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USA I Proves Unbeatable at Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm, USA II Finishes Fourth

RELEASE: February 20, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Helen Murray

Wellington, Fla.- The USA I team proved to be unstoppable on Thursday as they won the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm, the only Nations Cup held in North America, by a nine point margin. 
The winning USA I Team (SusanJStickle.com)
The winning USA I Team (SusanJStickle.com)
Held as part of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the team competition was held over two-rounds hosting both Big and Small Tour competitors. The USA I team composed of Adrienne Lyle, Tina Konyot, Silva Martin, and Shawna Harding finished the Nations Cup on a score of 423.543 to earn the Gold medal. Canada I earned the Silver medal on a total of 414.488 with Spain occupying the Bronze medal podium on a score of 412.632. While Catherine Haddad-Staller, Shelly Francis, Ashley Wimmer, and Justin Hardin led USA II to a two-day total of 412.053.
The Ground Jury of Anne Gribbons, Gabriel Armando, Cesar Torrente, Lorraine MacDonald, and Bo Jena judged Small Tour combinations, performing the FEI 
Silva Martin and Rosa Cha W (SusanJStickle.com)
Silva Martin and Rosa Cha W (SusanJStickle.com)
Intermediaire I Test, and saw the Big Tour competitors ride the FEI Grand Prix Special Test (all Big Tour combinations were awarded an added 1.5% to their scores for team classification).

USA I Team

Martin (Unionville, Pa.), making her U.S. Nations Cup debut this week, led off the USA I effort on Thursday with the ever-improving Rosa Cha W to score 67.211%. The Rosa Cha W Syndicate’s 10-year-old Warmblood produced an expressive effort to finish the Intermediaire I in ninth place.

“This is my first time riding on an American team and I’m very excited,” said Martin of her first Nations Cup experience riding for the United States. “I didn’t feel too much pressure; we had a really great support team. I felt very comfortable because everyone made me feel comfortable.”

Harding (Aiken, S.C.) and Tonya Rowe’s Rigo were the second and final Small Tour Combination for USA I finishing the Intermediaire in 10th place. A few bobbles throughout the test meant the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding scored 66.816% keeping the pair from landing higher up the leaderboard.

For the second consecutive day, Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Peggy Thomas’ Wizard topped the Grand Prix field, leading USA I to
Adrienne Lyle and Wizard (SusanJStickle.com)
Adrienne Lyle and Wizard (SusanJStickle.com)
victory. The 15-year-old Oldenburg produced fluid, accurate trot work and, with the exception of a few miscommunications, an expressive canter tour to score 71.059% and with the Big Tour bonus contributed a score of 72.559% to USA I.

Konyot (Palm City, Fla.) and her own 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion, Calecto V, contributed the final score of 70.971% to USA I. The U.S. team veterans demonstrated their trademark trot tour but mistakes in the flying changes kept their score under 70% as the pair finished in fourth place in the Grand Prix Special on a score of 69.471%.

“All of us are friends and to compete together at our home Nations Cup is special,” said Konyot who has represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and numerous European competitions. “To compete among old friends and see these young riders coming up is very exciting.”

U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover was extremely pleased with all the U.S. riders and intends to keep having the United States represented in Nations Cup competition throughout the year.

“It is wonderful that we have this Nations Cup in America,” said Dover. “I had not only the hope but the expectation we would win. I was very proud of all our riders and look forward to the next Nations Cup competitions.”

USA II Team

Wimmer (Winston Salem, N.C.) was the first rider of the day from the USA II riding her own Somerhall to 20th place in Thursday’s Small Tour competition. Wimmer expertly guided the nine-year-old Oldenburg through bouts of spookiness throughout the test to score 63.026%.

The final Small Tour for the U.S. and the USA II team were Hardin (Long Valley, N.J.) and Judith Cardella’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding Wyatt Star. The Nations Cup veterans incurred mistakes in the pirouette and flying changes resulting in a score of 64.553% to finish in 17th place.

Haddad-Staller (Califon, N.J.) and her own Mane Stream Hotmail contributed a score of 68.578% for their Grand Prix Special performance to help the USA II team land in fourth place. The 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding had two small bobbles but demonstrated great potential for the future as the scored 67.078% to finish the test in 6th place.

Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Patricia Stempel’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Doktor, showed improvement from their work on Wednesday to score 70.569% and finish in second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special Test.
Shelly Francis and Doktor (SusanJStickle.com)
Shelly Francis and Doktor (SusanJStickle.com)
With the additional 1.5% awarded for the Grand Prix Special, the pair contributed a score of 72.069% to the USA II total.

USA II Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald was extremely pleased with all four combinations efforts over the two days of Nations Cup competition and believes they all gained valuable experience.

“A lot of horses made little mistakes but I’m still pleased. Both Grand Pix rides were quite beautiful; everything improved over yesterday,” said McDonald. “The team spirit was unbelievable. For some of them this was their first team experience and they all handled it well all week.”

Individual medals will be awarded in Friday’s Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Freestyles.

Watch the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* sponsored by Stillpoint Farm live and find Video-on-Demand on USEFNetwork.com presented by SmartPak here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014AGDF/.

To learn more about the Adequan Global Dressage Festival visit: http://www.globaldressagefestival.com/.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/USDressageTeam/.

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