Wellington, Fla. - Following the opening classes of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm, The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team sits atop the leaderboard with a score of 220.917 heading into the second day of competition on Thursday, March 14. Currently in second with a score of 216.693 is the team from Canada.
Athletes earned the initial scores for their countries in Wednesday’s Prix St. Georges CDIO3* and Grand Prix CDIO3*, with Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) leading the charge for the U.S. after earning the win in the Grand Prix CDIO3* with a score of 73.543% riding Patricia Stempel’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Danilo. Following the format of the FEI Nations Cup, a bonus 1.5% is added to the Grand Prix scores, giving Francis a 75.043%.
Finishing in second behind Francis with a score of 72.109% (score from the judges of 70.609%) was U.S. teammate Charlotte Jorst (Reno, Nev.) aboard Kastel’s Nintendo, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Kastel Denmark.
The U.S.’s top performance in the Prix St. Georges CDIO3* was turned in by Ashley Holzer (Wellington, Fla.) and her nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Valentine. Holzer delivered a score of 73.765% to take second behind Canada’s Tina Irwin who earned a score of 74.912%. Earning fourth in the class with a score of 70.971% was the final member of The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team, Jennifer Baumert (Wellington, Fla.) riding Handsome, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Betsy Juliano LLC.
“I’m just super proud of all of these U.S. riders,” said Debbie McDonald, the newly appointed Chef d’Equipe and Technical Advisor for The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team. “I think they all did a great job today. It’s a two-day competition and I think Canada’s given everything to it, and I think everybody’s going to be down to the wire, which makes for good competition. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but I’m excited about today. Ashley [Holzer] had a really superb performance for the small tour, and I really was proud of Shelly [Francis] and the job she did today.”
Competition at the FEI Nations Cup™ USA concludes on Thursday with the Intermediate I CDIO3* and the Grand Prix Special CDIO3* determining the final podium standings.