US-Bred 6-Year-Old Selten HW to Compete at US Championships, Skip Verden

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Elizabeth Ball and Selten HW winning 5-year-old championship. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Elizabeth Ball and Selten HW winning 5-year-old championship. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Elizabeth Ball plans to compete Selten HW at the U.S. six-year-old championships in July in hopes the U.S.-bred Sandro Hit gelding can sweep the three age levels of young horse titles, rather than go to the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Verden, Germany.

Selten HW was ridden by Elizabeth to victory in the Markel/USEF Six-Year-Old Young Horse Dressage Western Selection Trials at La Canada Flintridge in California. The horse won the four- and five year-old U.S. National Young Horse Dressage Championships.

Elizabeth, 46, of Carlsbad, California, who owns the black Hanoverian, told dressage-news.com: “After much consideration I’ve decided to return to Lamplight rather than making the trip to Verden. We would be very proud for Selten to win three years in a row–in the U.S. on our U.S.-bred horse.”

In the regional finals, Elizabeth and Selten received a total score of 85.640 per cent, from scores of 86.20 per cent in the final test that counted for 60 per cent and 84.80 per cent in the preliminary that counted for 40 per cent. Their score easily surpassed the minimum qualifying requirement of 8.2 points for Verden Aug. 5-8.

In second place was Willy Arts, of DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, California, on Zalon DG, an Olympic Ferro mare, with a total of 77.360 per cent and in third place Lars Holmberg of Lake View Terrace, California, on Pikko Del Rio HU, a gelding by Pik L out of a Rhodiamant mare, with 68.840 per cent.

Selten is by Sandro Hit out of a Hohenstein mare, and was bred by Irene Hoeflich-Wiederhold of Cape Coral, Florida. The horse’s actual birthday was May 19. The second and third placed horses were also bred in the United States, Zalona at DG Bar Ranch and Pikko Del Rio HU by Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Elizabeth said that she is pleased at how Selten is developing even more expression and power, “it is such an amazing feeling to ride him.”

“I was especially happy to have out 8.9 walk score,” she said. “His other scores have always been really high but until this season, the walk was high 7s to low 8s.”

Gary Rockwell, a USA “O” judge, Jane Weatherwax and Jeanne McDonald judged the Western Finals.

Dressage at Flintridge completed two of the three regional finals–Kassandra Barteau and GP Super Crusader won the Midwest Finals earlier this month with 76.00 per cent, and the Eastern Finals will be held in Leesburg, Virginia, next weekend.

Selten was the U.S. four-year-old champion ridden by Michael Bragdell of Hilltop Farm in Colora, Maryland, but Elizabeth took over the ride early last year and won the U.S. five-year-old title at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She works with U.S. Olympic medalist Guenter Seidel.

The Freestyle Test of Choice was won by Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, riding Rafalca at Grand Prix with 71.917 per cent. Jan also won the Grand Prix Special on Sandrina with 68.333 per cent. Both horses are qualified for the U.S. selection trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky later this year.