Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.
Wellington, Fla. – May 3, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI**** is Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, Va. Kieffer rode her mount Veronica to a second place finish overall and as the highest ranked American rider, ultimately earning her the trophy.
This is Kieffer’s second time receiving the Pinnacle Cup after being the top placed American rider at Rolex in 2014. When she received the Pinnacle Cup in 2014, she was also riding Veronica, her seasoned 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca.
“I think she’s quite a beast, that one,” Kieffer said of Veronica. “She’s very competitive in her own head and always has been. We’ve certainly gotten a lot more experience under both of our belts. She’s a very confident horse, and a very mentally competitive horse. She genuinely understands the game and knows what she has to deliver in all three phases. She really fights for it each day.”
Kieffer and Veronica kicked off Rolex with a 43.9 penalty score in Dressage. Her score cumulated to a 51.5 after the Cross country round, navigating the deep and muddy track to search for good ground. The pair ended with a final score of 52.5 after finishing a double clear show jumping round, with one time fault. Kieffer finished behind Germany’s Michael Jung riding FischerRocana FST, clinching the USEF CCI4* National Championship.
On receiving the Pinnacle Cup, Kieffer said, “It feels good. It feels like it validates my program and my team. The first time was a bit of a pleasant surprise, but now we kind of know that our program is working and we can deliver results consistently.”
Kieffer continued, “A big thank to Veronica’s owners, Team Rebecca, and also my other horses’ owners, Monte Carlo, Jacquelin Mars and my team. We certainly couldn’t do it without everyone in our barn and all the support staff.”
With the Rio Olympic Games right around the corner, it would appear that Kieffer and Veronica are contenders to represent the United States. Kieffer can hopefully leverage her success at Rolex as a stepping-stone toward the Olympic dream.
“We went into Rolex and knew we had to deliver and show a consistent performance and she came out of it great,” she said. “We really haven’t planned anything past this weekend. She’ll enjoy a holiday; she came out of the weekend really well, and we’ll just kind of start planning for the summer and fall in the next few weeks.”
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.