Vogg Jürgen's 14-year-old Westphalian gelding Colero (Captain Fire x Bonita) Colero gave his rider Felix Vogg a tremendous birthday present - the first five-star victory of Vogg's career! Just like the cross-country course, the show jumping of the Longines CCI5*-L proved to be very influential. Only three riders stayed clear and within the time allowed. With a very fresh and smooth round, Vogg and Colero held onto their dressage score of 29.0 points. Kirsty Chabert of Great Britain brought home second place honors aboard John Johnston and Carole Somers' 13-year-old Anglo-European mare Classic VI (Calvaro F.C. x India Summer) and New Zealand's Jonelle Price completed the podium third with the 17-year-old British Sport Horse mare Faerie Dianimo (Dimaggio x Faerie Dazzler VII) owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green, and Price.
Vogg laid the foundation for today's win on Friday with a super dressage test which was rewarded with 29.0 points. Vogg and Colero then mastered the demanding cross-country and show jumping courses clear within the time. “When I rode into the arena, I just focused on keeping calm and tried to blank out everything else," Vogg reflected. "That took the pressure off me and also off the horse, which was important. Even with a pole, the result would have been a personal highlight. He can jump fantastically and he showed that today." In the award ceremony, the 32-year-old thanked everyone who contributed to his win: "Many thanks to the audience, the horse's breeders, and the organizers. This victory is extraordinary for me!”
Chabert was the only other rider to finish the Longines CCC5*-L on her dressage score - her biggest achievement so far. “Classic has been fantastic this whole week," she shared. "She gave me a phenomenal round cross-country and she’s a very, very good jumper. It’s a team effort and we go out of our way to keep her in her happy place and then she rewards us by going above and beyond.”
While Price commented that her week didn't start the way she had hoped, the weekend continued to work in her favor as each phase passed. “I was a little frustrated with our dressage result. Faerie is brilliant but also a right little madam," Price joked. "It’s her fourth time in Luhmühlen and she’s already seventeen, so you’d think she knows her job but the dressage was hard work. We had a few mistakes and during today’s prize-giving I couldn’t help but think ‘what if…’. On the other hand, she gave me lovely rides in the cross-country and show jumping phases and she’s always trying to do the right thing. She’s an incredibly nice little mare and deserved a podium finish. She’s also quite pretentious, so I’m sure she enjoyed the prize giving today and thinks she has won.”
Just outside of the podium were two U.S. pairs to round out the top five. Lauren Nicholson and Jacqueline Mars’s 15-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Vermiculus (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently) started the weekend out in second place following dressage but added 5.2 time penalties to their score to drop to seventh following cross-country. Jumping a clear round with just 0.8 time penalties in show jumping allowed the duo to finish out the weekend in fourth place overall on a 32.7, just 0.7 off the mark from third place.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cooley Quicksilver's (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) ended in the position they started in following their 29.1 dressage score which placed them in fifth. With 6.0 time penalties after cross-country rounding up their score to 35.1, the pair slid down to tenth going into the final phase of the competition. However, the influential show jumping track played in Halliday-Sharp's favor after they issued a double-clear show jumping round to close out the weekend in fifth on a score of 35.1.
The U.S.-based Canadian pair of Karl Slezak and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway bay), who Slezak co-owns with Kirk Hoppner, finished out their weekend within the top 20 in 17th place. U.S. rider Matthew Flynn and A. Patrick and Kathleen Flynn with Merry Go Round Farm's 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wizzerd x Amai) Wizzerd closed out the top 20.
In the CCI4*-S, U.S. pair Will Coleman and Hyperion Stud LLC's 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic's (Chin Champ x Wildera) added one rail to their score to finish the weekend in 11th place overall on a score of 40.2. German riders excelled in the four-star holding all three places on the podium. In first was Michael Jung and the 11-year-old European Sporthorse Highlighter (Natal x ARD Silhouette) owned by himself and Brigitte, Joachim, Philip Jung, and Annette Schmid, second went to Dirk Schrade and Casino 80 (Casillas 2 x Viktoria XVI), a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Freya Rethmeier, and in third was Sandra Auffarth and the 9-year-old Polish Sport Horse gelding Rosveel (Bolshoi x Rosita) owned by Nikolaus Prinz Von Croy.
On May 1, 2022, Max Corcoran was appointed as the Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator. In her role, Corcoran will support the areas of communication, logistics, and management of the teams for the Eventing Programs to deliver sustained success at World and Olympic Games level. As the Facilitator, she will work closely with the interim Chef d’Equipe/Team Manager, Bobby Costello, and eventing staff to build solid lines of communication with athletes, grooms, owners, coaches, veterinarians, and all stakeholders linked to the athletes and develop the structures around the Elite Program and senior U.S. Eventing Team.
Imagine: you are at the biggest sporting event of your life. The stakes are high, and you have spent countless hours preparing for it. However, you are expected to just show up and immediately perform. You cannot stretch or take a practice swing. You have no time to loosen up or sharpen your eye. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Just like us, our horses need adequate time to warm up each day. A warmup is any preparation for work, and it is often the leading edge of that work. It is the small aid response that becomes the more advanced aid response.
This year a new class will be joining the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded within the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members have included past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founding fathers, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, and coaches
Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels.