(Originally posted on HorsesDaily)
Cesar Parra & Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus x Forst-Design x De Niro) are the 2017 Markel Horse / USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Champions earning an overall score of 67.300%. On the final morning of the Markel/USEF Young Developing Horse National Championships, Cesar Parra maintained his lead to ride away with the Developing Grand Prix National Championship on Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus-Forst-Design, De Niro).
Fashion Designer OLD Markel Young Horse Veteran
The 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding was bred by Heike Kind in Germany, and he is owned by Parra with Martha Sosnoff. Fashion Designer OLD is a true product of success from the USEF Young & Developing Horse Program. He competed and placing first in the 5-Year-Old division in 2013, third in the 6-Year-Old division in 2014, and second in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges division over the years.
“First of all, I am super, super happy to get another title here at the national championships,” said Parra. “I am very, very proud of my horse. I am super grateful, too. It takes a whole village to make it out here; from the owners, from the farrier and the grooms – there are so many people that helped us to get here. Expectations are very high. You want to do well for the horse, for the team, for yourself. I am very, very happy. The footing was excellent, and I think we had a good panel of judges. I am very happy.”
Praise for Lamplight – A Great Venue
Parra topped the Intermediate II on Thursday with a score of 69.561 percent and he returned to the ring Sunday to earn a 65.792 percent in the Developing Grand Prix. In addition to winning the national title, the pair also received the Oldenburg Breeders’ Horse Society award for the highest score of an Oldenburg in the division.
“The place (Lamplight Equestrian Center) is lovely. The stalls are close to the rings, it’s so organized and not crowded. It makes it fun and like a holiday. It’s really fun to come here for the week. It’s a great experience for the horses. Everyone is very friendly. Even in the rain, the footing was excellent.”
Patricia Becker and Freedom Win The Grand Prix
Winning Sunday’s USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Test with a 66.25%, Patricia Becker (Wadsworth, Ill.) and Dr. Anne Ramsay’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Freedom were the reserve champions of the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship. With an overall score of 66.68%,
They also received the U.S. Bred Award for the Developing Grand Prix division. Becker was pleased with Freedom’s attitude and work ethic moving into the final test. “Freedom is always a bit more tired or a little slower at the end of a big competition. However, today he actually felt really good in his body going in. He coughed a little bit before the second canter pirouette and we lost the connection so that was a little rough. The first piaffe was weak, but the rest of the test he was really with me and really tried. He gave me all of his focus. I was super proud of him.”
The People’s Choice – Jim Koford and the Paint Princess Adiah HP
Jim Koford rode fan-favorite Adiah HP (Nico-Marje Ant, Anton), a U.S.-bred Friesian Sporthorse mare, to an overall third place finish. Koford picked up the ride on Sherry Koella’s Adiah HP, who is three-quarters Friesian and a quarter Dutch Warmblood, a year and a half ago.
The colorful duo moved up from their fifth place finish after they placed second in the Developing Grand Prix with a 66.042 percent. “She’s new to the Grand Prix and I want her to feel like a champion every time she goes in. She is a horse that makes me happy every day. She looks at me like she is smiling. Every day, the highlight of her day is when she goes to work. I didn’t have any expectations of placing. I want her to be happy and have the best time and feel really good about herself. In that way, it was a win. She smiled the whole time and felt really good about herself. She gives me chill bumps when I ride her. She makes me so happy. She’s sort of like Lady GaGa to me. She is a star. She makes people smile and she makes me smile. If she loves it, I love it. She’s my buddy.”
Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championship
Complete Results: Developing Grand Prix National Championship
Rider / Horse / Intermediate II (40%) / Developing Grand Prix (60%) / Total
1. Cesar Parra / Fashion Designer OLD / 69.561 / 65.792 / 67.300
2. Patricia Becker / Freedom / 67.325 / 66.250 / 66.680
3. Jim Koford / Adiah HP / 66.842 / 66.042 / 66.362
4. Dorie Crow / La Belladonna / 67.193 / 64.542 / 65.602
5. Heather Blitz / Ripline / 65.570 / 65.583 / 65.578
6. Michael Bragdell / Qredit Hilltop / 67.325 / 64.042 / 65.355