USA Wins Wellington CDIO3* Nations Cup, Canada 2nd, Spain 3rd
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 31, 2016–The United States won the CDIO3* Nations Thursday with Canada second and Spain third at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
The results after two days were: 1. United States 454.698, 2. Canada 428.708, 3. Spain 414.421, 4. Denmark 408.465, 5. Costa Rica 391.028, 6. Australia 259.497. The United States earned 10 points for first place, Canada 8 points, Spain 7, Denmark 6, Costa Rica 5 and Australia 4.
For the second day in a row, Laura Graves and Verdades posted a personal best score–in the Grand Prix the first day and the Special Thursday–to lead the United States to a commanding victory over the six teams from North and South America, Europe and Australia.
Canada’s Belinda Trussell on Anton was the leading Canadian in both segments of the Nations Cup despite a broken nose band on Anton right before she was to go into the arena Thursday for the second leg of the unique format of mixed Big and Small Tour teams that kicks off the series of seven team competitions, six in Europe.
Juan Matute, Jr. led Spain’s team that was all Small Tour–Prix St. Georges Wednesday and Intermediate 1 Thursday–against the all-Big Tour American and Canadian squads.
The victory by the United States came on the final week of the three-month long Global festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex and a month ahead of choosing a squad of eight combinations to go to Europe to contend for the four places for the team at the Olympics in Ro de Janeiro in August.
Laura and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding that she has raised from a foal score 78.294 in the Special, bettering their previous best of 77.177 per cent posted at the Pan American Games in Toronto last July. On Wednesday the pair raised their personal best in the Grand Prix to 76.86 per cent on Thursday,
Robert Dover, the U.S. coach and chef d’equipe, said: “I was hoping for our riders to achieve personal best scores and do better with each class and grow more confident as we head to Europe and then Rio. That’s what were seeing.”
The U.S., he said, was “close to creating the formula we need of two combinations at or near 80 per cent and another one at 75. Some people don’t like that I show confidence outwardly. I’ve been on so many teams where I really felt really strongly we were going to be a contender.
“What I see from this group as we progress is that we will be a medal contender.”
The U.S. team consisted of Laura and Verdades, Kasey Perry Glass and Dublet who also finished second individually in both the Grand Prix and the Special that also was a personal best score of 74.882 per cent in their first year at Big Tour, Shelly Francis on Doktor and Arlene “Tuny” Page on Woodstock.
All four are in the top eight of the U.S. Olympic rankings–Laura and Verdades atop the standings; Kasey on Dublet fourth; Shelly on Doktor fifth and “Tuny” on Woodstock eighth. Allison Brock on Rosevelt who won the CDI3* Grand Prix held alongside the Nations Cup Thursday is in the sixth spot.
This was the first year of Big Tour teams were permitted after three years of Small Tour and then mixed Big and Small Tour national squads as the competition has created new formats for the Pan American Games and an effort to raise the levels throughout the Americas. Grand Prix combinations received a bonus of 1.5 per cent.
The Nations Cup in its first year as an official series after three years of testing now moves to Europe. The schedule: CDIO3* Odense, Denmark May 12-15; CDIO5* Compiègne, France; CDIO5* Rotterdam June 22-26; CDIO5* Falsterbo, Sweden July 7-10; CDIO5* Aachen, Germany July 13-17, and CDIO3* Hickstead, England July 28-31.