USA 1 Wins Wellington Nations Cup, Canada 1 2nd, Canada 2 3rd

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USA 1 team of Kimberly Herslow, Allison Brock, Laura Graves and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
USA 1 team of Kimberly Herslow, Allison Brock, Laura Graves and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 26, 2015–United States 1 easily won the Adequate Global Dressage Festival Nations Cup over two Canadian teams winning silver and bronze Thursday in an event formatted identical to the Pan American Games of mixed small and big tour combinations over two days of competition.

The powerful USA 1 team of Laura Graves on Verdades and Allison Brock on Roosevelt at Big Tour and Kimberly Herslow on Rosmarin and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Rassing’s Lonoir at Small Tour dominated the fourth year of the Nations Cup sponsored by Stillpoint Farm of Wellington.

The competition started with nine teams but ended with seven. The results were:
1. USA 1 ($7,500)
2. Canada 1 ($6,000)
3. Canada 2 ($4,500)
4. USA 2 ($3,750)
5. Germany ($3,250)
6. Guatemala
7, Colombia
Australia and Venezuela lost combinations due to veterinary issues or problems in the competition that left both countries without the minimum of three horses for teams.

This was the fourth year in a row that USA 1 has captured the gold medal at the Nations Cup, the only senior team event outside Europe and a part of the FEI series of seven team competitions. However, this year was critical as it was a dry run for the Pan Ams in Toronto in mid-July that will determine a single place for a team from the Americas aside from the host nation of Brazil.

Allison Brock and Rosevelt in the Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Allison Brock and Rosevelt in the Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

This year’s USA 1 squad included team rookies Allison Brock and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz.

Although Laura and Verdades performed only their second Grand Prix Special–the other was at the World Games last August–the pair finished with the highest result in the Big Tour for the second day of the competition that was made up of Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special for Big Tour horses and Prix St. Georges and Intermediate 1 for Small Tour.

Video of the ride by Laura and Verdades can be seen here.

The Big Tour combinations received a “bonus” of 1.5 percentage points for both the Grand Prix and the Special.

Allison and Roosevelt wowed the crowd and produced a personal best score that came after a bumpy ride to the top level of the sport as veterinary issues caused a lengthy absence from the show ring last year for the 13-year-old KWPN stallion owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun.

Kimberly Herslow on Rosmarin was the highest scoring small tour combination in the Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kimberly Herslow on Rosmarin was the highest scoring small tour combination in the Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Kimberly Herslow of Stockton, New Jersey on her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, already atop the U.S. small tour rankings, scored 76.158 per cent that not only was a personal best at 76.158 per cent but was also the highest small tour result in the Americas this year.

Video of the ride by Kimberly and Rosmarin can be seen here.

“We found that fifth gear,” Kimberly Herslow told dressage-news.com of the ride. “We were really on today. And there’s more in the tank.

“That was for sure our best ever ride and it’s something we’ve been building up to the whole season–getting more impulsion, more power. I finally worked out we can do this with a 20-minute warmup and keep building as we go around the arena and during the ride itself.”

Chris Von Martels on Zilverstar was the highest scoring Canadian on their nation’s No. 1 team with a personal best of 74.895 per cent with the 11-year-old KWPN gelding at Intermediate 1 for the team silver medal.

The gap between Canada and the U.S. at small tour was “very narrow,” Chris said, that made it “an exciting time in the sport.”

Belinda Trussell on Anton for Canada 1 in the Nations Cup. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Belinda Trussell on Anton for Canada 1 in the Nations Cup. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Canada 2’s Christilot Boylen on Donatella also posted a personal best result of 73.579 per cent that pulled the team into third place.

Although the ranking of the first two teams never seemed in doubt, the judging, particularly of some of the Grand Prix Special rides, was sharply criticized.

Disparities in the marks for Laura and Verdades were between 72.255 per cent from Janet Foy of the United States and 78.137 from Cesar Torrente of Colombia and for Allison Brock and Rosevelt a low of 71.176 per cent from Elizabeth McMullen of Canada and a high of 77.059 from Linda Zang (see separate story).

Linda, president of the ground jury and recently appointed as a member of the Judges Supervisory Panel that is a check on scores at championships, disclosed that she had already set a meeting with Christoph Koschel of Germany, the judges and Thomas Baur, the Global show director and a member of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee to go over the individual marks while watching a video of the test.

Canada 1 team of Diane Creech, Belinda Trussell, Chris Von Martels and Megan Lane. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Canada 1 team of Diane Creech, Belinda Trussell, Chris Von Martels and Megan Lane. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Robert Dover, the U.S. chef d’equips, described the performances of the Americans as “glorious to watch” and pointed out that the United States now had four combinations–Steffen Peters on Legolas and Rosamunde, Laura on Verdades and Allison on Rosevelt–capable of scores of between 74 per cent and 80 per cent.

“I am confident not only for the Pan American Games,” Robert said, “but also on the way to Rio (de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games). We have more and more depth for America than we’ve ever seen before.”

He also took a swipe at the FEI that restricted qualification through the Pan Ams for one team instead of two in the past. The United States is the hot favorite to win Pan Am gold and the ticket to Rio while Canada will have to try to put together a “composite” team.

Australia, he said, was awarded a team starting place through last year’s WEG although they placed behind Canada, and nations from that part of the world get another chance to qualify through a specially arranged competition.

“It will be to the detriment of our sport if Canada cannot compete in Rio,” he said.

Results:

Grand Prix Special
E: Torrente – COL H: Zang – USA C: Foy – USA M: McMullen – CAN B: Armando – ARG
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Graves, Laura USA Verdades 78.137 0 74.510 0 72.255 0 77.549 0 76.667 0 75.824 1
Brock, Allison USA Rosevelt 76.275 0 77.059 0 72.843 0 73.922 0 71.176 0 74.255 2
Trussell, Belinda CAN Anton 71.667 0 74.714 0 74.020 0 75.490 0 71.275 0 73.433 3
Lane, Megan CAN Caravella 71.078 0 72.059 0 71.078 0 71.471 0 72.255 0 71.588 4
Koschel, Christoph GER Tiesto 69.118 0 71.765 0 70.588 0 66.373 0 71.863 0 69.941 5
Irving, Jill CAN Degas 12 72.059 70.000 0 67.059 0 69.020 0 69.020 0 69.431 6
CatherineHaddad-Staller USA Mane Stream Hotmail 66.863 69.804 0 69.412 0 71.078 0 69.706 0 69.373 7
Intermediare 1
E: Torrente – COL H: Zang – USA C: Foy – USA M: McMullen – CAN B: Armando – ARG
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Herslow, Kimberly USA Rosmarin 75.921 1 74.605 3 77.237 1 76.842 1 76.184 1 76.158 1
Von Martels, Chris CAN Zilverstar 73.421 2 77.368 1 75.526 2 72.500 4 75.658 2 74.895 2
Boylen, Christilot CAN Donatella 79 72.632 4 73.684 4 74.079 3 75.395 2 72.105 7 73.579 3
Creech, Diane CAN Robbie W 70.395 9 75.000 2 72.105 5 72.368 5 72.500 6 72.474 4
Hickey, Christopher USA Ronaldo 71.974 5 70.921 8 73.026 4 71.974 6 73.553 5 72.289 5
LaGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Rassing’s Lonoir 71.184 7 71.579 6 71.316 7 67.895 12 74.868 3 71.368 6
Perry, Kasey USA Goerklintgaards Dublet 69.605 10 71.053 7 69.868 11 70.921 7 73.947 4 71.079 7
Dueck, Shannon CAN Cantaris 73.158 3 72.237 5 70.658 9 69.737 10 69.211 12 71.000 8
Myburgh, Neve GER Bon Chance 70.789 8 70.658 9 71.974 6 67.895 12 70.658 10 70.395 9
Irwin, Tina CAN Fancy That 71.447 6 67.632 12 70.921 8 70.921 7 70.921 8 70.368 10
Klimke, Michael GER Djamba Djokiba 67.500 13 66.579 13 70.000 10 73.816 3 70.921 8 69.763 11
Koschel, Patricia GER Leuchtfeuer DE 68.684 11 69.474 10 68.684 12 70.263 9 69.474 11 69.316 12
Mortimer, Esther GUA Adajio 66.053 14 68.026 11 66.053 14 68.158 11 67.500 13 67.158 13
Reteguiz-Denizard, Luis PUR Royal Affair 67.632 12 63.553 18 66.711 13 65.132 16 65.658 16 65.737 14
Dominguez Thomas, Alexandra GUA Beijing A 64.868 16 64.737 16 64.737 16 67.763 14 66.447 15 65.711 15
Aragao, Pia BRA Baldor Interagro 63.816 19 64.211 17 64.474 17 66.711 15 65.526 17 64.947 16
Bernal, Marco COL Farewell IV 65.132 15 65.263 15 64.876 15 64.605 19 64.342 20 64.844 17
Bernal Jr., Marco COL Zalvador 64.342 17 66.316 14 64.211 18 63.816 20 65.526 17 64.842 18
Yarur, Virginia CHI Finn 63.947 18 63.421 19 63.684 20 65.000 17 66.842 14 64.579 19
Losos de Muniz, Yvonne DOM Debussy 63.158 20 61.842 22 63.816 19 64.737 18 65.526 17 63.816 20
Schorpp, Andrea GUA Messina 61.447 21 61.711 23 61.711 22 63.026 21 62.500 21 62.079 21
Aponte, Maria COL Pretty Woman 61.447 21 63.026 20 62.500 21 61.447 22 61.974 22 62.079 22
Muro, Irina VEN Don Royal 59.211 24 62.105 21 60.658 23 61.184 23 59.342 23 60.500 23
Davis, Karin AUS Morris 59.737 23 59.605 24 60.526 24 58.158 24 59.342 23 59.474 24
Gentry, Kim AUS Leonardo Elim
Fyffe, Nicholas AUS Banzai LS WD
Ferrando, Patricia VEN Alpha’s Why Not WD
Moleiro De Muro, Irina VEN Von Primaire WD