Lexington, Ky. – The final USEF combined driving national titles of the 2018 competition year are up for grabs at the Katydid Combined Driving Event (CDE), running November 1-4, at Katydid Farm in Aiken, S.C. The USEF Advanced Pony National Championships will feature six entries vying for titles across the single pony and pair pony divisions, marking the end of the 2018 combined driving season.
A group of five strong, well-known combinations will make up the USEF Advanced Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship division, which is headlined by returning champions Tracey Morgan (Beallsville, Md.) and Fuego 88, members of the USEF Combined Driving Program for Elite Athletes. As the three-time national champions in this division and three-time representatives at the FEI World Driving Championships for Ponies, the field will look to dethrone Morgan and her 17-year-old German Riding Pony gelding.
Three individuals who are part of the USEF Developing Athlete Program for Combined Driving will join them: Leslie Berndl (Lexington, Ky.), Rebecca Gutierrez (Windsor, S.C.), and Jennifer Keeler (Paris, Ky.). After claiming the reserve title in 2017, Gutierrez and Naria BW6, Richard Olson’s 15-year-old Haflinger mare, return along with 2016 national champions Berndl and Sweetwater’s Zorah Belle, Teressa Kandianis’s 14-year-old Norwegian Fjord Horse mare, who won the Advanced Single Pony CAI2* at the Live Oak International in March. Keeler, who won the USEF Intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship with Zeppo at the Live Oak International, will try her luck for a title in the advanced single pony division with Amazing Grace. She and her eight-year-old Dutch Harness Cross mare have won seven of the eight competitions entered across the span of their partnership. Rounding out the entries is Denise Hinder (Saltillo, Texas) and her 12-year-old pony mare, Alamo’s Ruby Red.
Competition begins with the driven dressage phase beginning on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. ET followed by the marathon on Saturday and finishing with the cones phase on Sunday.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.