USA Olympic Selection Events Kick Off Thursday in Compiègne, France
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COMPIÈGNE, France, May 18, 2016–United States’ horses and riders seeking to be on The Dutta Corp. team for the summer Olympics kick off the first of three selection competitions in Europe on Thursday with six of nine combinations lined up for this CDIO5* Nations Cup and CDI3*. Four American youth riders are also starting their European circuit.
The American Olympic team prospects made it to Compiègne based on rankings achieved over 10 months of competitions that wrapped up with the Florida and California winter circuits.
Arlene Page, 59, of Wellington, Florida on Woodstock, her 13-year-old KWPN gelding and Shelly Francis, 57, of Loxahatchee, Florida on Danilo, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, are among the 45 combinations to start in the CDI3* Grand Prix Thursday. Live streaming is available at : http://www.tv-grandprix.com/
Carl Hester, the highest ranked British rider, on his top Olympic prospect Nip Tuck as well as Wanadoo will also show in the CDI3*. So, too will two-time Olympian Patrik Kittel of Sweden on Delaunay as well as Anders Dahl on Selten HW, American-bred and four, five and six-year-old U.S. champion, that the Danish rider made the pair’s debut CDI Grand Prix at the beginning of this month.
The four American pairs in the CDIO5* Nations Cup, the third in the first official year of the trans-Atlantic series, are:
–Laura Graves, 28 years old of Plymouth, Florida and Verdades, her 14-year-old KWPN gelding, ranked 13th in the world. The duo competed on the U.S. World Games team in 2014, the 2015 World Cup Final, team gold and individual silver medalists at the 2015 Pan American Games and U.S. Grand Prix champion for 2015.
–Allison Brock, 36, of Wellington, Florida and Rosevelt, 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion ranked 40th in the world.
–Shelly Francis, 57, of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor, 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, No. 50 in the world. Shelly was on the U.S. team at the 1998 World Games.
Californians Steffen Peters, 51, of San Diego, with Rosamunde, nine-year-old Rhinelander mare, and Legolas, 14-year-old Westfalen gelding, and Günter Seidel, 55, of Cardiff, on Zero Gravity, 12-year-old KWPN gelding, will fly to Europe later this month.
After this competition, Roosendaal, Netherlands CDI4* is next on the schedule for the Americans June 1-5 followed by the Rotterdam, Netherlands CDI3*/CDIO5* Nations Cup June 22-26 after which the team of four combinations plus a reserve will be selected for Rio de Janeiro.