Piaffe Performance’s Markel/USEF Champions Make Chicago Their Kind of Town
Whitehouse Station, NJ (September 5, 2013) – “What a week in Chicago! I could not be more proud of my horses and riders,” said Cesar Parra, after judges Lilo Fore, Anne Gribbons and Sandy Osborne awarded some of the most prestigious titles and scores of the 2013 Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com to Piaffe Performance horses and riders.
On August 24, facing 13 entries in the last of two qualifying classes towards the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old Championship, Nadine Burberl knew that a strong ride with Parra and Martin T. Sosnoff’s Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus x Forst-Design/DeNiro) would account for 60% of their final score and likely make or break their chance at their first national title.
The Oldenburg gelding rose to the occasion in the Lamplight Equestrian Center’s Championship Arena, earning a perfect “10” for his trot work from the impressed panel of judges and a 9.60 score overall to win the class. He also earned a 9.0 for his walk, 8.5 for his canter, and high marks (8.5 and 9.3) for submission and general impression. “I had goose-bumps every circle, every canter stride,” said Burberl. “and his trot was just amazing.” Parra agreed: “It was really poetry in motion.”
Burberl also rode Michael and Sarah Davis’s Oldenburg, Fiderhit OLD (Fidertanz x Sandro Hit) to third (87.0) in the same class, finishing ahead of an impressive field of entries including two ridden by U.S. Pan American Games team Gold medalist Chris Hickey.
“Both Oldenburg superstars showed their fantastic quality,” said Parra, “but believe me, you have not seen the best from these horses yet. The future is exciting.”
In the Markel/USEF Developing Grand Prix Horse Championship test, the Piaffe Performance team of Katie Riley and Zanzibar (aka ‘Leo’) finished as reserve champion in the final test with a 66.583 score from the judges and a very close 3rd place finish in the Championships.
“It has been so fun to watch this horse mature,” said Parra. All the more so because Leo’s path to Grand Prix potential has been an unusual one: “We bought him as a four year-old stallion that had been started as a hunter. Now, as a nine year-old, he is doing Grand Prix dressage! Katie and Leo were less than a point out of first place. They will be fun to watch in the next year.”
Next on the Piaffe Performance schedule is preparing its new national champions and rising stars for Dressage at Devon, September 24-29, in Pennsylvania. But not before pausing to acknowledge the supportive network of riders, friends and family who are with Piaffe Performance stride for stride.
“Thank you,” said Parra, “to all of the people who made these championships possible for us. Many people have taught me so much in the past years, I am always grateful for their continued support.”
Follow the progress of Piaffe Performance’s rising stars at the Devon Horse Show and beyond, visit the farm, or meet more of its talented sale and dressage prospects at www.piaffe-performance.com.
Photo: Nadine Burberl and Fashion Designer OLD, owned by Martin Sosnoff, at the 2013 Young Horse Championships. With help of coach and Piaffe-Performance’s head trainer Cesar Parra, Burberl and Fashion Designer took the 5-year-old Division Championship. (Photo courtesy of www.PhelpsPhoto.com)
Dr. Cesar Parra Piaffe-Performance Farm (410) 977-8352 www.piaffe-performance.com