Kerrigan Gluch and Vaquero HGF (Fotodesign gr. Feldhaus)
Hagen, Germany – The 2016 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Young Rider European Tour came to an end at the Future Champions event, CDIO-Y Hagen on Saturday. Led by Chef d’Equipe George Williams, the U.S. contingent of Lauren Asher, Barbara “Bebe” Davis, and Kerrigan Gluch gained valuable individual and team experience over the three days of competition. Gluch and Vaquero HGF were the highest-ranked U.S. combination, placing in the top 10 each day.
“The major goal of the tour is to give them experience and education so if they come back as senior riders they will be better and know what to expect. The Future Champions event is welcoming, but it’s a tough competition. They get to see the best of European riders and get a sense of the quality of other riders. I’m happy where we stand for the moment, but there is room for improvement. They were a great representation of the U.S. throughout the entire competition,” said Williams.
The U.S. began competition as a team on Thursday when they went up against seven countries in the Young Rider Nations Cup. Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) and Vaquero HGF, Hampton Greens Farm’s 2007 Andalusian stallion, had a consistent test. They executed good half-passes and flying changes; however, they lacked elasticity and suppleness. The combination earned a score of 65.965% for ninth place. Asher (San Diego, Calif.) and her own De Noir 3, a 2000 Hanoverian gelding, excelled in the canter work and also displayed lovely flying changes. Unfortunately, the pirouettes hurt the combination, and they finished on a score of 65.746% for 11th place. Not on her usual mount, Davis (Wellington, Fla.) entered the event with Don Antonio, a horse borrowed from Jochen Arl. She and the 2004 Hanoverian gelding had great transitions. They tied for 12th with a score of 65.351%. Overall, the U.S. team finished in fifth place with on a total of 197.566. Germany won the Nations Cup on a total of 226.842.
On Friday, the event transitioned to individual competition beginning with the Individual Test. Gluch and Vaquero HGF performed a respectable test, mimicking Thursday’s excellent flying changes. They led the U.S. contingent with a score of 66.754% for sixth place. In a reverse from the Team Test, Asher and De Noir 3 excelled in the canter and trot work, but struggled with their flying changes to end on a score of 64.781%. Davis and Don Antonio improved upon Thursday’s Team Test with a score of 63.816% for 16th place. All three qualified for Saturday’s Freestyle Final after finishing in the top 18.
Gluch and Vaquero HGF capped off the competition with a rhythmic Freestyle. The blossoming combination had amazing harmony, with beautiful flying changes, to place 10th with a score of 69.375%. Asher and De Noir 3 Davis also gave a graceful performance. Their energetic extended and collected trot, along with nice flying changes, earned them a score of 68.083% for 11th place. Davis and Don Antonio displayed smooth half-pirouettes but had trouble connecting in their test. They placed 18th with a score of 63.833%.
“Once we got here [Hagen], they came together and worked together well. The experience has been so invaluable to them. Each one faced different challenges throughout the tour. Kerrigan had a difficult time in the first competition, but did better each day. Bebe was faced with a different situation. She had her struggles in the first competition [Compiegne] then we had to substitute her horse [at Hagen]. Lauren’s first competition didn’t go as we had hoped. She tried to fight back, and today I think she did. She overcame a lot, and she got her confidence back with the ride she had today,” added Williams.
Complete Results from the Future Champions event.
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Dana Rossmeier/USEF