The Selection Process

The sport of Dressage is a partnership of horse and rider.  Like any team sport, the team or pair can only be as good as the weakest player/dancer/skater/rower.  To this end, people have been challenging the limits of breeding, trying to make the best possible dressage partner, for centuries.  In order to judge the strides made in this area, the World Breed Federation for Sport Horses has created an international competition to put the best 5 and 6 year old horses head to head: The WBFSH/FEI World Championships for Young Horses (there is also a jumping and eventing section).  This a challenge not only to riders and trainers but to breeders and horse enthusiasts everywhere. Those horses who show outstanding potential are selected to represent their country in breeding and training and will determine the direction of breeding in the future.

The qualification process is a trying one that tests both the mental and physical potential of the horse.  In the United States, a horse and rider combination must first receive a 7.2 in a qualification show in order to attend the selection trials.  There are three selection trials within the U.S. (California, Chicago and Virginia in 2010).  The same panel of 3 judges attends each of the trials and only horse/rider combinations that receive an overall 8.2 average are then long listed for the World Championships.  The top two horses of the long list are then sent invitations to represent the U.S.

WakeUp has challenged the odds and become the only five year old in 2010 to make the short list for the World Championships.  WakeUp and Emily Wagner have been a team from the very onset.  WakeUp’s father is Wagnis. Purchased in Germany at the ripe old age of 1, Wagnis has produced many delightful offspring as well as being a competitive horse in his own right. Wagnis was Emily Wagner’s Young Rider mount in 2008.  In 2004, Beverly McLean decided to breed her mare Maiden Montreal to Wagnis.  Fully supportive of this match, Jana Wagner asked for a first right of refusal should Beverly ever want to sell this foal.  So… in 2005 along came WakeUp and at 3 weeks old Jana went to look at him.  Emily Wagner went along with the full intention of preventing her mother from buying another horse!  Fortunately, Emily didn’t hold up her side and very quickly WakeUp became a part of Wally Woo Farm.

WakeUp was very successful as a 4 YO but has really blossomed in his fifth year.  He recieved an 8.3 at the KCDS March Show, which qualified him for the selection trials.  The selection trials were held in Wayne, Illinios at the Lamplight Equestrian Center.  This was the first of the selection trials and no one had ever qualified from a midwest selection trial before.  With an 8.04 in the preliminary test and an 8.36 in the final test, WakeUp and Emily recieved the over 8.2 average needed and were officially named to the long list for the World Championships.  After the east and west coast selection trials resulted in no other 5 YO horses achieving the 8.2, WakeUp was officially on the short list and invited to Germany!

Emily Wagner (a 22 year old college student and graduate of the Young Rider Programs) and WakeUp would love to continue this fairy tale of a young dressage rider and young horse from a modest midwest background making it to the pinnacle of dressage for Young Horses.  They represent the future! Not only would Emily and WakeUp gain invaluable experience and knowledge and represent American and Midwest breeding, but they would also bring it back to the area and create growth for dressage in the heart of the U.S.  However, they need help.  The trip over is expected to cost around $30,000. This includes the flight for Emily, Jana and WakeUp, board and training while in Germany, show fees, quarantine costs, transport to and from showgrounds among other things.  In the past, the USEF has chipped in for a large portion of the costs. However, due to budget cuts and a poor economy, they will not help at all this year.  Please do not let money hold them back after they have come so far!

One Response to “The Selection Process”

  1. sabine schut-kery June 5, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Dear Emely,
    congratulations to you and Wakeup on again qualifying for Verden !!!
    My 5 year old qualified as well and I am trying to figure out if I should take him or not.
    Can you tell me a little more how the $28,000 come together ? Like how much goes to what approximately ?
    Thank you so much and I wish you and Wakeup the very best in Verden !!!
    Sabine Schut-Kery

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