Competing With A Non Traditional Breed

If you ride a “Non-Warmblood”, here’s some motivational data for you!

The US Dressage Finals is toted as “The Olympics For Amateurs.”  (All the riders on the West Coast refuse to go along with that, but still.)

It’s an event presented by Adequan and is the designated  Destination Championship for AA’s (And tons of Open Competitors too.).  For sure it would be an absolute dream to compete there, for many of us it’s never going to happen – not just because a lack of talent but also because of the huge driving distance.

Elinor Yee

Today’s post is all about highlighting Non-Warmblood breeds placing at the US Dressage Finals.  Simple as that.

These results I looked at are from the Lexington, KY Fall 2016  US Dressage Finals.  Not included:  results from All Breeds competition classes, –  this is looking at “off” breeds competing among warmbloods only.

Also not included, Friesian-Warmblood Crosses and Arabian-Warmblood crosses, who were also represented in the winning results.

The nitty gritty:

304 total competitors.

They all came through the qualifier; the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championship which had a total of 2,698 competitors in 2016.

202  AA’s (Adult Amateur) competitors, 178 Open.

30 total classes, placing 10 deep, ranging from Training Level to Grand Prix, including Freestyles.

For obvious reasons, the states with most riders were Florida, Illinois and Texas.  Lowest numbers came from Wisconsin, California and Pennsylvania.  (A total of 13 states were not represented, such as Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Washington.)

These numbers all came from the February 2017 USDF Connection edition and are correct.  I compiled the list of rider placements myself – apologies if any were missed!

The majority of breeds placing were of course:  Hanoverian,Trakehner, Zweibrucker, Oldenburg, Westfalen, Lippizan, Rhinelander, Pura Rasa Espanola,  Brandenburg, German Riding Pony,  Wurttemeberg, and Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, German, Danish, Belgian, and American Warmblood.


Here are your placing Non-Warmblood Breeds from all classes.  Enjoy!

dressage show with young mare


Aeris, Half-Andalusian at First Level Adult Amateur Freestyle.

Camomila MCD, PRE at First Level Open Freestyle.

Fifinella GCF, Connemara Cross at Second Level AA.

Who’ll Stop The Rain, Arabian at Second Level AA.

Briel B, Friesian at Second Level Open.

Benjamin Blue, Percheron Cross at Second Level Open.

Niko, Friesian at Second Level Open Freestyle.

FWP Princess Juliana, Georgian Grande at Third Level Open & Third Level Freestyle Open.

Infanta, Andalusian at Third Level AA Freestyle.

Dora The Explorer, Haflinger Cross at Third Level AA Freestyle.

Aureo, Andalusian at Third Level AA Frestyle.

Guateque IV, Pura Rasa Espanola at Third Level Open Freestyle.

LP Snickers, Arabian at Fourth Level AA.

Leonidas Van Pelt, Cheval Canadian at Fourth Level AA Freestyle.

Katharina V.V., Friesian at Fourth Level Open Freestyle.

Petrus PJ, Friesian at Fourth Level Open Freestyle.

Centeno XII, Pura Rasa Espanola at Prix St. Georges AA.

Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, Connemara at Intermediate 1 Open.

Talisman BHF, Andalusian at Intermediate 1 AA Freestyle.

Teske Van G, Friesian at Intermediate 1 AA Freestyle.

Berend W. Friesian at Intermediate 1 Open Freestyle.

Zafiro Dos Cedros, Lusitano at Intermediate 2 AA.

Enebro XIV, Pura Rasa Espanola at Intermediate 2 AA. and Grand Prix AA Freestyle.

Kaboom, New Forest Pony at Grand Prix AA.

Wietze G, Friesian at Grand Prix AA Freestyle.

Malcarat, Pura Rasa Espanola at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.

Queba HM, Lusitano at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.

Fetichini, Pura Rasa Espanola at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.


Go out and have fun!

23 thoughts on “Competing With A Non Traditional Breed

  1. Sounds like a Nationals type show, but hunter/jumpers aren’t too picky about what kind of horse that is being ridden. Long as one is able to clear a fence. And, AA and CSI designated shows generally refer to the amount of prize money available. 🙂

    Hope the rehab is going well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why this is even more special. Doing dressage, successfully, at the upper levels, is a lot easier with a horse specifically bred to be very balanced, athletic and supple at the same time, and with some spectacular movement. I love it that these riders managed to ride so outstandingly well that they could outscore some of the teams with more “natural” talent. Gives hope to us all struggling in the sandbox 🙂
      Rehab is going OK. I go in tomorrow again, and I sort of dread getting new exercises- 1st set not yet mastered at all 😦


  2. Thanks for putting this together! Very interesting. I know that in England the championships have representatives of Shires and Shire crosses as well as Gypsy Vanners and also some other heavy horse crosses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s pretty cool when looking at the placements like this!
      As a teen, I rode a Gypsy Vanner cross mare, Vicky. She was a hoot! Really forward. Never thought she’d do all that well past 2nd level though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Para rider, Dale Derrick, her horse Suede is Connemara, TB , Percheron!! I have not heard of the heavy horse crosses doing well at higher levels. I have seen a Clyde Hackney doing Grand Prix dressage but scores were not too good. I think the judges struggle with it as well as the horses.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Connemara, TB, Percheron, what a mix! Bet the TB softens the Percheron a bit, and the Connemara adds some lovely go,go,go. Love it!
          I think it would be really hard to train a Hackney cross to get good scores for a relaxed, swinging trot… Kudos for the rider for taking it all the way up to GP…!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Woot wooot! And what a score she had! Many of the scores I looked at were in the lower 60’s, so she really rocked it!
      And yes, I deliberately didn’t list the Lippizan’s results. Still, should be an honorable mention though, because there wasn’t that many of them…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought there’d be a bigger mix of breeds. More QH, TBs, Morgans, drafts, etc. Seems to be mainly 2 breeds represented with a smattering of a few others.

    64% listed were PRE/Andalusian or Friesian. (my math should always be questioned)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It IS interesting, right? I thought some TB’s too, for sure, and, since it’s the U.S QH’s. Then again, it takes a LOT to qualify for this, way more than 2000 riders at Regionals which was a pre qualifyer. I know all of the ones you listed were represented there.

      Then again, who ever made it all the way up there with her horse, Dora The Explorer, should get an extra ribbon 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. And let us not forget…. a hat tipped and a deep bow to Seldom Seen, a Connemara/Thoroughbred cross who competed at the highest levels of dressage and was dubbed ” too small’ for competition. Enjoy your horses!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one from the outside can truly understand the crazy logic in horse sport here… Sigh. To remain an amateur, a rider must never be paid for anything they do related to riding/training a horse. Receive just $25 as thanks for spending an hour grooming, prepping, lunging and aftercare for a horse – congratulations, you may no longer compete as an amateur. (but can still go to the olympics) It’s lovely 🙂
      Please don’t feel CornFused!

      Liked by 1 person

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