There are fourteen horse and rider combinations from the United States competing at shows in Europe this summer. This weekend the Americans focused their sights on two, Lingen, Germany CDI, and Fritzen, Austria CDI. In the preparation for next year’s World Equestrian Games, these combinations continue to build the foundation for success. Robert Dover, Technical Advisor for the US Team shares, “We came to do a job and we continue to take on the Europeans on their home turf and prove we are a power to be taken very seriously as we head toward Normandy and the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Today in Lingen, our riders carried on the week-long strong showing of Shelly Francis, David Blake, and Tuny Page, all of whom made us very proud in the Grand Prix Freestyle Tour as well as the Small Tour. Guenter Seidel showed why he is considered one of the top riders in the world with an amazing ride on his latest mount, Coral Reef Wylea, scoring 71.85% and placing second just ahead of Kathleen Raine, who also rode so wonderfully on her super mare, Breanna, with 71.542%. These are terrific scores considering both horses are just beginning their international careers with their riders."
He continued, "Tuny Page has made fabulous progress with Alina and showed huge potential in all exercises. Both of Shelly Francis’s horses, Doktor and Danilo, are top class as virtually every judge here and in Aachen agreed. And David Blake, on his first ever European Tour, showed elegance riding his Ikaros and exactly why we believe so strongly that he will be enormously valuable to our American success in the future. He, along with our other top riders, need our support, financial and otherwise, and I sincerely hope our country’s Dressage community will help ensure all of our athletes, young and mature, receive the aid they need to shine.”
On Friday, Shelly Francis placed second with Doktor in the Grand Prix Freestyle and Tuny Page, third with her mare, Alina. David Blake in his first ever international show placed tenth. Robert said, “All three showed extremely classy riding and great potential for top scores as the season progresses. Shelly was also fourth in the Prix St. George with Danilo, another horse which will be a super Grand Prix horse by winter.”
Robert continued, “Down in Austria, Jennifer Hoffman had success on her small tour horses which also will be starting very soon in the Grand Prix. Tina Konyot and Calecto V finished second in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 76.4%. Tina has had three super shows this summer in Europe, including helping Team USA to win the Bronze position at the CHIO Aachen, along with teammates, Steffen Peters, Jan Ebeling, and Shelly Francis.”
What’s next? Susie Dutta with her lovely horses, Currency DC, will be heading to Perl next week, along with Caroline Roffman and Sagacious, our young, rising stars, and Kathleen Raine, confident after today’s brilliant showing on Breanna. Meanwhile, Guenter and David will be showing at the same time in Muenster.
In conclusion Robert said, “I will be this week in Lexington Kentucky, for the North American Young Rider Championships where Thursday, I will be, along with the other Dressage Coaches, presenting our fifty-eight page Power-Point ” Road Map To The Podiums”. David O’Conner, Robert Ridland, and I will also be holding an open forum later Thursday evening to discuss how we plan together to “Storm Normandy” and make history once again, this time in the friendly spirit of competition. Friendly, perhaps, but we still intend to WIN, WIN, WIN!”
A special Thank You to Robert Dover for his wonderful reports on the US Team’s continuous battle to the podium. You can follow him at www.doversworld.com