WEF Weekend Equitation Round-Up

Allison Cederberg wins Ariat National Adult Medal; Lilly Higgins and Shannon Eckel Are Champions in Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17

Ariat National Adult Medal

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2016 – Twenty-year-old Allison Cederberg, of Billings, Montana, made a big move up to win the Ariat National Adult Medal on Friday. Coming into the test in fourth place, Cederberg and Zero Tolerance, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Roven owned by Dru Cederberg, put in a great effort to ascend to first place.


Allison Cederberg and Zero Tolerance. Photo: Sportfot

Of her rides today, Cederberg described, “My first round I was a little bit too conservative. I had a couple of jumps where I added one (stride) too many, but he was really good to me and covered it up. In the test, it was actually really good that I went first. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it; I just had to go. The rollback is what really helped me. He was so good to me there. I haven’t done a lot of equitation classes on him, and we haven’t practiced it at all. I just went for it. He was really good after the fourth jump to come right back and halt.”

Brooke Taylor and Common Sense placed second, while Lindsey Tomeu and Cassius Clay were third. Fourth place went to Samantha Harris on Ludger.

Originally imported by the Cederbergs four years ago, it wasn’t a perfect match from the start for Allison and “Zero.” She recalled, “We brought him in as a hunter. We didn’t get along at all at first. He was for sale when he first came here. We had an awesome first weekend and were reserve (champion) in the Adult Amateurs, and we decided to keep him.”

The pair has learned from each other through the years as their partnership improved. “He used to kind of be my trouble horse, but now he’s one that I can count on to go in the ring and help me out,” she said.

Cederberg is a student at Colorado State University and makes time to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival on the weekends. This is her second year competing at WEF, but this was her first win in the Ariat National Adult Medal.

“I’ve never won a medal, so this is really exciting,” she said.

Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2016 – The Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 division was split this week, and two champions were named. The first championship was awarded to Shannon Eckel on Quantum Chanel, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Robert McNeel. They won both over fences classes.

unnamedShannon Eckel and Quantum Chanel. Photo: Sportfot

Eckel is 17 years old and hails from Rockaway, NJ. She trains with Frank Madden at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, and has only been riding Quantum Chanel, known as “Charlie” around the barn, for three weeks. Their relationship has come together quickly.

“He’s helped me a learn a lot. I’ve think we have both taught each other quite a bit. I know when I go in the ring he’ll have my back,” Eckel said.
Eckel had a good start with a solid trip in the first class, but was faced with a challenge when she returned for her second round.

“The first round, I was really happy with. I knew I did fairly well, (and) I read the lines well. The second round, it started to completely downpour, so that was a little interesting!” she recalled. “I don’t know Charlie too well, so I was a little unsure how he would handle the rain. He was really good, and it meant nothing to him. I love the rain; I always do my best in the rain. I guess that held true today!”

This is the first year that Eckel has competed at the Winter Equestrian Festival, and this was her first championship. “It’s really cool, considering this is my first WEF ever. When we started, I said that I [would] be happy if I got a few ribbons. To walk away with a champion made the whole circuit. It definitely made me really happy and gave me some confidence. I want to say thank you to everybody, Frank, Jen, Stella, and Robert for letting me ride Charlie. They believe in me.”

unnamed1Lilly Higgins and Common Sense. Photo: Sportfot

Lilly Higgins and Common Sense, a ten-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Contendro owned by Woodacres Stables LLC, won the second section championship. They placed first in both over fences classes and were fourth in the under saddle.

Higgins, 17, from Summit, NJ, has been riding Common Sense since December of 2015. Coming from a jumper background and recently gelded, he was sent to Beacon Hill and trainer Stacia Madden to become an equitation horse. Higgins got the ride on the talented horse.

“We worked a lot before coming down to WEF,” Higgins explained. “We have been trying to get him to slow his brain down by doing the 15-17 classes. I love working with him. He loves to learn and do the right thing. This is the fourth or fifth week showing him in this division. He’s really starting to understand what his job is and knowing what he’s supposed to do.”

Going into today’s over fences classes, Higgins was told by her trainers to attempt tight inside turns that most of the other riders had not tried, “to make it harder on myself and give him a challenge,” Higgins said. “He really rose to the challenge in both classes. I was really happy with how he did that. I’m really excited to keep working with him and see how he does in some of the tougher classes.”

There were three reserve champions named; Emma Seger and Cohiba won an under saddle, Emma Lynch and Anton placed second and third over fences, while Megan Hilton on Cantoblanco won the other under saddle class.

The tenth week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday featuring the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Ring at 10 a.m. The Large Pony Hunters will also present championship honors in Ring 12 in the morning. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lauren Fisher and Jennifer Wood for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.