Germany Out of Falsterbo Nations Cup, USA Looking to Hold Series Lead
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Germany had to pull out of the Falsterbo, Sweden CDIO5* Nations Cup Tuesday when one of its riders was injured just days before the fifth stage of the trans-Atlantic series with the United States looking to hold on to its top ranking.
Germany’s Andrea Timpe was injured in a riding accident Sunday that led to her being hospitalized and unable to join the team leaving only two combinations for the competition that requires a minimum three horses and riders.
Denmark, Russia, Sweden and the United States remain in the Nations Cup in its second year as an official International Equestrian Federation (FEI) series.
The United States won the inaugural year and after the first four of seven events took the lead this year after capturing the Rotterdam CDIO5* Nations Cup and has a total of 29 points. The Netherlands, not competing here, is in second three points back while Sweden is in third place on 26 points.
The Swedish squad of Patrik Kittel on Deja, Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén on Paridon Magi and Rose Mathisen on Zuidenwind, ranked first, second and fifth for their country, is favored in their home town event.
However, the United States team of Chase Hickok on Sagacious HF, Charlotte Jorst on Kastel’s Nintendo and Mette Rosencrantz on Marron will remain atop the standings if it finishes first or second. Any lower and Sweden will take over the lead.
The next Nations Cup is the CDIO5* at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany where eight countries are fielding teams next week.
The U.S. team there includes three of the four combinations on the winning squad at Rotterdam–Laura Graves on Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir with the addition of Nations Cup rookie combination of Adrienne Lyle and Salvino in only their second European CDI and third total since beginning Big Tour at this winter’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.
The world’s No. 1 combination of Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD will lead Germanys team that includes Olympic gold medal team mates Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo, two-time Olympic rider Dorothee Schneider on Sammy Davis, Jr. and Olympic and world championship veteran Hubertus Schmidt on Imperio.
The final event in the series is the CDIO3* at Hickstead, England at the end of this month where the U.S. will participate.
The United States is the only country to have scheduled teams for all seven Nations Cups that began with a CDIO3* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida at the end of March then moved to Europe for six events–Compiègne, France; Uggerhalne, Denmark; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Falsterbo, Sweden; Aachen, Germany and Hickstead, England.
The 2016 inaugural year of the official series had a total lineup of six teams–one in the U.S. and five in Europe.
This year saw Hickstead on the schedule when several riders, owners and other supporters contributed money after it was canceled in 2016 because of lack of funding.
However, in this year of no Olympics or world championships, participation is down significantly.
No points were earned at the Wellington event because only three countries fielded teams–with Canada taking gold, the United States silver and Spain bronze. Unlike the European competitions, teams for Wellington can be a mix of big and small tour combinations aimed at accommodating Pan American nations.
There also are no uniform rules for the series set up by the FEI–the “standard” format is for teams of up to four riders starting in the Grand Prix with three scores counting, the results of two pre-designated combinations added in the Grand Prix Special and one in the Grand Prix Freestyle. In the case of Wellington teams with small tour combinations follow the same procedure but with Prix St. Georges, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate Freestyle.
The format is different for the CDIO5* in Aachen with procedures similar to the Olympics–teams of up to four riders competing in the Grand Prix with three scores counting and the top six squads moving to the Grand Prix Special to decide the final placings.
The Grand Prix Freestyle at Aachen decides the individual champion.
Some nations are lobbying for a change in the rules to end the requirement to pre-designate combinations for the Grand Pix Special and the Freestyle as the withdrawal of a combination for medical reasons in the Grand Prix, for example, could wipe out the chances of the team no matter how well the squad performs overall.