USA’s Top 4 Pairs Not Yet Qualified for National Championship Less Than 4 Weeks To Go
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April 5, 2016
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The top four American horse and rider combinations–three of them Olympic team bronze medal riders–have not yet met minimum qualifying results for the first USA Dutta Grand Prix championship in two years with less than a month to go.
Among them is Laura Graves and Verdades, reigning champion and No. 4 in the world who focused on the World Cup centered on the freestyle to finish as reserve champion four days ago that was the highest of any American except for the U.S. champions in 2003 and 2009.
Steffen Peters on Rosamunde, standing second in the championship rankings also has not met the minimum qualifying as he was dedicated to the World Cup, a title he won on Ravel in 2009.
Kasey Perry-Glsss on Dublet, who was on the Olympic medal team with Laura and Steffen and competed at the Omaha World Cup, also has not fully met the requirements needed by May 1 to ride in the championships at Gladstone, New Jersey May 18-21.
Dawn White O’Connor on Legolas, the 2014 World Games and 2016 Olympic team mount for Steffen that she has competed only since January and is fourth in the rankings, is in a similar situation to the top three–short on two Grand Prix Special scores needed to qualify.
Only three more CDI3* events, the minimum level to qualify remain before the deadline–one in Tryon, North Carolina on the East Coast and two in California.
Laura of Geneva, Florida could travel eight hours to Tryon that would still give her only one Special result. Kasey, based in Wellington, could pick up a second Special score if she goes to Tryon.
Steffen could earn two Special results on Rosamunde that he needs while Dawn could earn a second Special score as she picked up her first two weeks ago in California.
No matter what happens, three wild cards can be invited that would cover the top three ranked combinations.
Of the 15 riders to be invited to Gladstone, only one, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir, is relatively close by–a four-hour drive from her farm in Haymarket, Virginia.
All others are about 1,200 miles/1,900km from Florida or 2,800 miles/4,500km from California.