Benjamin Ebeling & Illuster van de Kampert, Top Ranked USA Under-25 Combination, Competes in First Big Tour Event

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BenjaminEbeling on Illuster Van De Kampert in the 21-year-old rider’s first senior international Grand Prix. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 15, 2021–Benjamin Ebeling competed Illuster van de Kampert in the pair’s first Big Tour Friday at the Global Dressage Festival that the 21-year-old rider admitted he found the World Cup Grand Prix not as difficult as the Under-25 version.

Ben and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood that are the world’s seventh ranked and highest American Under-25 combination scored 70.870%. The duo placed fourth behind U.S. team rider Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir, Great Britain’s Susan Pape on Harmony’s Don Noblesse and Yvonne Losos De Muñiz of Dominican Republic on Aquamarijn.

The son of U.S. 2012 Olympian Jan Ebeling who lives in Moorpark, California but based in Wellington in winter, Ben has had time over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic to develop the horse. He switched from being located at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania pursuing a business degree to staying home and taking classes on line.

He was first of 13 rider and horse combinations in the Grand Prix.

Ben said the test “seems to be a little bit easier. I don’t know how it works, but the judging seems to be a bit tougher.

“It’s really cool in the U25s… really fun because you’re competing with all of your friends. Now, I don’t really know most of the riders that were in the class but, hopefully, it’s something I can get to know.”

Germany’s Chirstoph Koschel who works with Jan Ebeling (center) in helping Ben after his first senior Grand Prix. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Qualifying for a start at a World Cup Final appeals as a possibility, especially as he has been successful at musical freestyles. But he also wants to earn world ranking points.

While his long term goal is to ride on a U.S. team, he said, if that doesn’t happen “I’m happy to be riding with my dad For the long term I want to continue doing that and having fun in the sport.”