June 28, 2013 -- The fifth and final discipline hosted at the 2013 CHIO Aachen kicked off Friday, with many of the top eventers from throughout the world going head-to-head. Two of the three phases of CICO3*competition were held as elite combinations performed their dressage tests and went to task over a demanding show jumping track.
The U.S. will head out onto Saturday's cross country in sixth place with all to play for. The four Land Rover Competition Grant recipients represented the U.S. admirably on Friday in Aachen's electric atmosphere.
Competition in the Aachen CICO3* kicked off early Friday morning in the Deutsche Bank Stadium with 42 combinations completing their dressage tests. At the conclusion of the dressage, the U.S. stood in sixth place in the team standings but within striking distance on a score of 133.4. Germany held the early lead with a team total of 109.4, Australia stood second with a score of 120.2, and third place was occupied by the Swedish team on a score 123.60.
Leading the effort in the first phase for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team was 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games veteran Will Faudree (Hoffman, N.C.) and Jennifer Mosing's Pawlow. The 14-year-old Irish Thoroughbred has completed many of the world's most prestigious CCIs and demonstrated his experience with one of his best tests to date on Friday. The talented combination scored 40.6 and stood 13th following the dressage.
"I was very happy with him in dressage. He was very rideable," said Faudree of his experienced mount. "I made a mistake in the beginning but we were able to patch it together. I was pleased with his mark but I know there is still more to come so I am looking forward to getting there."
Tiana Coudray (Ojai, Calif.) rode in the second spot for the U.S. with Jatial Inc.'s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Ringwood Magister. The 2012 Olympic Games veterans performed their trademark accurate dressage test which was only marred by a mistake in the first half pass. They headed into the evening's show jumping on a score of 43 in 20th place.
"I was really, really happy," said Coudray about her dressage test. "It's amazing when you have a 43 in dressage and are well down on the scoreboard. I couldn't be happier with my horse."
Riding Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders' RF Smoke on the Water, Marilyn Little (Frederick, MD) slotted into 28th place with a score of 49.8. The 8-year-old Wurttemburger gelding continues to mature each time down centerline and showed great potential for the future on Friday morning.
Clark Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Universe had the unenviable task of being the first competitors in the ring but were undeterred in their effort. Jessica Montgomery, Carole Montgomery, Janet Higgins, and Elizabeth Smith's 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding was rewarded with high marks for his trot work to finish the first phase on a score of 50.6 to stand 31st.
Following the completion of the dressage, Germany's London Olympic Games Individual Bronze medalists Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo led the individual standings on a score of 31.8.
The jumping phase of the competition was held Friday evening in the Main Stadium. Many horses seemed to be affected by the noisy atmosphere as rails were routinely coming down over Frank Rothenberger's 12-obstacle course. The U.S. team remained in sixth place with a two-phase total of 141.4 going into Saturday's cross country. When the phase was over, the U.S. team remained in sixth place with a score of 141.4 going into tomorrow's final phase. Germany maintained their lead on a score of 113.4 while Great Britain moved into second place on the strength of tidy jumping on a total of 132.6 and Australia fell to third with a 133.2.
Coudray and Ringwood Magister were the top U.S. performers and had one of 15 clear rounds. While the Irish Sport Horse gelding was quite strong, Coudray kept him organized and on task to remain on their dressage score of 43.0, moving them up to 10th place.
"I am thrilled," proclaimed Coudray about her jumping round. "We have been playing with bits and I was trying new bit today since the large stadium encourages the horses to get strong. He jumped fantastic and handled the atmosphere great."
Faudree rode Pawlow masterfully as the gelding took in his surroundings in the expansive arena. Unfortunately the pair had one rail at the penultimate fence, 11C, moving them down to 18th place with a score of 44.6.
"I was happy. He jumped fantastic," said Faudree. "I was anxious to jump clear through the triple and tipped too much with my body and he just tapped the back rail [of the oxer]. Overall, it went well and I am looking forward to tomorrow."
RF Smoke on the Water was also feeling fresh in the Main Stadium. Little used her show jumping expertise to keep the gelding rideable, having one rail at fence three. The pair sits in 29th place with a score of 53.8.
Montgomery and Universe were the first combination in the arena and unfortunately had four rails over the course. The pair, regarded for their tidy jumping, experienced a disrupted warm-up before the show jumping following the completion of the Tank & Rast-Preis - Jump & Drive. They look to return to form on Saturday.They sit on a score 66.6 in 39th place heading into tomorrow's cross country.
Germany's Auffarth and Opgun Louvo remained in the lead with a double clear round to stay on their dressage score of 31.8.
Montgomery will be the first rider out on cross country at 10:00am CEST followed by Little at 11:20am CEST. Faudree will leave the start box at 11:44am CEST followed by Coudray at 12:16pm CEST.
Learn more about the Aachen CICO3* here.
Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.