Aachen, Germany – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team came out firing today on the first day of competition in the SAP Cup CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen, with the team sitting in fourth place overall heading into the final day of competition tomorrow with the cross-country phase. Overall, the team was in second behind Great Britain after dressage on a combined total of 82.3, finished in fourth after stadium on a team total of 91.1 behind Great Britain, Germany, and New Zealand.
As the first combination in the combination rotation, Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, led off the team’s start in Deutsche Bank Stadium, earning a 32.80 from the judging panel following their test. The pair then were the pathfinders for the team around the stadium phase in the Main Arena, which proved a challenging task for many of the combinations. The course, designed by Frank Rothenberger (GER) used the entirety of the Main Stadium at CHIO Aachen and the atmosphere impacted several combinations in the overall order. Dutton and Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding owned by Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, David & Patricia Vos, Evie Dutton, Suzanne Lacy, and Thomas Tierney, jumped a clear round inside of the optimum time to stay on their score of 32.80 and start the team off strong in the second phase of the day.
Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Miks Master C are coming fresh off their strong finish at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian this past April and the pair were in excellent form for their dressage test. They produced a lovely, rhythmical test that was mistake-free for a score of 27.30, with more left in the tank. Miks Master C, a 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding, owned by Deborah Palmer and Ocala Horse Properties, is still relatively green at the CCI4*/CCI5* levels and Halliday-Sharp is using every moment to educate “Mickey” and take in the learnings herself.
“This is a wonderful step in the journey of him getting more experience. He went in there and was a bit strong and got a little keen, but he jumped well. He was wowed by the scene but this is a huge thing for horses going to Aachen for the first time in their careers and they learn a lot here,” said Halliday-Sharp of her stadium round and of the takeaways with Miks Master C.
Heavy-hitters and 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event winners Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum rode third in the order and wowed in their test. Smith committed to a powerful and bold extended trot at the end of the test with Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell, giving way to a tiny bobble, breaking into the canter, before they recovered and ended with a sharp final halt. The pair earned a 26.9 from the panel in the dressage and added just a single rail in their tour of the show jumping course to sit on a 30.9.
As the final pair in the dressage ring for the team, Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, who were the individual winners of the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen in 2021, recorded a 28.10, producing a smooth mistake-free test for the U.S., before jumping a pressured clear round as the anchor combination and keeping the team in the hunt heading into tomorrow’s final phase. Coleman and Off The Record, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate, currently sit as the highest-placed U.S. combination in fifth place overall.
“The track really felt like Aachen. It’s just such a privilege to go into that arena and it’s a magical experience. I thought the course was very good, up to height and asked some real questions. I’m really happy with my horse, but now we forget all of that, and look forward to tomorrow.” said Coleman. Of the cross-country track, Coleman noted that it feels leveled up compared to past years in Aachen. “Of the four years I’ve come to this show, this is definitely the hardest course. You have to be really precise on your lines all the way around and the speed at which you’re going to try and get the time makes it really easy to make a small mistake and the course is set up that a small mistake is going to be really expensive.”
The individual combination of Dan Kreitl (Muncie, Ind.) and Carmango, a 2013 Westphalian gelding owned by Kay Dixon, added two rails to their first Aachen show jumping experience and currently sit in 35th overall on a core of 42.80.
Follow US Equestrian
Stay up to date by following USA Eventing on Facebook and Instagram. Follow US Equestrian on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Use #USAEventing.
The USEF International High Performance Programs and the USEF High Performance Pathway Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, the philanthropic partner to USEF. High Performance Program support is also provided by the USOPC and USEF sponsors and members.