Category Archives: Championships

Roxanne Trunnell Tops USEF Para Dressage National Championship with Dolton

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 15, 2019 – Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3* and CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan® concluded Sunday at Tryon International Equestrian Center, wrapping up three days of international and national Dressage competition at the venue that simultaneously hosted the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship. In CDI 3* competition, Karen Lipp (USA) rode to a win in Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* with Whitney, while Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) and Alcazar claimed their second FEI CDI 3* win Sunday with a 70.341% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*. Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton secured the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship title with a final cumulative score of 75.247%, and David Botana was named National Reserve Champion following his efforts riding Lord Locksley to a cumulative score of 74.318%.

“It feels really good [to win a National Championship], Trunnell shared. “I haven’t been with Dolton for very long. [Our] partnership is really forming.” Trunnell also relayed that one of the highlights of her tests with Dolton was “just how consistent he was. Always marching!”

Trunnell scored a 79.333% in the FEI CPEDI 3* Freestyle Grade I, earning the highest score of the weekend with the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Unknown) owned by Flintwood Farm LLC. “Our Freestyle music is from ‘Forrest Gump’ – it’s adorable!”

While Trunnell is hoping to be named to Team USA for the Tokyo Paralympics, she reflected that accuracy is a big focus, and that gaining experience at TIEC is a great environment to prepare for atmosphere and stiff competition going forward. “[Going forward we’ll do] just a lot of training, and working on accuracy with geometry. I think the bigger venue and more competition is more realistic of what we’ll get [in Tokyo], so it helps us mentally.”

Botana shared that his weekend with the 2001 Trakehner stallion (Unkenruf x Lida x Enrico Caruso) owned by Margaret L. Stevens, Lord Locksley, had been an “amazing” culmination of hard work over the summer: “We’ve worked all summer and learned a lot. We practiced the halt, bending, and improving precision, plus overall harmony. I think it all really came together this weekend. I think we were able to pull off some really improved balance in our turns, and stayed constant throughout the weekend with high scores. It’s been amazing; everything kind of came together, from working with my trainer and meeting to go over our test before each ride, and taking the judges’ comments and what I felt during each ride to transition on to the next test. [That 75] was amazing. We had a perfect ride, and it all came together.”

Botana and the big grey stallion have made strides towards harmony and Lord Locksley knows his job well despite a serious career change, Botana explained. “It’s a big transition from being a Grand Prix International stallion to being in Para Dressage Grade I, and he’s taken beautifully to it. It took us a while to get into a groove,” Botana recalled, “but now we’re in a perfect balance. He knows that as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup, we’re going to walk, and that’s it. There can be a million things going on, and he won’t bat an eye. But the second I get off and step a foot away, he’ll be back to his regular big stallion self!”

Katherine Bateson Chandler Wins FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*

Bateson Chandler and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cantango x Polina x Ferro) owned by Jane Forbes Clark repeated their Friday win in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* with the top score in Sunday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, but Alcazar was “a bit more with me today,” she explained. “I’m a little happier with this ride, because he’s another two days down the road of being in the heat, and sort of it’s been a little tough for him. He came off a lot of atmosphere in Europe, so now he’s a little like, ‘what happened to everybody?’ This has been an amazing show and he felt a bit more with me today.”

The pair has had a busy summer and Alcazar is ready for a break, Bateson Chandler relayed, but spent their last competition before a holiday making the most of their stay. “It’s an amazing venue. This is truly a world-class venue with beautiful stabling, which always really matters to us. We’ve got fans in the stalls, which really helps with the heat.”

Karen Lipp and Whitney Win the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*

Karen Lipp and Whitney travelled down centerline to win the blue rosette in Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* with a score of 61.185%. Lipp shared that she has been working with Whitney, a 2005 Hanoverian mare (White Star x Hauptstutbuch Grace) owned by Kathleen Oldford, since she was four years old and has brought her through all of the young horse programs: “We did the four, five, and six-year-old programs. Her owner rode her a little bit and then decided to sell her, and then she didn’t like that idea, so she said, ‘You keep her and ride her.’ I’ve been showing her in the Grand Prix now for about two and a half years.

“I didn’t really have a quality horse to show in CDI for a year, so it’s been nice to have Whitney go the CDI ring because it was a long break for me out of the ring, and it’s a lot different than riding in normal shows.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

USEF Para Dressage National Championship Results in Win for Team USA

Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 14, 2019 – Day Two of the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship saw a win for Team USA at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, consisting of Roxanne Trunnell, Kate Shoemaker, Rebecca Hart, and Sydney Collier combining efforts for a total score of 439.585. In second, Team Canada, including Lauren Barwick, Lee Garrod, Jody Schloss, and Winona Hartvikson, finished on a score of 416.079. David Botana and Lord Locksley currently lead in the Individual competition, with Trunnell just behind heading into the final day of competition.

Hart and “Tex” claimed a win in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade III on a score of 73.775%, but Hart revealed that the weekend was about much more than the current competition for her just a year following her double-medal achievements at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) hosted at the venue last September.

“This arena has so many emotions for me. I’ve had some monumental moments – the epitome of my riding career here. I rolled in to the venue on Monday and all the emotions came back,” she recalled. “And I was having the memory of meeting up with my parents – because my parents don’t get to come to shows that often, and my dad was here – and I was telling myself, ‘don’t get weepy, you just got in the driveway!’

“But revisiting the place where I saw my dad, and where I was waiting in the chute for the final rides when we realized I had gotten the bronze and the first medal ever for US Para Equestrian in a WEG, was just fantastic,” Hart continued. “To have Tex here again with me, and to have him perform so well for me again in this arena… Tryon has such a special place in my heart.”

Hart is now focused on 2020, and admitted, “We’re Dressage riders – we always want more and want to get that extra little tenth of a point that we can get anywhere! Heading into next year we’ve got a lot of little things to work on.”

But it was a significant change in routine that has helped deepen Hart and her mount’s connection, she detailed: “We had actually changed up our routine coming into this event, which was a little intimidating, because changing anything before a big championship can go one of two ways, but it has really worked for us. I now do all the warm-up myself with Tex, which has made for a much more symbiotic relationship with my horse.”

Hart elaborated, “Before, I had my trainer doing the warm-up, because I don’t post, so I liked to give him a bit of a warm-up with an able-bodied rider to get his back moving, but I always felt like there was a bit of translation period from the two rides, and I would basically have to re-warm him up all over again. And then, any issue they had would translate into my ride as well, so me handling him from the start myself makes it my own ride, and it gives us a lot more confidence in the ring.”

Trunnell and Dolton, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Unknown) owned by Flintwood Farm LLC, claimed second behind Botana in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade I test Saturday, scoring a 73.571%. “It was a wonderful weekend,” Trunnell said after the Team USA win. “We really have been working on solidifying them [our tests]. It feels like they’re really coming together. I love how he just kept marching.  We’re hoping to make it to Tokyo, so that’s what we’ll be working on.”

Collier and All In One grabbed third place in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade I Competition to help earn the win for Team USA, and shared that she was impressed with her mount’s reliability in their first CPEDI competition together: “For this weekend, we wanted to come out, be consistent, and I personally wanted to work on my geometry. With him being as great of a horse as he is, I have to step up to his amount of talent! Being a visually-impaired rider, geometry can be one of the most difficult things to nail, so I’ve really been working at home on perfecting my step counts, because that’s how I do my geometry.”

Collier continued of the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin) owned by Going For Gold LLC, “Being here in the big ring with different lighting and situations, I was very impressed with how ‘Alle’ stepped up his game. He was like, I’ve got your back! Really, we had no idea what to anticipate going into our first CPEDI.”

Working towards Tokyo 2020 and hoping to be named to next year’s team, Collier emphasized that competing at TIEC has been a valuable learning experience for such a new combination. “[Going forward] I just want to work on fine-tuning the little things we’ve observed here. It’s been an amazing learning experience for us, and for only having him since mid-June, I think there is so much room to improve on so many things, which is just – I keep using the word exciting, but I don’t think it really sums up the feeling that I feel about our partnership. We connected so quickly, and I can’t wait for the future with him,” Collier concluded.

Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 presented solo once again in the CPEDI 3* Grade IV Individual competition, scoring a 73.049% and putting in what she felt were “personal bests” for her team this weekend regardless of scores: “I think this was really the best work we’ve gotten in the arena – we’ve been together for five years now, and every show has been a step in the right direction: we get it at home, then we get it in the warm-up, then we get it around the arena, and then we get it in [the arena], so I felt like we had some really amazing moments in the arena this week. So, that’s what I’m really excited about, and regardless of the scores, they were personal bests.”

“I just want to keep adding more cadence, self-carriage and balance into the work, so we can show the expressiveness that he has,” Shoemaker said of the 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Sandro hit x Dynastie x De niro). “There’s so much in there, and he’s just waiting for me to tap into it.”

The Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship will be streamed live on USEF Network throughout the weekend. Click here to watch.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Katherine Bateson and Alcazar Kick Off Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3* with a Win

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 14, 2019 – Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3*/CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan® and the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) kicked off Friday when Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) piloted Alcazar down centerline to win the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* after capturing a total score of 69.196%. Michael Pineo (USA) and his own 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Jazz x Belalussi x Samba Hit), Farrington, were awarded second place in the class with a score of 63.63%. Third-place honors were then awarded to Julio Cesar Mendoza Loor (ECU) and Aileen Daly’s Rosali, a 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Horse Romanov x Mosegardens Ratina x Ragazzo), with a score of 63.587%.

Chandler explained that she and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cantango x Polina x Ferro) owned by Jane Forbes Clark have been working together for seven and a half years now, during which they have had to face many challenges: “It’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but he’s a horse that we’ve always believed in and I’m excited for him to start to come into his own.

“We’ve just come off a European tour with a lot of atmosphere, and a lot of big shows. We were on the Aachen Nations Cup Team and he was really super there. He actually is one of those horses that the bigger the environment and the bigger the show the better he gets and sort of rises to the occasion,” Chandler continued, “I’m super happy with him [today]. He was so honest and made no mistakes — I couldn’t be happier with him!”

Chandler, who competed in the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG), but missed coming to Tryon in 2018, is aiming at Tokyo in 2020 and enjoyed a Grand Prix win on her first-ever trip to the venue, she detailed: “Our next goal is Tokyo, so that’s why we’re here. To qualify we have to do four Grands Prix, and I wanted to get one in, so I didn’t have all the pressure of getting them all during Florida, and to get one score under my belt. My goals [for this weekend] are to get in the ring and get experience, and to get my scores as high as I can before going into the Florida season. I’ve never actually been here before; I’m so impressed, and it’s a beautiful facility.” Chandler concluded, “After this show, I’ll go back to Wellington where we’re based, and then in January, the circuit starts!”

USEF Para Dressage National Championship Team Competition Sees Tight Competition between the USA and Canada

After the first half of Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship Team competition, the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team, consisting of Roxanne Trunnell, who currently leads Individual competition, Kate Shoemaker, Rebecca Hart, and Sydney Collier headed into Individual Tests on Saturday in Tryon Stadium. Team Canada, consisting of Lauren Barwick, Lee Garrod, Jody Schloss, and Winona Hartvikson, are close behind with a chance to make up the difference in day two of competition.

Rebecca Hart (USA) and El Corona Texel topped Grade III Team Test competition on a score of 71.226%, while Canada claimed second via Lauren Barwick and Engelbrecht, her own 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vivaldi x Regina x Rimini), scoring 70.098%. USA also claimed third, with Meghan Benge and Worth the Trip, the 1998 Welsh Cross gelding by Anjershaf rocky, bringing home a score of 68.137%.

“This is kind of our first technical qualifying event for Tokyo. He felt amazing today,” Hart said of the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley. “We had created a plan leading up to this event on how we wanted everything to go, and so far the plan has worked accordingly and we’ve been able to do everything that we wanted to.”

While she’s “actively campaigning for Tokyo,” Hart explained, for now the plan is to continue their progress this weekend: “I just want to continue with the progress we have made. I hope he has very confident and encouraging rides moving forward so that we can build and bring in the dynamic and expressiveness that I know we can. We’ve got two more events in January in Wellington, and then a final observation event after that.”

Hart is no stranger to the venue, as just a year ago she made history as the first U.S. Para Dressage athlete to claim a medal at WEG, later securing a second medal in the team competition. “I love showing at Tryon,” Hart emphasized. “The arena we are competing in this weekend has special memories for me, as it’s where we received our medals from the Tryon 2018 World Equestrian Games last year, so it’s always nice to come here. It’s a great feeling and it has a nice vibe to it.”

CPEDI 3* Grade I Team competition saw the day’s high score as Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and Dolton, received a 74.881% to dominate the field. David Botana (USA) and Lord Locksley, the 2001 Trakehner stallion (Unkenruf x Lida x Enrico Caruso) owned by Margaret Stevens, scored a 73.274% to claim second, while Sydney Collier (USA) and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin) owned by Going For Gold LLC, scored an even 71.000% to achieve third.

“Dolton is a seven-year-old; he’s just a little baby,” said Trunnell. “He felt really good today! I love showing here at Tryon! It is so pretty and I love the mountains. We hope to continue to have great rides and help build his confidence even more this weekend. We’re hoping to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade V results saw Canada top the podium, with Lee Garrod (CAN) taking top honors on a score of 69.225% with Question, the 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Quaterback x Evita) owned by Lee Garrod. Cayla van der Walt (RSA) and Daturo II, her own 2006 Andalusian gelding (Merlito XI x Daturna x Pestillo), scored a 68.217% for second, while Cynthia Screnci (USA) and her own Eragon VF, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Don romantic x Ujinja), landed in third with a 63.101% score.

In CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade II competition, Beatrice De Lavalette (USA) claimed first on a score of 69.495% with Duna, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Nicola x Amethist) owned by Nicolas De Lavalette, while Jason Surnoski (CAN) rode Phoenix, a 1999 Westphalian gelding owned by Cynthia Nugent, to a score of 69.192% and second place. Alanna Flax-Clark (USA) and El Paso, her own 2004 Dutch Riding Pony gelding (Elegant x Karin x Carl), earned third with a total score of 67.778%.

CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade IV competition saw Kate Shoemaker (USA) present solo for a score of 73.083%, riding her own Solitaer 40, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro hit x Dynastie x De niro).

CPEDI 1* Para Novice Test A Grade IV saw Emma Jameson (USA) make her FEI debut aboard Cortesana La, a 2007 PRE mare owned by Misha Marshall, to score a 50.052%.

The Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship will be streamed live on USEF Network throughout the weekend. Click here to watch.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Callan Solem Continues Streak to Win $5,000 Speed Stake with VDL Wizard

Callan Solem and VDL Wizard.

Devon, Pa. – Sept. 13, 2019 – Highlighting the day at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic was the $5,000 Speed Stake, with 27 competitors vying for the lion’s share of prize money. Hosted at the iconic Dixon Oval, horse-and-rider combinations were pressured to produce a clear round with the fastest time. Ultimately, Callan Solem and VDL Wizard emerged victorious to take home the coveted Devon Blue at the end of the competitive speed class.

Amanda Dobbs and MJ Claim Championship Title in Thoroughbred Jumper Division

A fall feel in the air, cool temperatures, and a light breeze set the stage for jumper competition Friday morning at the Devon Fall Classic. Midway through the day, Thoroughbred Jumpers took to the Dixon Oval, which was lined with festive pumpkins and cornstalks. Several entries made an appearance over the two days of Thoroughbred competition but ultimately, it was Amanda Dobbs and MJ who took the overall championship title.

For more information, visit www.devonhorseshow.net/fall-classic/.

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Ingrid Klimke and Hale Bob Do the European Double in Luhmühlen Medal Battle

Ingrid Klimke (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

The popular and ever-gracious Ingrid Klimke (GER) thrilled her mass of cheering, flag-waving supporters by conjuring a faultless Jumping round from her wonderful horse SAP Hale Bob OLD to clinch both the team title for Germany as well as her second successive individual gold medal at the Longines FEI European Championships, held in her home country at Luhmühlen.

Klimke, who lost her grip on the world title last year when hitting the very last fence at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA), never looked like making a mistake on the spring-heeled Bobby, and she left her team mate Michael Jung, who was bidding for a record fourth European title, no margin for error.

When Jung’s fischerChipmunk FST, a horse that is surely a thrilling prospect for Tokyo, hit the second part of the double at 10b, Klimke smiled in rueful sympathy before dancing a jig of excitement.

She is the fifth rider in the 66-year history of the Europeans to win back-to-back titles, following Britain’s Lucinda Green (1975, 1977), Ginny Eliot (1985, 1987, 1989), Pippa Funnell (1999, 2001), and Michael Jung (2011, 2013, 2015), and the second to do it on the same horse, following Funnell’s triumphs on Supreme Rock.

“I definitely came here to win for sure. It was so close, but this year the luck was with me,” said Klimke. “It’s really special knowing that there are so many very quality riders and horses.”

Klimke paid tribute to her long-time Jumping trainer Kurt Gravemeier, who came to walk the course with her, and said that this victory for Germany would be “a positive wind” for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

Jung was sportsmanlike in defeat, describing the weekend as “super sport.” He explained: “I was a little bit too fast in the last combination, but this little mistake has not made the whole week bad, so I am very happy. We are a great team and we still have one more year to work on little details and I think we are well prepared for next season.”

Germany’s team gold, their fourth European title since the country’s dazzling run of success began at Luhmühlen in 2011, was never really in doubt with their comfortable three-fence margin after Cross Country, but the fight for silver and bronze medals became an intriguing game of snakes and ladders as team fortunes ebbed and flowed over what was a relatively straightforward Jumping track.

Great Britain just managed to hold onto team silver – by 0.3 of a penalty – as Oliver Townend (Cooley Master Class SRS, ninth), Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo, 15th), and Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, 22nd) each clocked up four faults. Townend, for whom it was a personal best team performance, did well to recover his composure after Cooley Master Class got too close to the planks at eight and crashed through the fence.

Sweden, silver medallists in 2017, were the beneficiaries of a titanic struggle for the team bronze medal, securing qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year in the best possible style with superb clear rounds from Ludwig Svennerstal (El Kazir SP, eighth), Louise Romeike (Wakiki 207, 12th), and Ebba Adnervik (Chippieh, 23rd).

Svennerstal said: “The Olympics is really the highlight for us. It’s very important for our federation and for ourselves. The team has worked really hard to achieve this and we’re extremely happy. I think we had a slightly disappointing start to the week and then we regrouped and everyone in the whole team, including behind the scenes, has been working very hard and we’re very happy with the outcome.”

France’s grasp on the bronze medal was already precarious when Alexis Goury withdrew Trompe l’Oeul d’Emery at this morning’s horse inspection. The 2003 and 2007 European champion Nicolas Touzaint put France back in the hunt with a magnificent clear round on Absolut Gold HCD, but medal success hinged on Lt Col Thibaut Vallette delivering a clear round. Unfortunately, Qing de Briot hit the fifth fence, putting paid to both France’s team and his own individual medal chances by frustratingly small margins.

Italy, with a clear round from Arianna Schivo (Quefira de l’Ormeau, 17th), looked threatening until Pietro Roman (Baraduff) incurred eight faults and Giovanni Ugulotti suffered a nightmare 22.4-penalty round on Note Worthy. This relegated Italy to fifth, but at least with the compensation of the second available Olympic qualifying slot.

Ireland finished sixth, a weekend of mixed fortunes being compounded with the overnight withdrawal of Ciaran Glynn’s November Night. However, there was a clutch of clear rounds from riders in the top 10 and the supremely talented Cathal Daniels (IRL), riding the diminutive mare Rioghan Rua, was the one left at the head of the queue for the individual bronze medal. The 22-year-old from Co Galway is Ireland’s first European individual medallist since Lucy Thompson in 1995.

“It’s an amazing feeling!” he said. “I’ve gone through Juniors, Young Riders, and now seniors with this mare. Unfortunately, the team didn’t get as strong a result as they wanted, but I was glad I was able to get a medal and keep spirits high and build again for next year on the road to Tokyo.”

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German Legend Jung Sets Up Germany to Go for Gold Again

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FST (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty Images)

The German team is on course for another rich medal haul on home turf at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Luhmühlen (GER).

Brilliant Cross Country performances by Michael Jung (GER) on new ride fischerChipmunk FST and defending champion Ingrid Klimke (GER) with the evergreen SAP Hale Bob OLD, who are in individual gold and silver medal positions, ensured the hosts retained their lead over defending champions Great Britain. They now have a three-rail advantage over their rivals going into the final Jumping phase.

“fischerChipmunk is a fantastic horse,” said Jung (37), who was visibly thrilled, but refusing to get ahead of himself by envisaging a record fourth individual European title. “Today was a great feeling. We went a bit fast at the beginning so I slowed down but he was always ahead of the time.

“It was a great feeling around the course everywhere. It was so nice to see so many people here supporting our sport.”

Klimke, 51, described her round as “pure fun – I felt like a passenger.” She commented: “For sure there was pressure. Hans Melzer [team manager] said to me, ‘Don’t pat your horse until you get to the finish line,’ because sometimes when I am so thrilled I pat him all the time. I say, ‘Bobby you are my hero’, so I wanted to really focus. He really loves cross country. It’s his job and he loves it.”

A cluster of early riders, notably British and Irish pathfinders Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, 21st) and Ciaran Glynn (November Night, 23rd), made Mike Etherington-Smith’s beautifully presented, flowing course look easy, but there was plenty of drama. There were 44 clear rounds, 22 horses came home inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 10 seconds, and a total of 20 of the 71 Cross Country starters remain on their Dressage score – but all nations had their difficult moments and this made for a thrilling day’s sport.

Kai Ruder, second out for Germany, stayed admirably calm when Colani Sunrise inexplicably refused to go into the start box, which cost the pair 16 time penalties, and Britain’s third starter, Kristina Cook, had an expensive run-out with Billy The Red at the skinny brush fence exiting the second water (12c).

“I was having a super ride,” said Cook sadly, “but he’s an experienced horse and I can’t make excuses. At the moment I am just very disappointed, for me and for the whole team.”

Ireland’s Sam Watson will also be kicking himself after crossing his tracks at the bird fence in the final water (20b) with Tullaberg Flamenco. Italy’s anchorwoman Vittoria Panizzon (Super Cilious) incurred 11 penalties for hitting the frangible gate at 10a and Belgian pathfinder Laura Loge on Absolut Allegro fell at the Rathaus fence (17) in the main arena.

Laura Collett (GBR), third after Dressage, was “gutted” to part company with London 52 after a mis-stride before the influential carved bird at the final water. Four others fell here and Dutch pathfinder Merel Bloom (Chiccolino) retired.

Jung, who has never been out of the individual medals in five European Championships, does not have a fence in hand over his compatriot Klimke. In turn, she has no margin for error over Luhmühlen first-timer Lt Col Thibaut Vallette (FRA), who rode superbly on the 15-year-old Qing de Briot – coincidentally this is the same final rider line-up as at Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015.

The cost of one Jumping rail covers the next seven: Tim Lips (NED), currently fourth on Bayro, Oliver Townend, who restored Britain’s fortunes with a perfectly judged round on Cooley Masterclass SRS, in fifth, Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, sixth on his super mare Rioghan Rua, French individual Christopher Six (Totem de Brecy, seventh), Italian team member Pietro Roman (Barraduff, eighth), British team member Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo, ninth), and British individual Kitty King, 10th on Vendredi Biats.

The team medals are equally close: Britain has nothing in hand over the French team, which only has a one-fence advantage over Italy. The Italians, currently in bronze medal position, have no margin over Sweden – both nations are seeking Olympic qualification – and Ireland is a mere 2.2 penalties behind the Swedes in sixth place.

“I think it was a really great day for the sport and for us in Luhmühlen,” said Event Director Julia Otto. “I would like to thank my whole team – they are just amazing the way they work.”

“We have seen some spectacular riding and some great decisions by people who may be riding at this level for the first time today,” Course Designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) commented.

“I didn’t expect quite so many to get the time, but when you have great weather like this with excellent footing, it happens, but it could have been pouring with rain and, in my view, you have to prepare a course for all weather. It’s all about achieving a standard, so full marks to everyone. For me, it’s been a fascinating day. There’s always something new to learn, and if you think you know it all you might as well give up.”

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Jung and Klimke Put Team Germany Out in Front at Luhmühlen

Michael Jung (GER) with fischerChipmunk FST. (FEI/ /Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

Michael Jung (GER), who has smashed pretty much every record in the sport, has just put himself in line for another – a fourth European title on a fourth horse – having taken the lead at the end of the Dressage phase at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship in Luhmühlen (GER).

The double Olympic champion, who never gives away a mark if he can help it, has a great reputation for getting the best out of all sorts of horses. With his Luhmühlen ride fischerChipmunk FST, he has the added benefit of the 11-year-old by Contendro having been well established at top level by his former rider, Julia Krajewski (GER).

Jung’s outstanding score of 20.9 – despite a break of pace in the free walk – could not be bettered, even by defending champion Ingrid Klimke (GER), and the German team is now 16.8 penalties ahead of the 2017 winners, Great Britain, with a mere 68.9 penalties on the scoreboard.

“Chipmunk is a fantastic horse. He’s so intelligent and extremely well trained,” said Jung, who blamed himself for the mistake. “He has a lot of power and sometimes there’s a difficult balance between that and keeping him relaxed. Maybe I risked a little bit too much in the walk so he accidentally broke into trot.

“I nearly liked everything in the test today, just not really the walk – the extended walk especially!”

Klimke produced a reliably stellar performance on her regular team partner SAP Hale Bob OLD to score 22.2. Their test reflected a beautifully trained horse and a happy partnership, and Klimke even had time to pat her 15-year-old bay gelding in reward for a smooth flying change.

British individual Laura Collett and London 52, the first-day leaders, are now third, ahead of German team member Kai Ruder (Colani Sunrise) and France’s Lt Col Thibaut Vallette (Qing de Briot).

Regular Dutch team rider Tim Lips has slotted into sixth place on Bayro on a score of 26.0 and three British riders occupy the next three places.

They are headed by team anchorman Oliver Townend, who has been grounded for some weeks after a fall. He put in a solid performance, bar a slight stumble in trot, and is in seventh place on his dual Kentucky winner Cooley Master Class (27.6). Individual runner Kitty King (Vendredi Biats) is eighth on 27.9.

The 2009 champion Kristina Cook, currently ninth on 28.3, is back on the team with a well-behaved Billy the Red. They were dropped from the team last year due to the Balou de Rouet gelding putting in some occasionally explosive Dressage performances.

The Belgian team, which is seeking one of the two precious Olympic qualification slots for Tokyo 2020, is in third place with a team total of 90.9; France, Ireland, and Italy follow, with just 3.4 penalties covering the four nations.

Attention is now focused on the Cross Country test designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, who has re-routed the track, allowing plenty of alternative routes while warning that they will cost in time penalties. “It’s beautifully designed and built,” commented Townend.

“I’m a fan of Mike Etherington Smith’s courses. There are no blind questions. If you’re on your line and you and your horse are focused on the job, it should ride well.”

“The way the fences are situated, it’s very easy to make a mistake,” added Townend’s teammate, Kristina Cook, a veteran of nine Europeans and, with pathfinder Pippa Funnell, a member of the winning British quartet 20 years ago here in Luhmühlen.

The overnight leader Michael Jung is also appreciative of the 26-fence track: “It’s a very fair course; to be in the time you have to be fast, you have to take a little bit of a risk, and as faster as you go, as easier you can have somewhere a little mistake.”

Follow the action on FEI TV and click here for full results and start times.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

London Calls for Laura Collett

Laura Collett riding London 52. (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

Belgium leads the team standings at this early stage, with Britain’s Laura Collett holding the individual top spot after the first day of Dressage at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships Luhmühlen 2019.

Laura Collett (30) competing as an individual for Great Britain, produced some stunning work to take the lead at the end of the first day of Dressage, but it looks as though the door has been left open for a potential new order.

The graceful Collett, a neat rider known for her prowess in this phase, scored 25.5 on the German-bred 10-year-old London 52, a runner-up at Boekelo CCI4*-L last year and winner of the Chatsworth CCI4*-S this year, but only one of the three judges placed her first.

“He’s still a bit green and shy,” explained a delighted Collett of London 52, who made only small errors in the second flying-change and with a misstep in the canter work. “He saw the grandstand and was a little overwhelmed. He’s never been in a situation like this before, but he listened to me and kept his head.

“He knows all the moves and trusts me so much. If I keep riding and hold his hand, he’s all right. I’m obviously delighted with his score and it’s exciting for the future.”

The former Junior and Young Rider European Champion is a mere 0.3 ahead of Germany’s second team rider Kai Rüder on Colani Sunrise and France’s 2015 European team and individual bronze medallists Lt Col Thibaut Vallette on the elastic moving Qing de Briot ENE HN.

Both the French army rider, a member of the 2016 Olympic gold medal team, and Rüder are reliably elegant in the Dressage arena and the pair is in joint second place on 25.8 penalties.

“It was a super dressage test with lots of highlights,” commented Rüder. “Colani was very relaxed, with good half-passes and the extended canter was just brilliant. It’s wonderful to see how much he improves from test to test. He’s a very strong character and you have to respect him – then he’ll do anything to please.”

The Ground Jury – Martin Plewa (GER, President), Anne-Mette Binder (DEN), and Peter Andrew Shaw (AUS) – awarded sub 30 marks to seven of 35 riders, including the first two for the Belgian team, Laura Loge (Absolut Allegro) and the hugely experienced Karin Donckers (Fletcha van’t Verahof).

The Belgian pair is in equal fourth place on 28.8 penalties which gives the nation, in search of qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, a boost in first place in the team competition at this stage.

Germany, the host nation, is second – their pathfinder, Andreas Dibowski (FRH Corrida), scored 34.6 – and France is third. Defending champions Great Britain are fifth.

Pippa Funnell (GBR), who won the European title at Luhmühlen 20 years ago, was a late call up to the team on Monday and is taking the pathfinder role on Majas Hope, currently 17th individually on 35.4. Second to go, Piggy French (GBR) and Quarrycrest Echo, members of the winning team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (USA) last year, are in seventh place on 29.8.

“This is no dressage competition,” pointed out French. “I’ve walked the cross-country course once and my first impression is that it’s a proper championship course. You have to think really hard about which lines you choose. It’s a quick track with decent waters.”

Follow the action on FEI TV and with live results on www.rechenstelle.de.

Click here for the full results.

Watch highlights here.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

USEA Foundation Supports Eventers on Their Way to USEA American Eventing Championships

Frankie Thieriot Stutes, recipient of a $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant last year, and Chatwin at The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2018. Photo: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

The impact of the USEA Foundation can be felt throughout the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) taking place this week at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. From educational seminars available to all attendees to the very horses and riders themselves, the USEA Foundation plays an important role at the USEA AEC.

The USEA Foundation, formerly the USEA Endowment Trust, is an independent 501 (c)(3) established in 1991 to benefit the USEA and its members. The fundamental mission of the USEA Foundation is to protect and preserve the sport of eventing for future generations and to provide support for the core educational, safety, and equine welfare programs of the USEA.

Originally established to raise funds to build the USCTA (now USEA) headquarters in Leesburg, Va., the Trust evolved into an organization focused on building long-term reserves for the security of the USEA, providing support for the USEA’s educational programs, developing and administrating a number of different grants, and funding safety and equine medical studies and other strategic initiatives essential to the future of the sport. This evolution resulted in the transition from the USEA Endowment Trust to the USEA Foundation.

The Foundation now serves three primary roles for the USEA: it provides short-term assistance to the USEA in meeting financial obligations, provides a long-term financial safety net, and provides protection and growth for the USEA’s monetary assets. In addition to the roles the Foundation serves for the USEA, it also manages several fundsincluding the frangible technology research fund, the equine health research fund, and the Roger Haller educational fundand provides USEA members with a number of different grants that benefit riders of all ages competing at all levels.

“The USEA Foundation is perfectly positioned in a number of ways to secure the future of eventing in this country,” stated USEA CEO Rob Burk. “Initially, we have been trying to spread the word about the existence of the Foundation and differentiate it from the USEA and from other charitable entities. As recognition and support for the Foundation have grown, we have been excitedly watching the successes of the Foundation-supported riders, horses, and projects as they come to fruition. One of the key attributes of the USEA Foundation is that it has been very nimble. Should new research be needed to tackle an issue of concern, the USEA Foundation can quickly establish charitable campaigns to address it.”

One of the many educational seminars taking place during the AEC is a frangible device clinic held by the 2019 USEA AEC course-builder Mick Costello. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions relating to frangible technology, from proper installation to the function served by different types of frangible devices. The depth and breadth of knowledge surrounding frangible devices is due in part to the work of the frangible technology research fund, which is invested in and protected by the USEA Foundation.

Several of the riders competing this year at the 2019 USEA AEC have been supported on their journey by USEA Foundation grants. Frankie Thieriot Stutes received the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant in 2018. This spring, she traveled to compete in the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L in Germany with her partner, Chatwin, where, in their first attempt at the level, they finished in fourth place as the highest-placed American pair.

“I was able to use the bulk of my funds to go to Luhmühlen, and the remainder of my Broussard grant money will make it possible for Chatwin and me to get to Kentucky to compete at the AEC, which is an amazing building-block in our partnership,” explained Thieriot Stutes, who lives in California. “It’s giving us an opportunity, where we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to make the trip to Kentucky to compete at such a world-class venue on Derek di Grazia’s courses.”

In addition, Thieriot Stutes will be using a Tex Sutton flight she purchased through the USEA Foundation silent auction at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in 2018. “It’s neat, because I was really excited to buy the flight to support the USEA Foundation, not knowing what I would use it for,” she said. “It’s come full circle, and I’m excited to be able to support the Foundation and have the opportunity to fly Chatwin on Tex Sutton to compete at the AEC.”

Madison Temkin, who is competing with Dr. Hart in the Intermediate Championship division and with MVP Madbum in the Preliminary Horse Championship division, received the $5,000 Amy Tryon Young Rider Grant in 2016 and the $6,000 Wilton Fair Young Rider Grant in 2018. She was named to the USEF Eventing 18 training list for five consecutive years since the program’s inception in 2014 and then to the USEF Eventing 25 list in 2019.

“The USEA Foundation grant has given me the opportunity to travel to the East Coast and not only compete at my first AEC, but also to continue east and base myself in Ocala, Fla., with High Performance coach Leslie Law,” said Temkin. “I am so grateful to have been a recipient of this grant, and I cannot wait for the next couple of months. The knowledge and experience I am going to gain is crucial to my career in this sport, and it will be a trip of a lifetime. Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in me and made this possible. I hope to make everyone proud.”

International five-star event rider Caroline Martin has a whopping eight rides at the AEC this year, including two in the Intermediate Championship: Danger Mouse and Cristano Z. In 2017, Martin was awarded the $10,000 Essex Grant, which is available to riders under the age of 25 competing at the CCI4*/CCI5* levels. Martin and her mount, Islandwood Captain Jack, were named to the USEF Development Pre-Elite Training List and represented the U.S. in the CCIO4*-S at Aachen.

In the winter of 2018, Martin used the grant money she received to travel south to train with Olympic dressage rider Bent Jensen. “I was with Bent for over a month, and I also got to ride some of his Grand Prix horses, which was really interesting,” Martin said. “This winter I got to go down for 10 days and work with Anne Kursinski in show jumping. I got to go do my first 1.55-meter Grand Prix with Cristano Z.

“Both experiences were really great for me. It was great for me to go and train with Bent and actually learn pure dressage and ride the pure dressage horses – it helped me with my tempi changes and my pirouettes. I got to live there and completely immerse myself. It was also great to go train with Anne, because I’ve never jumped that big, and it gave me a lot of self-confidence, especially when I went to Aachen this year and jumped in an arena that big. It really helped me take my show jumping to the next level.”

In addition to the training that Martin was able to undertake as a result of the grant, she’s also had the chance to transition her business from pure riding to encompass sales as well. Three of Martin’s AEC mountsRedfield Bajall, Redfield Cheranimo, and Redfield Idealare sales horses owned by her business partners. “Since I got that grant, my business has changed,” she said. “I went from being just a professional rider to now being a salesperson and rider.”

Support of the USEA and USEA Foundation through donations and memberships helps ensure the long-term future of the USEA and the sport of eventing. To learn more about the USEA Foundation and the different grants and programs it supports, visit www.useafoundation.org.

by Jessica Duffy, United States Eventing Association

Ots and Lucky Strike Win US National Intermediaire Championship at US Festival of Champions

Endel Ots on Lucky Strike. (Susan J. Stickle photo credit)

Wayne, IL (August 26, 2019) – Endel Ots’ summer roller coaster ride with his horse Lucky Strike ended in glory this past weekend with the pair taking a well-deserved victory lap in the blue cooler that signified that they had indeed won the US National Intermediaire Championship title.  This is the pair’s third and most prestigious victory lap at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions which was again was hosted at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois.

Ots and Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie-Heidi X His Highness), the 9 year old Hanoverian gelding owned by Endel Ots and his father, Max Ots, were at the top of the rankings in the division this year, but in July they were selected for the US Dressage Team headed to represent the country at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru so they did not expect to compete in this year’s Festival of Champions, but fate had other plans.

While en route to the Miami airport with the other US Dressage Team horses, a malfunction in Lucky’s stall on the shipper’s van caused him to scramble and fall.  Lucky sustained cuts in several places that would make it impossible for him to travel to Lima. Instead of focusing on a dream lost, Ots swung into action. “It was hard realizing I wasn’t going to compete in Peru, but in that same week I was overcome with gratitude when I learned that Lucky was going to be 100% okay. I decided to focus on the Festival of Champions,” said Ots. A decision that proved to be a good one, as the pair was undefeated throughout the competition and rode away as the US National Intermediaire Champions.

Ots purchased Lucky Strike as a three year old and Lucky hit his stride on the world stage in 2015 when they represented the U.S. at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo in The Netherlands and also competed in the World Breeding Championships in 2015. Lucky Strike is one out of the rare handful of U.S. horses to have ever qualified to compete at the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for two consecutive years.  In 2016, Ots and Lucky Strike won the Markel/USEF Six Year Old Dressage National Championship. Last year, the pair won the 2018 US Developing Horse Prix St. George US National Championship.   So with this year’s Championship, their US National Championship trophy room is nicely crowded.

This year’s Championship win was filled with special moments for Ots for a number of reasons. Ots was determined to overcome the disappointment of not being able to join the US Team in Peru for the Pan Am Games, but he hadn’t counted on the support from his Pan Am Game teammates at Lamplight.  Jennifer Baumert and Nora Batchelder were cheering Ots on from the side lines, while Sarah Lockman communicated encouragement from her from a hospital bed in California (where she was being treated for non-horse-related condition). “To be supported by my teammates here at the Festival brought me immense joy.  I am so grateful to each of them for their support; it made the competition even more meaningful to me. Thank you, Jenn, Nora, and Sarah,” said Ots with sincere gratitude.  In addition, Charlotte Bredahl, the U.S. Dressage Development Coach who has been helping Ots prepare for months, was on hand with last minute encouragement. “Having Charlotte at the Championships was such a bonus.  She’s amazing and I knew she would give me constructive feedback.  I am so lucky to have her help and support,” said Ots.

The support of his coach and teammates was accentuated by having his father Max Ots being on hand again this year for competition. Max joined Endel in the awards presentation helping to keep the enthusiastic gelding on the ground as he waited for his victory lap. “My Dad has always taught me to just keep moving forward when bad things happen. After the disappointment of the Pan Ams, he told me how proud he was of me for my hard work and my ability to rally for this Championship,” said Ots with emotion. “His support of me on this journey is one of the memories I will cherish for a lifetime.”

Ots and Lucky won all three classes in the small tour, starting with a 74.5% winning score in the Prix St. George, followed a 73.853% in the Intermediaire I and a 74.5% for their crowd-pleasing freestyle featuring music from the TV show ‘Mad Men’ as well as Frank Sinatra classics. Ots is a big fan of the Mad Men TV series and Lucky Strike was named after the show’s main character Don Draper’s ad account, Lucky Strike. “Having the Mad Man music in Lucky’s freestyle really reminds me to have a little fun in the freestyle,” explains Ots with quirky smile.

Originally from De Pere, Wisconsin, Ots now calls Wellington, Florida home. To learn more about Endel Ots and the 2019 Festival of Champions journey, follow him on Face Book or visit www.EndelOtsDressage.com.