The Horse Circus: 6.13.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

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United States Dressage Festival Of Champions

For the better part of the next month, all eyes will be on top ranked soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and the World Cup, which started yesterday in Brazil. But before that Ronaldo has a chance to take the field on Monday, another Ronaldo will be preforming among competitors looking for a birth on the world stage this weekend.

Christopher Hickey and Ronaldo (

Christopher Hickey and Ronaldo (

To the left is Christopher Hickey with the 2006 Danish Warmblood Gelding named Ronaldo that he hopes to ride to victory in the Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship. After the first round of competition, they stand in the middle of the pack, behind some stiff competition from Steffen Peters two leading mares, Rosamunde and Apassionata.

The Intermediare I is just one of six divisions that make up the United States Dressage Festival Of Champions, on now through June 15, at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. The other championships are in Grand Prix, Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup,’ Young Rider, Junior, and Pony Rider competition.

Of course, the Grand Prix competition will be all-important as it serves as a Selection Trial for the U.S. Dressage Team Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. With the start of the World Equestrian Games now less than ten weeks away, everyone is anxious to know who will be representing the United States in this all-important competition!

So far, Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 sit on top of the leader board after Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix Test competition, with fellow 2012 Olympians Jan Ebeling and Tina Konyot in second and third place respectively. The FEI Grand Prix Test counts as 45% of their overall championship score. All sixteen competitors will return on Saturday to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special for 40% of their score. And finally, on Sunday, the Freestyle competition will round out the remaining 15% of their overall score, and produce a champion.

Here is a video of Peters and Legolas coolly rising to the occasion on Thursday.

Excited for more Dressage Festival of Champions all weekend long? Don’t miss a beat with the live and recorded events from the Festival on the USEF Network website here. Or get out to New Jersey if you can!

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