“It’s an American invasion!” My longtime friend and colleague EuroDressage's Astrid Appels said to me as we Skyped during Aachen. This year would have been my 25th anniversary attending the #1 Horse show in the world, but I have opted to head to Verden in August for the World Young Horse Championships, as my euro trip of 2013. Knowing coverage and photos were in Astrid’s talented hands, she generously shared some photos of the “invasion” to share with out readers. So on today, the Fourth of July, I thought it appropriate we do that on DressageDaily. Congratulations to the USA and new Dressage boss Robert Dover for their third place position in the Nations Cup, to Caroline Roffman for her first Aachen with a huge second place win, To Shelley Francis for her return to team status, and to Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot and Jan Ebeling a standard in American dressage. Check out Astrid's USA Image Gallery below, and be sure to visit EuroDressage for her extensive coverage, photo database, and ongoing brilliance.
The Aachen CDIO5* concluded Sunday in the Deutsche Bank Stadium as 15 combinations performed their Freestyles in the Deutsche Bank Prize. The United States was represented by three London Olympic Games veterans, with Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot and Jan Ebeling achieving their highest scores of the weekend. Leading the charge for the U.S. was Peters (San Diego, CA) and Four Winds Farm's Legoloas 92 with a score of 78.675%. The 11-year-old-Westphalian gelding was again rewarded for his excellent piaffe and passage. The combination also received high marks for their music and its interpretation. However, they did struggle with the one time changes keeping them from achieving an even higher score.
The 2012 USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Champions finished the Deutsche Bank Prize in sixth place. Konyot (Palm City, FL) and her own 15-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V closed out their time in Aachen by scoring 74.900% in the Freestyle for 10th place. The 2010 USEF National Grand Prix Champions received high marks for their choreography and interpretation of their music.Riding Ann Romney, Amy Ebeling, and Beth Meyers' 16-year-old Oldenburg mare Rafalca, Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) finished the Deutsche Bank Prize in 13th place after scoring 72.025%. The 2012 London Olympic Games veterans were rewarded with high scores for their canter work.
Chef d'Equipe Robert Dover was very pleased with all the American riders efforts over the week in Aachen. He was pleased not only with U.S. performances in CDIO5* competition but also the showings in the CDI-U25 and CDI4*divisions.
"Our American dressage riders came to Aachen to make a very strong statement regarding our place as a world power in the sport and they did just that. Not only did our team produce Bronze in the Nations Cup and move all 4 riders to the Individual Championships with our 3 best getting into the Freestyle; they ended with the great Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 in 6th place, Tina Konyot and Calecto V in 10th and Jan Ebeling and Rafalca in 13th place! Furthermore, Shelly Francis rode brilliantly on Doktor in her first season back in Europe after many years to achieve just under 70% in the Grand Prix Special as well as producing super tests with Danilo in the Small Tour," said a proud Dover. "Suzie Dutta placed 6th with Currency DC in the 4* Grand Prix Special, showing potential for a huge score very soon. Finally, Caroline Roffman, America's first representative in Europe in the U25, thrilled the judges and the public with absolutely gorgeous tests, especially in the Freestyle which earned over 76% and 2nd place. The world of Dressage has witnessed a new star being born here in the Aachen stadium and I cannot wait to come back next year with even more horses and riders ready to win at all divisions."