just the part that was a little weaker today but that’s ok.”

Wakeup and Wagner won the Prix St. Georges Championship Class in 2013. They have come up through the ranks of the Developing Horse Program competing as a four, five and six-year-old as well.


“I love this program and I love coming here to Lamplight,” said Wagner. “He’s from the Midwest, we’re from the Midwest and we get to showcase him in the Midwest.”
Both Ots and Wagner raved about showing at Lamplight, commenting on how beautiful the grounds are and despite a good amount of rain, the footing was excellent. They are both looking forward to returning next year.
FEI Five-Year Old Championship
Winning the FEI Five-Year-Old Championship was Kelly Casey, 30, of Livermore, CA and her mount, Emilion SA. The 2009 KWPN gelding took the lead in Thursday’s Preliminary class with an 86.200 and added an 87.200 in the Final for an overall score of 86.800 to clinch the win.

Kelly Casey and Emilion SA won the Five-Year-Old Championship.

Casey and a friend of hers bought the Dutch Warmblood gelding in Holland, unbroken and brought him over a year ago in July. Several people mentioned she should try him in the young horse program, so she did.
“I wasn’t expecting to do so well. He’s a great horse but it definitely surprised me,” said Casey. “I really want to thank USEF for a great program for the young horses.”
“He brought his ‘A’ game for sure,” added Casey. “He tries super hard and I just rode him in his comfort zone.”
Casey enjoys the young  horse program and the championship show grounds.
“The facility is beautiful. We’re form California so we’re not used to all this green!” laughed Casey. “It’s beautifully maintained and groomed and the footing is excellent.”
Patricia Becker of Wadsworth, IL, rode Joan Pecora’s Edward to the reserve spot with 84.600 and 85.600 for an overall total of 85.200.
It was Amy Miller’s KWPN gelding, Encore (Jazz x Aloha SE/Sir Sinclair), who won the Best American Bred Horse in the five-year old division and placed fourth overall. The pair traveled from Fullerton, CA.
FEI Four-Year Old Championship
Rosalut NHF and Carly Taylor-Smith, 24, of Malibu, CA won the FEI Four-Year-Old Championship with an overall score of 89.560.  Their score from Thurdsay’s test was 88.300, adding a 90.400 from the final yielded them the highest score and the Championship. Judges generously awarded the Oldenburg gelding a 9.3 for the trot, 8.4 for the walk, 9.4 for the canter, 8.8 for submissiveness and 9.3 for overall impression, earning them the highest young horse scores of the day. Rosalut NHF (Rosenthal x Legacy/ Salut) earned the Best American Bred Horse for the Four-Year-Olds.

Carly Taylor-Smith and Rosalut NHF win the Four-Year-Old Championship and Best American Bred Horse in the division.

“My ride was great, I held it together, he didn’t take off, which was great,” giggled Taylor-Smith.  “I was really proud of him.”
Taylor-Smith’s mother, Nikki, bought him from a show jumping barn and sent him to her in February.

 “My mother is not getting the horse back!” laughed the winner.

Carly Taylor-Smith plans to return to Lamplight next year for the Five-Year-Old Championship.

“I’ve never been to Lamplight before but it’s really nice. It’s my first big show in the United States,” added Taylor-Smith.
The young rider is originally from England and hopes to become a US Citizen so she can compete on a US Team someday.
Another Californian took the Reserve Championship, Famebria DG and Willy Arts of Hanford, CA, earned an 83.600 and 85.400 for an overall score of 84.680. DG Bar Ranch and Natalie Bryant own the KWPN mare.
USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 13 and Under
After the judges put the medal riders through their paces and scored their test rides, it was Helen Claire McNulty, 14, of Holland, MI, who came out on top. McNulty rode Checkmate, a fourth level horse, and trains with George Williams.

Dressage Seat Medal Winner 13 and under, Helen Claire McNulty.

McNulty’s mother was another exhibitor who expressed that Lamplight was her favorite place to show. The family has shown at Lamplight for years and always looks forward to returning.

Nia Kinney, 12, Dallas, TX, took the Reserve Championship in the Dressage Seat Medal 13 & under.

Sunday will wrap up the Championships with the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals 14-18, the Prix St. Georges Championship and the FEI Six-Year-Old Finals.

Lamplight Equestrian Center has been host to a number of prestigious horseshows including the American Eventing Championships, The Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships and the U.S. Para-Equestrian National Championships in addition to countless first-class Hunter shows, Jumper shows, Eventing competitions, Dressage shows and Sporthorse Inspections.
Numerous facility improvements including GGT Footing, make Lamplight Equestrian Center Chicago’s premier horse show facility.
For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center, contact Anna Margalef at 630-546-5576 or or visit the website at F
For more results please visit
*From USEF Website –

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