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franklin county times

Dressage hopes to draw more interest next year

By By Jared Florreich / staff writer
June 30, 2003
Well-trained horses stole the show at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center on Saturday, performing precision patterns in the Dressage competition of the State Games of Mississippi.
Dressage, according to Commissioner Wanda McAlister, is the training of a horse to do precision movements and being submissive to the lightest of touch.
McAlister emphasized that Dressage is a very formal event, with riders dressed in English riding attire. Dressage was strictly used for military personnel until the 1925 Olympics.
Thirty-five participated in last year's event, and this year drew a smaller crowd. This year 17 riders performed 47 tests.
McAlister said the low turnout could be because of low interest.
Unlike other events and sports, men and women compete on an even keel in Dressage.
Audience members got a treat around lunchtime, as six riders performed a Quadrille show, which McAlister described as "Dancing with horses."
The Quadrille show involved a variety of precision movements and took three weeks of practice and four to six hours a week to learn. Quadrille shows are typically performed to classical music, but the participants Cedar Potts, Clara Gardner, Chelsy Marsh, Kathryn Cawthorn, Hannah Gardner, and Mark Mobley of Brandon each wrote one move, and instead decided to perform using techno music.
McAlister hopes for a bigger turnout next year.
Winning medals were as follows: Introductory Level Jenny Ferguson, Gold; Kathryn Cawthorn, Silver; Sherry Barton, Bronze; Challenge Level Katherine Terrell, Gold; Kieffer Krichbaum, Silver; Matthew Sanderson, Bronze; Dana Smith, Bronze; Training Level Jamie Hullum, Gold; Clara Gardner, Silver; Jenny Ferguson, Bronze; Test 1 Training Hannah Gardner, Gold.