Above: Dressage Team Challenge winners Jami Kment, Karen Pavicic, and Camille Bergeron (c) Lili Weik
Omaha, Nebraska – April 14, 2018 – The final round of the inaugural International Omaha Dressage Team Challenge presented by Mission Control and Rowan O’Riley highlighted Saturday’s competition at the International Omaha. Victory went to the team of Jami Kment of Palmyra, NE, Karen Pavicic of Surrey, BC, Canada, and Camille Bergeron of Masouche, QUE, Canada.
The Team Challenge is a new concept designed to provide NextGen and amateur riders, as well as seniors, juniors and young riders, a valuable team building opportunity to help strengthen the North American dressage community. It is part of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation’s commitment to developing dressage and jumping in the Midwest and was a very well received addition to the schedule at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, site of the highly acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup Finals.
“This competition gives amateur and young riders their first taste of team experience and the chance to ride in a world-class venue in front of FEI judges,” said Thomas Baur, Director of Dressage for the International Omaha, who created the concept. “Those who were here benefited from the experience and we are very happy with how the first year went. We feel this event will play an important role in developing riders and also the level of dressage in the Midwest.”
Lilo Fore, who has judged at Olympics, World Cup Finals and World Equestrian Games, strongly endorsed the new concept. “This was a great opportunity for every one of these riders,” she said. “For some it went really well and for some not as much, but all of them benefited from the experience. I see this as a wonderful class that will grow into something very significant.”
Saturday afternoon featured the Show Jumping Showcase with a clinic by legendary show jumping trainer George Morris. Four young riders — Izabella Baxter, Celia Bresch, Samantha Meyer and Jaden Olson — qualified to ride in the clinic held in the main arena in front of nearly 2,000 spectators. Following the clinic, Izabella Baxter was chosen by Morris to receive the $1,000 KindredBio Horsemanship Award.
“It was a little nerve racking to ride in front of George,” Baxter, of St. Louis, MO, said of the 1960 Olympic Silver Medalist who was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2000. “I just tried to pay attention to everything he said and do my best to follow his instructions.”
The International Omaha will conclude Sunday with the $130,000 International Omaha Show Jumping Grand Prix.
The four-day event also provides expanded educational opportunities for emerging athletes and young people as well as family fun for all ages. There are exhibits and demonstrations, along with shopping at a variety of unique vendors from across the United States, a range of dining choices, and live entertainment featuring some of Omaha’s finest.
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation (OEF), a certified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation, has been committed to building a world-class equestrian experience in Omaha over the past several years. It created and developed The International Omaha, an internationally sanctioned equestrian show jumping and dressage experience now in its sixth year. The successful growth of that event helped secure the OEF’s bid to host the internationally-acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals.