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U.S. CDIO3*, CDIOU25 Athletes Collect 5 Medals on Final Day of 2023 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA Competition

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 27, 2023, 9:13 AM

Wellington, Fla. - The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA CDIO3* and CDIOU25 wrapped up with more honors for U.S. combinations on Sunday at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team combinations Christian Simonson and Son of a Lady and Charlotte Jorst and Zhaplin Langholt won gold and silver, respectively, in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle. Simonson and Son of a Lady finished on a score of 78.445 percent while Jorst and Zhaplin Langholt scored a 76.205, both of which were personal bests.

U.S. athletes Charlotte Jorst (left) and Christian Simonson (center) at the FEI Intermediate I medal ceremony. ©US Equestrian

“I really love freestyles, and I think Sonny does as well,” Simonson said. “The pirouettes felt amazing. The trot-work felt so elastic. I cannot be more proud of him, and proud of my team, and proud of my groom. I’m just so proud.” 

Simonson (Ventura, Calif.) and Son of a Lady, a 2011 Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Christina Morgan and Clifton Simonson, received high scoring marks throughout and especially excelled in the artistic phases of scoring. 

“He’s been an absolute wonderhorse,” Simonson said. “The best horse I could ask for. He’s a hot tamale. He always has energy and he’s so elastic. Every movement you feel his every body movement.” 

Aboard Zhaplin Langholt, a 2013 Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Kastel Denmark, Jorst (Reno, Nev.) rode to her own personal best in what was her third top-three finish of the week. 

Anna Marek (Dunnellon, Fla.) and Duvel, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Cynthia Davila, placed fourth in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle, receiving a 73.670 from the judging panel. 

The soul U.S. athlete competing in the big tour combination, Susie Dutta (Wellington, Fla.) and Don Design DC, a 2010 Hanoverian gelding owned by Susie and Tim Dutta, received the week’s final mark with a 73.950 in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, finishing sixth. The CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle was won by Ecuador’s Julio Mendoza Loor aboard Jewel’s Goldstrike (79.325). 

In CDIOU25 competition, the U.S. swept the podium for the second time at this week’s Nation Cup with Erin Nichols and Elian Royale taking gold on a personal best 75.975. Callie O’Connell and Eaton H secured silver on a personal best 75.040, and Ben Ebeling and Status Royal OLD won bronze on a 74.165. 

“It was a fantastic first freestyle for me as well my horse,” Nichols said. “We’ve both never done a Grand Prix freestyle before. I saw the first score of 77 percent come on the board and couldn’t believe it. It was a fantastic day and week and always a great experience riding for Team USA.” 

Callie O'Connell, Erin Nichols and Ben Ebeling accept their CDIOU25 Grand Prix medals. ©US Equestrian

Emma Asher and Elegance N placed fifth in the CDIOU25 Grand Prix Freestyle and scored a personal best 72.235. Kylie Dickinson and Ibanero van de Vogelzang finished sixth, scoring a 68.010. 

Simonson, who has ascended through the U.S. Dressage program from junior teams to his first senior Nations Cup team this week, was impressed by the success of the U25 athletes and horses over the past four days. 

“It’s incredible to see how many amazing U25 combinations there were this weekend,” Simonson said. “The amount of attention and materials and resources USEF is putting into us at a young age is certainly paying off. I cannot be more thankful for them for how much emphasis they’re putting on the young riders. It's an amazing program, and going through it from a junior until now has been amazing. And anyone out there that wants those resources, they really should try to get to them as much as they can.” 


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