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Wellington, FL – January 9, 2015 – Nineteen-year-old Ayden Uhlir is well known in the equestrian world for her talent as a rising dressage star, and at the first night of auditions for American Equestrians Got Talent, she wowed the crowd with her singing voice during her performance of Etta James’ classic “At Last.”
It was Uhlir’s first time singing for a group, but the crowd at The Grille Fashion Cuisine and celebrity judges Charlotte Bredahl-Baker and Ron Davis thought she looked like a seasoned veteran.
“That was the absolute first time I have ever gone up in front of people to sing, and I was so nervous,” Uhlir said. “If you saw me up close, I was shaking so badly.”

Ayden Uhlir sings “At Last” in the first round of auditions for American Equestrians Got Talent.

But her nerves didn’t keep her from besting her three competitors and taking home the top prize. She won a $500 award, sponsored byPSdressage.com for each week’s best performer, and earned a spot in the lineup for the March 15 finale, to be held at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds.

The final competition, featuring a grand prize worth no less than $5,000, will determine “America’s Most Talented Equestrian.” American Equestrians Got Talent is the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation.”For me, Ayden was a clear winner,” Bredahl-Baker said. “I had no doubt about it. I thought for sure she was the best.”

Uhlir is thrilled with the experience and is planning to prepare another oldies tune for the final.

“I am so happy about the $500 fromPSdressage.com,” Uhlir said. “That’s more than I make in two weeks at work. It’s probably going to go to groceries and a dentist check up for my horse.”

Jane Lloyd performs “Me And Bobby McGee”

As the first performance of the night, Uhlir was a tough act to follow, but the three talents after gave her a run for her money.

Jackie Boudria sang “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas and received a positive response from the audience for her enthusiasm.

Young comedian Josh Walker changed the pace with an act that left everyone laughing. Even the tough judges were impressed by his first stand-up comedy performance.The last act was Jayne Lloyd, who is in Wellington this winter with para-equestrian dressage rider and Air Force veteran Derrick Perkins. She was one of the crowd favorites for her rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee.” The winner is chosen based on applause from the audience, but after an equal show of enthusiasm for Uhlir and Lloyd, the final decision went to the judges, who selected Uhlir.

The remaining three competitors may still return during the next eight weeks of Wednesday night auditions at The Grille and take another shot at earning a place in the final. But it won’t be easy, as there are already other equestrians with talent signing up to vie for the top prize.

“I think any time we can get together to have a good time is awesome and important for the sport,” Bredahl-Baker said. “Of course, it is also for a good cause. I think it is important to have things like this to keep people together.”

The next audition is Wednesday, Jan. 14, and auditions continue through March 4. Sign up to audition by contacting Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com).

Sponsors, led by Kim and Fred Boyer, Equestrian Sport Productions, Tuny and David Page, andPSdressage.com, are stepping up to support this exciting event. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Sara Ike (908-234-1251 or sara.ike@uset.org) or Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com).

American Equestrians Got Talent Fast Facts:

  Spearheaded by U.S. Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, American Equestrians Got Talent is the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation.

  Contestants audition to earn their place in the season finale. A pair of celebrity judges will be on hand at each audition to critique the performances, and the audience’s applause will determine who moves forward to the finale and who goes back to the barn.

  Auditions:

  When: Every Wednesday evening from Jan. 7 through March 4, 2015

7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Where: The Grille Fashion Cuisine, 12300 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida

Prize: PSdressage.com is sponsoring prizes of $500 to be awarded to the top performer at each audition

Participants: Auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline from dressage and hunter/jumpers to polo and Western. Please sign up in advance by contacting Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com). Walk-ins accepted if space is available

 

Season Finale

  When: March 15, 2015

  Where: The Stadium at PBIEC (Global Dressage Festival show grounds), 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida

  Prize: The winner, who will be named America’s Most Talented Equestrian, will receive a grand prize valued at no less than $5,000

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. 

 

The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.