The first day of dressage for the eventing discipline began Thursday at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018. Three U.S. combinations headed down the centerline in Tryon Stadium, putting forth great efforts on the international stage. Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg lead the U.S. contingent and sit in second place with a score of 27.1. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team is currently in sixth place and in a good position to secure Olympic qualification.
Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg impressed the home crowd with a lovely test. Christine Turner’s 11-year-old Trakehner gelding put together a quiet yet flashy performance with Martin in the irons.
“He is a trooper, that fella. We went in and the crowd erupted; it almost picked him up a level,” Martin said. “I have ridden at this level on horses like Neville [Bardos] and Shamwari and they would have gone absolutely bananas with the clapping. For my little Trakehner, he felt like the crowd was there for him and he picked it up a notch.”
Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Individual combination Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus had some tension and bobbles in their test, but delivered a respectable performance in the horse’s first international championship. Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding received a score of 32.6 to currently sit in 19th place.
“It is easy to forget that he is actually still pretty green and he hasn’t been in a lot of atmosphere,” Kieffer explained. She looks forward to cross-country day, adding, “I think the course really suits him. I am glad to be sitting on a part-Arabian since it will be hot and for their endurance.”
Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and Tight Lines were the pathfinders for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team as the fourth combination in the ring. Coleman and The Conair Syndicate’s 11-year-old French Thoroughbred gelding laid down an obedient test to earn a score of 35.6 for 27th place.
Will Coleman and Tight Lines (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
“I’m happy with Tight Lines,” Coleman said. “He tried really hard in there, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Competition continues Friday with the second day of dressage beginning 9:00 a.m. ET in the Tryon Stadium and will be streamed live on FEI TV. Symansky and Donner compete at 10:19 a.m., followed by Dutton and Z at 2:42 p.m.
Martin on representing the U.S. on home turf: “It is good fun. You feel like there is a big support behind you, cheering you on. There is added pressure; you don’t want to cough up here because you are in front of everyone. We are on a mission here, so we have got to do all three phases well.”
Stay up to date on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at WEG by following USA Eventing on Facebook and US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram, featuring a daily Instagram Story. Use #USAEventing and #Tryon2018.