Festival of Champions First Timer Taylor Allen Rides Away With Junior Rider National Championship

Wayne, Ill. – August 25, 2023 – Earlier this summer at the FEI North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, Michigan, Taylor Allen left the competition heartbroken. Due to an electric atmosphere, her 13-year-old KWPN mare’s nerves got the best of her and they were excused from their team test, walking away empty handed. The few weeks between NAYC and the Adequan®/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship at the U.S. Festival of Champions proved to be the perfect amount of time for her to dig deep, focus on how to improve and re-enter the competition arena on the right foot. 

Taylor Allen and Fleur de Lis. Photographed by Annan Hepner.

Taylor made her first trip to Lamplight Equestrian Center from Niwot, Colorado well worth it riding, riding away with the championship tricolor with a total score of 69.472%. 

“I’ve never come here before, and it’s been an incredible experience,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been a positive way to get back in the ring. I had a rough go at NAYC where I had to retire for the entire show during my team test. My favorite moment of this week was my final salute in my test on Thursday knowing we made it through and my horse stayed with me the entire time. It was such a redemption! The atmosphere is so nice here - being able to school in the ring more and hand walk every morning really was beneficial for us.” 

“I’ve only had Fleur for a year and half, and she is very sassy,” Taylor continued. “She can go through the 100 moods of Fleur in 30-seconds.”

Allison Berger and Delacure. Photographed by Annan Hepner.

Earning the reserve championship tricolor, Allison Berger was right on Taylor’s heels with a total score of 69.45% on her 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Delacure. Rounding out the top three with a total score of 69.052 was Leah Drew on Jazzbeat, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding. 

In the Junior Rider division is open to athletes between the ages of 14 and 18. The division consists of two tests, the FEI Junior Team Test and the FEI Junior Individual Test, with each counting toward 50% of the overall results. 

Check out the full results here: https://equestrian-hub.com/public/championships/131 

Leah Drew and Jazzbeat. Photographed by Annan Hepner.