|Meagan Davis and Bentley (Photo by Bill Davis)|
December 22, 2010
Lexington, KY - At the FEI World Cup Dressage Final for Young Riders, Meagan Davis and Bentley proved their mettle against 14 of the best Young Riders in the world and became the first U.S. pair to qualify for the Freestyle A-final.
Competition got underway on Thursday with the Young Rider Team test (Prix St. Georges), which served as a warm-up class. After a challenging warm-up, Davis rode into the arena with
confidence and Bentley settled into the test to score a 63.368% for sixth place.
The following day all riders competed in the Young Rider Individual test which was a qualifier for the Freestyle finals. The pair improved on their performance from the day before and produced a smooth test to once again finish sixth with a score of 66.000%.
With the top seven riders for the individual test qualifying for the Freestyle A-final, Davis became the first rider to represent the U.S. in the Freestyle final that determines the
FEI World Cup Dressage Final for Young Riders Champion. Despite battling a bad chest cold all week, Davis was calm and focused, but the atmosphere in the ring finally proved to overwhelm Bentley and the pair struggled through the pirouettes and had uncharacteristically weak flying changes. Davis finished seventh on a score of 63.600%.
It was a historic finish and great experience for Davis."I am very excited to have represented the United States, although I know Bentley and I could have done better, I am very proud of our performances," said Davis. "Bentley's fatigue and my cold certainly worked against us, but we both put our hearts into it and tried our hardest. I am very glad to say that I left the competition with more than just some ribbons, but with new friends and a positive outlook on my future riding career. I would like to thank everyone in the U.S. who supported us. It was not an easy trip, but it was nice to know I had people back home rooting for us."
The triple Gold-medalist from the 2010 European Young Riders Championships, Fabienne Lutkemeier of Germany, rode D'Agostino to the Championship title, scoring a 79.000% in the Freestyle.