Local riders compete at US Dressage Festival of Champions
Last year Kim Herslow and Rosmarin claimed their first national title in The Dutta Corp./USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship at the 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. The pair finished fourth this year in their division behind Olympic bronze medalist and World Equestrian Games team veteran, Stephen Peters.
Herslow, a Delaware Township resident, and Rosmarin have been working on the next and highest level of competition, the grand prix. “This show was a learning experience for me as I felt like I had to step backwards to this level with him now. He has not been showing and we have focused on training for the grand prix since the last National Championships in October,” she said.
She felt under-prepared and didn’t have the same harmony with her horse “because he is a different horse now since last year showing this level. I was over-preparing him for movements that come much easier now and it cost me mistakes. I learned from this experience that it is harder than I thought it would be to go backwards now that we are much more ahead of this level now in training. He is ready for the next chapter which is what our focus is going to be on now. I am looking forward to the season to come and Florida 2015.”
Herslow, as the farm owner and trainer, has developed Upper Creek Farm over more than two decades to be a top class equestrian center.
Hailing from the other end of the county, Heather Mason of Tewksbury Township placed seventh in the same division aboard Zar, a horse she has trained since he was a baby.
Cesar Parra of Readington Township finished 12th in the grand prix division with Van The Man owned by Sarah and Michael Davis of Bedminster.
The Davis’ daughter Bebe Davis was second in the field of 12 junior riders in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship.
Bebe, 16, rode Rotano a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding she owns with her father, to the reserve championship. She trains with Parra and Katie Riley at Performance Farms in Readington Township.
“The first part of our trot work was super great. Unfortunately he broke in the extended trot which was totally rider error,” Davis said after the second class of the competition. “Even though we have been together for a while, I feel we have more of a partnership each time out.”
Bebe also rode Feivel Mousekewitz to a score of 71.237% to place first in one class but was eighth overall when the two class scores were averaged.