For Immediate Release: It is the battle of the Allistons in the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final during the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The husband and wife duo currently sit hold all three of the podium spots following cross-country day with James in the lead aboard the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding Paper Jam (Paparazzo x Reely Jammin XX) on a score of 32.1. Helen, who was the overnight leader following dressage, has moved down to the second place position with the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Ebay (Escudo x Contessa), and James also has a claim on the third place spot with the horse the Alliston’s have brought along since he was a yearling: the 8-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding Nemesis (by Novalis).
“The horses were really good,” James commented. “The time was really tight so I think it was a benefit having multiple horses because I realized to get near the time you really had to be on it from the start really. Even then, I didn’t make it, but it was definitely tight.” Riding Paper Jam, James added just 1.2-time penalties to their dressage score and incurred 5.2-time penalties with Nemesis.
Comparing this year’s AEC track to the four-star held at Rebecca Farm in July, James reflected: “I think in July I was going slower in the longs because you have more time. But with all of this money on the line, you are pretty motivated to be as competitive as you possibly can. I think just adding the speed makes everything harder. The horses have to make split-second decisions and things don’t always come up perfect when you are going that sort of speed.”
Helen added 7.2-time penalties to their score after crossing the finish flags of Ian Stark’s Advanced course. “That was awesome,” said Helen. “I had a lot of fun. I went as fast as I possibly could, but it wasn’t quite fast enough, unfortunately. The horse was awesome and I don’t think I would change the way I rode anything. He jumped beautifully and felt like a pro. I was thrilled.”
Both Helen and James had positive things to share about having the AEC at Rebecca Farm this year. “Rebecca is beautiful,” Helen commented. “For me, I care about how our horses feel, and when we come to this event our horses walk off the trailer and are relaxed and happy. They are sound after cross-country. So yes, it is stunning and the arenas are amazing and all that, but for us, the horses just go well here.”
“It is a great opportunity for us,” James shared. “It is a great venue to have it, there is a massive amount of space and great courses. I think it is really important for our California horses to come out here and get to run on the terrain."
With the odds in their favor that a great portion of the prize money winding up in the Alliston’s pockets, the real question is: how will they spend it?
“I want to go to Mexico and he wants to buy a horse. Whoever wins I guess gets to decide, or I will just decide,” joked Helen.
“I am always buying horses if I can, but she curbs my spending. Maybe we can do both,” James followed.
If you ask the Allistons, it is in the air as to who of their string might lead the pack. “We were joking earlier that Paper Jam’s handicap is his show jumping and Ebay’s handicap is me, so it could be Nemesis on top maybe. That might be the safest bet,” Helen said with a laugh.
Making the weekend extra special for the Allistons, James’ mother Petey Alliston flew in from England to visit and watch the competition. She shared a bit of the history of how James got involved with the sport: “He started riding a bit because there was a pony next door that kicked the s*** out of him every time he went out in the field. We were very, very lucky in that he got lent quite a few really nice ponies that were at the end of their career. He did quite well on them. They lived at home and I looked after them even though I was not a very horsey mom at all. Again he was very lucky and went to work for a local dealer who had been a top show jumper and he was their expendable youth. He broke racehorses. They would lift him up on those things and that was initiation by fire.”
Petey shared that then James had a spell working with the legendary Hoys in England before being recruited to gallop horses for the U.S. team while they were across the pond. “A friend of mine, Julia Bennett who had worked in the U.S. with a lot of the top riders said, ‘I know a kid, he is really quiet, very discreet, and won’t fall off. He will do.’ And they invited him back to the U.S. with them. He took a gap year in school and began working with Bruce Davidson and James got a lot of opportunities. He had to work like mad, had to rough and tumble it a bit, but Bruce was absolutely charming and delightful in every way.”
When asked how it feels to see James come such a long way from his humble roots, Petey shared: “In terms of what John and I have been able to help him with, it has been very, very minimal. I would have liked to have been able to fund him more, but actually, the pair of them have done it and I am incredibly proud of them. They are a great pair together. I feel they are a match made in heaven and I couldn’t be happier for them both.”
The final phase of competition for the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final begins at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 2. See the full results for the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final here.
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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
About the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final
The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, August 31 – September 4, 2022. Thanks to Adequan’s amazing support, the Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will bring together the country’s top riders to vie for $60,000 in prize money and the title of Adequan® Champion. To qualify for the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final at the AEC in 2022, competitors will need to complete a minimum of two events without cross-country jump penalties at any USEA recognized Advanced horse trials, CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L , or CCI5*-L . Click here to learn more about the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.
About American Regent Animal Health
American Regent Animal Health, a division of American Regent, Inc., is committed to advancing animal health with proven FDA-approved products like Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). The company’s portfolio is anchored by the only FDA-approved polysulfated glycosaminoglycan products for horses and dogs, which have been relied on for nearly three decades by veterinarians. American Regent, Inc., a Daiichi Sankyo Group Company, manufactures and distributes human and veterinary pharmaceutical products and is committed to providing the ever-changing U.S. healthcare marketplace with a growing and diversified American Regent portfolio. For more information on American Regent Animal Health, visit ARAnimalHealth.com
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