April 15th, 2012 --
Two U.S. Dressage teams competed in the Intermediaire I Freestyle Saturday night at the WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO 3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. Both went home with medals.
Helped by three of the night's top seven scores the first U.S. team beat out their American counterpart, a team from Europe, and two teams from Latin America to capture the FEI Nations Cup crown. The team was lead by Christopher Hickey riding Hilltop Farm's Witness Hilltop. The pair kept their momentum from Friday's Prix St. Georges and scored a competition high 71.425%. Caroline Roffman and Pie scored 70.050%, Shelley Francis and Patricia Stemple's Doktor 68.650%, Devon Kane and Diamante Farm's Destiny 67.525% and together they edged out a victory on Saturday night. With a final score of 210.125 (the lowest score from teams of four riders was dropped) the first US team beat out the European team by less than one whole point.
A tense and exciting night in Wellington, Fla. came down to the night's very last rider. With scores of 70.825% and 68.075% respectively from Kevin Kohmann and Katharina Stumph team Europe was still in position to win when the final pairing, Mikala Gunderson and My Lady, got going. They would need a very good ride and they got one. A 70.475% made them the third best pairing of the night, but that wasn't quite enough as the team finished with a 209.375.
Christoper Hickey was exited by the win, and by the entire experience. "I'm very happy with my horse," he said, "he showed himself well even in the electric night time atmosphere of the wonderful new show grounds! I am proud of him and so happy that my owner Jane MacElree of Hilltop Farm was there to enjoy the team feeling we got from this wonderful experience! I had a lot of fun with my teammates as well!"
Overall, it was a very good night for American riders.
The three riders on the second U.S. team captured third place and had individuals finish with two of the top six scores. Laura Graves and her own Verdades scored a 70.400%, fourth highest overall, Tom Noone and his own Fred Astair a 68.675% and Jane Cleveland with her own Rodeo Queen a 64.675%. Their total score was 203.750, good enough to secure a third place finish and ensure that the United State of America enjoyed a night of success at the?WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO 3*.
Saturday night was also a showcase night for athletes from?Latin American. Participants from Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Cayman Islands, Argentina and Colombia rode well and were a strong sign of the present and future state of equestrian spots in Latin American.
For more information about the WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO3* visit?http://www.globaldressagefestival.com/