USA Olympic Qualifiers Intensify With World Cup Events Same Week In California, Florida

5 years ago admin Comments Off on USA Olympic Qualifiers Intensify With World Cup Events Same Week In California, Florida
Laura Graves and Verdades completing the Grand Prix Freestyle that clinched the United States Championship. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves and Verdades completing the Grand Prix Freestyle that clinched the United States Championship. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jan. 25, 2016

United States Olympic qualifying intensifies this week with World Cup events in both California and Florida with 10 of the 12 top ranked combinations taking another step on the journey they hope will take them to Rio de Janeiro Games in August.

Laura Graves and Verdades, the first-time U.S. Grand Prix Championship pair and at the top of the official American standings, will ride their second CDI of 2016 at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex.

Laura of Plymouth, Florida and her World and Pan American Games and World Cup Final mount, Verdades, is one of seven of the top ranked U.S. combinations in the lineup of 56 pairs from 13 countries, about half of them Olympic or world and continental championship riders, in Wellington, Florida. The Grand Prix will be staged over Wednesday and Thursday.

Allison Brock on Rosevelt, Lisa Wilcox on Galant and Pikko del Cerro, Kathleen Raine on Breanna, Katherine Bateson Chandler on Alcazar and Arlene Page on Woodstock have also entered the Florida Grand Prix. All except the Murrieta, California-based Kathleen Raine call Wellington home in winter.

Steffen Peters, the mainstay of American dressage for the past decade, will compete the rising star Rosamunde and his World and Pan Am Games partner Legolas, ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, at the California Dreaming Productions’ World Cup Grand Prix at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.

Steffen Peters on Rosamunde in the U.S. Grand Prix Championship. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters on Rosamunde in the U.S. Grand Prix Championship. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Among the 10 combinations scheduled to start in the Grand Prix is Günter Seidel of Cardiff, California, who is ranked sixth in the nation on Zero Gravity. Five of the other seven pairs are from the U.S. and two from Canada.

The Florida and California show circuits make up 12 of the 15 CDI3* or higher ranked events in 2016 before the May 1 cutoff of qualifying for the squad of up to eight pairs that will go to Europe to compete for one of the four horses and riders selected for the team for Rio.

Californians Jan Ebeling, Christine Traurig and Mette Rosencranz have moved to Florida for the first stages of the Global circuit of seven CDIs.

Plus, the Florida shows offer a total of more than $700,000 in prize money while none is available at most of the California events.

The Global Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday night will be streamed live with no fee.

The Burbank Grand Prix classes will be streamed live with commentary by the popular Axel Steiner at a cost of $10 per day or $15 for two days.