Olivia LaGoy-Weltz & Lonoir Focused on Earning Pair’s First World Cup Start

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Feb. 1, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir returned to international competition at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival for the first time in 18 months to win the World Cup event and put the pair on a path that could lead to the Final in Las Vegas in mid-April.

The pair will follow the victory in the Freestyle on a career high score and the first above 80% with a second World Cup event, at Global in Wellington this coming week. It will also pit Olivia and the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding against fellow American Steffen Peters who is riding Suppenkasper and looking to fill one of the two places reserved for North America in the lineup of 18 starting combinations in Las Vegas.

Steffen already has two of three scores required to qualify for the Final that will be staged in the same Thomas & Mack Arena where in 2009 on Ravel he became only the second American to capture the title.

If successful in earning a high enough score this coming week, Olivia, 36, of Haymarket, Virginia will have to wait until the last week of the Global winter circuit, Mar. 25-29, to get a third score that she hopes will send her to her first world championship. Olivia and Lonoir, supported by Mary Anne McPhail, began their international partnership at Small Tour six years ago. In 2017 and 2018, the combination competed on U.S. Nations Cup teams in Europe and the U.S..

While Olivia is leaving open the option of Lonoir being a possible contender for the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics the main focus is on the World Cup.

The demands of qualifying for Olympic teams and the World Cup have limited the opportunity to do both championships. The World Cup is in mid-April requiring at least three Grand Prix Freestyle scores in North America while the Olympics are at the end of July and require at least as many Grand Prix Special results.

Although Lonoir has come back better than ever from 18 months out of the sport recovering from farrier work gone wrong, Olivia is clear “I’m not going to over-work” the horse. She will be guided by how Lonoir feels in each competition.