USA Championships/World Games Trials Start Thursday-Start Times & More
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GLADSTONE, New Jersey, June 11, 2014–The United States Championships presented by the Dutta Corp. start Tursday at this historic farm an hour outside New York City with a top priority selection of eight horses and riders to go to Europe to try to earn a place on the American team for the World Equestrian Games.
The path that is being followed to pick the final team of four combinations with a reserve takes a leaf out of the past when several horses and riders were sent to Europe ahead of the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004–the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996 and the top combination, Michelle Gibson and Peron were based in Europe–when America won four straight bronze medals.
The teams for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 an at London in 2012 were selected at the Festival of Champions where nationl titles are awarded for Grand Prix, Intermediate, Brentina Cup Under 25, Young, Junior and and Pony Rider.
The United States came away from the 2008 and 2012 Games empty-handed.
So half of the 16 combinations that will start in Thursday’s Grand Prix based on their best two CDI scores in the past year will get to fly to Europe next week for two major competitions–the CDI4* at Fritzens, Austria over the July Fourth weekend and then the World Equestrian Festival of a Nations Cup CDIO5* and a separate CDI4* competition at Aachen, Germany July 15-20.
More American horses and riders are producing higher scores this year than the team members at the previous WEG in 2010 with the exception of Ravel ridden by Steffen Peters to two individual bronze medals at Lexington, Kentucky. The pair became one of the top ranked in the world before the KWPN gelding was retired after the 2012 Olympics.
The pairs competing this weekend qualified with their two best results from the past year, but dressage-news.com calculated averages of results from all combinations in 2014, including those discarded by the riders, to provide a guide to overall performance.
In 2010, Steffen of San Diego, California and Ravel achieved an average CDI results for that year prior to the WEG of 76.374 per cent. The pair, that won the World Cup title and the Aachen CDIO championship a year earlier, scored 78.596 per cent at the WEG.
Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida and Calecto V had an average of 69.086 per cent and scored 69.915 at WEG.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington, Florida and Nartan that she began riding in the spring of 2010 had an average of 67.966 per cent and whose WEG Grand Prix score was 69.617 per cent.
Todd Flettrich of Wellington and Otto had an average of 67.784 per cent in competitions in 2010 before the WEG and received a score of 66.553 per cent at Lexington.
For the record, Steffen and Ravel were given a bye and did not compete in the championships in 2010 but the scores awarded in two weekends of Grand Prix–the test which decided the Nations Cup at WEG–were 73.106 per cent for Tina and Calecto, 70.595 per cent for Todd and Otto and 70.446 per cent for Katherine and Nartan.
Steffen and Ravel was the only combination with an average at 70 per cent or greater before the WEG in 2010.
This year, four combinations have an average for 2014 of more than 70 per cent, and another combination has a single score for this year that was above 70 per cent. Averages of all 2014 scores for the top 12 combinations were calculated by dressage-news.com.
Steffen is again at the top of the list, this year riding Legolas, 12-year-old Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Florestan II) the top ranked American combination and winner of the U.S. Championships in 2013.
The average for their three competitions in 2014 is 73.993 per cent.
Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Wizard, who was out of competition recovering from an injury for most of 2013, has five results in 2014 with an average of 71.488 per cent.
Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor who competed in Europe last summer, has results from four Grand Prix that average 70.725 per cent.
Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California and the Olympic team celebrity mare Rafalca has an average of 70.300 per cent from their two shows this year.
Arlene “Tuny” Page of Wellington and Alina, whom she also competed in Europe last summer, has only one score from this year and that was from a top European competition and was 70.160 per cent.
Caroline Roffman of Wellington and Her Highness O, the mare she competed at small tour in Aachen last year when she rode Sagacious HF as the first American to compete in the Under-25 Division, has the next highest average–69.660 per cent from four competitions.
Tina and Calecto V are back with a shot at their second WEG team, with the Olympics in between, and an average of 69.564 per cent.
Kathleen Raine of Murietta, California, a WEG and World Cup veteran, and Breanna average 69.453 per cent.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler is on Wellnetta, a relative newcomer to the Grand Prix, whose three results average 69.248 per cent.
Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Van the Man, who competed in this year’s World Cup Final, had an average of 68.380 per cent.
Charlotte Jorst of Reno, Nevada who is coached on her Nintendo by Günter Seidel whose hopes of a team slot were dashed when Coral Reef Wylea went lame, has an average of 67.248 per cent from three scores–a low of 62.680 per cent and a high of 70.384 per cent.
The start list for the Grand Prix: