Local riders qualify for U.S. Equestrian national finals in Chicago
Molly Mead of Johns Island and Danielle Grosse of Mount Pleasant, who both train with Michelle Folden of the Stono River Riding Academy on Johns Island, will compete in the U.S. Equestrian Federation 2012 Dressage Seat Medal Finals on Aug. 24-26 near Chicago.
Mead and Grosse both earned spots by finishing second in the Region 3 Dressage Finals in Ocala, Fla. Mead, who is a rising senior at Ashley Hall School, qualified in the 14-18 age group, while Grosse, a rising sophomore at Academic Magnet High School, qualified in the 11-13 age group.
They will be competing against the top 16 semifinalists from throughout the country. The competition is judged on the riders’ correct form, position and use of aids for dressage.
“You have to get two qualifying scores at two separate horse shows,” Mead said, “and you have to get a 63 percent or higher score at training level in order to go to regional finals. We both placed second out of that group. And if you place first or second, you get to go to national finals. It’s a real cool thing to do.”
Mead said she and Grosse are working hard in anticipation of the national finals.
“We are working on position and effectiveness,” she said. “It’s really intense. All the top riders from the U.S. who placed first or second in the regionals are invited and competing for the championship.”