Team USA 1 bested the five teams battling for top honors in the $35,000 WEF Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO-3*, on Saturday night.
Team Europe took home the silver and Team USA 2 captured the bronze in an exciting FEI Intermediare Freestyle competition held under the lights at the show grounds of the Global Dressage Festival.
Christopher Hickey and Witness Hilltop led Team USA 1 with a score of 71.425%; Caroline Roffman on Pie scored 70.050%; Shelly Francis with Doktor garnered 68.650% and Devon Kane riding Destiny earned 67.525% for a total of 210.125 points. Hickey enjoyed the whole Nations Cup experience.
“Being on a team is a very special thing,” said Hickey. “It’s a great experience to go to the ring and support your teammates. It’s also great to have someone help out like our Chef d’Equipe, Eva (Salomon) and then to have a team coach like Anne Gribbons. It’s a wonderful feeling to have your owner and small group there for you as well as a chef and a coach.”
Kevin Kohmann (GER) and Klouseau’s score of 70.825% helped secure the silver for Team Europe, but the crowd needed to wait for the last rider, Mikala Gundersen, (DEN) and My Lady before the medals could be determined. The pair finished with 70.475%. The third team Europe member, Katharina Stumph, (AUT) and For My Love earned 68.075% for a team total of 209.375 points.
Stumph beamed as she spoke of the competition. “It was really amazing to fight for the team, to make friends, and to work together,” said Stumph. “I never dreamed of something like this.”
Team USA 2 was led by Laura Graves on Verdades scoring a 70.400%; Tom Noone and Fred Astair with 68.675%; and Jane Cleveland receiving 64.675% on Rodeo Queen. They finished with 203.750 points.
The Latin America I team was fourth with Marco Bernal (COL) on Farewell IV, Alejandro Gomez (VEN) riding Revenge and Irina Moleiro de Muro (VEN) on Sambuca finishing with 197.225 points. Fifth place went to Latin American 2 with Mica Mabragana (ARG) on Cuatrero IV, Jessica McTaggart (CAY) riding Ray of Light and Luis Reteguiz-Denizard (PUR) on Nalando scoring 186.425 points.
• David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital led the Canadians in a sweep of the top three places in the FEI Intermediare 1 on Saturday afternoon.
Marcus’ score of 69.211% was followed closely by that of fellow Canadians Chris Von Martels aboard Udon P with a 67.974%, and Diane Creech on Hallmark with a score of 66.132%.
“My horse was more confident and relaxed today,” Marcus said. “The test rode better, I was very happy with him. Yesterday was not his best day, I think it was because of Friday the 13, so for him to come back and be so great today really pleased me.”
Chrevi’s Capital is just starting his Grand Prix career. The 12-year-old Danish warmblood, owned by Deborah Kinzinger, has given Marcus solid performances this season, and now has given him his first Nations Cup experience. “This is a great event,” said Marcus. ” We have really enjoyed coming together as a team. This is my first time riding on a Canadian team. I’m a new Canadian. I’ve lived in Canada since I was 18 but I just became a citizen, so for me the Nations Cup was really exciting.”
Marcus, who hails from Campbellville, Ontario, grew up in the United States but relocated to Canada where he now operates a training facility.