July 2018 - Meet Your Dressage Team!
Written by Administrator
Friday, 29 June 2018 23:28

Adequan FEI North American Youth Championships-bound pairs are in top form.

USDF Region 7 fields a small but mighty team this year. Close friends, stablemates and Championships returnees Ben Ebeling and Christian Simonson were part of Region 7’s gold winning Junior team last year and they are the Young Rider team this summer. Ben will be fresh from competing on the USEF European Young Riders Tour, on which Christian served as his groom.

Kennedi Templeton is our sole Junior Rider team member. The format requires teams of at least three, so our flag-bearers will be paired with horse/riders from other regions to create multi-region squads.
Region 7 Young Rider coordinator Cassidy Gallman says this year’s small turn-out stems from several factors: injuries, aging-out and a crop of talented young riders who don’t yet have the experience required to be contenders this summer.

The dressage Championships take place August 1-5 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, and are concurrent with the show jumping championships.

Young Riders Team

Ben Ebeling & Behlinger. Photo: Terri Miller Photography

Ben Ebeling & Behlinger
Trainer: Jan Ebeling

My partnership with Behlinger is now a longtime partnership. At the last Championships, I had only been riding him for about three months. In the year-plus since then, I have been able to really figure out my horse.

He is a 10 year old Hannoverian by Breitling X Weltmeyer and he loves food! He will do absolutely anything for food. Another quirk is that he knows his name, and he always whinnies when I call him.

This is my third Championships. In 2016, I won the Andrew B. D’szinay Sportsmanship Trophy. In 2017, I helped achieve team gold for Region 7 and I ranked fifth individually. Those experiences were very good ones and they have influenced me into dropping all the pressure that is associated with riding on a team. Your teammates are always there for you, regardless of how you ride.

Outside of riding, my favorite thing is having fun with my best riding friends in Florida. We have so much fun with the events going on at the different equestrian venues, and it’s never a dull time.

My father (2012 U.S. Olympian Jan Ebeling) inspires me because I have seen his journey to the top of the sport. I one day aspire to be like him. I’d like to thank my parents (Jan and Amy, owners of the The Acres in Moorpark) for everything that they have done to help get me to where I am today. I absolutely could not have done it without you. I would also like to thank the USEF Emerging Athletes program for selecting me as one of its members and allowing me to utilize the amazing people that it makes available as coaches and advisors.

(For more from Ben, see his blog posts from the USEF European Young Rider Tour, page 38.)

Christian Simonson & FRH Rassolini. Photo: Terri Miller Photography

Christian Simonson & FRH Rassolini
Trainer: Jan Ebeling

FRH Rassolini is a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion who I have only owned for about 10 months now. He has been an amazing teacher for me and I cannot wait for the new intricacies of riding he can teach me. He absolutely loves bananas! He also loves a nice wither rub and yummy Platinum Performance bars!

I competed at the Championships last year, winning the junior team gold medal and a silver individual medal. NAYC certainly fits into my longterm goals for riding. By competing at CDI shows in Florida and California, I have been able to learn more about FRH Rassolini, while earning high enough scores to qualify. FRH Rassolini and I have been targeting NAYC throughout our partnership. My main goal for this year’s competition is to have the best ride with my new horse and not to focus too much on the results!

In addition to riding, I am earning my pilot’s license, I’m an avid scuba diver, mountain biker and I try to be as physically fit as I can be.

My trainer Jan Ebeling is the dressage rider who inspires me the most. His ability to focus on a rider and his/her horse, and make sure that they accomplish their goals in dressage is absolutely awe inspiring.

I would like to thank, of course, my parents, my sister Olivia, my trainers, and my barn The Acres, where everyone has been extremely supportive of my riding. Additionally, I would like to thank my sponsors for supporting my journey, riding such a beautiful stallion as FRH Rassolini. In particular, I would like to thank Custom Saddlery for making sure I am always well-seated, and Dressage Extensions for making sure I look my best!

Kennedi Templeton & Cuby. Photo: Blesk Photography

Junior Team

Kennedi Templeton & Cuby
Trainer: Charlotte Nielson

I have had Cuby, aka “Shah,” for a little over a year now. He is an 11 year old Dutch Warmblood who was just imported from Holland when we got him. He loves Nature Valley bars and he is a total lap dog! You can’t walk past him without giving him attention or he will nudge you until you do.

This is my first NAYC and I think it will be an incredible learning experience for both my horse and me. I first began trying out for the Junior Team with another horse three years ago, however, he unfortunately tore his meniscus and my focus has been to rehab him until I began riding Shah.

As far as riders I admire, I really look up to my grandma because she is 77 and still rides all the time! Her passion for horses inspires me every day and she never seems to run out of energy. I would like to thank my parents, grandma, second mom and trainer Charlotte, of Divinity Equestrian Farm in Las Vegas, and everyone who has supported us along the way. We are so blessed to have you guys and we would not be here without you.

Give & Gear Up!

Support Region 7’s efforts by visiting Facebook Page “USDF Region 7 Juniors & Young Riders” and biding on lessons, clothing, art and more. The Silent Auction is July 9-13. Just place your bid directly in the comments It’s easy and greatly appreciated.

Region 7 apparel is now available for purchase on our website. Profits from your purchase of hats, polos, t-shirts, and more will be used to fund USDF Region 7 Youth programs, including this summer’s team.

Please visit www.usdfregion7.org/shop and show your support by placing your order today!