#AEC17 Quotes From the Top: Prelim and Training Dressage

Prelim and Training divisions have been our trailblazers here at the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships, knocking out dressage on Wednesday and heading out on cross country today — best of luck to all!

Here’s what the dressage leaders had to say after their tests:

Mia Petersen and Parc Cooley. Photo by Sportfot.

Preliminary Amateur

Dressage leaders: Mia Peterson and Parc Cooley, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cavalier Royale x Wellfields Allegro), on a score of 31.7

On her relationship with Parc Cooley: “I’ve had Parker since 2013 and he’s coming along very nicely. He can be a little spooky, but he’s a really sweet horse.”

On their test: “I was thrilled with the ride. Some days he struggles a bit with the tension, but today he came out and was very relaxed. It was just a matter of making sure that I had him uphill enough, but once we got that nicely in warm-up, he really had a great flow. We had a couple of bobbles, but there is always something that you want to fix. I got a little crooked with my second leg-yield, so I didn’t ride it as neatly as I should have. Overall though, I just came out and was really thrilled.”

Megan Sykes and Classic’s Mojah. Photo by Sportfot.

Professional’s Choice Training Horse

Dressage leaders: Megan Sykes and Classic’s Mojah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chabertin x Hauptstutbuch Senna), on a score of 21.1

On their test: “I was really happy with my ride. He was very relaxed. He didn’t seem to mind the atmosphere. He used to be a dressage horse, so he does pretty well in the dressage. We usually get good scores. It was very rideable and a great ride.”

On the cross country course: “I think that the cross country course is going to be a time challenge, just observing how tight it is, but I think that he’ll handle it well. I think that it’s something he’s never seen before. It’s bright and it’s new, so it’ll be a good challenge. I’m looking forward to it.”

Denise Goyea and Highlife’s Je T’aime. Photo by Sportfot.

Preliminary Rider

Dressage leaders: Denise Goyea and Highlife’s Je T’aime, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Der Dollar x Jeunesse D’Or) owned by Madeline Hartsock, on a score of 27.5

On their test: “She stayed really relaxed and forward today. She can get a little shy in the dressage arena, but she didn’t today and that was really nice to have her feel calm but still ground covering.”

On their 17-hour drive from Massachusetts: “I ride with Sharon White so I was able to stop and cross country school in Virginia before coming here, which was a nice way to break it up. We love being here at the AEC. We were here last year and right when we left, my clients were trying to make housing reservations for this year because we knew that we wanted to come back. It’s a fantastic venue and it’s a great place for the riders, as well as the spectators.”

Carolyn Johnson and Black Label. Photo by Sportfot.

Professional’s Choice Training Amateur

Dressage leaders: Carolyn Johnson and her own Black Label, a 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Judith’s Wild Rush x Lovely Keri), on a scre of 26.6

On their test: “I thought he was really good today. I was a little nervous about how he would react to the atmosphere. This is the first time he has been in a big atmosphere like this, and he handled it really, really well. I was pleased with all of it.”

On Black Label’s personality: “He is a ham for sure. Definitely a barn favorite — gets himself in trouble quite a bit. I’ve been taking a lot of time at the basics and spending a lot of time on his rhythm and connection has definitely been my biggest focus with him. As a 3-year-old I took him to a lot of shows just to get on the grounds and to get him to relax. He has such a great brain — he wasn’t too difficult to bring along.”

On owning an OTTB (Black Label is a CANTER Pennsylvania grad): “I bought him from Chris Talley as a 3-year-old and I have just been working with him slowly and bringing him up the levels. This is his first year out at Training, but he has been really good. He has taken to it and likes eventing.”

Holly Payne-Caravella and CharmKing. Photo by Sportfot.

Preliminary Horse

Dressage leaders: Holly Payne-Caravella and CharmKing, a 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x O-Heraldika) owned by FARM CharmKing LLC, on a score of 21.3.

On their test: “He hasn’t been in such a big atmosphere before. He was here at TIEC for The Fork in the spring, but he didn’t go in the main arena for the dressage. He’s usually pretty consistent on the flat, but today he definitely felt a little bit more up than normal. I kind of put in a conservative test for him, but he’s really obedient, tried really hard and handled the atmosphere great. I was really pleased with him.”

On their cross country plan: “I’m used to riding a lot of Thoroughbreds and he didn’t race, so he didn’t really know how to gallop. He’s a good jumper, but I’ve been taking him out with my other Thoroughbreds and making him gallop and train with them. He has a good gallop in him, it’s just wasn’t brought out as a three and four-year-old like the other horses.

“I think that this track is hard and derby-like with lots of twists and turns, so I think the course will suit him well. My goal is to go out and make the time with him. He’s at that place now where I can push him a bit, so I’m going to see how much he has matured over the summer.”

Jordan Good and Danito. Photo by Sportfot.

Professional’s Choice Training Rider

Dressage leaders: Jordan Good and Danito, an 8-year-old Hanoverian (Dancier x Wie Musik) owned by Ruth Bley, on a score of 28.0

On their test: “It was a really good ride. My horse is just really great. As soon as he goes in the box he just does his thing and does well. I just try to stay out of his way.”

On the cross country course: “I think it’s a beefy Training level course, which it should be, but the course seems really fun. He’s got a huge stride, so he’ll cover some ground. I’ll kick on, go in between the flags, and hopefully it all goes well.”

On TIEC: “It’s amazing. I absolutely love it here. The footing is amazing and it’s so cool to be on grass. The venue is a world-class facility, so it’s really awesome to be here. We came out early for the jumper show and it’s been really fun.”

Audrie Stanka and Coughar. Photo by Sportfot.

Junior/Young Rider Preliminary

Dressage leaders: Audrie Stanka and her own Coughar, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Camaro M x Cortina), on a score of 25.1

On their test: “He was perfect. He was really forward, which is good, because that’s what we’ve been working on all summer. He was super responsive and did everything I asked him to do and more.”

On the cross country course: “My goal for tomorrow is to be as accurate and quick as possible.”

Madeline Hartsock and Prinz S.W. Photo by Sportfot.

Professional’s Choice Junior Training

Dressage leaders: Madeline Hartsock and her own Prinz S.W., an 8-year-old German Sport Horse Pony (PR. H. Principal Boy x St. Pr. St. Hauptsutbuch Bienchen), on a score of 25.0

On their test: “He definitely felt a lot better — very good. He didn’t break in his lengthenings and felt more connected than normal. I’ve had him for two years now. He went up to the equivalent of Training in Germany, so that’s been my goal with him.”

On the cross country course: “My goal for tomorrow is to really get him off that drop in the water and to make the time.”

[2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® Begin With Successful Day of Dressage at TIEC]

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