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Expectations High for U.S. Dressage Team at Hickstead CDIO3*

RELEASE: July 31, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Helen Murray

Lexington, KY- The U.S. Dressage Team heads to the Hickstead CDIO3* with high expectations this week as they look to continue the momentum that has been building throughout the summer. Four talented riders; Shelly Francis, Arlene “Tuny” Page, Kathleen Raine and Guenter Seidel
Shelly Francis and Doktor (SusanJStickle.com)
Shelly Francis and Doktor (SusanJStickle.com)
 compose the Nations Cup team, while David Blake will ride in Grand Prix competition as an individual. Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Francis will also ride exciting young horses in Small Tour competition.

The Hickstead CDIO3* will host many of the top combinations from throughout the world in Nations Cup competition and adding to the excitement the Team event will be held in a new format. Nations Cup results will be determined by Sunday’s Freestyle rather than the traditional Grand Prix test.

Francis (Loxahatchee, FL) and Seidel (Cardiff, CA) bring a wealth of experience to Hickstead and will look to use experience gained at FEI World Equestrian Games to help propel the U.S. to a top finish. Francis will ride Patricia Stempel’s Doktor in Nations Cup competition. The pair were awarded a USEF grant, funded by the USET Foundation, to compete in Europe in 2013 and have gained valuable experience throughout the summer. In June, Francis and the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding were part of the U.S. team that finished third at the Aachen CDIO5*. Seidel is no stranger to podium finishes helping U.S.  teams earn medals at Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games. In Hickstead, he will ride Coral Reef Ranch’s talented 13-year-old Westphalian mare Coral Reef Wylea. The pair who also received a grant collected two second place finishes two weeks ago at the Lingen CDI4*.

Rounding out the Nations Cup effort for the U.S. at Hickstead are Raine (Murrieta, CA) and Page (Wellington, FL). Raine, a member of the Bronze medal winning U.S. team at the 1994 FEI World Equestrian Games, will ride the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program graduate Breanna this
Kathleen Raine and Breanna (SusanJStickle.com)
Kathleen Raine and Breanna (SusanJStickle.com)
weekend in Nations Cup competition. Raine and Jennifer Mason, David Wightman and her own 13-year-old Hanoverian mare have also received a grant to compete in Europe and recently placed third in the Grand Special at the Lingen CDI4*. Page will ride her longtime partner Alina in Hickstead’s Nations Cup. She will utilize the experience garnered at the 2006 FEI World Cup Final as she looks to earn a top finish this week with the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare. The combinations also competed in Lingen two weeks ago earning a third place finish in the Grand Prix for the Kur.

Blake (Encinitas, CA) has also been gaining valuable experience in Europe after receiving a USEF grant. In Hickstead, he will be aiming for top results with Melanie Pai’s 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Ikaros.

Future stars of U.S. dressage will also be on display over the weekend as up-and-coming American horses contest Hickstead’s Small Tour competition. Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, FL) will ride Jane Clark’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Alcazar and Francis will ride another talented horse of Patricia Stempel’s, the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danilo.

To learn more about the Hickstead CDIO3* visit; http://www.dressageathickstead.com/

Follow the 2013 U.S. Dressage Team here.

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