October 1, 2014–The final USEF National Combined Driving Championships will be decided this weekend at the Kentucky Classic CDE. Held October 2-5, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., plays host to the USEF National Pairs Championship and the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Championships. Talented fields of drivers will vie for top honors in their respective championships in what will surely be an exciting competition.
USEF National Pairs Championship
Three strong competitors make up the field of the 2014 USEF National Pairs Championship. Misdee Wrigley Miller (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) was driving a Four-in-Hand team only a month ago at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. This weekend she returns to the Pair Horse division where she has found much success over the years. The 2013 USEF National Pairs Champion hopes to hold on to her title and end her fairytale year on a high note.
Steve Wilson (Louisville, Ky.) has had an excellent year in 2014, scoring Advanced Pair Horse wins at Sunshine State, Kingdom of the Sun, and Southern Pines CDEs and an FEI Pair Horse win at Hermitage Classic CDE. He aims to continue his winning ways at the Kentucky Classic CDE and take home his first National Championship title.
Max Montoya (Hebron, Ky.) won Live Oak International Intermediate Pair Horse division earlier this year and moved up to the Advanced level less than a month ago, earning first-place honors at the Hermitage Classic CDE. Though new to the top level of Pair Horse competition, Montoya shows much promise and is in the running for the title.
USEF National Combined Driving Pony Championships – Single Pony
The defending champion of the Single Pony division, Tracey Morgan, leads the field of five drivers with their sights set on a National title. The Beallsville, Md., resident has won at every turn this year with Fuego 88. With wins at Live Oak International, Southern Pines, and Glen Willow CDEs, Morgan seems to be on track for another National Championship title.
Paul Maye (Fairfield, Va.) is coming off a win at the Garden State CDE in the Advanced Single Pony division with Markus. The 2012 Single Pony National Champion won at the Kentucky Classic CDE last year and hopes to find success once more at the event and earn his second title.
USEF National Combined Driving Pony Championships – Pair Pony
A field of five makes up the Pair Pony championship division in Kentucky. Three time Pair Pony National Champion Jennifer Matheson (Aiken, S.C.) looks to add another title to her name after having driven to wins at Live Oak International and Southern Pines CDEs earlier this year.
Katie Whaley (Paris, Ky.) has had great results in 2014 with her pair of ponies, winning at Sunshine State, Kingdom of the Sun, and Hermitage Classic CDEs. She is in good form to claim her first National title.
The dressage phase for the championship divisions kicks off at 1:10pm local time on Thursday, with the marathon phase taking place on Saturday. The national championship titles will be decided on Sunday following the cones phase.
For more information on the Kentucky Classic CDE, click here.