US rider Lauren Kieffer was just pipped for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** title by World number one eventer William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero, but has been awarded the Pinnacle Cup Trophy for her ride on Veronica.
The trophy goes to the highest placed US rider at the Kentucky Three-Day-Event, and Kieffer joins an illustrious group of riders to have won.
Veronica is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca, LLC. Although Kieffer took over the reins from Karen O’Connor only a year ago, the duo has already developed a strong partnership.
At Kentucky, they finished with 46.7 penalties in the dressage phase and continued to move up the rankings after completing a clear cross-country phase. The pressure was on when they returned for stadium jumping on the final day. They completed a double clear round to finish on their dressage score, taking home the second place honors overall behind Fox-Pitt, and earning the Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Championship title.
“I am thrilled,” Kieffer said. “Veronica could not have gone any better. It’s what we work for every day for years and years, and other riders have worked just as hard, if not harder. I am thrilled that it happened to be my day.
“Veronica is a really talented mare. She’s a real fighter, and she’s very competitive in her own head. She always wants to go out there and play the game, which is really nice. I got the ride on her after Karen was injured at the beginning of last year, and so we spent that time getting to know each other and we’ve gotten along really well from the beginning. It really came together at Kentucky.”
Looking ahead, Kieffer is heading to the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event next, where she will be riding Jacqueline Mars’ RF Cosima and Shannon O’Roark’s Lucky Devil.
Kieffer also hopes to make the team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. “It would be really amazing, and it’s definitely a goal,” she said. “There is a lot of depth to the US team right now. There are a lot of horses to chose from that did really well this past weekend and a lot of horse and rider pairs in Europe competing soon. It’s a goal, and I will be thrilled if I get a chance at it. Once Veronica has had a break we will come out and try to be as good as we were in Kentucky.”
Previous Pinnacle Cup Trophy Winners:
2013: Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM
2012: Allison Springer and Arthur
2011: Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville
2010: Phillip Dutton and Woodburn
2009: Buck Davidson and My Boy Bobby
2008: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2007: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2006: Heidi White Carty and Northern Spy
2005: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2004: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2003: Bruce O. Davidson, Jr. and Mystic Mike
2002: Kim Vinoski (Severson) and Winsome Adante
2001: David O’Connor and Giltedge
2000: David O’Connor and Rattle N Hum
1999: Karen O’Connor and Prince Panache
1998: Dorothy Crowell and Molokai
Before this, the top US finisher was awarded the Gladstone Challenge Trophy.