Press Release - Pictures Lily Forado
Lexington, Ky. – The Dressage European Young Rider Tour finished fourth in the team competition at the Future Champions Hagen CDIO-Y, a test event for the new Olympic format.
The Tour, a link to the Discover Dressage™ USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program, is an important part of the dressage pathway, introducing a group of young riders in the U.S. to international competition as individuals and as part of a team.
From June 12-16, U.S. Dressage Youth Coach George Williams led Tour athletes Ben Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.), Callie Jones (Henderson, Ky.), and Kayla Kadlubek (Fairfax Station, Va.) as they competed against nine other teams of top riders in their division.
“The Tour athletes are competing against their peers in a truly international competition. There were eight other countries here this week,” said Williams. “It is good for them to see how they stand and it’s very positive as we saw today but we have ways to get better.”
Competition kicked off with the FEI Young Rider Team Test, which served as the Team and Individual qualifier. The U.S. team finished sixth and qualified for the Team Final, the FEI Young Rider Individual Test. Ebeling and Kadlubek directly qualified for the Individual Final, the FEI Young Rider Freestyle test, and Jones qualified for the Consolation FEI Young Rider Freestyle test.
Ebeling and Illuster van de Kampert, Nuvolari Holdings, LLC’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, were first in the ring for the U.S. and produced a strong test, earning a 68.824.
Teammates Kadlubek and Perfect Step, Dressage4kids, Inc.’s 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and Jones and Don Philippo, her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, followed suit, scoring a 68.046 and 67.101, respectively.
On Friday, Tour athletes impressed in the Team Final as Jones led the way with a 69.412. Ebeling also gave a strong test, earning a score of 69.391, and Kadlubek earned a 68.718. The U.S. earned fourth in team competition on a score of 207.521, the highest placing for the U.S team since the program began competing at the Hagen CDIO-Y.
“All three of our athletes rode clean and correct tests, they were very steady, and each one contributed to the team’s placing,” said Williams. “With just a 0.7 point spread across our scores we are seeing a consistency and solid performances that shows us that the development of the dressage program is good. I’m thrilled!”“It was interesting to see the new Olympic format,” continued Williams. “I think it was a good test event. There are a lot of differences and there are going to be interesting twists and even fun.”
The athletes wrapped up the 2019 Dressage European Young Rider Tour at Hagen CDIO-Y with Ebeling and Kadlubek competing in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle and Jones competing in the Consolation FEI Young Rider Freestyle. Ebeling scored a 71.100 and Kadlubek scored a 70.804, resulting in top-15 finishes for both pairs. Jones placed first in the Consolation Freestyle on a score of 72.275.
Ahead of the CDIO-Y Hagen, the Tour made its first stop at the Compiègne CDI-Y in May. All three athletes had successful results and with Williams at the helm, all Tour athletes finished in the top five in the CDI-Y Individual Test
“The Tour and the Discover Dressage [USEF/USDF] Emerging Athlete Program are very valuable to the development pathway,” said Williams. “It is motivating and gives our young athletes a goal to aspire to. It’s quite an honor to be named to the Tour because you have a chance to represent your country on a team. And it exposes them to different cultures and that newness and the mileage in experience will hopefully benefit them as they move forward in their competitive careers.”