Eight Teams Named For Wellington Nations Cup–More to Come
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 28–Eight teams–Canada and the United States have each named two squads and Colombia, Europe, Spain and Venezuela one each–have confirmed participation in the Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida April 11-14, with Australia and other countries signaling their intent to compete.
The Global Dressage Festival CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm, in its second year as the only non-championship Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere, is shaping up as a highlight of the Florida winter circuit. It almost certainly will surpass the eight teams that competed in the inaugural event in 2012.
Although teams of riders from different nations are permitted–Europe and Latin America fielded mixed teams in 2012–most countries this year have put together teams of horses and riders from the same nation, a minimum of three and a maximum of four are required.
Colombia has nominated five combinations while Venezuela has entered four riders and nominated six horses, final enries for both nations to be selected closer to the event.
The Nations Cup is designed to test an upgraded Pan American Games format of mixed Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges horses in an effort to raise the level of the Pan American Games to be held in Toronto in 2015 as a qualifier for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the first Olympics ever staged in South America.
The first ever Nations Cup of mixed Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges horses is specialy designed as a test for the Pan Ams, second in size only to the Olympics themselves as a multisport event. The Wellington Nations Cup is open to teams from around the world and not restricted to the 29 countries that can compete in the Games held once every four years.
Pan American nations are faced with a reduction in opportunities to qualify for the 2016 Olympics under a proposal made by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for consideration at the Sport Forum that is, paradoxically, being held the same week as the Nations Cup in Florida.
The FEI has proposed reducing Olympic qualifying at the Pan Ams to a single team rather than two as it was for the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. As is standard procedure, the host nation, Brazil, is automatically provided a berth in Olympic team competitions so long as individual combinations attain minimum qualifying scores. The FEI proposes adding a fourth qualifying spot at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
The teams that have entered so far:
Evi Strasser – Action Tyme, 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion – GP
David Marcus – Don Kontes, 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding – GP
Christilot Boylen – Dio Mio, 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Brittany Fraser – All In, eight-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Lyndsey Kellock – Hunter Douglas Rhapsody, 15-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Maya Markowski – Lumiere, 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding – PSG
Lee Tubman – De La Rosa, 12-year-old gelding – PSG
Mauricio Sanchez – First Fisherman, 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Raul Corchuelo – Maybach, 12-year-old Westfalen gelding – PSG
Marco Bernal – Farwell IV, 12-year-old Westfalen gelding – PSG
Carmen Franco – Vinho dos Pinhais, 11-year-old Lusitano gelding – PSG
Nicolas Torres – Silver Label, 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding – PSG
(Final team to be selected)
Mikala Gundersen (DEN) – Destany, 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare – PSG
Kevin Kohmann (GER) – Don Dueto, nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion – PSG
Katharina Stumpf (AUT) – For My Love, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Juan Matute Azpitarte – Don Diego, 10-year-old stallion – PSG
Juan Matute Guimón – Gasper, 13-year-old Baden-Württemburg gelding – PSG
Paula Matute Guimón – Califa XV, 16-year-old Pura Raza Español stallion – PSG
Carlos Muñoz – Klousseau, 12-year-old gelding – PSG
UNITED STATES I
Heather Blitz, Wellington, Florida – Paragon, 10-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding – GP
Shelly Francis, Loxahatchee, Florida – Doktor, 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding – GP
Caroline Roffman, Wellington, Florida – Her Highness O, 10-year-old Hanoverian mare – PSG
Kimberly Herslow, Stockton, New Jersey – Rosmarin, eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
UNITED STATES II
Cesar Parra, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey – Van the Man, 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding – GP
Susan Dutta, Wellington, Florida – Currency DC, 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding – GP
Chris Hickey, Colora, Maryland – Witness Hilltop, 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding – PSG
Justin Hardin, Long Valley, New Jersey – Wyatt Star, 10-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Irina Moleiro de Muro – Wilbur, 12-year-old Hanoverian geding – PSG, or Ryolith nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding – PSG
Alejandro Gomez Sigala – Revenge, 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion – GP, or Royal Dario Fo, eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding – PSG
Patricio Ferrando Zilio – Alpha’s Why Not, 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Alida Coburn – Darius, 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion – PSG
Equestrian Sport Productions, organizer of the Global Dressage Festival, has worked with the FEI and Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños of Mexico, a FEI 5* judge and active in governing the sport, and Thomas Baur of Germany, a member of the FEI Dressage Committee and organizer of several major European events, to test the Nations Cup format.
The FEI will also award a Baccarat Crystal Horse Head to the best rider and/or best team from Central and South America.