Tag Archives: FEI Nations Cup

French Stand Firm to Win Last Qualifier in Gijon

Photo: Nicolas Delmotte and Ilex VP. (FEI/Xurde Margaride)

Team France won the last qualifying leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 2 series in Gijon, Spain where, in a roller-coaster of a competition, The Netherlands finished second ahead of Ireland in third.

The French were already out in front on a zero score at the halfway stage, but were being closely chased by Canada carrying just a single time fault. However, the course designed by Spain’s Avelino Rodriguez-Miravalles saw some serious shuffling of the pack as the second round progressed. And the Dutch, lying joint-third with Spain and Mexico, and Irish who were in joint-sixth with Great Britain, were rewarded for holding their ground while those around them lost theirs.

When Kevin Staut (36) and For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC hit the middle element of the triple combination three fences from home and Gregory Cottard (39) and Regate d’Aure lowered the bogey final fence to also collect four faults second time out, then it fell to French anchorman Nicolas Delmotte (39) and Ilex VP to save the day as the best three scores per team would be counted and his side was now carrying four faults. Edward Levy (23) and the fabulous stallion Sirius Black had followed up their single first-round error with a great clear, but only the same from Delmotte would prevent a jump-off against the Dutch who, like the Irish, were fault-free at their second attempt.

“Being last to go I felt the responsibility, but I had confidence, and I had a horse that responded brilliantly!” — Nicolas Delmotte (Team France)

One mistake and France would be on level pegging with The Netherlands on eight faults and forced into a jump-off. Any more than that and victory would be lost. But Delmotte held his nerve to bring Ilex home with a classic clear when posting one of four double-clear rounds on the day.

Ireland lined up third on their first-round total of 12 faults and the Canadians, hampered by second-round elimination for Jaclyn Duff and Eh All or None who had collected just a single time fault in the first round, had to settle for fourth place with 13 faults on the scoreboard. Great Britain (20 faults) finished fifth, Mexico (24 faults) lined up sixth, Germany (28 faults) finished seventh and the host nation (29 faults) finished eighth. Team Egypt collected 18 faults in the first round so didn’t make the cut into round two.

French Chef d’Equipe, Philippe Guerdat, was delighted with his country’s eleventh FEI Nations Cup™ success at the famous Las Mestas Arena in Gijon. “This is a lucky venue for us!” he said.

Kevin Staut FRA (winning team): “I am very happy – this is my second Nations Cup win in this city!”

Shane Breen IRL (3rd placed team), talking about the bogey fences: “Fence eight was like a gate, a stile type fence and it was narrow. There was a roll-back up to it and some lost a bit of balance on the turn and found they didn’t have the space to jump it. It was very light and short and it looked quite tall. The last fence came after the triple bar and there was a floaty six strides to it. It was cleverly designed with a white plank at the bottom and on the top, and some horses slightly misjudged it.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Eventing Gold for Great Britain and Germany’s Ingrid Klimke at Strzegom

Photo: The victorious British team at the FEI European Eventing Championships at Strzegom in Poland: Nicola Wilson (also individual bronze), Ros Canter, Oliver Townend and Kristina Cook (FEI/Jon Stroud)

A jubilant British team was celebrating after jumping three superb clear rounds in the final phase to hold onto their overnight lead and clinch the longed-for team title at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Strzegom (POL).

“We are very excited to be back on top. We’ve got some amazing riders and horses and we’ve worked hard for this.” — Kristina Cook, British gold medal team member

Ingrid Klimke, who has been such a key member of the German team for 17 years, also delivered a jumping perfect round under pressure on Horseware Hale Bob to win her first individual title and lead Germany to team silver.

Triple European champion Michael Jung’s winning run finally ended and the German sportingly settled for individual silver with a clear round on fischerRocana.

“You just have to keep going and after 20 years it will happen! I always want to be a team player, but this was my dream” — Ingrid Klimke (GER), new European champion

Sweden held onto team bronze, but Sara Algotsson Ostholt had a less than happy jumping round on Reality 39 and dropped from third to ninth.

Britain’s Nicola Wilson went clear on Bulana to take bronze, her first individual medal, while Cook and Canter lined up behind her in fourth and fifth. Oliver Townend, who was the discard score, did not present Cooley SRS at the final horse inspection.

Ten teams and 56 riders completed the competition, although there was disappointment when host nation Poland’s best rider, Pawel Spisak, was denied a fairy-tale finish after Banderas did not pass the final horse inspection.

www.strzegom2017.pl

By Kate Green

FEI Press contact:

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

It’s Ladies’ Day in Dublin as Team USA Sweeps to Victory

Laura Kraut, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough and Beezie Madden with Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Team USA secured a definitive victory in the eighth and last leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in Dublin (IRL) when producing the only zero score in a hard-fought competition. On level pegging with the Irish at the halfway stage they stood firm while their hosts lost their grip to drop to fifth behind Spain.

In the closing stages the Netherlands and France threw down a challenge, and American anchor Laura Kraut (51) was under pressure when last to go with Confu. But the double-Olympian didn’t crumble, posting the second US double-clear of the competition to seal it ahead of the runners-up from France, while the Dutch slotted into third place.

This was the first all-female team triumph in the 91-year history of Nations Cup Jumping for the world-famous Aga Khan Cup in Dublin.

“We said at the beginning of the year this was one of the shows we are bringing our ‘A’ team to… it’s our view that the Aga Khan is the greatest trophy in our sport. And more than that there are many ways to win a Nations Cup; sometimes you get lucky, but today in my view there was no luck. These four riders did an unbelievable job!” — Robert Ridland (Chef d’Equipe Team USA)

The time-allowed of 80 seconds proved difficult for many over Irish course-builder Tom Holden’s track, and a speedy turn to the final oxer was often costly. Beezie Madden’s (53) mistake here with her new ride Darry Lou was the American drop score in round one, but the pair got it absolutely right in round two after pathfinders Lauren Hough (40) and the brilliant mare Ohlala produced their second clear of the day and rising talent Lillie Keenan (20) made her only mistake at the first element of the penultimate double with Super Sox.

Kraut clinched it with a crisp, clear run to leave a five-fault margin between the winning US side and the French in second while the points earned by the third-placed Dutch, whose final tally was just seven faults, saw them overtake Italy at the top of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard at the end of the eight-leg series.

Beezie Madden – Team USA (winners), talking about her horse Darry Lou: “He’s a new horse. He came from Mexico and the highest he jumped there was 1.55m or so. I got him in May and this was only his third 1.60m course today. It was my mistake in the first round. He’s like a Cadillac to ride!”

Laura Kraut – Team USA, talking about the similarities between her winning ride, Confu, and her legendary 2008 Olympic team gold medal winning horse Cedric, who is now retired: “Oddly enough I found out when we were in Aachen that they share the same grandmother or something. I had no idea that they were remotely related so that’s very exciting. He (Confu) is as much of a cheeky monkey as Cedric, so for me he’s wonderful. I love him, he’s a trier, he’s a pet and he’s fun to ride and be around. But Cedric can’t be replaced.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

US Dressage Team Wins Bronze in FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Hickstead

Spidge Event Photography.

US Finishes Second in FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series

Hickstead, England – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team clinched the bronze medal after having solid performances at the FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Hickstead. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover guided the U.S. team of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Susan Dutta, Chase Hickok, and Charlotte Jorst to deliver quality tests throughout the three days of competition. The U.S. team earned bronze with a score of 421.920, finishing behind gold medal-winning France with a score of 424.811 and silver medal-winning the Netherlands with a score of 424.053. In addition, the FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series came to a close at Hickstead, with the U.S. finishing second behind Sweden and ahead of Denmark.

“I was very proud once again of our U.S. Nations Cup athletes here in Hickstead. Under extremely difficult weather conditions, our riders rode with class and did their very best,” said Dover. “Our goal this year was not to simply do well, which we did by winning in Rotterdam and placing second in Aachen, along with other results in the series, but to show off both our fabulous veterans as well as fresh, new human and equine faces. We are all very proud of our second-place finish in the series, the only nation to have supported every competition in it!”

The competition began on Friday with all team members performing the CDIO3* Grand Prix Test. Hickok (Wellington, Fla.) and Hyperion Farm, Inc.’s Sagacious HF were the top U.S. finishers in second place with a score of 71.640%. Jorst (Reno, Nev.) and Kastel Denmark’s Kastel’s Nintendo were not far behind in fourth place with a score of 70.880%. Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, Fla.) and Jane Clark’s Alcazar had a nice test to score 69.320% to finish in 15th place, while Dutta (Wellington, Fla.) and Tim Dutta Inc.’s Currency DC received a score of 63.640% to finish in 26th place.

On Saturday, two U.S. combinations competed in the CDIO3* Grand Prix Special with both of their scores counting towards the team score. Hickok and the 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding had another stellar performance to finish third with a score of 70.843%. Bateson-Chandler and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding delivered a great test to finish eighth with a score of 69.412%.

The Nations Cup came to its conclusion on Sunday with the CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle. The remaining two U.S. combinations competed, and the best score counted for the team score. Jorst and the 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion put forth a good effort to score 69.825% to finish seventh. Dutta and the 2000 Oldenburg gelding performed their first freestyle of the year and received a score of 66.625% to finish in 12th place.

View the complete results.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

Brilliant Brazilians Post Historic Victory at Hickstead

Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Debut for winning nation at iconic British venue: runner-up spot promotes Dutch to second on Division 1 league table

Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert made sporting history when winning the seventh leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series at Hickstead (GBR).

According to Veniss, this was the first Brazilian team ever to compete at the world-famous British showground, and the first time for each of the four horses and riders to tackle the notoriously difficult Hickstead fences. And on a truly tough afternoon when wet and windy weather led to Kelvin Bywater’s 12-fence track being relocated for the second round in order to ensure better ground, they didn’t just come out on top but they did it emphatically.

Adding nothing to their first-round score of just four faults they overtook the Germans who fell apart in the closing stages to finish a full 10 faults ahead of the eventual runners-up from The Netherlands, while Switzerland and Ireland filled the next two places when posting 16 and 17 faults apiece.

“We are definitely going to celebrate tonight, because tomorrow is a whole new day and it’s not often that you can win a competition as big as this, so we have to be happy when it happens!” — Marlon Zanotelli (Brazil)

There were six Division 1 teams in action along with the Brazilians who compete in the South America League and the hosts from Great Britain who have been fighting hard since relegated to Europe Division 2 last season.

It was anchorman Pedro Junqueira Muylaert’s (31) single error with Prince Royal Z at the very last fence that Brazil carried into the second round after Zanotelli’s mare Sirene de la Motte and Veniss’ mare For Felicila both jumped brilliantly clear. Yuri Mansur’s Babylotte had three fences down, but this pair turned that all around at their second attempt so Junqueira Muylaert didn’t have to jump again because double-clears from Zanotelli (29) and Veniss (34) ensured Brazil already had the victory in the bag.

Dutch chances seemed dim after collecting 14 first-round faults for sixth place at the end of the first round, but when they added no more that would prove good enough for second spot at the end of a day of mixed fortunes for many. Harrie Smolders’ second clear with Don VHP Z was followed by fault-free runs from both Ruben Romp and Audi’s Teavanta ll who posted just a single time fault first time out, and Jur Vrieling whose stallion VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnet threw in an objection to the open water in round one but then popped it like a puddle in round two.

Marlon Zanotelli – Brazil (winners): “This was my first Nations Cup since we started our own business and it’s great to be back on the team. I have my mare (Sirena de la Motte) since the end of last year and it was a huge thing to go in the team as first rider today but I know her very well and she was so confident on the track; she jumped amazing! I worked for Enda Carroll for six years and had a fantastic time so it was a difficult decision to go out on my own. Enda gave me everything, but my wife and I started on our own and we didn’t expect that this year we would be back so quickly so I have to thank my fantastic horse-owners!”

Pedro Veniss – Brazil: “The weather was not the best today so the course designer made a good decision to move the jumps in the second round. I believe this is the first time a Brazilian team has competed here in Hickstead in a Nations Cup and this was the first Nations Cup for my horse (For Felicila). Cabri (Cabri des Isles, his Rio Olympic horse) was in Aachen so we changed the plan and it has worked out really great, especially for our Chef d’Equipe (Pedro Luz Lacerda) who came all the way from Brazil on Monday!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

US Dressage Team Set for Start of FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Hickstead

Susan Dutta and Currency DC (SusanJStickle.com)

Hickstead, England – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team takes aim at the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* Hickstead from July 27-30. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover will guide the U.S. team of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Susan Dutta, Chase Hickok, and Charlotte Jorst. Riding against three other teams, the U.S. combinations will compete in the following order:

Susan Dutta and Currency DC:  Dutta (Wellington, Fla.) and Tim Dutta Inc.’s Currency DC are solid international competitors, having spent numerous summers competing in Europe. In 2016, they finished third in the Grand Prix Freestyle at CDI3* Deauville and fifth in the Grand Prix Freestyle at CDI4* Cappeln. Dutta and the 2000 Oldenburg gelding had top-ten finishes at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in March.

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar: Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, Fla.) with Jane Clark’s Alcazar began 2017 with top-four finishes during the winter circuit at the AGDF. Bateson-Chandler and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding began their summer in Europe by representing the U.S. in the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO4* Uggerhalne. The pair will strive for a solid performance in their second Nations Cup appearance of the year.

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo: Jorst (Reno, Nev.) and Kastel Denmark’s Kastel’s Nintendo had a very successful start to 2017 with several top-three finishes in the spring. Jorst and the 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion earned top-ten finishes at Rotterdam and Falsterbo. They joined Hickok and Sagacious HF on the Falsterbo team and intend to have a great performance at Hickstead.

Chase Hickok and Sagacious HF: Hickok (Wellington, Fla.) and Hyperion Farm, Inc.’s Sagacious HF will compete in their second Nations Cup after having a strong showing at CDIO5* Falsterbo a few weeks ago. They finished second in the Grand Prix Freestyle and fourth in the Grand Prix at Falsterbo. Hickok and the 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding hope to continue their momentum as they head into Hickstead.

Find out more about FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Hickstead and watch it live on EquestrianPRO.tv beginning Friday at 7:15 a.m. EST.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

US Show Jumping Team Named for FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named the following athletes to the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team for FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin, August 9-13, in Dublin, Ireland. The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team will wrap up their summer Nations Cup European tour with the FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final, September 28 – October 1, in Barcelona, Spain. The team for the FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final will be announced at a later date.

Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)

Lillie Keenan (New York, N.Y.)

Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)

Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)

McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.)

Robert Ridland will serve as Chef d’Equipe for the U.S. Team.

Watch the live stream of FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin on FEI TV, Friday, August 11, at 10:35 a.m. EST.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

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

US Dressage Team Wins Silver at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Aachen

Shannon Brinkman Photo (Left to right: Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Kasey Perry-Glass, Laura Graves, and Adrienne Lyle)

Graves and Verdades Win Grand Prix Special

Aachen, Germany – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team won the silver medal at the FEI Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany on Saturday with a final score of 450.392. Rio Olympic team bronze medalist Laura Graves and Verdades were foot perfect as they bested the field of competitors, unseating Germany’s Isabell Werth in the Grand Prix Special to win with a final a score of 81.824%.

“These incredible young ladies are just super athletes along with super wonderful horses, some of which are brand new to arenas such as this,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover. “I was over-wrought with emotion about them landing in second place halfway through this Nations Cup. On the one hand, a part of me expects that; I expect excellence. Still, it is an extra thrill to have this youthful look of new faces coming along with our seasoned veterans. I’m very happy and very excited about this group.”

Maintaining their silver status from Thursday’s Grand Prix, the U.S. had little to no room for error as they entered the arena. The 2016 Olympic duo of Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, Graves’ and Curt Maes’ 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, kept the momentum going fresh off their Grand Prix test, where they placed second with a 79.514%. They were determined to keep the team on the podium by producing a showstopping performance in the Grand Prix Special.

“Today was just our day. My horse gave me a great birthday present,” said Graves. “It was actually the first time this year that we have shown in the [Grand Prix] Special. I could not be more pleased with him. Aachen brings out the top riders, and that’s what keeps me motivated.”

Graves is the fifth U.S. dressage rider to win at Aachen, behind Patricia Galvin and Jessica Ransehousen (1960), Robert Dover (1987 CHIO Freestyle) and Steffen Peters (2009).

“A win in Aachen is tantamount to a win at the Olympics,” said Dover. “She was against the very best rider from the Olympic Games, the very best rider from the World Cup and when you beat that rider and horse, it’s just everything. When you go into the stadium and have our national anthem played and our flag go up, it is something she will never forget in her life. Nothing can make me more proud or happier for her.”

London Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) aboard Salvino, the 2007 Hanoverian stallion owned by Salvino Partners, LLC, entered the ring confident and composed, demonstrating brilliant movements to finish on a final score of 71.814% and 73.608% in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, respectively.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Dover. “She rode magnificently both days. Today, the marks reflected a super talented horse and a fantastic rider piloting this young horse.”

Relatively new to international competitions, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and Lonoir, LaGoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail’s 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding, competed with poise riding two technically outstanding tests, finishing the Grand Prix with a 71.514% and 72.118% in the Grand Prix Special.

“Olivia is another incredibly gifted rider. She is as tough about wanting perfect and being determined,” said Dover. “Right before she went in I said rack up as many points as you possibly can in the first half of the test because his greenness is in the second half and that’s exactly what she did. That’s what you want in a team rider; it shows another great talent for the future.”

Graves’ Rio Olympic teammate, Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.), and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 2003 Warmblood gelding, had an unexpected miscommunication in their first pirouette during Thursday’s Grand Prix, resulting in a score of 68.929% which was the drop score for the team. However, the pair’s performance on Saturday set the tone for the U.S. with a score of 71.608%.

“We wanted Kasey to keep showing the continued evolution of how this horse is coming on,” said Dover. “It [Grand Prix Special] was so amazing and so lovely. The 74-75% is right there. I’m thrilled with her.”

Germany took home top honors with a final collective team score of 471.046, and placed three of their riders in the top ten in the Grand Prix Special. Sweden, who was in fourth after the Grand Prix, surpassed Denmark to round out the top three with a final score of 437.635.

Graves and Verdades placed third with a score of 82.550% in the Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday morning.

From Classic Communications/US Equestrian Communications Department

Kraut and Ward Lift US Show Jumping Team to Silver Medal Tie at FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen

Olympians Kraut and Ward go double clear in come-from-behind podium finish

Aachen, Germany – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team climbed from behind to secure a silver medal tie with Switzerland in the FEI Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany on Thursday.  A podium finish depended on clear rounds from Olympic team gold medalists McLain Ward and HH Azur and Laura Kraut and Zeremonie. Like clockwork, the combinations came through in the clutch for double-clear performances. The U.S. and Switzerland ended on eight faults while home country Germany won gold with zero faults.

“We brought our ‘A’ team to Aachen. We have so much respect for Aachen, and we almost pulled it off. It’s tough knowing midway through the first round that the best score you can get is eight faults. We were fully confident that we could correct some mistakes and stay on zero the rest of the way and let the field come back to us. The Germans were just a better team today, but not by much,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “What we saw here today was sport at the very highest level. It doesn’t get any better than that. And it is an honor for us to be able to compete here!”

The U.S. found itself out of podium contention early with an eight-fault total after the first round. Clear rounds from Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms’ 2007 Holsteiner mare, and Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s 2006 Warmblood mare kept the U.S. hanging on after Rio Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (Wellington. Fla.) and Gazelle, his and Robin Parksy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, and two-time Olympic team gold medalist Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Coach, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding, each had eight faults.

Tied for fifth with The Netherlands, the U.S. team rallied for an improved second round. The world number one ranked show jumper, Farrington, and Gazelle, rebounded with a clear round. Kraut and Zeremonie continued with a flawless, second round performance, jumping a double clear for the evening and allowing the U.S. to drop Madden and Coach’s eight fault score.

After three combination rotations, Germany locked up the gold, while the U.S. sat tied for third with Belgium and Switzerland with eight faults. Ward, the world number two, and Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat came through with clear rounds, while Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet had three unlucky rails for 12 faults, propelling the U.S. and Switzerland to a silver medal tie.

“Aachen is the pinnacle of the sport so this is like my Olympics this year. To go double clear – I’m just so proud of Zeremonie and all the team around her who helped get her to this point; it’s just thrilling,” said Kraut.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department