Nations Cup Starts Friday with Eight Teams & Some Snazzy Uniforms

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Riders in the CDIO3* Nations Cup. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, April 12–Eight teams of riders from around the world start the first ever non-championship Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere Friday in a festive atmosphere celebrating the finale of the inaugural Global Dressage Festival.

The eight teams are Australia, Canada, a European team, an intercontinental team of Europe and the U.S., two mixed teams from Latin America and two squads from the United States and will vie for $35,000 in prize money in the small tour competition presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Thirty horses and riders from 13 nations are scheduled in the Prix St. Georges that will determine which five teams move on to the Grand Prix Freestyle to be held under lights on Saturday and that will determine the CDIO3* results. The other three teams will compete in the Intermediate I during the day Saturday.

Some teams created their own uniforms for the event, including much admired European outfits that included flags of Austria, Denmark and Germany representing the riders on the squad.

Anja Plönzke, one of two German riders on Team Europe, wearing clothing designed by the team's chef d'equipe, Alexander Meyer-Hiestand. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com
Australia's Nicholas Fyffe who won the style award presented by the dressage boutique ShowChic for best dressed at the veterinary check. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com

The event will also include a Global Dressage Festival Parade of Champions for National High Score Circuit Winners on Saturday night.

The CDIO3* is being staged as part of an effort to move Olympic qualifying to Grand Prix level–the same as the European Championships–for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Up to this year, qualifying for Olympics has been through small tour competition at the Pan American Games.

Equestrian Sport Productions, organizers of the GDF, has undertaken to stage Nations Cups over the next three years that are small tour this year, mixed big tour and small tour in 2013 and all Grand Prix level in 2014, ahead of the 2015 Pan Ams scheduled for Toronto and designed to meet requirements for Big Tour Olympic qualification.

The only sour note at the Nations Cup was distribution by opponents of the new dressage facility of a false news release and broadcast by two television stations that the show grounds had been closed down. The report was redistributed in text messages sent to Nations Cup participants, creating some confusion.

“It is unfortunate that the groups opposing the Equestrian Village project have used the construction issue in an attempt to damage the final event of what has been a fantastic dressage season at the Global Dressage Festival,” said a statement from ESP that organized the $270,000 circuit.

Finals preparation of one of the largest covered arenas in North America was underway this week at the show grounds that are part of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The covered arena, large enough to accommodate three full size dressage rings, is designed to complement five outdoor arenas and permanent stabling that was built at a cost of several million dollars as a world class home for dressage during winter.

Nations Cup Teams:

TEAM AUSTRALIA – Chef d’Equipe – Ken Braddick
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Ilse Schwarz – Cadenza – Ken Braddick
Kelly Layne – Don Royal – Betriz Torbay
Nicholas Fyffe – Wasmut – Deborah Mullaney

TEAM CANADA – Chef d’Equipe – Gina Smith
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Diane Creech – Hallmark – Douglas Leatherdale
Chris Von Martels – Udon P – Chris Von Martels
David Marcus – Chrevi’s Capital – Deborah Kinzinger
Lee Tubman – Vegas – Ducat Developments LTD

TEAM EUROPE – Chef d’Equipe – Alexander Meyer-Hiestand
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Anja Plönzke (GER) – Wilbur – Jeanette Kretchik
Mikala Gundersen (DEN) – My Lady – Janne Rumbough
Katharina Stumpf (AUT) – For My Love – Katharina Stumpf
Kevin Kohmann (GER) – Klouseau – Angela Bordwell

TEAM INTERCONTINENTAL – Chef d’Equipe – Petra Scammen
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Lisa Hyslop (USA) – Rolling Stone – Lisa Hyslop
Bianca Berktold (GER) – Fuerst Falco – Bianca Berktold
Neve Myburgh (GER) – Bon Renoir – Sally Cahill
Louisa – Marcelle Eadie (GBR) – Baltazar

TEAM LATIN AMERICA (1) – Chef d’Equipe – Eduardo Muniz
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Alejandro Gomez (VEN) – Revenge – Alejandro Gomez
Marco Bernal (COL) – Farewell IV – Marco Bernal
Yvonne Losos de Muniz (DOM) – Dondolo Las Marismas – Yvonne Losos de Muniz
Irina Moleiro de Muro (VEN) – Sambuca – Irina Moleiro de Muro

TEAM LATIN AMERICA (2) – Chef d’Equipe – James Koford
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Luiz Denizard (PUR) – Nalando – Luiz Denizard
Natalia Martin (PUR) – Utha Van de Begijnhoeve – Kara Dickey
Jessica McTaggert (CAY) – Ray of Light – Jessica McTaggert
Mica Mabragana (ARG)- Cuatrero IV – Hampton Green Farm

TEAM USA (1) – Chef d’Equipe – Eva Salomon
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Caroline Roffman – Pie – Caroline Roffman
Devon Kane – Destiny – Diamante Farms
Shelly Francis – Doktor – Patricia Stempel
Christopher Hickey – Witness Hilltop – Hilltop Farm

TEAM USA (2) – Chef d’Equipe – Jenny Van Wieren-Page
RIDER/HORSE/OWNER
Tom Noone – Fred Astair – Tom Noone
Laura Graves – Verdades – Laura Graves
Jane Cleveland – Rodeo Queen – Jane Cleveland