Boekelo, The Netherlands - The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team had fantastic performances at the Military Boekelo-Enschede CCIO3* as they competed against 10 countries in the Nations Cup competition. The determined efforts of Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF, Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and HHS Cooley, and Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous earned the U.S. team the Silver medal with a final score of 197.00. Brown and Super Socks BCF were the top Americans with an impressive sixth-place finish, with a large U.S. contingent having notable performances at Boekelo.
"It was a good performance," said a pleased Chef d'Equipe David O'Connor. "The cross-country course is not a typical course that we see with how twisty and turn-y it is, and it was even more so this year. We had nine clear rounds which was huge, and it put us into play for the medals. Show jumping went well; the riding was good and they kept fighting. I'm very excited about the finish."
Brown (Petaluma, Calif.) got every point out of Super Socks BCF in their dressage test to receive a score of 46.40 from the Ground Jury of Jane Holderness-Roddam (GBR), Polly Ann Huntington (AUS), and Alain James (FRA). He had a spectacular round with Blossom Creek Foundation's 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding over Sue Benson's tough track, adding just 5.20 time penalties to their score. The recipients of a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant through the USET Foundation had a great round over Jos Brinkman's show jumping course, aside from a single time fault, to finish in sixth place with a score of 52.60 in their European and Nations Cup debut.
"It was a great experience made possible by the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant through the USET Foundation and the Rebecca Farm International Travel Grant; otherwise, it would have taken us a lot to do on our own," Brown said. "My horse is more confident have finished this event, and I am more confident have completed my first European event. This experience has gone a long way for our partnership and I am looking forward to doing a four-star with him next year."
Davidson (Ocala, Fla.) and Copper Beach were the pathfinders for the U.S. throughout the competition, beginning with a solid dressage test to score 51.40. The USEF Land Rover Competition Grant recipients laid down a good cross-country round and added 12.00 time penalties to their score. Davidson and Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal's 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding had an unlucky rail at the final fence for four faults to finish in 31st place on a score of 67.40.
Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, England) and HHS Cooley had a smooth dressage test to earn a score of 45.80. The pair struggled to find an agreed upon rhythm during its cross-country round, resulting in 23.2 time penalties. Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday's 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding collected eight faults in the show jumping phase with rails at fences 3A and 11 to finish with a score of 77.00 in 37th place.
Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous had a flashy dressage test to give them a score of 45.50 in the first phase. Little gave Robin Parsky, Jacqueline B. Mars, and Michael and Phoebe Manders' 2005 Oldenburg mare a great ride over the horse's first CCI3* track, collecting 9.60 time penalties. Unfortunately RF Scandalous was withdrawn before the final horse inspection due to a minor injury.
The remaining U.S. combinations competing as individuals had solid performances. Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Landmark's Monte Carlo had a great dressage test to score 46.80 and a textbook cross-country round, adding just 1.20 time penalties to their score. Kieffer and Jacqueline B. Mars' 2006 Irish Thoroughbred Cross gelding had an eight-fault show jumping round to finish in 12th place on a score of 57.80. Jon Holling (Ocala, Fla.) and Downtown Harrison had a lovely dressage test to score 46.20 and added 13.20 time penalties to their score on cross-country day. Holling and Constance Holling's 2004 Trakehner/Thoroughbred gelding had an unlucky rail for four faults to finish on a score of 63.40 in 23rd place. Davidson and his other mount, Carlevo, had an excellent dressage test to receive a score of 45.70 followed by an educational cross-country round in the horse's first CCI3*, collecting 26.40 time penalties. He and Carlevo LLC's 2007 Holsteiner gelding had no jumping faults and three time penalties to finish in 36th place with a score of 75.10.
Little's second mount, RF Quarterman, struggled with the atmosphere during their dressage test, receiving a score of 58.40. Little gave Raylyn Farms, Inc.'s 2008 Oldenburg gelding a confident ride on cross-country day, adding 11.60 time penalties to their score. The USEF Land Rover Competition Grant recipients had an eight-fault show jumping round to finish in 40th place with a score of 78.00. Kieffer and her other mount, Vermiculus, had a nice dressage test to score 55.50 and added 15.20 time penalties on cross-country day. She and Jacqueline B. Mars' 2007 Anglo-Arabian gelding had eight faults in the show jumping phase, finishing in 41st place with a score of 78.70. Katherine Coleman (Baydon, England) and her own Longwood, a 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding, earned their first CCI3* completion as a combination, finishing in 57th place with a score of 125.70.
Ireland earned the Gold medal in the Nations Cup competition with a score of 174.90 with the U.S. receiving Silver and New Zealand collecting the Bronze with a score of 198.90. Nicola Wilson (GBR) and Bulana claimed the top individual honors after finishing on a score of 47.10. Blyth Tait (NZL) and Xanthus III finished in second place with a score of 49.20 and Kristina Cook (GBR) and Billy the
were third with a score of 50.50, with both combinations having one of the eight double-clear show jumping rounds.