Young Batavia equestrian wins her division as Grand Champion in Dressage at State Fair
Photo and rider information submitted by reader Nancy Ewert.
SYRACUSE -- Katherine Ewert, 13, of Batavia, and her horse Seamus won Grand Champion for the Dressage Young Rider Division for both Training and First Level on Sunday at the New York State Fair.
This was a United States Dressage Federation Schooling Show.
Katherine has been competing in dressage for three years through Genesee County 4-H, two of them at the state level. Last year, she was Reserve Grand Champion in dressage at the NYS Fair.
The middle-schooler has been riding horses since age 10.
The word "dressage" is French, commonly translated to mean "training." It is a highly skilled form of horseback riding performed in exhibition and competition, as well as an "art" sometimes pursued solely for the sake of mastery. In dressage, horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements.
At its best, the horse responds smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider is relaxed and appears effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement.
Rules for it were first published in 1550 by Frederico Grisone, a thousand year after the first treatise "On Horsemanship" by Xenophone.
In modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests" -- a prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to 10.
To learn more about dressage, click here.