Omaha, Nebraska (April 6, 2019) – The team of Karen Pavicic, Kate Shoemaker and Tillie Jones rode to victory in the $50,000 Dressage Team Challenge at the 2019 Burlington Capital International Omaha.
The $50,000 Dressage Team Challenge features teams comprising a Senior or Amateur rider paired with a Youth (Junior or Young Rider) and a Para rider. The race for the title was close between the winning team featuring international veterans and a team with two of its three riders from nearby Lincoln, Nebraska.
The team of Karen Pavicic, Kate Shoemaker and Tillie Jones (c)Lili Weik Photography
Saturday afternoon's Freestyle Presented by Rowan O'Riley and Mission Control saw brilliant rides turned in by the team of Senior rider Pavicic, Young Rider Jones and Para rider Shoemaker. They finished with a team score of 69.416 to beat the 67.411 earned by the team of Senior rider Gracia Huenefeld of Lincoln, Junior rider Raegan Lingenfelter of Lincoln and Para rider Deb Stanitski who recently completed a successful season at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL.
"I was just so pleased with Soli," said Shoemaker, a 2018 World Equestrian Games medalist who is currently ranked number 2 in the world in Para Grade IV. Her score of 72.708 on Solitaer 40 was the high score of the day. "It was a feeling of magic going around the arena. I think that is the best performance we've ever had!"
"I am just so proud of my young horse," said Pavicic, a 2014 World Equestrian Games veteran, about her Totem who scored 70.333. "It was a lot to ask of a 7-year-old but he really stepped up to the plate in this big atmosphere. I couldn't have asked for more."
Jones, a multiple medalist in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships who hails from Lincoln, received a score of 67.375 on Apachi. She relished the opportunity to share the team experience with two WEG veterans. "I usually ride with juniors so it was a great opportunity to meet these two international riders and ride on a team with them. Riding here was a great experience, it was a great for my horse and I really appreciated it."
Following the competition, the three riders announced that they are donating a portion of their winnings to Nebraska flood relief. "We've all heard about the devastating floods that they've had here and we know it's been very challenging for the community so we feel that this is something that we can do to help. We also want to thank Lisa Roskens, as well as Fair Sky Farm and Rowan O'Riley and Becky Reno of Mission Control, for having this event and hosting us here. We truly appreciate it."
International Omaha Dressage Manager, Thomas Baur, reflected on something special. "These riders are all to be commended," he said, "but I am especially proud of Kate Shoemaker. The first time we hosted dressage here in 2016 she came and volunteered as a runner. This year she returned as a WEG medalist and the number two ranked rider in the world. I think it is very special and I am very proud of her."
The 2019 Burlington Capital International Omaha, the ‘Midwest’s Largest Horse Event,’ concludes Sunday at the CHI Health Center arena in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the highly successful 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals. Now in its seventh year, the Burlington Capital International Omaha hosts everything under one roof – stabling, warm-up, competition arena, educational and exhibit area, demonstrations, dining venues and shopping for both the horse aficionado or anyone just looking for a unique gift.
Featuring the Baird Holm Tailgate Lounge and food service area, the Boutique Shopping Village encourages shoppers to shop, eat, and then shop some more as they peruse the boutiques and shops while watching the top caliber horses and riders prepare for the competition. Grown-ups and children alike can wander through the Triple Crown Horse Discovery Zone (Education Expo) free of charge all weekend long to learn about the equine industry, health and science of horse management, and the unique aspects of various breeds in International Omaha’s Gallery of Breeds exhibit.
Further information is available at www.internationalomaha.com.
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation, a certified 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit foundation, has been committed to building a world-class equestrian experience, the International Omaha, a nationally sanctioned equestrian show jumping and dressage experience now going into its eight year. The successful growth of this event helped secure the bid to host the highly acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals which brought athletes and fans from all across the world to Omaha.