Mara Dean is First Off the Mark in 2010 HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing
RELEASE: March 8, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Gueorguiev
Photo Courtesy FEI (Mara Dean and Nicki Henley)
Mara Dean has become the first rider to post a winning score on the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing leaderboard, following an emotional pillar-to-post victory in the Florida sunshine at the Red Hills International CIC***-W in Tallahassee, FL.
Riding her veteran 15-year-old Irish-bred Nicky Henley, who was coming back into competition after sustaining a tendon injury at the 2007 Pan American Games, Virginia-based Dean held off the always serious challenge of Phillip Dutton riding Truluck, who was fourth at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Great Britain last year. Big Prize Pot
She now stands an excellent chance of capturing part of the US$180,000 prize pot, which will be shared by the 15 most successful riders across the 12 events in the 2010 FEI World Cup™ Eventing accumulator series.
Dean, who has waited patiently for her horse’s return to form, also might consider the forthcoming first leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event next month, but said, “Nicky Henley doesn’t owe me anything. It would be nice, but I’ll do whatever is best for him. It’s just so nice to have him back.”
Dean led the dressage with a score of 42.6 from Dutton, going on to post a clear cross-country round for 9.2 time penalties over the course newly designed by locally-based Hugh Lochore of Great Britain, who has taken over from Capt. Mark Phillips of Great Britain.
“It wasn’t an easy course for him because of the twists and turns," Dean said. "He’s a strong horse, but this was easily one of my best rides on him. He was looking for the flags and was really genuine and adjustable—for him!” New Era
Lochore has been principle builder at Red Hills for 10 years, giving up his native Scotland to settle in the area, where he has married a local girl. He commented, “Mark Phillips involved me from the outset and has been instrumental in developing the courses to world class. He’s left me with a good feeling for what can be achieved with this venue.”
Will Coleman on Nevada Bay moved up five places to third with the fastest cross-country (6.4 penalties). Ten riders completed this phase, with three eliminated and two withdrawn.
Dean added a jumping rail down and four time penalties in the final phase, but was lucky that, although Dutton had jumped clear, he’d accumulated five time penalties. Challenging
The jumping course, designed by Fuzzy Mayo, who has been in the trade for 41 years, was challenging, with tight turns, differing terrain—Will Coleman, third on Nevada Bay, was the only rider not to incur time penalties—and plenty of atmosphere as a good crowd lined the arena, anxious to spot clues for Kentucky.
Dutton commented, “It’s good for us riders to get the experience and be in front of a crowd and on a galloping stage. The arena creates quite an atmosphere with the crowd surrounding it. This is a wonderful event.”
“I had a little bit of panic in the middle,” admitted Dean, who jumps Nicky Henley in a hackamore. “You definitely had to think the course through and keep the horse careful, but forward. It was good and testing.
“My win hasn’t sunk in. I’m just so thankful to have the horse back. Winning a three-star is amazing. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be back here.” Results and Standings
1. Mara Dean/Nicky Henley (USA) 59.8 - 71 points
2. Phillip Dutton/Truluck (USA) 63.0 – 67 points
3. Will Coleman/Nevada Bay (USA) 64.6 – 64 points
4. Bonnie Mosser/Merloch (USA) 69.4 – 61 points
5. Allison Springer/Arthur 78.0 – 4 points
The complete standings after the first event are available at http://www.feiworldcup.org/Eventing/Documents/FEI%20W-Cup%20PM%20%20Standings%20-2.pdf
. Calendar of Events
1. Tallahassee (USA), March 5-7
2. Kihikihi (NZL), April 2-4
3. Sydney (AUS), May 7-9
4. Marbach (GER), May 7-9
5. Chatsworth (GBR), May 15-16
6. Tattersalls (IRL), May 27-30
7. Strzegom (POL), June 24-27
8. Minsk (BLR), July 21-25
9. Rebecca Farm, Kalispell (USA), July 22-25
10. Malmö (SWE), 13-15 August 13-15
11. Martinvast (FRA), TBC, August 18-22
12. Schenefeld (GER), August 26-29
HSBC, the world's local bank, is a platinum partner of FEI and global sponsor of the eventing discipline. As part of this partnership, HSBC is title sponsor of the HSBC FEI Classics™ and HSBC FEI World Cup™.
At the center of all HSBC’s sponsorships is a commitment to youth, education and community. The Pony Club and HSBC have teamed up to create the HSBC Pony Club Eventing Training Programme.
For further information on the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing, including Rules and Standings, visit www.feiworldcup.org
. Previews, reports, results and photographs for each event will be available from the FEI throughout the season.