Hickstead, England- The U.S. Dressage Team continued to show their resurgence on the international stage, cruising to a second place finish in FEI Nations Cup competition at the CDIO3* Hickstead. Sunday's competition utilized a new format using the Freestyle to determine Nations Cup results rather than the traditional Grand Prix Test. Leading the U.S. was Kathleen Raine (Murrieta, CA) and Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program graduate Breanna. The combination who were awarded a USET Foundation funded USEF Grant demonstrated their growth helping the U.S. to earn a second place finish in Hickstead's Nation Cup. Jennifer Mason, David Wightman and Raine's 13-year-old Hanoverian mare scored 75.650% in Sunday's Freestyle to finish in third place individually. Guenter Seidel and Coral Reef Wylea scored 75.625% to finish fourth individually and help secure a podium a finish for the Americans. Seidel (Cardiff, CA) and Coral Reef Ranch's 13-year-old Westphalian mare were also awarded USEF Grant to train and compete in the Europe. The pair has gained valuable experience this summer earning top placings and the Lingen CDI and Hickstead CDIO.
On Sunday, Shelley Francis (Loxahatchee, FL) and Doktor demonstrated the experience they have earned competing in Europe this summer on a USEF Grant. The 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games veteran and Patricia Stempel's 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding produced a polished effort to score 74.500% and finish fifth individually.
Rounding out the U.S. effort in Nations Cup competition was Arlene "Tuny" Page and longtime partner Alina. Full (Wellington, FL) and her 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare were the first U.S. pair in the ring, scoring 69.200% and finished in 21st individually.
Chef 'Equipe Robert Dover was extremely proud of the U.S effort in Hickstead and believes there is more potential for growth in the coming months for the U.S. in the future.
"The U.S. brought back the Silver in the Nation's Cup at Hickstead decisively with third, fourth and fifth placings by Kathleen Raine, Guenter Seidel and Shelly Francis respectively. While the Freestyle was used for today's Nation's Cup, it is important to note that our athletes were equally great in the Grand Prix over 2 days and with 45 entries, with the same three all well over 70% and Tuny Page and her super mare, Alina, close behind with 69.7. We are also proud of newcomers to international competition, David Blake and Ikaros as well as Katherine Bateson-Chandler with Alcazar," said Dover, "Thanks to Dr. Rick Mitchell and Julie as well as Jenny Van Wieren-Page for their amazing help. Thanks also to the owners, grooms, and all who came out to support our Team. And of course, thanks to both our USEF and USET Foundation for making it possible to make it possible for our two and four-legged athletes to attend great competitions like Hickstead around the world and bring back medals!"
To learn more about the Hickstead CDIO3* visit; http://www.dressageathickstead.com/
Follow the 2013 U.S. Dressage Team here.