USA Standing 3rd After Nations Cup First Round Grand Prix, Special & Freestyle to Come
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 21, 2018–Steffen Peters on Rosamunde was the leading American combination in the first round of the Nations Cup in the horse’s first team competition that helped the United States to third place behind a strong home side and the almost as successful Swedish squad.
Steffen and the 11-year-old Rhinelander mare competing outside the United States for the first time since this same CHIO two years ago and after a break from international competition for most of 2017 was awarded 74.130 per cent for fifth place individually for a ride that is getting close to the 75/76 per cent he hopes to achieve by the time of the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in less than three months.
Steffen on Rosamunde, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino, Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir are defending the U.S. won last year but with a new scoring format using placings that appeared to widen the gap to be made up in the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle. The Netherlands had 13 points for 1st, Sweden on 15 for 2nd and the U.S. on 18 for third. Under the old format of adding the scores of the top three combinations, the gap was only 3.108 percentage points between Holland on 224.216, Sweden on 223.383 and USA 221.108.
The scores for Steffen, Adrienne and Kasey, fifth, sixth and seventh places individually, were negatively impacted by Dutch judge Mariette Sanders-van Gansewinkel who placed the three Americans the lowest of all by significant margins–identical marks of 70.978 per cent for Steffen and Kasey and 70.543 per cent for Adrienne. The averages of the other four judges from different nations–none from the U.S.–were 74.918 for Steffen, 74.755 for Adrienne and 73.586 for Kasey.
“It was a great start,” said Steffen of San Diego, California. “We came over here and right off the first day at the training center in Belgium she had lots of energy but was so much more controlled. We always had the energy but in the walk I couldn’t quite control it enough.
The half passes were incredible, both pirouettes felt good. Even the one tempis are slowly getting a little straighter. There were lots of highlights in there.
“I would have been extremely happy with a 75 maybe even a 76 like a few judges had her. That’s the aim by September (the World Equestrian Games in Trtyon).
“It was a clean test. At the end of the day four judges really liked it, and one judge didn’t like it so much. It’s the name of the game and we have to accept it. We need to study the marks from the judge who gave the lowest scores and learn from it and hopefully improve the score on Saturday.”
Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Salvino, the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion that began Big Tour 15 months ago, is being competed by the Olympic rider for a place on the team for the Tryon Gamers in less than three months that would be the horse’s first championship.
Adrienne and Salvino are the second highest ranked U.S. combination at No. 20 behind Laura Graves and Verdades at No. 2. Her coach and mentor for the past decade is Debbie McDonald, who was named Wednesday as the successor to Robert Dover as teach coach–technical advisor and chef d’equipe.
Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, that also took a long break from competition–eight months–after the intensity of the previous two years that put her on the bronze medal team at the 2016 Olympics described herself as “100 per cent happy” despite some mistakes that resulted in a score of 73.065 per cent and seventh place individually–forgot to count the one-tempis, she confessed jokin, for one mistake and a spook in the compact arena that resulted in a short change behind in the zig-zag.
“Everything else felt so good and so rideable. I was able to ride through some tension,” said Kasey who moved from California to Wellington, Florida to work with Debbie McDonald. “He’s gotten so seasoned—we have together.
“He’s just getting better and better. I know there’s so much more in there We get it in the war, up now we need to get it in the test.
“I’m becoming more comfortable riding him through the tests and he’s being more cxomfortable in the tests . I think once we can do a clean tests with the quality that he is we’ll be up there in the scores, very competitive.”
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virginia and Lonoir had some uncharacteristic mistakes–riding through several changes in the one-tempis, for example–that she and the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding scored 70.304 per cent for 14th place.
Like Adrienne and Kasey, Debbie McDonald.is her personal trainer.
In addition to the four combinations in the Nations Cup, four American pairs will also compete in the CDI3*, starting Friday with the Grand Prix.
Steffen will ride Suppenkasper, the 10-year-old KWPN gelding that was bought by Akiko Yamazaki last year from German Olympic team rider Helen Langehanenberg as a prospect for the 2020 Olympics. Steffen showed the horse at four California shows over the winter.
Adrienne will be riding Horizon, owned by Elizabeth “Betsy” Juliano who also owns Salvino, in the first competition outside the United States for the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare. She has been competed at small and big tour in Wellington and once at the WEG venue in Tryon.
Ashley Holzer, of New York City and Wellington, the Canadian multi Olympian who now rides for the United States, will show Havanna, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare, while Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida will compete Danilo, the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding she won a start at the World Cup Final in Paris two months ago.