Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* Starts Friday
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, April 11–The Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* with 10 teams made up of riders from 10 countries starts Friday as part of an ambitious effort of mixed Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges combinations to raise the level of Pan American Games competition at the same time as the opportunities of going to the Olympics are threatened by International Equestrian Federation-proposed cuts.
Most members of the teams were making the most of the atmosphere and cameraderie, team outfits that ranged from the elegant for Spain that hands down was voted the best-dressaed squad to the specially embroidered team Europe shirts and hats to the more traditional United States and Canadian uniforms.
The first ever format of mixed Big Tour and Small Tour horses provided its own challenges at the official draw for the second annual Nations Cup to be staged by the Global Dressage Festival organizers at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center that has created the first non-championship event of its type outside Europe. The event carries $35,000 in prize money.
Argentina, which actually has only one rider from that country as the rest are from the U.S., will be the first to go followed by U.S.A. II, Colombia, Europe, Canada I, Canada II, Australia, Venezuela, Spain and U.S.A. I.
The Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix are held Firday with the Grand Prix and Intermediate I Freestyles scheduled for Saturday night that will determine the Nations Cup results. The Grand Prix Specials and Intermediaite I are on Sunday.
Mexico’s Maribel Alonso is president of the ground jury and has been a driving force along with FEI Dressage Committee member Thomas Baur also in Wellington of creating a new format for the Pan Ams as part of a long term plan to raise the competition to Grand Prix from its previous small tour level.
However, the FEI has proposed cutting the number of nations that can qualify for the Olympics through the Pan Ams to one from two previously.
Colombia’s Constanza Jaramillo, who was on Colombia’s bronze medal team at the 2011 Pan Ams and qualified foran Olympic spot but failed to earn the individual scores to field a team, spoke out at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this week.
“We didn’t make it because of several issues such as time, Grand Prix horses and riders, visa permissions, but we made the effort, a big big effort,” she said. “We invested as never before, we started to ride, train and compete in Europe, we really worked a lot.
“But the point is not that we didn’t make it, the point is that now, we feel and know that the opportunity is there and is achievable. So we still will be riding in Europe, there are more riders investing in horses and training and not only for Colombia, but other countries such as Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and Costa Rica. They saw with the Colombian example that it was possible and they also started to invest in the sport.
“So we are increasing a lot our efforts as well as our expectations. We are prepared to work with mixed teams in order to begin the path toward increasing the technical level. We know it’s a challenge but we are ready to take it. What we ask is to allow us to maintain the opportunity and not to exclude us from having the chance.”
Canada and some Latin American nations have also spoken out strongly against the cut, while the United States at the Sports Forum gave lukewarm support for returning to two places at the Pan Ams.
The teams entered, by order of go, at the mandatory photo shoot:
Mica Magrabana ARG – Wasmut, 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding – Prix St. Georges
Sue Jaccoma USA – Wadamur, 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding – Grand Prix
Olivia Lagoy-Weltz USA – Rifallino, 15-year-old KWPN gelding – GP
Heidi Gaian USA – Chicago, 13-year-old Holsteiner 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
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
Mikala Gundersen (DEN) – My Lady, 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare – Grand Prix
Kevin Kohmann (GER) – Zephyr, nine-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Lars Petersen (DEN) – Chicco Roslev, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding – PSG
Katharina Stumpf (AUT) – For My Love, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
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
(Entire team absent; Evi Strasser competing)
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
Nicholas Fyffe – Tolstoy, 12-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Kelly Layne – Von Primaire, 11-year-old KWPN gelding – PSG
Ilse Schwarz – Cadenza, 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding – GP
Kristy Lund USA – Reel Adventure, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Irina Moleiro de Muro – Wilbur, 12-year-old Hanoverian geding – PSG
Alejandro Gomez – Revenge, 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion – GP
Patricio Ferrando – Alpha’s Why Not, 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding – PSG
Alida Coburn – Darius, 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion – 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
A Baccarat crystal horse head trophy will be presented by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to the best foreign debutante rider with the highest percentage at either Grand Prix or Prix St. Georges.
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.