Working Equitation Oregon hosted the first WE United B-Rated Competition in the United States on April 16-17, 2016 at the Oregon Horse Center’s Prairie Arena in Eugene, Oregon.
The Novice class, with 11 entries, was the largest at the event, and the competition was close, with riders tied for both first and third place prior to the ties being broken by their dressage placings. At the end of the competition, Lizann Dunegan, riding Miguel BTSF, her Andalusian gelding, took the first place honors, with Jill Hamman-Bannister on her Quarter Horse gelding Omni’s Easy Jet right behind her.
The Introductory class, with 8 riders, also saw a hotly-contested win, with two ties once again, but this time for first and fourth place. Laura Lillie, on the POA pony Star, ended up with the win, with Lizann Dunegan on her Friesian mare Yfke Von Borstel taking second.
Intermediate level riders Cari Schwartz and Morgan Wagner tied in Ease of Handling, but the final placings had Cari in the lead on her Trakehner mare Exsarena while Morgan and her Appaloosa gelding Endo the Blind finished second.
In addition, three competitors earned qualifying scores toward their WE United Bronze Medals:
- Lizann Dunegan, earned a qualifying score of 64.67% in Dressage.
- Jill Hamann-Bannister qualified in both Dressage and Ease of Handling with scores of 63.33%.
- Jennifer Lenz has now earned the hard-to-get score above 65% with her 65.33% finish in Ease of Handling.
Qualifying scores must be ridden at WE United licensed competitions in which competitors successfully complete all three trials. Thus, although several other competitors earned scores that would have been high enough to count toward the Rider Medalist program, disqualifications in one of the trials mean that the scores are ineligible.
The next opportunities for qualifying scores are coming up quickly. The WE United B-Rated Competitions at South Ridge Farms in Ridgefield, Washington, May 14 and 15, and the Far West Show in Redmond, Oregon, June 18th all offer additional chances to earn qualifying scores.