For Immediate Release: The USEA Novice Championship divisions came to a tidy and tight-knees show jumping finale today at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. All riders and their mounts brought their season’s best riding and piloting to the arena for this final phase.
USEA Novice Horse Championship
The USEA Novice Horse Championship winner, Tommy Greengard, was swarmed by a loving crowd as he exited the show arena on Rebecca Slater’s 7-year-old Oldenburg Cappachina (Coeur d’Amour x Rhythm-n-Blues). With a chorus of screams and a steady stream of ear-to-ear smiles, Greengard couldn’t have picked a better scenario to close out this class for the mare’s owner.
“She was thrilled. Rebecca is the most fun person to ride for. She is so invested in the mare and goes to almost all of the events—every day is an amazing day. So, she is just a blast, she’s totally invested, she’s had the horse since she was 3-years-old, she picked her out and everything,” said Greengard. “When she made her way to us, Rebecca has totally let us start to develop her and we’ve had a really big year with her, and she’s been awesome so we couldn’t be happier with her. This was the plan for the horse all year and she totally delivered.”
Taking second place is Lauren Lambert aboard Ann Adam’s 6-year-old British Sport Horse Fernhill Liverpool (Heathrow x Hocolada). Lambert took in the sights from a different perspective this time around at Rebecca Farm. Normally strictly a coach, Lambert said, “This is my first time riding at Rebecca and it was just a beautiful perspective galloping across the country out there. It was a blast. The horse I’m riding is just 6-years-old and he also has a very sharp spook so we had a few hiccups this summer and then we were able to go home from [Chattahoochee Hills] and regroup and get him in a place mentally more confident and come to the most decorated course in the country and he was on his game and he did his best.”
Rounding out the class with a third place win was Auburn Excell Brady piloting Eri Takada’s 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood named Jackpot VG (Kannan x Vita Triple “R”). Impressed with herself and her horse, today was the success they were searching for. “I’m really pleased, I think it was really competitive bunch of horses and I think it was a fun course with a bunch of spooky stuff. Overall he was great all weekend. He keeps you on your toes, he’s a little bit looky and kind of sleepy, and then all of the sudden he is going 100 miles per hour, so you have to stay focused.”
USEA Novice Junior Championship
The 20-year-old Oldenburg named Oso Mighty (Idocus x Unknown) was brilliantly piloted by rider and owner Olivia Keye, which lead them to take the win in the Novice Junior Championship. This high point—at such a ripe age—signals a bittersweet, but very well deserved soft retirement for the charismatic gelding with pricked ears.
“He’s been with me for a while, and it was extra special that he put in all the effort to get here. This was a sort of a last hurrah together with him, so it was extra special,” said Keye. “He’s done a lot for me. He will still jump with a friend and do lower levels.” So, what does this mean for Keye as a rider? She said, “I have another horse going training at this event and I just bought a 3-year-old Irish Sport Horse.” A beautiful way to close out the reason and a promising new beginning awaits this young rider.
Claiming the second place ribbon is Willow Chase aboard the 16-year-old Andalusion Diablo. With a flashy show jacket that happened to match quite a few decorated fences and her flashy horse, Chase won’t soon forget this picture-perfect memory. “Getting here to Montana took a week and thank goodness Diablo—he’s more known as Potato—traveled so well to get here,” said Chase. “A month before we got here, I was a working student at Will Faudree’s and the whole time we were there, which was a short amount of time, I just gathered as much as I could and it was like the stars had aligned because the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for that opportunity before this incredible event.”
Piloting her way to a third place finish is Hayden Brown and the 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cooley Merrywell Mint (Cormint x Merrywell Dancer). She is clearly proud of a job well done this weekend, signaling so with an enthusiastic pat after their round. “I got him a year and a half ago and he has matured so much—I am so, so proud of him. He is getting a lot stronger physically in the dressage, and things are really coming along. I can get a couple of moments where he feels like a big fancy horse—not very long because he is just five—but he’s got a great brain.”
USEA Novice Amateur Championship
Kyla Tovar aboard the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse Kilcoltrim Jacko (Jack of Diamonds x Sky Rise) took home the USEA Novice Amateur Championship today after a stellar show jump round.
"Last year I was in last place in this division with my old horse, so my trainer Katie Rupple helped me find a new horse over in the UK and we brought him over in January and he’s been so awesome. We had to work on the show jumping but cross-country he’s gone double clear with me every single time and it’s given me so much confidence. I’m just very blessed to have him,” said Tovar. “I get really anxious before every single phase because I am such a perfectionist, so I think the best thing I did was first, I prayed about it and secondly, I just knew that I had done all the work and this was my time to show it, so whatever was going to happen was going to happen.” It’s evident that both of those strategies paid off today for this ideal finish.
Riding into second place is Anastasia Keyser and 5-year-old Appaloosa Bellatrix (Hands of a Hero x Art I A Hero). After worrying the most about show jumping, those concerns were officially put to rest today. “She really did well in all three phases. Except for jump one on cross-country—she needed to remind herself what she was doing! She’s a 5-year-old so she’s doing very well moving up the levels quickly but she still has her moments as a 5-year-old chestnut mare.”
And rounding out the top placings with third is William Barclay piloting 13-year-old Trakehner gelding Stormn Hudson KD (Blitz un Donner x Stormn Doreen KD). With a comic relief we all can attest to, Barclay admitted he’s, "Glad I don’t have to worry about another phase.” His challenges aren’t particular to this event but rather to his mount. “He’s 13-year-old Trakehner so his challenges are that he’s a Trakehner and he sees everything, and the joy is that he is very cat-like, very consistent, and just a good horse.”
USEA Novice Rider Championship
Alyssa Cairo piloted the 17-year-old Connemara named Paddington to a win today in the USEA Novice Rider Championship show jumping phase, keeping their impressive dressage score. Securing their win left Cairo almost speechless as this horse, who she praises for always being a good boy, brought this dream to life.
“I’m elated, overwhelmed—in disbelief,” said Cairo. “Paddington always meets my expectations. I’m vey fortunate to have such a fabulous partner, and I didn’t know it when I bought him that he’d be so amazing. He is such a competitor and he’s so confident, and it sometimes makes up for my lack of confidence because I’m an adult amateur, so I think together as a team we’ve really come a long way.” Humble words and honorable rewards perfectly illustrate this unforgettable day for this spectacular duo.
Also finishing on their dressage score was second place winner Heidi West aboard the 7-year-old Irish Draught Sport Horse named Pearl District (Briton Beale Street x Graf Top). While show jumping offered a fantastic round, cross-country is what West will remember most. “He’s such a great young horse,” said West. “He usually gets away from me on cross-country so that’s the biggest challenge—to keep him rideable. It just felt so lovely and fun and easy, so that was really lovely. I was in tears coming off cross-country.”
The third place finisher today was Faith Dalessandro riding her 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood Spurs and Stilettos (Stilletto x Lollipoppe). The pair really tied their cross-country course in a pretty bow this weekend, and that meant a lot to Dalessandro considering that was their biggest challenge. “Honestly I was just so happy because my horse just took me to the fences,” said Dalessandro. “We’ve had problems in the past—the last three years we’ve been overcoming a transition from show jumping. The whole cross-country phase was a shocker for her so it’s kind of been a long journey but the last year or so we’ve been doing really well, so it’s really nice to finish well and have a great time.”
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About the USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport at the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. In fact, the 2021 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and now stands as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 4 at the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The USEA would like to thank Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena Feeds; Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsor: Bates Saddles Gold Level Sponsors: Parker Equine Insurance, Smartpak, Capital Square, Standlee; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Mountain Horse, The Jockey Club, Kerrits; Bronze Level Sponsors: Athletux, The Chronicle of the Horse, Dubarry of Ireland, FITS Riding, Equilume, Devoucoux, Fifth Third Bank, Gallops Saddlery, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis, Clark Nissan; Contributing Level Sponsors: CrossCountry App, WeRideTogether, Haygain, First Interstate Bank, Schellinger Construction, Glacier Bank, Animal Health Solutions Inc., Discover Kalispell; Prize Level Sponsors: Vet Blue, Practical Horseman, Hound & Hare, Strides of Equality Equestrians, Horse & Country TV, Bemer Independent Distributors, Freelance Design, Achieve Equine/FLAIR, Flexible Fit Equestrian USA, and more! ATC Sponsors: The Chronicle of the Horse, FITS Riding, Nutrena Feeds, SmartPak, Achieve Equine/FLAIR, Kerrits, and Horse & Country TV
At the August USEA Board of Governors meeting, a proposition was brought forth to officially recognize what is commonly referred to as “Starter level” as a USEA division. For many years now, Starter level has been offered as a test at USEA approved events. The decision to recognize the level officially would allow those competing in Starter level divisions to receive recognition on the USEA Leaderboards and to compete at the Starter level at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) in the future. The motion was approved to recognize this level, and the USEA staff have been hard at work preparing all of the rules, guidelines, and standards that will go along with this level’s recognition for the 2024 season.
Karma is developing into one of the fastest and most-reliable cross-country horses in the West. The 9-year-old bay Oldenburg mare and James Alliston won their third-straight blue ribbon together at either the four-star or Advanced level in the CCI4*-S at the Twin Rivers Fall International in Paso Robles, California, with the only double-clear cross-country round on Saturday.
Most couples share a kiss and part ways at 8:00 a.m. as they head off to their own work days, but eventing power couple James and Helen Alliston do it all together. We gave our USEA members the opportunity to submit their questions for this West Coast-based couple, and USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown gets them to share all on many topics: eventing in the U.S. versus the U.K., who is the most competitive of the two, dealing with warmer temperatures, why James likes to drive illegally slow, and so much more!
The Plantation Field International CCI4*-S concluded today with the cross-country phase, and the final standings were nearly a matter of “last one standing.” As Tropical Storm Ophelia brought a torrential downpour to the area, a number of riders decided to opt out: of 39 competitors, only six completed, and 17 withdrew before the start of cross-country.