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U.S. Combinations Claim Silver and Bronze in CDIOU25 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle at 2024 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA

by Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 25, 2024, 3:21 PM

Wellington, Fla. – The individual competitions of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup USA concluded Sunday on Friday at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Three U.S. U25 combinations rode their tests for the CDIOU25 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. Josh Albrecht and Goldenboy Vinckenburgh secured the silver medal, while Dennesy Rogers and Chanel took home the bronze medal with strong performances.

CDIOU25 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle individual medalists: Josh Albrecht, Kate Kyros, and Dennesy Rogers
(Devyn Trethewey/US Equestrian)

Albrecht (Oroville, Calif.) performed a freestyle with a high degree of difficulty that highlighted Goldenboy Vinckenburgh’s strengths. Since the freestyle does not count toward the team score, Albrecht wanted to take some risks by performing challenge movements with his talented partner. The risks paid off because they earned a personal-best score of 70.130%.

“My mentality is go big or go home,” said Albrecht. “We really tried to highlight my horse’s strengths and to push where we could and be careful when we needed to be, so that was the idea behind it.”

Albrecht and the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Apache x Tandafanory) owned by Coalcyn Equestrian LLC completed difficult movements such as walk to extended canter, canter pirouettes to canter half-pass, and two-tempi changes on a single loop. After riding to upbeat music, the duo punctuated their freestyle with a piaffe pirouette into their final halt.

“The music is fun,” said Albrecht. “My horse can get a little spooky at shows, but he is really happy-go-lucky. He likes to go and have fun and do it, so we wanted the music to match that.”

Albrecht and Goldenboy Vinckenburgh have only been together for four-and-a-half months, but Albrecht said he has been developing a partnership by spending as much time as possible with his horse, from tacking up and riding to quiet time on days off. The pair has also been developing their skills at the U25 level, having only started showing at the level last December. Albrecht had been eyeing making the U25 team as a possibility.

“‘We’re in Wellington. I’m here. I am going to submit the application and we are going to see what happens. We might make the team,’” said Albrecht. “I thought there were so many great riders, and I actually flew home for three days to visit my family and other animals at home. While I was home, they announced on my birthday that I had made the team. It was so exciting, and it has been a great experience.”

Rogers (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Chanel clinched the third spot on the podium with a solid test. The pair performed extended trot on the centerline and continued to impress with canter half-pass zig-zags to canter pirouette to two-tempi changes. For their efforts, Rogers (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and the 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Horse Romance x Penelope Solyst) owned by Dorriah Rogers collected a personal-best score of 68.800%.

Siena Harris-Gissler (New York, N.Y.) and Status Royal OLD won the two previous CDIOU25 classes this week but had some unlucky bobbles in their freestyle. Despite the errors, the duo produced quality movements throughout the test, such as their passage half-pass and canter pirouettes to one-tempi and two-tempi changes. Harris-Gissler and her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Statesman x Facette Royal) finished in fourth place on a score of 67.480%.

Kate Kyros and Chemistry (AUS) won the individual gold medal with a score of 73.690%.

George Williams, U.S. Dressage High Performance & Pathway Development Advisor and Youth Coach, was happy with how the U.S. U25 combinations performed throughout the competition.

“I’m very proud of how they did. I think each of them had some very good rides and good moments, where you really are quite proud of them,” said Williams. “I think they had team spirit, and they worked well together. It was really nice to see how they supported one another.”

Event website | Results | On-demand streams

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