Sep 02, 2021

New and Familiar Faces Top Training and Vetoquinol USEA Modified Following Cross-Country

The Vetoquinol USEA Modified leaders, Julie Wolfert and Namibia. KTB Creative Group.

For Immediate Release: Vetoquinol USEA Modified and Training riders took to the iconic Kentucky Horse Park turf today as all divisions lined up to contest Derek di Grazia’s course following yesterday’s dressage phase. The inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified division was first out of the box this morning to tackle the brand new cross-country course designed by Derek di Grazia. Training pairs in the Horse, Junior, Rider, and Amateur divisions were put to a test against an optimum time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds over a total of 24 efforts which included some iconic Kentucky Horse Park obstacles.

Vetoquinol USEA Modified

Julie Wolfert and Namibia. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Though Julie Wolfert says dressage is Namibia’s best phase, the 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Tizway x Kitty Tracks) stepped up to the plate on cross-country Thursday, achieving a double clear round to hold the lead of the inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship.

“He was pretty good out there. Yeah. I mean, he was stellar — foot-perfect. Probably his best round ever,” said the Bucryus, Kan. resident of her ex-racehorse. “There were a few jumps still early on that you really couldn't see until about two strides away because of the sun. And so I was a little worried you wouldn't read it, but he was on game. It was really great exposure for him.”

Wolfert and Namibia carry a two-phase score of 25.2 into show jumping.

The top three remain the same after the second day. Fall Creek, Ore.’s Audrey Ogan and Second Amendment, a 6-year-old Dutch Harness Horse (Colonist x Allie) owned by Ogan, added nothing to their score of 27.6. Martin Douzant, of The Plains, Va., keeps third on a score of 28.5 aboard his own Beall Spring Seahawk, a 6-year-old Swedish Warmblood by Shakespeare RSF.

Training Amateur

Lisa Niccolai and KC's Celtic Kharacter. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Lisa Niccolai almost didn’t make the trip from East Thetford, Vt. due to concerns about the weather following Hurricane Ida, but after Thursday’s cross-country, she’s pretty glad she did. Piloting her own KC's Celtic Kharacter, a 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Kharacter C x Tessa), she steps into the lead of the USEA Training Amateur Championship.

Niccolai has had the big-bodied chestnut since he was 3, and now she feels like the partnership is rock solid. “That's made a huge difference for us to like. We've done everything together. So we know how he's going to respond to things, and he's really stepped up this year and kind of said, ‘I get it. I understand the game now,’” she said.

The pair went fault-free to stay on their dressage score of 27.6. “We've had trouble making the time in the past. And I was a little nervous about that, but he was beautiful galloping, and he just opened up and had a great time,” she said.

Tracey Corey and Katherine Rivera share second place on the identical score of 28.3 with both having gone double clear on cross-country. Corey, Ocala, Fla., is piloting Byrnwyck West, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Devil His Due x Heirloom Wish), and Rivera, Hempstead, Texas, is partnered with her 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Dream Boy M x Highland Lady C) Hvl Hocus Pocus.

Training Horse

Lauren Lambert and Biscotti. Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Laurent Lambert and Biscotti, Elizabeth Rader’s 9-year-old Rheinland Pfalz-Saar gelding (Beniditto x Hey Nurse) held on to their first place position in the day’s cross-country phase. Confidently navigating Derek di Grazia’s turf track inside the optimum time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds, Lambert held on to his dressage score of 24.3 and will attempt to do so in tomorrow’s show jumping element.

Both Lauren Nicholson and Lynn Symansky successfully piloted their mounts to an uneventful finish over the track to hold on to their second and third place titles respectively. Nicholson is aboard Jacqueline Mars’ 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Windfall x Ferari) Windchase Starfire in tomorrow’s show jumping phase while Lynn Symansky rides Linda Graves and Alice Lawaetz’ 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding Bounce 6 (Balou Du Rouet x Fillana).

Junior Training

Shelby Murray and Reverie GWF. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Yesterday’s leader in the Junior Training division Shelby Murray and Laurel Ritter’s 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Rotspon x Chatari) Reverie GWF added 0.4 to their original 22.0 but managed to maintain a five point lead following cross-country.

The runner-up was previous third-place holder Isabella Novak and Jessica Novak’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Don Diamond Girl) Dreamliner on a total of 27.2. Riegelsville, Pennsylvania’s Juliana Cassar tied with Novak for the title on her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding.

USEA Training Rider

Amanda Ruane and Castle's Boy. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Amanda Ruane overtook previous class leader Lauren Alexander in the day’s Training Rider division with her own Castle’s Boy. Ruane and the 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Windsor Castle x Ladies) made it through the track without fault to hold on to their original dressage score of 29.7.

Katie Sisk and the 5-year-old Hanoverian mare (Rapture R x Demonet’s Darling) Long Legs Lenore elevated their position from third to second after also producing a fault-free effort over all obstacles and finishing on 30.7. Amanda Smith and Martha Lambert’s 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Majestic Warrior x Gaslight Gossip) landed in third with 31.1 penalty points.

Tomorrow the attention turns to the Rolex Stadium as the Modified and Training riders finish their weekend with show jumping.

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The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport for 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. With over 1,000 entries the 2021 AEC is set to be the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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