USA 2018 Elite, Pre-Elite & Development Squads, Tryon World Games Team Selection Steps

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Laura Graves and Verdades, at No. 4 in world the top ranked American rider and horse. © 2017 Ken Braddick/

Dec. 13, 2017

America’s 2018 elite, pre-elite and development squads of riders and horses were announced Wednesday by US Equestrian that also set procedures for selection of the team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina next September.

The high performance squads are determined mostly by criteria based on scores in the range of 73 per cent for combinations for the elite squad and 70 per cent for pre-elite in international competitions of CDI3* and above.

Among combinations on the pre-elite squad that have not yet competed at Grand Prix at CDI3* or above, though, are Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Horizon that were successful at small tour and Steffen Peters of San Diego, California and Suppenkasper that was competed at Big Tour by German Olympic rider Helen Langehanenberg before being acquired by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm for the United States.

The squads with the ages of the horses as of Jan. 1, 2018 are:

Laura Graves of Geneva, Florida and Verdades, 16-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Laura;
Charlotte Jorst of Reno, Nevada and Kastel’s Nintendo, 15-year-old 2KWPN stallion owned by Kastel Denmark;
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virginia and Lonoir, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Olivia and Mary Anne McPhail;
Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Salvino, 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Salvino Partners;
Kasey Perry-Glass of Orangevale, California and Dublet, 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Diane Perry, and
Steffen Peters of San Diego, California and Rosamunde, 11-year-old Rhinelander mare owned by Four Winds Farm.

Katherine Bateson Chandler of Wellington, Florida and Alcazar 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Jane Forbes Clark,
Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor, 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding and Danilo, 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, both owned by Patricia A Stempel;
Catherine Haddad-Staller of Califon, New Jersey and Semper Fidelis, 12-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Rowan O’Riley;
Chase Hickok of Wellington, Florida and Sagacious HF, 19-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Hyperion Farm, Inc.
Ashley Holzer of New York City and Havanna, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Diane Fellows;
Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Horizon, 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Elizabeth B. Juliano;
Arlene “Tuny” Page of Wellington, Florida and Woodstock, 15-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Arlene;
Steffen Peters of San Diego, California and Suppenkasper, 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki;
Kathleen Raine of Murieta, California and Breanna, 18-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Kathleen, Jennifer Mason and David Wightman;
P.J. Rizvi of Greenwich, Connecticut and Breaking Dawn, 17-year-old KWPN gelding owned by P.J. and Ashley Holzer, and
Dawn White-O’Connor of Cardiff, California and Legolas, 16-year-old Westfalen gelding owned by Four Winds Farm.

Nora Batchelder of Williston, Florida and Fifi MLW, eight-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Nora;
Jennifer Baumert of Wellington, Florida and Handsome, 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Elizabeth Juliano;
Patti Becker of Wadsworth, Illinois and Freedom, 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Anne Ramsay;
Kaitlin Blythe of Rougemont, North Carolina and Eden LHF, eight-year-old KWPN mare owned by Kaitlin;
Michael Bragdell of Colora, Maryland and Sternlicht Hilltop, seven-year-old Hanoverian stallion, and Qredit Hilltop, nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion both owned by Hilltop Farm, Inc.;
Nicole Levy of Wellington, Florida and Floratina, nine-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Kate Sanders;
Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Harmony’s Duval, nine-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Duval Partners LLC;
Amy Miller of Fullerton, California and Encore, eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding and owned by Amy, and
Carly Taylor-Smith of Malibu, California and Rosalut NHF, seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Nikki Taylor-Smith.

Procedures to select four riders and horses and reserve for the Tryon dressage world championships Sept. 13-16 are similar to those applied for the 2016 Olympics where the United States won team bronze.

Combinations must complete at least three CDI tryout events/qualifying competitions that include all U.S. and foreign CDI3*s and above between Sept. 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018.

Combinations must compete in Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special tests at three events–at least two in 2018. One Freestyle must also be completed.

Among criteria are consistency of scores above 73 per cent in competitions in the past 12 months, previous international experience of athlete and/or horse and potential to contribute to medal-winning team.

A short list of up to eight athlete/horse combinations will be invited to attend observation events–possibly in Europe and the United States–between May 1 and Sept. 3.

Based on performances, combinations may be given a bye. Conditions for a bye were not spelled out, but pairs competing in the World Cup Final in Paris in April, for example, may be excused from European qualifying events to limit stress on horses.