Hagen, Germany – A trio of young riders representing the United States took third place at the CDIO-Y Nations Cup competition hosted at Future Champions in Hagen, Germany, from June 10-13, 2021. This result marked the highest finish in program history for the U.S. Young Rider Dressage Team at Future Champions. Ten countries with 25 horse-and-rider combinations competed in the CDIO-Y, which featured talented young athletes from across Europe.
Christian Simonson (Ventura, Calif.) and Christina Morgan’s nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Zeaball Diawind, had the team’s top score of 72.010%, which was good enough to put the pair in second place individually overall.
Katherine Mathews (San Marcos, Calif.) posted a 66.667% with Soliëre, a 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Peridot Equestrian LLC. Melanie Doughty (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) rode to a 65.883% with Fascinata, her own 13-year-old Rhinelander mare.
Chef d’Equipe George Williams was proud of his team’s efforts in their first overseas outing and the first European competition for the Young Rider program in more than two years.
“I have been impressed with how this team has taken all the challenges in stride. Today they all rode well, putting their hearts into their rides, with a focus and determination to do their best,” said Williams. “Christian’s ride on Zeaball was beautiful, harmonious, and mistake-free. It was very moving to see our team on the podium, receiving their bronze medal and to think that today was their first time ever competing in Europe. I couldn’t be more thrilled or more proud of them.”
With the team component finished, all three U.S. athletes will go on to compete in the FEI Individual Young Rider Test, followed by the FEI Young Rider Freestyle on Sunday, June 13. The competition is being streamed on ClipmyHorseTV.com.
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The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOPC, and USEF sponsors and members.