Wellington, Fla. – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team made their 2018 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ debut and took the gold medal at the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center FEI Dressage Nations Cup USA on Thursday at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla.
The team consisted of Ashley Holzer (New York City, N.Y.), Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.), Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho), and Sabine Schut-Kery (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), and was led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover. They finished on a total score of 452.327.
Canada claimed the silver medal on 424.855, while Australia won the bronze medal on 396.743.
“I’m so proud of these amazing women who are not only rising to the occasion, but are changing the game with each ride for American dressage as we go toward the [FEI World Equestrian] Games,” said Dover. “This would not be happening without Debbie McDonald, Christine Traurig, [the riders’] personal trainers, Hallye Griffin, all of the support teams, and the best owners. I’m very appreciative right now to everybody.”
With two incredible performances in Wednesday’s Grand Prix CDIO3* and Thursday’s Grand Prix Special CDIO3* (a personal best score of 76.894%), Lyle and Salvino, an 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Betsy Juliano, catapulted the American team to the top of the podium.
“This is an incredible event to be a part of,” said Lyle, who has represented the United States in Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games™ competition. “We have an awesome team. I’m so proud of my boy and the way he handled it. He went in and put two really solid, clean, powerful tests in for our team and that’s exactly what you want.”
Traveling from California to show for the first time in Florida this year, Schut-Kery and Sanceo, owned by Alice Womble, also posted strong scores.
“It was really great to come all the way out here and be a part of this. I couldn’t be more happy with my horse,” she said of the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding showing in his first season at grand prix level. “It was good practice for me to ride in a different climate and see what I have. I look forward to the future with what we have.”
Olivia La-Goy Weltz went for power in her grand prix special test, and while it resulted in “some bobbles,” she felt secure in the result.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” she said of Lonoir, her and Mary Anne McPhail’s 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding. “Yesterday was a better test for us, [and] it’s still a work in progress. Today he was more powerful and that causes other things to happen. You don’t work things out until you take risks, and that’s what we’re working on. I really believe in him that we’ll get it all put together.”
While Holzer and Havanna 145 (the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Diane Fellows) were the drop score both days, Holzer was thrilled at the opportunity to represent the United States after having switched nationalities from Canada.
“I’m so grateful,” she said. “My mare was unfortunately a little green this weekend. These girls were amazing, and to watch them all ride was unbelievable. I’m very honored. Everyone in the States is so welcoming to me and so supportive.”
This year’s victory marks the sixth time out of seven years that the U.S. team has won the FEI Dressage Nations Cup at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
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USA’s Under 25 Team Wins Silver Medal
The Under 25 (U25) team for the United States of America stood on the silver medal-winning podium at the 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in their CDIO competition. The team comprised Kerrigan Gluch (Wellington, Fla.) riding Hampton Green Farm’s 14-year-old P.R.E. stallion Bolero XCLVII, Natalie Pai (Wellington, Fla.) on her own 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Unlimited, and Molly Paris (Charlotte, N.C.) on Countess, her 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare.
The riders contested the CDIO U25 Intermediaire II class for the team medals. Spain captured the gold medal, while the Canada 1 team won bronze.
Paris and Countess had the team high score of 66.706%.
“These girls are like family,” said Paris of her teammates. “We’ve known each other since juniors and we’ve been through everything together. My mare tries so very hard for me; she’s super talented and I really can’t ask for more.”
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF sponsors and members.
Photos © Taylor Pence/US Equestrian