Loxahatchee, FL - The International Horse Sport (IHS) Champions Cup CDI-W hit the ground running both literally and figuratively with all the horses passing the FEI jog on the beautiful International Horse Sport Showgrounds in Loxahatchee, FL. The horses and competitors settled into the comfortable surroundings featuring plenty of green spaces and a convivial atmosphere on the historic grounds that also play host to the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. Competitors chatted amiably as they waited for the jog, which all the FEI horses passed. Noticeably missing were USA's Tina Konyot and Calecto V and Canada's Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro, who scratched from the competition. Just six days ago, Konyot said she was going to step it up a notch in the Champions Cup's Saturday afternoon Grand Prix Freestyle. Konyot and Calectov V needed one more qualifying score to be eligible for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup in April in Gothenburg, Sweden.
This weekend's IHS Champions Cup was to be the pair's last chance to qualify as the show serves as the final North American League World Cup qualifying event.
Canada currently holds the top two spots with David Marcus and Chrevi's Capital in first and Brooks and D Niro in second. Only two competitors will represent the North American league in Sweden. Currently, no contenders from the United States have emerged but this final qualifying show of the season will have competitors vying for a big win.
Marcus and Chrevi's Capital also scratched and will not be competing in Friday's Grand Prix but Marcus and Don Kontes, who placed third in the Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W, will be showing as scheduled. Lars Petersen and Mariett, double winners in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W, will be trying to oust the competition along with Shelly Francis and Doktor, who notched two second-place finishes in the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the Dressage Derby.
Competition begins on Friday, March 22 and features FEI classes including the Grand Prix CDI-W as well as Intermediaire I and II, Prix St. Georges, Pony Team Test, and the Young Rider Team tests as well as a cadre of USEF tests. The FEI classes continue all weekend with the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday and National classes dispersed throughout the three-day event.