Warwick's Colleen Akin wins regional semi-final championship -- Teenager will go to finals in 2006

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:01

Warwick — With a tremendous score of 90 percent, Warwick’s Colleen Akin, 14, won the semi-final class at the Region 8 championship in Saugerties. As a result, Akin will compete in the United States Equestrian Federation Dressage Seat Medal Finals in 2006. Competitors are broken into two age groups, 13 and under, and 14 to 18. Akin, who turned 14 just a month before the competition in September, was the youngest in her age group and rode the youngest horse. Her mare, Duet, is just five years old. Their score of 90 percent was the best in class; their closest competitor scored an 80. Akin competed in one other class at the regional show, first level dressage championship. She finished a close third with a score of 65 percent. The first place competitor earned a 65.5 percent, while the second place finisher scored a 65.1 percent. The purpose of the Dressage Seat Medal Program, established in 2002, is to promote and reward excellence in equitation, including correct seat, position, and use of aids in the sport of dressage, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation. While equitation classes are very popular in other disciplines such as hunters and western, they are a relatively new concept for dressage. Conducted as a group class, riders are asked to walk, trot, sitting and posting and canter both directions of the ring. In addition, Akin was asked to give an individual performance, pattern given by the judges, during the class to highlight their horsemanship skills. The pattern included leg yields, work without stirrups, lengthening, and transitions at the Dressage letters. Akin said she is very grateful to her sponsors: Bellvale Dressage, Bert Linder and Bliss Seman, Warwick Feed & Grain, Warwick Valley Stables & Equestrian Center, Katharine Boyer and T.H.E. Company.