USA Plans Big Presence at CHIO Aachen
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The United States plans one of its biggest dressage presences in years at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany July 8-17 after a six-year absence from the Nations Cup competition, and hopes for strong representation at the World Cup Final in April.
Plans for the increased participation in the world’s most prestigious and competitive horse show were outlined by Anne Gribbons, the Technical Advisor for dressage to the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
The U.S., she said, plans to field a team in the Nations Cup, have entries in the individual CDI3* and the Under-25 competition for the first time, thanks to an invitation from Frank Kemperman, the Aachen chairman.
“We need to be competing with the best in the world and that means Aachen and the Nations Cup,” she told dressage-news.com.
“We plan several shows in Europe leading up to Aachen, not only for our top combinations but also for up and coming partnerships that could perform in the CDI3*.
“And we will be taking up the invitation to show in the Under-25 competition.”
Aachen is one of the last major competitions before the European Championships to be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Aug. 18-21. Rotterdam, normally an open competition, this year is restricted to Europeans in the championships.
The last U.S. dressage team at Aachen was in 2005 when Guenter Seidel and Aragon, Leslie Morse and Kingston, Steffen Peters and Floriano and George Williams and Rocher won the bronze medal behind The Netherlands and Germany. Leslie and Tip Top 362 and Steffen and Lombardi II also competed in the CDI3*.
In the years since, the U.S. achieved success in 2009 when Steffen and Ravel swept the three CDIO competitions–Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle–the first American ever to do so. There was, however, no U.S. team and the pair did not return to defend their title in 2010.
Anne said she hopes for a strong U.S. presence at the World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, April 27-May 1, although Steffen and Ravel, the 2009 World Cup champions, and Tina Konyot and Calecto V, a stallion with more restrictive travel requirements, are not seeking to qualify as she plans to compete in Europe at the major summer shows.
Jan Ebeling and Rafalca are the highest ranked in the North American League, and U.S. World Equestrian Games team member Katherine Bateson-Chandler has said she may seek to qualify with Nartan. Catherine Haddad, based in Germany, could also be a candidate on Winyamaro, a reserve for the 2010 U.S. WEG team and who is ranked 6th in the Western European League.
In addition to the World Cup Final–in which there was no North American, U.S. or Canadian, representation in 2010–the plan would be to enter the Horses and Dreams CDI3* at Hagen, Germany May 4-8.