Category Archives: Championships

Two California Para-Drivers Earn Their East Coast Debuts at the Southern Pines CDE

Ginny Leal, Groom Howard Leal, Navigator Leslie Berndl, Photo: Pics Of You.

Southern Pines, NC – July 1, 2018 – Para-Equestrian drivers Ginny Leal (Grass Valley, CA) and Stefanie Putnam (now based in Louisville, KY) recently participated in the Southern Pines CDE in North Carolina.  Leal had the opportunity to drive the advanced level pony “Zoobie” owned by Teressa Kandianis in the April 12-15, 2018 event in one of the first Para-Driving Intermediate classes held in the United States modeled after the FEI Para-Driving World Championship.  A previous para-driving event was held in California at Sargent’s CDE in May to prepare para-equestrian drivers for the “World’s” to be held at Kronenberg, The Netherlands, August 28 – September 2, 2018.  Team USA finalists will be announced in the near future.

Stefanie Putnam drove her own “Shadow” at the event taking the Preliminary Single Horse Championship.  Putnam has moved to Louisville, Kentucky permanently where she is working with the Frazier Institute and Research Center as the eleventh human, the first woman, in the ground-breaking Spinal Cord Injury “Victory over Paralysis” epidural stimulation implant research study. Putnam will not be applying to be considered for Team USA in 2018. Putnam explained, “My part in the Frazier study is funded for another year, and they have invested enormous time, energy, and resources in me.  We are beginning to make history that will benefit not only the Spinal Cord Injury community, but also other disabling conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, cardio vascular issues, and more. Where there was no hope, there now is hope. To be a part of such a gift to humanity is more than I could possibly ask for.”

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

IHSA Members to Compete for 2018 NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship at NRHA Derby

Danielle Paulson and Juice owned by Andrew Wolf. Photo by alcookphoto.com.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – June 26, 2018 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is an annual one-week event held in Oklahoma City, June 23 – July 1. The competition showcases the world’s best reining horses and riders and attracts thousands of spectators each year. One of the highlights of the Derby is the Collegiate Reining Championship scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, June 29, at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, featuring the top college riders from North America.

This year, four standout Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) riders are slated to compete in the Collegiate Reining Championship. The riders include Morgan Knerr, Danielle Paulson, Kendall Woellmer and Travis Fortune. The draw takes place Thursday at 1 p.m. The warm-up starts Friday at 1 p.m. with the class kicking off at 1:30 p.m.

Morgan Knerr is the IHSA 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining champion and is a freshman at the University of Findlay studying pharmacy. From Plain City, Ohio, her parents are actively involved in reining and she has grown up in the sport. Before joining the University of Findlay, Knerr rode at Autumn Rose with Ollie and Debbie Griffiths. She has held multiple positions as an NRHyA officer, including president in 2017, vice president in 2016 and secretary in 2015.

“Showing in the Collegiate catch ride is a great opportunity,” Knerr said. “I’m really excited because it will be a completely different experience. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Danielle Paulson is from Rochester, Minnesota and is a junior at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She qualified for IHSA Nationals for the first time this year and earned the 2018 IHSA Nationals AQHA Team Reining Open Reining championship and was third in 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining. Paulson has shown American Quarter Horses for 10 years, this is her first year competing in reining. She credits her coach, Janie Huot, for giving her a leg up in the sport.

“I am so excited; it’s such a blessing to compete at this huge event,” Paulson said. “(Competing in) IHSA is the only time I’ve reined in my life. I hope to ride my best on some amazing horses that they’re providing for us.”

Travis Fortune is from Booneville, Indiana and studies at Murray State University. Fortune finished second in the NRHA Open Reining at Western Semi-Finals and fourth the 2018 IHSA Nationals.

“I am really excited about competing at the Derby,” said Fortune. “For me, it’s the fact that I made it there. The first horse show that I reined at was in October for IHSA. To go to Nationals and be fourth and qualify for the Derby for the Collegiate Championship is just really awesome.”

Kendall Woellmer is a sophomore from Sedona, Arizona and attends West Texas A&M University where she is majoring in agriculture communications and minoring in English. The talented rider competes in both Western and hunter seat. Woellmer earned the 2018 IHSA Sportsmanship Award and the 2018 IHSA Versatility Rider Award at the IHSA Nationals. Along with top placings in the hunter seat divisions, Woellmer finished third in the AQHA High Point Western Rider fifth in NRHA Individual Open Reining.

“I am very honored to compete against some of the best collegiate riders in the nation,” Woellmer said.

For more information on this year’s Derby, visit www.nrhaderby.com.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Equestrian Driving Boosted with Allocation of Five Major Events

Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart.

Equestrian Driving, the sport that combines athletic horses, daredevil drivers and state-of-the-art carriages, has been given a valuable boost today with the allocation of five major events over the next three years.

The showdown for the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2019, the culmination of tough global qualifiers broadcast on more than 40 television channels in 19 countries, will take place in the elegant French city of Bordeaux following allocation by the FEI Bureau.

“Driving is an exciting, high-octane sport and the crowds just love it,” FEI Driving Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said. “Driving requires spectacular skills, the horses are clever and fast – the ultimate horsepower. This is all about precision at speed; it’s adrenaline-fueled and unbelievably electrifying.”

The FEI Bureau, the body responsible for the general direction of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), also allocated four Driving Championships at World and European level in 2020 and 2021 to venues in the French Pyrenees and the Loire Valley, Mezőhegyes – home to Hungary’s state stud farm – and to Kronenberg in The Netherlands.

Close to nature

Nine other events were allocated by the FEI Bureau, including the FEI European Endurance Championship 2019, which will take place at Great Britain’s 200-acre Euston Park venue, set in Thetford Forest – the UK’s largest lowland pine area.

2019

  • FEI Driving World Cup™ Final – Bordeaux (FRA), 7-10 February
  • FEI European Endurance Championship – Euston Park (GBR), 15-18 August
  • FEI European Championships for Ponies (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) – Strzegom (POL), 15-18 August

2020

  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children – Vilamoura (POR), 21-26 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Veterans – Fontainebleau (FRA), 24-27 September
  • FEI Dressage European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Singles – Pau (FRA), 21-26 October
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezöhegyes (HUN), 10-13 September
  • FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Madrid (ESP), 21-24 May or 4-7 June
  • FEI Endurance European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Vic (ESP), 25-27 September
  • FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors – Flyinge (SWE), 28 July – 2 August

2021

  • FEI Driving World Championship for Ponies – Kronenberg (NED), end August – mid September

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Parra Again Qualifies String of Rising Superstars for USEF Developing & Young Horse Championships

Cesar Parra and Don Cesar, his Developing Prix St Georges contender. (Photo courtesy of digishots.nl)

Whitehouse Station, NJ (June 11, 2018) – Consistency is everything in dressage and since 2012, internationally celebrated rider and trainer Dr. Cesar Parra has been qualifying some of the brightest rising stars in the sport for the USEF Developing and Young Horse National Championships. This season will be no exception.

Dr. Parra and his team are in the process of qualifying five exceptional horses to represent Piaffe Performance and GK Elite Sport in the national championships this August 21-26 during the US Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. “They’re quality horses. I’m in love with all of them,” he says, referring to the extraordinary depth and breadth of talent each horse represents: Throughout the 2018 show year, all five horses – Fashion Designer OLD, GK Don Cesar, GK Sir Beckmann, Supremont, and Furstin P — have ranked nationally at or near the top of their division.

Defending their 2017 title will be Parra and Fashion Designer OLD, currently third on the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix rankings on a 70.032% average. “He won last year and is destined to be an amazing Grand Prix horse,” he says. “I love bringing young horses like him through the stages and giving them the best chance to bring the best out of them. He’s really a character. In his stall he’s a puppy dog but under saddle, his strength and dominance show through.”

Coming into the USEF Developing Horse Prix St Georges National Championship with a 70.993% are Parra and GK Don Cesar, whom he describes as a “nice, happy horse, who is always willing to please.” Parra has shaped that same willing attitude into the current leader (8.20) on the USEF Young Horse Dressage Six-Year-Old Division leaderboard, GK Sir Beckmann: “Like all the horses qualified this year, he came to us as a three-year-old and is such an effortless performer, with an undeniable talent.”

As confident as her trainer in her own caliber is Parra’s one mare among the qualifiers, Fürstin P, who is in the top three with a 8.140 in the USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-year-old division, ridden by Roberto Brasil and owned by Dr. Heather Hornor. He adds with a laugh, “She’s a prima donna. She knows she’s good and that she’s pretty, and she’s right!” But she’s also not alone. Parra has a second rising star joining her in that division, Supremont, ridden by Merita Hagren and owned in partnership with Dr. Heather Hornor, coming in with a 7.530.

“I’m very proud of all the horses, and excited and grateful to everyone who has been so supportive and nice to us throughout the season. We have consistently qualified to go to the national championships for several years now,” says the Parra, estimating that over the last decade he has trained and ridden more than a dozen horses down USEF National Championship center lines.

Referring to his own deep well of experience competing internationally that he will bring to Lamplight Equestrian Center, the Olympian, Pan American Games Team Gold medalist, Nations Cup Silver medalist, and two-time FEI World Equestrian Games™ and FEI World Cup™ Finals veteran says, “As a rider, the more experience you have of course gives you greater possibilities. Going to the US Nationals with European experience helps (Dr. Parra and GK Don Cesar were the only horse-and-rider pair to represent the United States in the 2017 Longines FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses last summer), as there will be a lot of great riders and horses at our National Championships, so you can’t take anything for granted.

“It would be very rewarding to do well at the national championships and go on to represent the United States in Europe with these horses in the future.”

Consistency, in both Dr. Parra and in the horses he trains, suggests he’ll be keeping his passport handy.

Follow Dr. Parra and all the rising dressage stars he has in training and learn more about his lessons and services at www.piaffe-performance.com and on Facebook @PiaffePerformance.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
GK Elite Sport
(410) 977-8352
www.gk-horses.com

Andrew Kocher and Mattias Tromp Share Open Jumper Championship Honors at Devon

Mattias Tromp (left) and Andrew Kocher (right). Photo: The Book LLC.

Devon, Pa. – June 2, 2018 – Since Tuesday, international horses and athletes have been competing for valuable points towards the week’s coveted Open Jumper championship. Following their top performances throughout the 2018 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Top Line Sport Horse International, LLC’s Kahlua, ridden by USA’s Andrew Kocher, and Beyaert Farm Inc.’s Eyecatcher, ridden by USA’s Mattias Tromp, were crowned the 2018 Open Jumper champions and winners of the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy. Both horses tied with 16 points at the conclusion of Saturday’s $70,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*, sponsored by Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar – Radnor, which was won by Kocher and Kahlua.

Lisa Arena Davis and Balou Fulfill Devon Dream with Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Championship

The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions crowned their respective champions on Saturday at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, where Lisa Arena Davis returned to Devon after six years to earn the Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter championship title aboard Balou.

Miller Young Fina and Maximum Velocity Find Victory in English Pleasure Saddle Seat Championship

The Dixon Oval hosted the English Pleasure Saddle Seat championship on Saturday evening, where 11 competitors put on their best show to vie for the tricolor ribbon. At the end of the evening’s class, it was Miller Young Fina who claimed the top prize with Maximum Velocity. Reserve champion was awarded to Elizabeth Ruffner and SSL Ringo.

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

David Raposa Races to Top Honors in $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*

David Raposa and Iliona. Photo: The Book LLC.

Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2018 – Following Thursday night’s spectacular performances in the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, show jumping fans returned to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday afternoon to watch USA’s David Raposa and his own Iliona capture the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, sponsored by Glycogard.

Beth Bidgood and Uprising Rise to the Occasion in Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter Division

Beth Bidgood and her own Uprising started off with double blues in both over fences classes on Friday afternoon, the first day of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter division at the historic Devon Horse Show, proving they are in top form after having a successful winter season showing in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Misdee Wrigley Miller Conquers Coaching Championship

With the conclusion of the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, attention in the Dixon Oval shifted to the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship, where Misdee Wrigley Miller took home the tricolor ribbon. Miller competed with her Holland and Holland Park Drag coach that was pulled by her team of four bay Dutch Warmbloods.

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

A Royal Victory on Opening Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off in style with a win for Her Majesty The Queen, who was present to enjoy the victory of Whalton Highwayman, ridden by 15-year-old Kinvara Garner. The private grounds of Windsor Castle were resplendent in the sunshine on the opening day of the five-day Show, as the Showing and National Show Jumping took centre stage.

SHOWING: HM THE QUEEN’S HORSE SHINES ON OPENING DAY OF ROYAL WINDSOR

Kinvara Garner took the Part Bred and Anglo Arab Championship, having headed a good 148cm class on HM The Queen’s 11-year-old Whalton Highwayman.

“This is his second Royal Windsor,” said Kinvara. “He has only been out twice before but has qualified for the Royal International Horse Show as a Show Hunter pony, and also as a Part Bred Arab. I couldn’t be more pleased with how the season started.”

Cheshire showman, Robert Walker, won his fourth Cuddy Hunter title against stiff competition, this time riding Jill Day’s outstanding lightweight View Point.

Local rider Jayne Ross won the Small Hunter, sponsored by Rosettes Direct, on Kay Campbell’s five-year-old Church Rock Cashel, attending only his third Show.

“I thought he would be next year’s horse,” said Jayne. “I am so surprised and delighted for him to win.”

The Amateur Hunter Championship title went to a former ladies’ winner, Time 2 Reflect, ridden this year by her owner Lucy Cameron.

SHOW JUMPING: LAURA RENWICK AND GEORGIA THAME MAKE IT LADIES’ DAY AT ROYAL WINDSOR

Britain’s leading lady, Laura Renwick, got the Show Jumping at Royal Windsor off to a flying start, winning the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter – First Round, a two-phase National competition, with a double clear in a time of 34 seconds. Riding Arkuga, a seven-year-old homebred by Arko, out of her former top mare Beluga, Renwick used her international experience in the prestigious Castle Arena to knock over a second off the time of runner-up Charlie White.

The top twelve six-year-old horses from the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter qualified for The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship later in the day, a class which was won by Australian Rowan Willis, riding Hadyvola. The 1.30m course proved demanding for the novice horses, with only four combinations jumping clear, but Willis’ tight turn to an oxer approaching the final line made all the difference as he stormed to a four second victory.

The biggest class of the day, The 1.40m Land Rover Grades A & B Jumping Competition, went to Georgia Thame with Z7 Qamar. 15 of the 43 starters went through to the second phase against-the-clock, however speed proved the downfall of many, with only four managing to produce a rare double-clear. As second to go in the arena, Marie-Louise Thomas set the pace early on, producing a lovely clear in 35.90 seconds; however, Thame took the lead midway through the class with a time of 31.46 seconds, which proved unbeatable. Keith Doyle, riding Harlequin Dunraven, came close, but his double clear in 32.07 seconds was only good enough for second place.

Tickets for Royal Windsor Horse Show are still available via www.rwhs.co.uk.

Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)203 176 0355

WEQx Games Competition List Announced

Athlete Inquiries Now Open and Must Be Received by Tuesday, May 15

Tryon, NC – May 8, 2018 – Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) announced that athlete inquiries are now open for the first annual 2018 WEQx Games™. In the inaugural year, the competition intends to have nine spectator-friendly equine competitions that highlight the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horses and horse sport for athletes of all ages. The goal over time is to expand the WEQx Games™ to include a broad range of diverse competitions each year. The 2018 WEQx Games™ will be held alongside the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) this September 11-23, which is also being hosted by TIEC. Athletes are invited to compete to become the inaugural 2018 WEQx Games™ and/or U.S. Open champion.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has approved the WEQx Games™ concept as a further enhancement for spectators attending the WEG and to generally promote interest in equestrian sport. The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) is working with the organizer to ensure that all aspects of the WEQx Games™ meet the FEI and USEF requirements and following the response to this expression of interest, the organizer will submit the full details of the WEQX Games™ to the USEF Board of Directors for approval.

A total of nine competitions are planned for the inaugural WEQx Games™. Equestrian athletes interested in competing in any of the events must register their interest in participating by May 15, 2018. Details of the competition and qualifying information will be available shortly at the following link: www.Tryon2018.com/WEQxGames.

Organizer will assess the final competition schedule and qualifying information based on interest from exhibitors. All Jumping competitions are national classes and as such, entries are restricted by the provisions of FEI General Regulations Article 101 (maximum of four National Federations and/or a maximum of 15 foreign athletes). Entry fees will vary based on prize money of competitions and will not exceed all inclusive $1,250.

Proposed competitions and prize money are as follows:

U-25 U.S. Open Championship™ – The two class competition over two days during the 2018 WEG and will highlight the Show Jumping world’s up and coming riders under 25 years of age. Total prize money over the two days will be $50,000. The U-25 U.S. Open Champion™ will be crowned.

U.S. Open Speed Horse™ – A 1.40m, two-team relay featuring 32 two-person teams will navigate an Alan Wade course to compete for $100,000. Riders can create their own 2-person teams. Qualifying course and the final course will be the same and will be available for practice.

DERBYx™ – A derivative Hunter competition will be open to 24 competitors that will compete for a $100,000 prize. The optimum time competition will have 15 jumps and be objectively scored based on set criteria.

Battle of the Sexes – A three-event jumping competition featuring a 1.30m match race, speed class and relay with 10 men versus 10 women from the U.S. Ranking List among non-WEG participants or non-WEG reserves. The competition will highlight the only Olympic sport where men compete with women as equals. The teams will compete for $75,000 in prize money.

Match Race – A 1.30m competition where two riders face off in the ring over a mirrored course. Standard FEI rules to apply – two second faults converted, open to 24 competitors. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.

Puissance – A horse and rider’s ability to clear a single fence that increases in height after each round – to as much as seven feet and is limited to four rounds. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.

Six Bar – A challenge where the horse and rider jump a series of six vertical fences placed in a straight line with two strides between each fence. The six fences are progressively higher from fence one through six and are all raised after each round. Riders will compete for a $50,000 prize.

Pony Jumpers –  A competition where the top children of the sport compete for a $10,000 prize.

Gladiator Polo™ – A professional three-on-three arena polo match with modified rules that keep the play fast. The event is played in a ring with all-weather footing that is approximately 310 feet x 250 feet, which is one-tenth the size of a typical grass polo field. Four international teams will compete for $100,000 in prize money.

The WEQx Games™ concept and competitions have been approved by the FEI and the USEF Board of Directors with the intent to grow interest in horse sport.

To register an interest to participate, riders or trainers must send an email to WEQXGAMES@tryonweg.com by May 15, 2018.

To learn more about the 2018 WEQx Games™, please visit www.Tryon2018.com/WEGxGames.

Marilyn Little Wins Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Lexington, Ky. – Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous added another milestone accolade to their resume on Sunday. As the top American combination at the Land Rover® Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE), they earned the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. A six-time competitor of the event, Little reached the LRK3DE podium for the first time with a score of 32.8. In a shocking twist, Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class placed first with a score of 28.7 to strip Germany’s Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST’s chance of earning their fourth straight title.

“It is a really incredible feeling [to win the National Championship] and be next to Oliver Townend and Michael Jung. For ‘Kitty’ to have this performance this weekend, she just astounds me every day. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to ride her, and it makes it even more special that [owners] Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders were here,” said a thankful Little. “The people who brought this horse to this level, the hours, the tears, the time – it’s unimaginable to the outside world [of eventing], but we all feel it intensely in the prize giving ceremony, and it’s a very emotional experience. The partnership with [RF Scandalous] is strong, and I’m grateful for everything I have had with her, and I’m looking forward to the future with her.”

As the heavy favorite, Jung took the early lead in the LRK3DE following the first day of dressage on Thursday with a stellar score of 27.1. However, in an interesting turn of events, Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, put in a personal best dressage performance of 24.8 to steal the lead from Jung.

“She was a little bit excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, which we are familiar with at Kentucky. I was excited to go on Friday afternoon and knew she could handle it well. She was very businesslike, and it was a great ride. She was looking to please and she did her job,” said Little, who has focused heavily on improving Kitty’s dressage scores over the past year.

Not only did Little compete in the LRK3DE, she pulled double-duty and jumped in Friday’s inaugural Kentucky Invitational $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup CSI3* before conquering Saturday’s cross-country course. Little rode Derek di Grazia’s track cautiously, which resulted in eight time penalties, finishing 11 seconds over the time. As a result, they dropped to sixth place with a score of 32.8.

“I was thrilled with her; she jumped all the combinations well and gained confidence with every jump. She held her line great and tried hard. She has a long, lopey stride and was looking to go,” said Little.

Sitting in fourth place, Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate LLC’s Donner were the top-placed American combination following cross-country heading into Sunday’s show jumping finale with a score of 31.3. Only four jumping faults separated the top five, and Little and RF Scandalous produced a clean round, which put the pressure on Symansky to jump clean. Unfortunately, they dropped one rail, which moved Little to third place following a clean round by Townend and Cooley Master Class and two rails by Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18.

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, were the second highest-placed American combination and placed sixth overall with a score of 33.7 to earn the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Reserve National Championship. The Rio Olympic individual bronze medalist and Z finished on their dressage score, an impressive feat for the nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding’s first CCI4*.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Jung Back on Top after Cross-Country

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

Symansky and Donner Ride to the Lead of Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Lexington, Ky. – The conditions could not have been more perfect for a day of brilliant cross-country action, and the riders and horses did not disappoint. Defending champion Michael Jung of Germany and fisherRocana FST showed the depth of their partnership to take over the top spot after adding only 0.4 penalties to his dressage score to lead with 27.5.

Breathing down his neck is Australia’s Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 (27.9) and Oliver Townend of Great Britain on Cooley Master Class (28.7). Townend also tied for fourth aboard MHS King Joules (31.3) with Lynn Symansky and Donner (31.3). Less than a rail separates all of them as they head into the show jumping finale.

Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and Donner, the 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC, are the highest-placed American combination and currently lead the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. Overnight leader Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, added 8 time penalties to drop to sixth overall (32.8), and second in the national championship.

Donner is competing in his ninth CCI4* and their experience showed as he and Symansky cruised around easily. “I don’t have any complaints,” she said with a smile. “He takes a bit to get into the groove, especially with the crowd… He went around like clockwork. It’s a tribute to knowing the horse so well and having a great partnership with him. He tried his heart out, and I’m pleased with how he came home.”

Overall, 11 pairs came home double-clear around Derek di Grazia’s course. Thirty-six horses finished the course, six with jumping faults. Three were eliminated and four retired on course.

Course designer di Grazia, who will design courses for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, was pleased with how his course rode, even though more made the time than he was expecting. “I’m generally very happy about how the course rode,” he said. “I think the faults were spread out, quite a number clean without jumping faults and I think all the combinations rode well and, at the same time, [the riders] didn’t have to do them all the same way. People did things differently and it still worked out for them. And, we didn’t have any horse falls or rider injuries, and, to me, that’s all a positive.

“I think that the ground ended up being quite fast today,” di Grazia continued. “[In part because] the conditions couldn’t be better. A little rain would have been different, but you never know. We also had a very good field of riders today. It may not have been a huge field, but the ones we had were good.”

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications