The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) recognized the sport of dressage when it presented the Touch of Class Award to one horse, a national coach, and three U.S. Dressage Federation gold medalists who have helped propel Maryland’s dressage community into the national spotlight.
Jousting, which is Maryland’s official state sport, offers four national titles available, three of which are currently held by Marylanders who were likewise honored with “Touch of Class” awards. Royal Prince
Owned by Jane MacElree and standing at Hilltop Farm in Colora, this 1999 Hanoverian stallion by Rohdiamant, out of Piri Piri by Prince Thatch xx, has been the — USEF Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year an unprecedented four times in a row, from 2008 to 2011. In addition to being a registered Hanoverian, Royal Prince is approved by the ISR/OldNA, GOV, CWHBA registries, and this year he was nominated to the International Hunter Futurity. Marylanders may find it interesting that Royal Prince’s grandsire on his bottom line is the Thoroughbred Prince Thatch xx, who raced for four years before being acquired by the government “for the purpose of refinding the breed.” (eurodressage.com)
Scott Hassler is the founder of the United States Equestrian Federation’s National Young Dressage Horse program, and continues to serve as its coach. Since 1999, Mr. Hassler has been a member of the — USEF Dressage Committee, the — USEF Breeding Committee, and, since 2001, has chaired the USDF Sporthorse Committee. As the sole representative for the sport of dressage, he now serves on the — USEF Strategic Planning Committee, assisting in the long-term planning for the country’s national horse sports organization. He, along with his wife Susanne, are developing Hassler Dressage at Riveredge, a world-class training, breeding and education operation in Chesapeake City, into an international venue.
Three Maryland 2011 USDF Gold Medalists
To qualify for a USDF Gold Medal, riders must earn at least four scores of 60 percent showing in Intermediaire I, Intermediaire II, and Grand Prix classes. In 2011, only three Marylanders qualified: Christine Betz from Thurmont, who teaches and trains out of Dark Horse Dressage, Jaralyn Finn of Poolesville who is currently based out of Wyndham Oaks dressage facility in Boyds, and Susanne Hassler of Hassler Dressage at Riveredge in Chesapeake City. Susanne became an international dressage competitor in 2004 when she rode Hilltop Farm’s Royal Prince, also a Touch of Class recipient, to a fourth place finish at the World Championships for Young Horses in Germany, the highest-placing result for the U.S. to date.
The Equiery will profile these dressage Touch of Class winners in depth in our September Dressage Issue. To advertise in the dressage issue, contract Jennifer or Tracy at 1-800-244-9580 or e-mail ad firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Mikayla Miller, 13, started jousting at a local riding stable four years ago and won the national title in the “Amateur” division. She is an upcoming freshman at Calvert High School in St. Leonards. Her mount, “Tike”, is an Appendix Quarter Horse owned by Tynewydd Riding Stable in St. Leonard.
17 year old Anthony Reinhold from Denton won his title in the national “Novice” division in only his second year of jousting. A high school athlete, who excels at baseball, Reinhold won his title on a horse borrowed from friends. He will enter Chesapeake College as a freshman this fall and is a graduate of North Caroline High School. His grandfather, Buddy Wooters, won five national championships.
Hagerstown’s Corey Minnick, 30, a veteran title holder, won his third national title in the “professional” division at the sport’s national competition in Aldie, Va., on his horse “Tana,” a tri-color Tennessee Walker gelding. It is not uncommon for up to 10 members of Minnick’s family to compete at one of the 20 or so jousting competitions held throughout the state each year. Minnick’s two young children, Noah and Rachel, also compete.
You can read more about these Jousters in the November issue of The Equiery.
The Maryland Horse Industry Board inaugurated the Touch of Class Awards in September 2011, to honor the horses and riders who have achieved national and international prominence. The award is named in honor of the Maryland-bred mare, Touch of Class, who won two Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Click here for a complete list of winners.