USA’s Brian Hafner & Lombardo Top Nations Cup Team Rankings After 1st Day of Hickstead Grand Prix

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Brian Hafner on Lombardo LHF competing in the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England. © 2014 Kn Braddick/dressage-news.com
Brian Hafner on Lombardo LHF competing in the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England. © 2014 Kn Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

HICKSTEAD, England, July 31, 2014–Brian Hafner rode his Lombardo LHF to the top team result midway through the Nations Cup Grand Prix Thursday on his rookie European tour and two days from his 26th birthday.

Brian and the 15-year-old gelding that he brought to Europe on a Dressage Foundation training grant scored 68.800 per cent for second place overall behind British Olympic gold medalist Carl Hester who rode Dances With Wolves as an individual for 70.240 per cent. Denmark’s Rikke Svane on Finkenstein TSF was third on 68.520 per cent.

This Nations Cup will be decided by scores combined from the Grand Prix that will finish Friday and the Grand Prix Special to be held Saturday.

It is the final in the 2014 pilot series that kicked off at last winter’s Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida before moving to Europe for five more events.

Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and the United States have fielded teams in the Nations Cup at Hickstead just south of London. Britain won gold here in 2013, the U.S. silver and Germany bronze.

Carl Hester on Dances With Wolves riding as an individual in the Nations Cup Grand Prix at Hickstead, England. © 2014 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Dances With Wolves riding as an individual in the Nations Cup Grand Prix at Hickstead, England. © 2014 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com

Susan Dutta of Wellington and Currency DC was the second American combination to compete Thursday and the victim of disparity of more than eight percentage points between the highest and lowest scores that gave her a total of 65.620 per cent.

Peter Engel of Germany gave the pair 68.000 per cent while Wojciech Markowski of Poland awarded them 59.800 per cent. Karin Kruger of Denmark and Susanne Baarup of Denmark each gave Susie and Currency 67.600 per cent and Stephen Clarke of Great Britain was at 65 per cent. The show office recounted the scores to insure accuracy.

Susan Dutta on Currency DC in the Hickstead Nations Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Susan Dutta on Currency DC in the Hickstead Nations Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Lombardo was a four-year-old when bought by Brian’s family for him to compete at Young Rider and he was successful in becoming a medalist at the North American championships in 2009 followed two years later by winning the Brentina Cup, the United States Under-25 championship.

The horse has made a seamless transition to the Big Tour, he said, “that’s not normal and I totally get that.”

Brian of Sonoma, California qualified for this year’s American championships but skipped the event to come to Europe for his first international competition outside the U.S. He was named to the teams for the Nations Cups at Rotterdam last month and at Hckstead this week.

Lombardo, he said, was the “best he’s felt in the show arena but like several horses found the reconfigured arena spooky that caused some mistakes.

“Overall this is a great experience for me as a young professional, to be a part of a Nations Cup team and to be competitive,” he told dressage-news.com. “I’m very lucky to have this horse now, very early in in my career. I know this was only the first part of the Grand Prix. Sitting second behind Carl is a litte surreal. But I’m here to compete and I’m just as competitive as everyone else.”

Brian has been training with Johann Hinnemann in Germany and plans to continue to do so at Johann’s newly purchased training center in Southern California.

“It’s been amazing, I’ve had a blast. I wish I could come back every year. I’m sure there will be some bumps and stuff along the way.”

Although he’s comfortable with his training program and horse management, he thinks about a successor to Lombardo. He has a three-year-old at home just getting started under saddle.

“It’s just hard being a young professsional,” he said. “For me it’s scary. You never know how a horse will last especially when competing at this level. Anything can happen. It’s scary to know I have nothing right now to get me back in the arena,

“I’m enjoying the moment, though.”

The experience in Germany of being in full training for the first time in his life has, he said, been “really good for me to go home and figure everything out I’ve learned and work it into my daily program.”

Results:

CDIO3* Nations Cup Grand Prix (1st day)

Judges: E: K Kruger H: W Markowski C: S Clarke M: S Baarup B: P Engel

Rank Rider Horse E H C M B Total
1 CARL HESTER
GBRFEI ID 10011469
DANCES WITH WOLVES
FEI ID 103DH18
71.400%
(1)
65.100%
(4)
71.200%
(2)
70.400%
(1)
73.100%
(1)
70.240%
2 BRIAN HAFNER
USAFEI ID 10032108
LOMBARDO LHF
FEI ID USA41057
66.600%
(11)
67.700%
(2)
71.800%
(1)
69.700%
(4)
68.200%
(4)
68.800%
3 RIKKE SVANE
DENFEI ID 10079528
FINCKENSTEIN TSF
FEI ID 103FA60
69.500%
(4)
64.100%
(5)
70.400%
(3)
70.100%
(2)
68.500%
(3)
68.520%
4 4 LARA GRIFFITHS
GBRFEI ID 10015853
`ANDRETTI H
FEI ID ITA08433
69.600%
(3)
66.000%
(3)
69.400%
(4)
70.100%
(2)
65.300%
(11)
68.080%
5 CHARLOTTE HAID BONDERGAARD
SWEFEI ID 10031947
TRVIANT 2
FEI ID GER41659
67.800%
(7)
68.100%
(1)
68.000%
(5)
66.500%
(8)
67.100%
(6)
67.500%
6 NIKKI CRISP
GBRFEI ID 10045617
PASOA
NRPS
67.100%
(10)
63.600%
(6)
67.800%
(6)
68.700%
(5)
69.200%
(2)
67.280%
7 JULIETTE RAMEL
SWEFEI ID 10019383
TEN POINTS
FEI ID SWE40514
71.000%
(2)
63.400%
(7)
67.200%
(7)
66.900%
(7)
65.400%
(10)
66.780%
8 KATHARINA BIRKENHOLZ
GERFEI ID 10026339
DON ANDROSSO
FEI ID GER42209
67.900%
(6)
62.100%
(9)
65.800%
(9)
66.200%
(9)
66.800%
(8)
65.760%
9 SUSAN DUTTA
USAFEI ID 10003416
CURRENCY DC
FEI ID USA10641
67.600%
(9)
59.900%
(11)
65.000%
(10)
67.600%
(6)
68.000%
(5)
65.620%
10 DANE RAWLINS
IRLFEI ID 10023774
SYDNEY
FEI ID GBR14528
65.600%
(12)
62.900%
(8)
64.700%
(12)
64.400%
(11)
67.100%
(6)
64.940%
11 HANNAH BIGGS
GBRFEI ID 10045461
WELTZIN
FEI ID GBR42668
68.100%
(5)
59.400%
(13)
66.300%
(8)
64.000%
(12)
65.100%
(12)
64.580%
12 ALICE OPPENHEIMER
GBRFEI ID 10057068
HEADMORE DELEGATE
FEI ID 103DS86
67.800%
(7)
59.800%
(12)
64.900%
(11)
66.200%
(9)
63.200%
(13)
64.380%
13 HENRIETTE ANDERSON
GBRFEI ID 10016764
WARLOCKS CHARM
FEI ID 103LO57
63.800%
(14)
60.500%
(10)
64.200%
(13)
63.900%
(13)
66.100%
(9)
63.700%
14 CAROLINE CHEW
SINFEI ID 10034877
LAVERNO S NRW
FEI ID GER24817
64.600%
(13)
58.000%
(14)
64.000%
(14)
62.100%
(14)
63.200%
(13)
62.380%
15 PETRA VAN ESCH
NEDFEI ID 10007867
UNIQUE
FEI ID 104HD44
58.100%
(15)
55.100%
(15)
59.200%
(15)
58.000%
(15)
58.200%
(15)
57.720%