USA Nations Cup Silver Excites Coach Debbie McDonald for Future Team Prospects

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The USA team that earned Nations Cup silver medal. Courtesy US Equestrian Federation

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 18, 2021–The United States earned silver in the Global Dressage Festival CDIO3* Nations Cup Thursday, and Debbie McDonald, coach of The Dutta Corp. team, was excited for future prospects.

The team comprised Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington on Alcazar, Benjamin Ebeling of Moorpark, California and Illuster Van De Kampert, Adrienne Lyle of Wellington and the American-bred Harmony’s Duval and Jennifer Schrader-Williams of Roy, Washington on Millione.

Ben and Jennifer were rookies on a senior U.S. team and both with different features–Millione, the reigning U.S. Grand Prix champion is 18 years old, while Ben is 21 and riding Illuster in only their third Grand Prix Special since graduating from the Under-25 division in January. Adrienne and Katherine are both veterans in the U.S. and Europe.

The U.S. team did not include any of the three combinations at the top of the Olympic team standings–Nick Wagman on Don John, Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper or Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo, and Adrienne on Salvino, the top American partnership on the world rankings that are expected to perform in the next few weeks for the first time this year in preparation for the Tokyo Games.

Jennifer Williams on Millione, USA Grand Prix champion, scored a personal best 73.958% in the Wellington Nations Cup Grand Prix Special, to place second in the Big Tour section. © 2021

“I can always expect our team to deliver,” said Debbie. “We had two rookies in their first senior Nations Cup appearance and two combinations who have been there several times, so it was good for our newer two combinations to have mentors on the team.

“As far as the performances, today we were one, two, and three in the Special and the Germans also did a very good job. More than half of their team was at Small Tour and it was an amazing competition with an exciting ending. I’m so proud of our U.S. team.”

“For me, it is super exciting to see someone as young and as talented as Ben with such a lovely horse. I see that partnership continuing on an uphill trend, and this is wonderful experience for our new combinations to be on a team and experience that kind of pressure.

”Jen Williams is an amazing rider and her horse is a bit older and is just amazing–a little machine. I look forward to seeing what she has coming up in her pipeline for the future, too.”

Benjamin Ebeling at the age of 21 riding Illuster van de Kampert on his first senior United States Nations Cup team. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

All four pairs move to the Grand Prix Freestyle for individual medals at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Friday night.