USA’s Dawn White-O’Connor Eliminated From Rotterdam Nations Cup

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Dawn White O’Connor on Legolas hearing the explanation from judge Hans Christian Matthesen on eliminating the horse from the CDIO5* Nations Cup in Rotterdam. © 2017 Ken Braddick/


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 22, 2017–Dawn White-O’Connor and Legolas, the lead-off combination for the United States, were eliminated from the CDIO5* Nations Cup, the first European competition for the six-month-old partnership.

Dawn of Cardiff, California and the 15-year-old Westfalen gelding were eliminated on the second extended trot when Hans Christian Matthesen, the judge at C, rang the bell to halt the ride when the horse appeared uneven.

During the first extended trot, Hans Christian who is also a practicing veterinarian told, “I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought I would wait and see, then the second one was even worse.”

The U.S. Equestrian Federation said in a statement that “we completely respect the decision” of the judge.

“Legolas passed the horse inspection and his soundness since our arrival in Rotterdam has not been questioned. In consultation with the athlete, owner and trainer, we will of course examine all possible issues and we look forward to seeing this new combination back in the arena in the near future.”

Steffen Peters, who rode Legolas owned by Akiko Yamazaki on the U.S. bronze medal team at the 2016 Olympics we well as team and individual gold at the 2015 Pan American Games, is in Rotterdam coaching Dawn who took over the ride at the beginning of this year.

Dawn competed the horse successfully at CDIs on both the East and West Coasts of the United States and was selected for their first Nations Cup squad along with Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir.