Category Archives: Eventing/H.T.

United States Impresses at 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

US brings home silver in FEI Nations Cup competitions; numerous top finishes for individual athletes

Aachen, Germany – The United States sent 18 equestrian athletes and fielded two FEI Nations™ Cup teams to compete at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany July 14-23.

“It’s the Wimbledon of our sport; there is no question,” said Robert Ridland, Chef d’Equipe of the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping team. “It is one of the most prestigious places to compete. The top riders are all saying: we are bringing our ‘A’ game here, we are bringing our best horses.”

The U.S. athletes certainly came prepared to compete, with plans and goals laid out. The following are some highlights of the U.S. athletes’ week in Aachen.

Show Jumping

On Tuesday, July 18, 2004 and 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and HHS Hercules, Abigail Wexner’s 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding, took third place in the Sparkassen Youngsters Cup, a class for seven and eight year olds, with zero faults and a time of 67.51.

The following afternoon, Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.), 2000 Sydney Olympian, and Ohlala, The Ohlala Group’s 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, competed with 58 other riders and took fifth place with zero faults and a time of 43.20 in the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. Later that afternoon, Hough went on to take fifth with Waterford, Laura and Meredith Mateo’s 2003 KWPN gelding, with zero faults and a time of 38.43 in the Prize of StadteRegion Aachen. In addition, 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Whitney, Artisan Farms, LLC and Torrey Pines Stables’ 2003 KWPN gelding, took third in the same class, with zero faults and a time of 37.45.

Thursday proved to be an exciting day for U.S. Show Jumping. Madden and Breitling LS, Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, won the STAWAG-Prize, with zero faults and a time of 66.01. Kraut and Whitney placed third with zero faults and a time of 69.86. Later that evening, Kraut and 2004 and 2008 Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) led the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a silver medal tie with Switzerland in the Mercedes Benz FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen with double clear performances aboard Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms’ 2007 Holsteiner mare, and HH Azur, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, respectively.

“Today was exciting as always – Aachen is the pinnacle of sport. To go double clear tonight with Zeremonie was thrilling,” said Kraut.

World number one ranked and 2016 Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and his mount Uceko, R.C.G. Farm’s 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding, pulled out a beautiful win on Friday in the North Rhine-Westphalia with zero faults and a time of 46.65. When asked about Uceko and winning in Aachen, Farrington responded: “He [Uceko] is really special. He loves grass arenas. I’ve had him since he was six years old, and I’m so proud that he is 16 and still winning here at Aachen. It was an amazing day.”

On Sunday, Ward and HH Carlos Z, Double H Farm’s 2002 Zangersheide gelding, won the SAP-Prize, with zero faults and a time of 60.21. That evening Kraut and Zeremonie, Ward and HH Azur, Farrington and Voyeur, Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Hough and Ohlala, and Madden and Darry Lou, Wexner’s 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding, all competed in the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. In the end, Kraut went head-to-head with Gregory Wathelet from Belgium, Luciana Diniz from Portugal, and Marc Houtzager from the Netherlands in the final jump-off. Kraut placed fourth with four faults and a time of 48.01.

Additionally, Zeremonie and Old Willow Farms were presented with the prestigious Halla Challenge Trophy by Hans Gunter Winker for the most successful horse at CHIO Aachen. Kraut was also awarded with the “Prize of the Federal Minister of the Interior,” an award of a special trophy given to the best jumping athlete of the entire show, presented by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich.

Dressage

The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team came to Aachen ready to compete. The first phase of the FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* began on Thursday, July 20, with the Preis der Familie Tesch Grand Prix. 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, Graves and Curt Maes’s 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, took second place behind Germany’s Isabell Werth with a score of 79.514%. The U.S. team sat in second place after the first phase.

“Three of our four horses have never shown at Aachen before,” said Robert Dover, Chef d’Equipe for The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage team. “Two of these horses are in their first season of showing internationally in Europe and one of them is in his first handful of CDIs in his life. Maybe that’s why, by the end of the day, I was a little over-wrought with emotion.”

On Saturday, the second and final phase of the FEI Nations Cup continued in the MEGGLE-Preis Grand Prix Special. With the German audience hanging on to every passage, piaffe, and pirouette, Graves and Verdades took on Werth and her mount, Weihegold OLD, performing a truly masterful test, and scoring a 81.824% that catapulted them to the top of the class standings – on Graves’ 30th birthday, no less. Combined with the rides of the remaining team members, The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team went on to claim the silver medal behind Germany and ahead of Sweden.

“Today was my day,” Graves said. “My horse gave me a great birthday present. I could not be more pleased with him. And, there is nothing like a stadium of Germans singing happy birthday to you. That is really memorable.”

Graves and Verdades went on to take third place in the Deutsche Bank Prize Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, with a score of 82.550%.

Eventing

U.S. eventer Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) placed seventh overall in Aachen, with RF Demeter, Jacqueline Mars’ 2002 Oldenburg mare. After Thursday’s dressage test, with 39.90 penalties and the jumping phase, with a time of 87.22 and zero faults, the combination went into Saturday’s cross-country phase sitting in fifth place. Finishing the course clear and with just eight time penalties, Burnett and RF Demeter finished seventh in the overall line-up with a final score of 42.50 penalties.

“The time is difficult to make here in Aachen,” said Burnett. “This was really my first time that I’ve tried to be fast on her [RF Demeter]. I was only eight seconds over, which is really good. It is a really fun feeling here. Everybody cheers so much and there is so much involvement from the crowd. I love that feeling and I love this event.”

Combined Driving

Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) represented the United States in combined driving in Aachen. On Wednesday, July 19, Weber masterfully guided Bastiaan, Fritz Grupe’s 2006 KWPN gelding; Boris W, Weber’s 2006 KWPN gelding; First Edition, Weber’s 2009 KWPN gelding; and Splash, Jane Clark’s 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a second place finish in the Prize of Fa. Horsch, Der Entorger Dressage Four-In Hand with 41.28 penalties.

On Friday, Weber went on to take second again in the Top Score Driving Competition with 1800.00 points, with Boris W, First Edition, Maestoso Jupiter, Weber’s 2007 Hungarian Warmblood gelding, and Splash in the traces.

Vaulting

U.S. Vaulters performed well at Aachen with numerous top-ten finishes.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Caroline Martin and Doug Payne Awarded Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grants

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

Gladstone, N.J. – July 20, 2017 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grants are Caroline Martin and Doug Payne. Martin and Payne were recognized and unanimously selected by the US Equestrian eventing selectors due to their impressive records and future in representing the United States in international competition.

As recipients of the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grants, Payne (Aiken, South Carolina) will travel to compete in the Blenheim CCI3* in Oxford, England with his and Debi Crowley’s gelding, Vandiver. Martin (Riegelsville, Pennsylvania) will travel to The Netherlands for the Military Boekelo-Enschede CCIO3* in October to compete her two geldings, Pebbly Maximus and The Apprentice.

Payne’s show jumping and dressage has continued to improve throughout his career in addition to maintaining his success in cross-country. Payne took over the ride for Vandiver in 2015 and in 2016, the pair placed fourth in The Fork CIC3* in April and earned a third place finish in the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships in August.

“It’s a huge honor and certainly an obligation to do our best and make the most of the opportunity,” noted Payne. “It’s a great opportunity against the best in Europe. The timing works really well and sets us up for 2018, which is the ultimate goal. I have to thank Jacqueline Mars and the USET Foundation for having faith in me and awarding grants like this. The experience gained is very difficult to get by yourself.”

Payne and Vandiver continued to find success in 2017, earning a second place at Pine Top Advanced CIC3* in February and a second place finish in April at The Fork CIC3*. Payne also plans to compete in the Millbrook Horse Trials and the American Eventing Championships before traveling to England.

Martin has been a part of the Emerging Athlete’s program since 2013, and recently received the 2017 Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grant. Martin had the opportunity to participate in the Karen E. Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour under the tutelage of Leslie Law, furthering her education and gaining competitive experience in Great Britain. Martin finished her two horses, Pebbly Maximus and The Apprentice, in fifth and eighth place, respectively, at the Bramham International CCI3*-U25 in June.

“It’s unreal to receive this grant,” expressed Martin. “It’s the second grant I’ve received this year and it’s a dream come true to have this much support from my country. I’ve always wanted to be a professional rider. I’ve now switched over from the Under 25 group to the young professional and it’s wonderful to go overseas and represent my country. I have two remarkable horses with The Apprentice and Pebbly Maximus and I hope to improve upon my results from earlier this year.”

Martin had the first 3* win of her career this year at Carolina International’s CIC3* in March. At just 22 years old, Martin is one of the country’s up-and-coming stars, and her return to Europe with her two geldings will be a strong stepping stone in her aim towards competing at the Kentucky CCI4* in spring 2018.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

US Eventing Team Wins FEI Nations Cup Eventing Competition at Great Meadow International

Photo Credit: Anna Purdy.

Jennie Brannigan Captures Second Individual Title

The Plains, Va. – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team won the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan, for the second consecutive year. The team of Jennie Brannigan, Lynn Symansky, Phillip Dutton, and Boyd Martin defeated teams from Canada and Great Britain in the only FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition outside Europe. Brannigan also captured her second individual title at Great Meadow, having won previously in 2015.

Cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith reversed the direction and order of the fences from last year with the intention of generating interest for both the competitors and spectators. The change proved to be challenging for some, though not for the U.S. team. All four riders completed the course without any jumping penalties.

Brannigan had an unforgettable day. The Reddick, Fla. resident went third in the team order and secured the victory for the U.S. incurring only 1.6 time faults on Nina Gardner’s Cambalda. Brannigan came into the final day in fourth place and catapulted to the top spot with a final score of 49.8 penalties.

“The first time I came it was so exciting because it earned me a spot as a traveling alternate for the Pan Am Games, which was quite special to me,” said Brannigan. “It’s such an honor to get to ride for your country and ‘Ping’ has been an incredible horse in a lot of ways and is wonderful to me. I really appreciate him stepping up to the plate.”

By the time second U.S. team rider Lynn Symansky took to the course, two riders were eliminated from the British team and the Canadians had already secured a team score. The Middleburg, Va. resident jumped clear, finishing just above the optimum time on Donner, owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC. They incurred 1.2 time faults for a three-phase score of 50.1 penalties, which was good enough for second place individually. Symansky was originally the alternate, but was named to the team after Buck Davidson, Jr. withdrew Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach.

“It’s such a great cohesive group. Everybody just works together and supports each other. We’re all out here to win and do the best that we can,” said Symansky. “It was awesome. The whole way around I heard people cheering me on, saying, ‘Come on Lynn, you can do it!’ It’s cool to ride at your hometown event. It was an honor.”

U.S. pathfinder Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa. was the first rider to complete the course within the optimum time of 6 minutes and 33 seconds, finishing within two seconds at 6:31. Riding Steady Eddie, owned by Denise Lahey, Pierrie Colin, George and Gretchen Wintersteen, the Olympic veteran finished on his dressage score of 58.3 penalties.

“He came through for me; he was the only horse that finished on his dressage score,” said Martin of the New Zealand Thoroughbred. “It was a bit hard to gauge the course because the first rider Justine Dutton (GBR) fell and second rider Jessica Phoenix (CAN) was held on the course, but I zipped around and everything rode really well.”

Dutton, of West Grove, Pa., already knew that the U.S. had won the Nations Cup prior to going out, but an individual win was on the line. Riding Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, the six-time Olympic veteran finished outside the optimum time adding 5.6 time faults to his cumulative score of 51.6 penalties and putting him in third place.

“My teammates did it all for me. Jennie came home and I had a minute to go before I went in the box and they said she only had a couple of time faults,” said Dutton. “I thought it was a good run for the horse. He’s not the fastest, but I think I could have done a little better job at the galloping fences. Overall, though, I think it was a good run for him and pleased that he went so well.”

The winning score for the U.S. was 151.5 penalties. Team Canada finished on 168.6 penalties for second place. Because Great Britain failed to have the required three qualifying scores, they were awarded a drop score penalty of 1000 points, and finished third.

Full Results

From Classic Communications and the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Eventing Team Ready to Ride in Great Meadow International CICO3*

The Plains, Va. – All U.S. horses passed the horse inspection for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team competing in the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan®. The team consisting of Boyd Martin, Jennie Brannigan, Lynn Symansky and Phillip Dutton will be the third and final team in the order.

“This is a really good team,” says Joanie Morris, acting as Chef d’Equipe. “We’re looking forward to this weekend. It’s always great to come to Great Meadow. The consensus is that the cross-country course is a step up from last year; it’s always interesting to see how these courses evolve. The facility is beautiful and they should be commended for all their efforts. We are really excited to be here and can’t wait to get started!”

Boyd Martin will be the sole U.S. team member competing in dressage on Friday afternoon with the remaining three to go on Saturday.

The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team will compete in the following order:

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) aboard Steady Eddie, a 2003 New Zealand Thoroughbred owned by Denise Lahey, Pierrie Colin, and George and Gretchen Wintersteen. Martin is a two-time Olympic veteran (2012, 2016) and two-time FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) competitor (2010, 2014). He was also a 2015 Pan American Games team gold medalist.

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) riding Donner, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC. Symansky is a 2011 Pan American Games team gold medalist and WEG veteran (2014). She also won the Bromont CIC3* (2014) and was second at the Great Meadow International CIC3* in 2015.

Jennie Brannigan (Reddick, Fla.) on Nina Gardner’s Cambalda, a 2002 Thoroughbred Cross gelding. Brannigan was named as an alternate to the U.S Team for the Pan American Games in 2015 and won the CIC3* at Great Meadow and The Fork that same year.

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) rides anchor on Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding. Dutton is a six-time Olympic veteran, earning team bronze (2004) and individual bronze (2016) for the U.S. Dutton is a six-time WEG veteran and a two-time Pan American Games team gold medalist (2007, 2015) and individual silver medalist (2007). Dutton has the distinction of winning the Rolex/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship a record five times.

Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) originally was scheduled to ride Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal’s Copper Beach, but withdrew in an effort to rest the horse who received stitches last week.

“He’s a super horse and he is sound, but Buck decided to withdraw him to save him for another weekend. It’s just some bad timing for everyone,” said Morris. “Buck will be a great asset for the team this weekend and will be our biggest fan.”

Learn more about the Great Meadow International and catch all the activity live on the USEF Network.

From Classic Communications and the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Declares Contingent for World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen

A group of 18 athletes to represent the U.S. across five featured disciplines

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the athletes that will participate in the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, July 14-23, in Aachen, Germany. CHIO Aachen will showcase The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team and Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team in FEI Nations Cup™ action, as well as two additional dressage athlete-and-horse combinations, two eventing athlete-and-horse combinations, four vaulters, and one four-in-hand combined driver in individual competition.

The following athlete-horse combinations will comprise The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team for FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Aachen led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover:

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her own and Curt Maes’ Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) with her own and Mary Anne McPhail’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding
Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) with Salvino Partners, LLC’s Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion
Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Warmblood gelding

The following dressage athlete-horse combinations will compete in the Aachen CDI4*:

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding
Arlene “Tuny” Page (Wellington, Fla.) with her own Woodstock, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding

The following athletes will make up the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team for FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen led by Chef D’Equipe Robert Ridland:

Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.)
Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)
McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.)

Nations Cup horses will be named at a later date.

The following eventing athlete-horse combinations will compete as individuals in the Aachen CICO3*:

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) with Jacqueline Mars’ RF Demeter, a 2002 Oldenburg mare
Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) with Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare

The following combined driving athlete will compete in the Aachen CAIO4*:

Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) competing tentatively with Amadeus, Weber’s 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding; Bastiaan, Fritz Grupe’s 2006 KWPN gelding; Boris, Weber’s 2006 KWPN gelding; First Edition, Weber’s 2009 KWPN gelding; and Splash, Jane Clark’s 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding

The following vaulting athletes will compete in the Aachen CVIO4*:

Daniel Janes (Stanwood, Wash.)
Elizabeth Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.)
Kristian Roberts (Moss Beach, Calif.)
Emily Rose (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

For more information about the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen and a schedule of events, visit chioaachen.de.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Names Eventing High Performance Summer Training Lists for 2017

Lexington, Ky. – The US Equestrian Eventing High Performance Program is designed to achieve Olympic qualification and medals in the current Games cycle, in addition to building a sustainable foundation for the success of future championships. The Eventing High Performance Program consists of the Elite, Development, and Emerging Athlete Programs. For the 2017 Summer Training Lists, a two-tiered system was introduced for the Development Program, and no changes have been made to the Emerging Athlete Program list of participants. The following combinations have been named to the 2017 Summer Training Lists for the Elite Program and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Development.

Elite Program

These are athlete/horse combinations that have established themselves as having met the criteria, or demonstrated potential to meet the criteria, required to be competitive at CCI3* and CCI4* events and championships.

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) with Jacqueline Mars’s Harbour Pilot and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection

Matt Brown (Cochranville, Pa.) with Blossom Creek Foundation’s Super Socks BCF

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) with Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, HnD Group’s Mighty Nice, and Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran’s Z

Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) with Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica and Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett

Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) with Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’s RF Scandalous

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) with the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate’s Blackfoot Mystery

Tier 1 Development

Tier 1 is designed to support experienced international athletes who have horses that are on a trajectory to reach the Elite criteria in the next four years and experienced international athletes who have horses that do not meet the Elite criteria but remain in contention for selection for the next World or Olympic Games.

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) with The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines and Four Star Eventing Group’s OBOS O’Reilly

Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) with Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo

Phillip Dutton with the Revelation Group’s Fernhill Revelation

Lauren Kieffer with Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars’s D.A. Duras

Boyd Martin with Lucy Boynton Lie’s Cracker Jack

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) with Debi Crowley and Doug and Jessica Payne’s Vandiver

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) with The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s Donner

Sharon White (Summit Point, W.Va.) with her own Cooley on Show

Tier 2 Development

Tier 2 is designed for athletes who have not previously attained team selection or Elite criteria that are on a trajectory to achieve Elite status in this or the next four-year period.

Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.) with Kalai, LLC’s Back to Business

Lillian Heard (Hamilton, Va.) with her own LCC Barnaby

Kurt Martin (Middleburg, Va.) with his and Carol and William Martin’s DeLux Z

It is important to note that inclusion or exclusion on a Training List has no impact on selection for Games and championships. These lists will be reviewed in November of 2017.

Learn more about US Equestrian’s Eventing High Performance Program.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Names US Eventing Team for Great Meadow International CICO3*

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has selected the following athlete-and-horse combinations from a group of applicants to represent the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team in the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Great Meadow International presented by Adequan, July 7-9, in The Plains, Va.:

Jennie Brannigan (Reddick, Fla.) with Nina Gardner’s Cambalda, a 2002 Thoroughbred Cross gelding

Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) with Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal’s Copper Beach, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) with Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) with Debi Crowley and Doug and Jessica Payne’s Vandiver, a 2004 Trakehner gelding

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been named alternates for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Nations Cup CICO3*:

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) with Gretchen and George Wintersteen, Pierre Colin, and Denise Lahey’s Steady Eddie, a 2003 Australian Thoroughbred gelding

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) with The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s Donner, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding

Watch the live stream on USEF Network of the Great Meadow International presented by Adequan, beginning Friday, July 7 at 5 p.m. ET. Find out more about event.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Polish Medal Winners in the History of European Championships

PJan Lipczyński and Elektron, European Championships, Horsens, Denmark, 1981/private source of Jan Lipczyński.

Strzegom, 26.06.2017 – 52 years ago, for the first time in history, rider representing Poland won the European Champion title in Eventing. Sixteen years later white & red team reached for bronze medal. Waiting for the prize giving ceremony of 33rd European Championships, which will take place in Strzegom in August, we go back through the history of this competition to bring to mind the biggest Polish achievements.

First European Championships took place in 1953 in Badminton in Great Britain. 40 riders from 5 countries competed that time but Polish team had to wait four more years for its debut in the event at this level. In 1957 in Copenhagen Jan Kowalski and Litawor finished the competition at 13th place. Two years after that in British Harewood white & red team was close to podium but finishing the competition at 4th place.

Marian Babirecki & Volt

First and so far the only one Polish rider who reached the highest step of the podium of Europeans was Marian Babirecki riding Volt. In Moscow, then capital of Soviet Union, in 1965 Polish rider was the best among 38 others and won gold medal. Although he was only 14th after dressage, great cross-country ride and clear show jumping gave Marian Babirecki the victory. There is a video record from this event available at Polish journals: (http://www.kronikarp.pl/szukaj,30638,strona-2).

Babirecki was considered to be the most comprehensive rider in the history of Polish equestrian after Second World War. He was not only successful show jumping, dressage and eventing rider but also jockey who was second in Velká pardubická in 1956. After the end of his athlete career Babirecki moved to Cuba where he was couch of national equestrian team. After few years, he stepped back and worked in trained profession of wood engineer. Babirecki was also a scuba diver and during one of his diving session in Atlantic Ocean he died tragically.

Medallists form Horsens

Polish equestrian fans had to wait for another success till 1981 the year when top eventing riders competed in Horsens in Denmark. White & red won bronze medal in team classification.  The authors of this success were: Mirosław Szłapka and Erywań, Jan Lipczyński and Elektron, Krzysztof Rafalak and Dajak, and Mirosław Ślusarczyk and Ekran.

For Jan Lipczyński, then 24 years old, it was the first event at Championship level.   ”In early ‘80 Polish riders started to have some achievements in international competitions so heading towards Championships we had combat-ready attitude but we didn’t consider ourselves as possible winners,” he recalls. ”Taking part in Europeans was a huge experience for us. Going through the cross-country course at this level was making big impression even at the well experienced eventers. The format of the competition was completely different at that time. The cross-country phase had a different level of toughness, different distance, which was close to 30 km, also fences had different dimensions, huge ‘waggons’ were jumped. Nowadays the difficultness of the cross-country is about technical tasks, not the size of the fences and for this reason the safety of riders and horses has grown. It used to look totally different. The toughness of the cross was determined by the size of the fences and falls were not unusual.”

”The dimension of some of the fences were so large that sometimes, after official course inspection, they were changed,” recalls Krzysztof Rafalak, who was also debutant at the Championships level in Horsens.  ”I was the last one starting in the team. After Mirek Ślusarczyk misfortune on the cross-country course, I felt pressure to do everything to finish my ride so that we could be classified as a team.”

Seven national teams taking part did not survive till the end of competition; only six managed to do that.

”It was a very challenging competition. 40% of the horses didn’t complete it. Two of the fences were especially difficult: bascule bridge and triple bar and those two caused most of the problems,” recalls Mirosław Szłapka, who a year before Horsens Championships competed in Olympic Games in Moscow and was placed six there.  ”I still remembered the level of toughness of cross-country course in Moscow so the one in Horsens was friendly in my opinion. Hilly terrain was similar to Biały Bór land where we had training camp before Championships. Contrary to the one in Moscow this cross-country was fair for horses.”

Mirosław Szłapka in the individual classification was placed 5th. In the dressage test he was placed second by two judges and 19th by third. If the marks were all at the same level he would have a chance to stand on podium.

Bronze medal at European Championships for Seniors is so far the biggest achievement of Polish eventing after Second World War. ”After winning the medals we were euphoric, we had a feeling that the history is just happening,” says Jan Lipczyński. ”When the stress and pressures came down, we were extremely happy,” adds Krzysztof Rafalak.

Contact:
press@strzegom2017.pl

Julia Krajewski Secures Biggest Career Win at Luhmühlen with Samourai Du Thot

Julia Krajewski on Samourai du Thot (FEI/Eric Knoll)

Nicola Wilson (GBR) and Bulana clinch second with overnight leader Bettina Hoy third on Designer 10 (GER)

It was an emotional moment for Germany’s Julia Krajewski when she realised she had scored the biggest win of her career after steering Samourai du Thot to victory at her home event, Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL, fifth leg of the FEI Classics™.

Krajewski, 28, was third year last year at her first attempt, but now she goes home with the big prize after the fairytale failed to come true for cross country leader Bettina Hoy (GER), who is 26 years her senior.

“If I hadn’t taken a pull, my horse wouldn’t have hit fence eight as he didn’t want to touch a pole. I thought ‘damn’, but there were so few clear rounds and when Bettina had her fence and time faults, that’s how it happens sometimes and you’re a four-star winner!” — Julia Krajewski (GER), winner

There had been little difference in the leaderboard after a straightforward cross country phase, but a challenging jumping track certainly shook up the order, with only four clear rounds without time penalties from the 34 finishers.

Krajewski, second after Saturday’s cross country, hit the back rail of fence eight, and Britain’s Nicola Wilson, third before jumping on Bulana, jumped clear but added a frustrating three time faults to finish a mere 0.7 behind in second place, a career best for the 2012 Olympic team silver medallist who has been a solid pathfinder for the British team.

“It was an expensive time fault or two, but Bulana gets better and better and better.” — Nicola Wilson (GBR), runner-up

Hoy’s problems started with a sticky jump over the fifth fence on Designer 10 and the horse then didn’t get high enough over the sixth for a rail down. That, plus three time penalties, dropped the newly crowned national champion (Hoy won the German championships earlier in the day) to third place.

Marilyn Little (USA) was clear to move up to fourth place on RF Scandalous and Maxime Livio (FRA), currently runner-up in the FEI Classics, was also foot-perfect, rising six places to fifth on Opium de Verrieres.

Livio has now managed to narrow the gap with runaway FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung (GER) to just six points, and Wilson has sprung from 11th place in the rankings to third, so a thrilling finish is guaranteed at the finale at Burghley (GBR) in September.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Luhmühlen:

Dr. Friederike Stüvel-Huck
Press Officer
media@luhmuhlen.de
+49 17 153 829 00

Bettina Hoy Retains Luhmühlen Lead with Designer 10 after Cross Country

Bettina Hoy (GER) and Designer 10 (FEI/Eric Knoll)

Julia Krajewski (GER) holds on to second place with Samourai du Thot and Nicola Wilson (GBR) moves up into third on Bulana

Bettina Hoy (GER) proved she is at the very top of her game when retaining her lead after cross country at Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL, fifth leg of the FEI Classics™ series. In a remarkable double, the in-form rider is also heading the three-star competition at Germany’s most famous eventing venue which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Hoy, 54, has more than three decades’ experience of Luhmühlen’s wooded tracks and testing water complexes – she competed here in the 1982 World Championships – and she punched the air with delight as a perfectly timed round on Designer 10 kept her in pole position. However, she will need all her expertise in the jumping phase as the price of one rail covers the top four riders.

“My watch stopped working around the seven minute mark, which left me a little unsure about the time, but I know he is a really fast horse, so I knew I would be able to just go for it!” — Overnight leader Bettina Hoy (GER)

Julia Krajewski (GER) and Samourai du Thot, third last year, thrilled a bumper home crowd enjoying brilliant sunshine and great sport with their superb performance. They are still in second place and clearly laid the ghost of an unhappy elimination at the Rio Olympics last year.

“I felt Sam was fitter and more mature this year so I pushed from the beginning and didn’t have one bad moment. I’m very proud of him.” — Second-placed Julia Krajewski (GER)

Nicola Wilson (GBR) showed all her horsemanship to contain her bold mare, Bulana, and they moved up to third place after Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, third after Dressage, picked up 6.8 time penalties and slipped to ninth. The 50 penalties initially awarded to Little for missing a flag at a skinny brush arrowhead were removed after the Ground Jury reviewed video footage of the incident.

“The course was an absolute pleasure to ride and will have been good for horses competing at this level for the first time.” — Third-placed Nicola Wilson (GBR)

Otherwise, the leaderboard is little changed at the top, apart from the departure of Astier Nicolas and Molokai, fifth after dressage, after the French Olympic gold medallist was unseated at the water complex at 19.

Britain’s Sarah Bullimore (Lilli Corinne) has moved up two places to fourth and within a fence of the leader after a clear round eight seconds inside the optimum time of 11 minutes 11 seconds. Maxime Livio (FRA), currently second in the FEI Classics™ series leaderboard, has moved up a place to 11th on Opium de Verrieres, but he will need to finish in the top 10 if he is to add any more points.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

At Luhmühlen:

Dr. Friederike Stüvel-Huck
Press Officer
media@luhmuhlen.de
+49 17 153 829 00