October 9, 2013 -- The U.S. horse-and-rider combinations are poised for the FEI Nations Cup competition at the Military Boekelo CCIO3*, October 10-13, 2013 in Boekelo, The Netherlands. Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp, Lauren Kieffer, and Boyd Martin make up the team representing the U.S. Following the first horse inspection, 104 combinations are ready to contest the challenging three-day event, which is the seventh and final leg in the 2013 FEI Nations Cup? Eventing series. The U.S. has been drawn as the ninth team in the order of go out of the 11 countries competing in the Nations Cup.
Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, United Kingdom) and her own Fernhill By Night will represent the U.S. for the first time in an international team competition. She and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding finished second in the Brightling Park CIC2* earlier this year and recently finished 12th in the Ballindenisk CIC3*.
Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) will ride Team Rebecca, LLC's Veronica, also representing the U.S. for the first time. She and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare have had a stellar year, solidifying their partnership after Kieffer took over the ride on Veronica this year. The pair won the CHC International CIC3*in May and took home first-place honors again in an Advanced division at the Plantation Field Horse Trials.
"I am very excited. It feels really cool," Kieffer said of representing the U.S. "It really didn't kick in until the jog when they announced the U.S."
"She's great," Kieffer commented about Veronica. "She is very fresh. She shipped in great. We have our work cut out for us this weekend."
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) will be the anchor rider for the U.S. team on Trading Aces, LLC's Trading Aces. He and the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding seem to be peaking at just the right time. The pair won the Richland Park CIC3* in August and just finished sixth in the Plantation Field CIC3*.
The fourth member named to the Land Rover U.S. eventing team, Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.), had to withdraw her mount, Team Tabasco's 13-year-old Trakehner gelding RF Tabasco, due to minor veterinary reasons.
Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night will be the first U.S. pair to perform their dressage test, going at 2:49pm local time. Kieffer and Veronica will go on Friday at 11:55am local time, followed by Martin and Trading Aces at 4:18pm local time.
For more information on the Military Boekelo CCIO3*, visit http://www.rechenstelle.de/2013/boekelo/.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.