Koning DG a Rising Star on Second Day of 2019 Great American/USDF Region 7 & California Dressage Society Championship Show

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

Willy Arts and DG Bar Ranch’s U.S.-bred KWPN stallion Koning DG won the Four-Year-Old Division of the 2019 CDS Young Horse Futurity. Photo: Jennifer M. Keeler/Yellow Horse Marketing.

Willy Arts and DG Bar Ranch’s U.S.-bred KWPN stallion Koning DG won the Four-Year-Old Division of the 2019 CDS Young Horse Futurity. Photo: Jennifer M. Keeler/Yellow Horse Marketing.

One of the perennial highlights of the Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 7 and California Dressage Society (CDS) Championship Show, being held this year September 19-22 in Rancho Murieta, is the CDS Young Horse Futurity where four, five, and six-year-olds show off their talents across two rounds of competition. This year’s field of more than 70 horses (including almost 30 California-breds) was one of the largest in CDS Futurity history, and with coveted titles and more than $15,000 in prize money on the line, competition was fierce.

After tying for first place in round one and then absolutely dominating the second day’s Training Level Test 3, Willy Arts of Hanford, Cal. (Fresno Chapter) rode DG Bar Ranch's KWPN stallion Koning DG (Bordeaux x Darcy CL by Jazz, bred in the U.S. by DG Bar Ranch) straight down victory lane in the CDS Four-Year-Old Futurity with a combined score of 76.552%, earning the right to have their names engraved on the INXS Perpetual Trophy (watch their winning ride HERE).

“He’s the whole package: talent at all three gaits, character, rideability, and a great work ethic – he never says no,” said Arts of his latest young prodigy, who recently competed at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships in August and is also a licensed stallion with the KWPN. “It’s always more special when it’s a homebred horse like this, because it’s the ultimate goal for a breeder. He’s big for his age and he’s still a little bit green, so when we went to Chicago it’s a long trip and that might have been a little much for him, but he came back a much more mature individual for having had the experience. He has some offspring already and they look very promising as well. We have high expectations for him.”

Almost every year DG Bar Ranch brings several horses to compete in the Young Horse Futurity, and it’s Arts’ favorite part about competing at the Championships. “It’s what I love doing. When you’re in the breeding business, it’s a natural extension to be involved with young horse competition,” Arts explained. “Every winter I look forward to starting the next crop of three-year-olds, and I like to be involved in bringing them along to about six years old and then handing them off to someone else to take further. The CDS Futurity is very attractive for us because anyone can enter and you don’t have to qualify, so there’s no pressure and you get to come together and compare apples to apples. I’ve always liked the young horse competitions, showing off their talents and developing them in the right way for the rest of their careers.”

Other Futurity division results included:

  • The top-placed Adult Amateur entry in the Four-Year-Old division was Jennifer Little of Ione, Cal. (Fresno Chapter) with the Oldenburg gelding Francisco (Furstenball x Rubi Slippers by Royal Prince, owned and bred in the U.S. by Holly Reimers) with 63.750%.

  • The CDS Five-Year-Old Futurity title went to Anna Wood of Murrieta, Cal. (Temecula Valley Chapter) with her Oldenburg gelding Navarro (Negro x Wakira P) on the strength of an average score of 74.501%. The highest-placed Adult Amateur entry was Catherine Reynolds of North Hills, Cal. (Los Angeles Chapter) with her Oldenburg mare Hotness (Hotline x Livadia By Impressionist, bred in the U.S. by Hilda Gurney) with 70.643%.

  • Kristina Harrison’s long drive north from Burbank (Los Angeles Chapter) paid off as she rode Jocelyn Towne’s KWPN gelding I Felix (Fidertanz x Dalwhinnie by UB40, bred in the U.S. by Natalie Hinnemann) to win the 2019 CDS Six-Year-Old Futurity and Parker Perpetual Trophy with an overall two-test average score of 73.827%. The top-placed Adult Amateur with 67.367% was Gundi Younger of Walnut Creek, Cal. (East Bay Chapter) riding her KWPN gelding In Time DG (Ravel x Festival by Sandro Hit, bred in the Netherlands by DG Bar Breeders).

A multitude of Great American/USDF Region 7 champions were crowned on Friday, including:

  • In the Training Level Adult Amateur division, Kimberly Frederick of Lincoln, Cal. (Foothills Chapter) and her five-year-old Hanoverian mare Fantastica CS trotted to an easy victory with a score of 75.603% to come away with their first win of the weekend.

  • Setting what would prove to be an unbeatable score of 74.655% as just the second ride to enter the arena for the Training Level Open Championship was Rachel Wade of West Sacramento (Sacramento Valley Chapter) with Sara Bartholomew’s Oldenburg mare Top Hit.

  • Erin Velguth of Wilton, Cal. (Valley Oaks Chapter) rode her Friesian Heritage gelding Tennyson M to a score of 65.060% to top the Second Level Adult Amateur division.

  • Samantha Davis of Santa Rosa (Sonoma Chapter) partnered with Kate Wilson’s Friesian gelding Montrachet to earn a winning score of 66.250% in the Second Level Open Championship.

  • In the Region 7 FEI Young Rider Team Championship, Dallas McCullough of Murrieta, Cal. (Temecula Valley Chapter) rode the Danish Warmblood gelding Fritz to victory with 69.191%.

  • Heidi Gaian of Hollister, Cal. (Gavilan Chapter) rode Cathy Cadieux's Lusitano gelding Distinto (Portugal) to the unanimous win under both judges in the Intermediaire II Open Championship with a score of 68.971%.

  • Earning the win in the Intermediaire II Adult Amateur division was Caron Frisone of Pebble Beach (Carmel Valley Chapter) aboard her Hanoverian gelding Rococo (58.676%).

  • Wrapping up an exciting day in the main arena was intense competition for the Region 7 Grand Prix Freestyle Championship, where Hilda Gurney of Moorpark (Los Angeles Chapter) rode her Oldenburg mare Iris into the winner’s circle with 66.375%.

Thousands of dollars in prize money and awards were on the line as the first group of hotly-contested CDS Horse of the Year classes got underway, with impressive fields of competitors all vying for coveted perpetual trophies and a place in the history books, including:

  • Ruth Shirkey of Livermore, Cal. (East Bay Chapter) and her Hanoverian mare Wyleigh Princess were the only pair to break the 70% mark on their way to victory over a large field of competitors in the CDS $1,000 Adult Amateur Prix St. Georges division, taking home the Global Imaging Perpetual Trophy with a score of 70.147%.

  • Christian Hartung of Vacaville, Cal. (Sacramento Valley Chapter) rode Christiane Noelting’s Oldenburg gelding Desario to best 20 rivals with a score of 73.897% and win the Bent Roswall Memorial Trophy for the $1,000 CDS Open Prix St. Georges Horse of the Year division.

  • In their second victory of the day, Heidi Gaian and Distinto (Portugal) claimed the Sherry de Leon Memorial Trophy for the CDS Open Grand Prix Horse of the Year division with 67.609%.

  • In the $1,000 CDS Adult Amateur Grand Prix Horse of the Year class, Anne Seemann of Livermore, Cal. (East Bay Chapter) rode her KWPN gelding Veneciano to a winning score of 65.761% and earned the Rubenstein Memorial Trophy.

Music once again filled the air on Friday afternoon as the following CDS Freestyle divisions were decided:

  • Megan McQueeney (Topanga, CA, Ventura Chapter) and Denise Griffith’s KWPN mare Ilima are now two-for-two at this year’s CDS Championship Show: yesterday the pair won the Great American/USDF Region 7 First Level Freestyle Championship, and today they claimed the CDS First Level Freestyle title with a score of 73.733%.

  • Another repeat winner freestyle winner was Elena Flaherty of Clayton, Cal. (East Bay Chapter). After winning the Great American/USDF Region 7 title on Thursday with her German Sport Horse gelding Royal Chrome, the pair returned to the ring to win the CDS Third Level Freestyle and the Alexsandra Howard Memorial Trophy with 70.150%.

  • Paula Paglia (Temecula Valley Chapter) and Kate Earl’s Belgian Warmblood gelding In D’Aire have proven to be unbeatable with their Fourth Level freestyle so far, this time claiming CDS Fourth Level Freestyle Horse of the Year honors with a score of 68.667% to win the Ran Averett Perpetual Trophy.

  • Christian Hartung and Desario earned their second straight title of the day by claiming the Lilian Van Dahn Memorial Perpetual Trophy for CDS Intermediaire I Freestyle Horse of the Year (73.438%).

In the popular CDS Dressage Seat Equitation Challenge classes, adult amateurs, juniors and young riders had a chance to show off their dressage skills, and standing out from the crowd were these winners:

  • In the 13 & under class, Josephine Hinnemann of Murrieta, Cal. (Temecula Valley Chapter) rode her gelding Tom to the win with a score of 78.000%.

  • Alyssa Buenting of Reno, Nev. (Sierra Nevada Chapter) and her Hanoverian gelding Del Mar topped a competitive field in the 14-18 division to win the champion’s sash with 81.000%.

  • For Adult Amateurs, Laurel Kerner of Ramona, Cal. (San Diego Chapter) showed off her skills with her Oldenburg mare Coco Noir to claim the blue ribbon with a score of 80.000%.

For more information about the California Dressage Society Championship Show, including news, schedules, ride times, and results, visit the CDS website and follow along with behind-the-scenes updates and photos on the CDS Facebook page.