USEF Names Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team

 

 
 

USEF Names Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team

RELEASE: June 16, 2014
From the USEF Communications Deparment

 Lexington, Ky.- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named eight horse-and-athlete combinations to the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team. Mandatory Outings will be held for short-listed combinations at CDI4* Fritzens in Fritzens, Austria, July 4-7, and CDIO5* Aachen in Aachen, Germany, July 15-20.

Lexington, Ky.- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named eight horse-and-athlete combinations to the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team. Mandatory Outings will be held for short-listed combinations at CDI4* Fritzens in Fritzens, Austria, July 4-7, and CDIO5* Aachen in Aachen, Germany, July 15-20.


The following eight horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the Short List (in ranked order):

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Four Winds Farm's Legolas 92 Legolas 92 is a 2002 Westphalian gelding.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades Verdades is a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding.

Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) and Beth Meyer, Ann Romney, and Amy Ebeling's Rafalca Rafalca is a 1997 Oldenburg mare.

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Peggy Thomas' Wizard Wizard is a 1999 Oldenburg gelding.

Tina Konyot (Palm City, Fla.) and her own Calecto V Calecto V is a 1998 Danish Warmblood stallion.

Caroline Roffman (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Her Highness O Her Highness O is a 2003 Hanoverian mare.

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Patricia Stempel's Doktor Doktor is a 2003 Oldenburg gelding.

Lisa Wilcox (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Betty Wells' Denzello Denzello is a 2003 Hanoverian gelding.

Click here to see the Selection Procedures for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team.

USA Dressage: who’s headed to WEG?

 

 

 Steffen Peters on Legolas and Laura Graves on Verdades at the USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ.

The eight top-placing riders at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and World Equestrian Games Selection Trials, presented by The Dutta Corp., represent both the old guard and the up and comers in American dressage. These riders earn the chance to train and compete in Europe this summer as they aim for the US team heading to the WEG in Normandy, France.

Steffen Peters, whose name is engraved six times on the trophy given to the national Grand Prix champion, riding Akiko Yamazaki’s Legolas – his partner for three out of those six wins – was the top finisher, not unexpectedly. Peters also dominated the championship in the Intermediare I division aboard the 7-year-old mare Rosamunde, who will also make the trip to Europe for the experience.

Peters, 49, is the championship veteran on the US team with three Olympics, two World Equestrian Games, a World Cup title, seven U.S. championships, Pan American Games and the Aachen CDIO5* champion to his name.

More surprising was the reserve champion, 26-year-old Vermont native Laura Graves, now of Florida. Riding Verdades, a Dutch horse that she chose from a video when he was a weanling and trained herself under the guidance of first Anne Gribbons and more recently Debbie McDonald, Graves impressed the judges and spectators and wrote the beginning of her very own fairy tale as she outscored an experienced group of horses and riders vying for positions on the US team.

After finishing second in the Grand Prix Special on Saturday and then nailing down another second-place finish in Sunday’s freestyle, Graves secured one of the coveted top-top placings that gives her the option of sitting out one of the mandatory outings in Europe, Fritzens CDI in Austria on the July 4th weekend, and CDIO Aachen (Germany) during the World Equestrian Festival two weeks later.

“I’m completely thrilled with my horse, he exceeded all my expectations and then some,” she said. “I know my horse and I know he’s tired after traveling up the coast from Florida, but I have no experience in Europe, so I’m open to suggestions,” said Graves, who will look to her coaches and peers for guidance as she plans her summer.

This was her first three-day competition. She and Verdades only began competing at the Grand Prix level this year, and have had three wins and finished second in the CDI3* Grand Prix and Freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

“When it comes to horse management in a three-day competition, I have a lot to learn,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having a team coach, vet, etc. to help us learn how to manage him during long periods of stressful competition. He felt great yesterday and was a good boy today, just exhausted.”

Jan Ebeling, free of the media circus that followed him and Rafalca—a mare who is owned in part by last Ann Romney—during last year’s Presidential election run-up, had a clear focus on the competition this season and finished 3rd overall. Because of the mare’s age (she is 17 years old) he was disappointed not to finish in the top two placings and have the chance to give her a rest before Aachen.

US team coach and chef d’Equipe Robert Dover noted that Ebeling was on the committee that voted in favor of the team selection procedure. For those critical of the inexperienced Graves having the potential opportunity to represent the US in Normandy this summer, he pointed out that he was 27 years old when he competed at his first Olympic Games, and just lost the gold medal to then equally inexperienced German rider Nicole Uphoff, riding Rembrandt, who ultimately went down in the history books as one of the greatest dressage horses of all time. “Everyone has to start somewhere,” he said.

Legolas’ owner, Akiko Yamazaki, of Woodside, CA said, “I think it was so great this year to have so many up and coming riders give Steffen a run for his money – it’s great to see so much promise for the future.” Yamazaki attended the show with her daughters Miki, 9, and Emi, 6, who are both active in the Woodside Vaulting Club. She has to be there for their training as well, so she will go back and forth between the US and Europe this summer in the lead-up to the WEG.

In third place overall was one of the brighter rising stars of dressage, Adrienne Lyle, 29, riding Wizard, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding. They competed as individuals at the 2012 London Olympics and in Germany in the summer of 2010. She said that her horse is getting more seasoned to this level of competition and after spending the past couple of weeks training with her mentor Debbie McDonald alongside Laura Graves and fellow competitor Katherine Bateson-Chandler, who finished just out of the running for the top eight, she is looking forward to the camaraderie of the trip to Europe.

 

The other five combinations that will travel abroad are:

• Tina Konyot, 52, of Palm City, Florida and Calecto V, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II x Rastell) who was on U.S. teams at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky, the 2012 Olympics and performed in their first World Cup Final this year.

• Jan Ebeling, 55, of Moorpark, California and Rafalca, 17-year-old Oldenburg mare (Argentinius x Rubinstein) who competed in London and at the World Cup Finals.

• Caroline Roffman, 25, of Wellington, Florida and and Her Highness O, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Hohenstein x Weltmeyer). Caroline competed the mare in the small tour at Aachen, Germany last year, where she also rode Sagacious HF to Reserve Champion in the U25 division.

• Shelly Francis, 55, of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Diamond Hit x Renoir I) who competed in Europe last summer.

• Lisa Wilcox, 47, of Wellington and Denzello, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Rohdiamant). Lisa formerly lived and worked in Germany and is known for her success on the stallion Relevant.