February 18, 2014 -- Top U.S. combinations and rising stars will be on display this week at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., as two American teams are set to contest the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm. Nine teams from seven countries will line up in North America's only Nations Cup competition that is set to host both Big and Small Tour combinations.
Team medals will be determined by the top three scores from the FEI Grand Prix Test and FEI Prix St. Georges Test for each team, combined with the team's best three scores from the FEI Grand Prix Special Test and FEI Intermediaire I Test. Additionally, a 1.5% bonus will be added to the team results for each Grand Prix/Grand Prix Special rider per team.
Individual medals will be awarded to the riders with the highest scores in the Freestyle tests (Grand Prix or Intermediaire I).
USA I Team will be composed of two 2012 Olympic Games' veterans in Tina Konyot and Adrienne Lyle riding in Big Tour competition, while Shawna Harding and Silva Martin look to secure top results in the Small Tour. Additionally, USA I Team has been designated to earn points for the U.S. in the FEI Nations Cup Final standings.
Konyot (Palm City, Fla.) brings her 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and London veteran, Calecto V, to the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm. They come off a second-place finish in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* during Week Five of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) will also ride her Olympic partner, Peggy Thomas' Wizard. They enter the Nations Cup on strong form following a win in the Grand Prix Special CDI4* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Week Five.
Harding (Aiken, S.C.) is also no stranger to international competition, having represented the U.S. at the 2012 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in s'Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. In Wellington she will ride Tonya Rowe's Rigo, the winner of the 2010 USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championship. Martin (Unionville, Pa.) makes her U.S. team debut with the Rosa Cha W Syndicate's Rosa Cha W, looking to showcase the form that earned them a third-place finish at the 2013 Markel/USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Horse Dressage National Championship presented by HorseShow.com.
USA Team II will also be composed of two Grand Prix combinations, Shelly Francis and Catherine Haddad-Staller, and two Small Tour competitors, Justin Hardin and Ashley Wimmer. Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) made her U.S. team debut in 1998 at the FEI World Equestrian Games and has continued to be an international presence. This week she will ride Patricia Stempel's Doktor, who she completed a European tour with in the summer of 2013, including being a member of the U.S. third-place effort at CDIO3*Aachen and a second-place finish at CDIO3* Hickstead. Haddad-Staller (Califon, N.J.) also has a wealth of international experience, having spent 20 years based in Germany. In Wellington she will ride her own Mane Stream Hotmail, with whom she won the FEI Grand Prix Open classes during Weeks One and Five at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
Hardin (Long Valley, N.J.) and Judith Cardella's Wyatt Star make their second start in Wellington Nations Cup competition. They will look to display the form that helped them to the Silver medal podium in last year's team event. Wimmer (Winston Salem, N.C.) and her own Somerhall make their team debut at the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm and look to utilize the experience gained at the 2013 Markel/USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Horse Dressage National Championships presented by HorseShow.com.
Competition gets underway at 8:30am ET Wednesday with the FEI Prix St. Georges Test.
Watch the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm live and find Video-on-Demand on USEFNetwork.com presented by SmartPak here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014AGDF/.
To learn more about the Adequan Global Dressage Festival visit: http://www.globaldressagefestival.com/.
Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/USDressageTeam/.