Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett (Libby Law Photography)
Boekelo, The Netherlands – The U.S. contingent had a respectable performance in the solid international field of 97 combinations in the Military Boekelo-Enschede CCIO3*. Land Rover/USEF Eventing Competition Grant recipient Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett led the way as the top U.S. pair in fourth place.
Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) began the competition with a fabulous dressage test aboard Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett to earn a score of 42.10 from the Ground Jury of Wayne Quarles (USA), Sándor Fülöp (HUN), and Ciska van Meggelen-Peek (NED). Sitting in second place heading into cross-country, Kieffer and the 2007 Thoroughbred cross mare delivered a stellar round over a challenging track designed by Sue Benson (GBR). They added only 2.40 time penalties to their score to maintain second place on the leaderboard. Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett had an unfortunate rail at fence nine and single time penalty over the show jumping track designed by Jos Brinkman (NED), adding 5.00 penalties to their score. The pair still managed to claim an impressive fourth-place finish with a final score of 49.50 in the mare’s European debut.
“I’m very honored to have received the Land Rover grant with Meadowbrook’s Scarlett, owned and bred by Marie Le Menestrel, and I’m very pleased with her performance. Boekelo is always an eye-opening experience with younger horses, and I am very happy with how Scarlett handled the challenge. She rose to the occasion in the dressage and I was pleased we put forward a competitive score for the USA. She tackled the cross-country with ease, and despite our one rail, I’m happy with how she handled the always tough show jumping track,” Kieffer said. Commenting on the benefits of competing at Boekelo, she added, “As a rider, it is incredibly invaluable and important to have these opportunities to compete overseas and I am very grateful for the support that allows me to do so.”
Elinor MacPhail (Ocala, Fla.) put forth a great effort in her European debut with Sally Crane’s RF Eloquence, beginning with a lovely dressage test that earned a score of 48.20. She and the 2005 Holsteiner gelding were determined on cross-country day, but added 17.20 time penalties to their score. They had a rail at fence five and a single time penalty over the show jumping track to finish on a score of 70.40 in 23rd place.
Tamra Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) tactfully rode West Coast Dempsey Syndicate’s Dempsey in the biggest competition he has faced thus far in his career. The 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding struggled with tension in the dressage test to receive a score of 59.10. Smith guided Dempsey well on cross-country day to finish with 16.40 time penalties. They closed out the competition with a rail down a fence 3B and four time penalties in show jumping for eight penalties to end on a score of 83.50 in 32nd place.
Two other U.S. combinations also contested the Military Boekelo-Enschede CCIO3*. Kylie Lyman (White River Junction, Vt.) and Joan Nichols’ Lup the Loop, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding, received a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant through the USET Foundation. They were off to a strong start with a dressage score of 50.70, but were eliminated on cross-country after running into problems early on. Smith had a second mount, The Twizted Systers, LLC’s 2006 Irish Sport Horse mare Twizted Syster. They had a respectable dressage test to score 53.90, but were eliminated due to a fall on cross-country. Both were unharmed.
Overnight leaders Stephanie Böhe (GER) and Haytom held on for the win, finishing on their dressage score of 43.90. Fellow countryman Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon finished second on a score of 45.40, and Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley SRS were third on a score of 47.60.
By Kathleen Landwehr