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
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships
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.
The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds would not be possible without our wonderful sponsors! The USEA would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena Feeds; Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsor: Bates Saddles, Vetoquinol; Gold Level Sponsors: Parker Equine Insurance, ShowConnect, Smartpak, Standlee Hay; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Park Equine Hospital, Mountain Horse, The Jockey Club; Saratoga Horseworks; Bronze Level Sponsors: 70 Degrees, Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, Dubarry of Ireland, Equilume, FITS Riding, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, LandSafe Equestrian, Parks Tax & Consulting, Retired Racehorse Project, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis Contributing Level Sponsors: Big Ass Fans, CrossCountry App, FarmVet, GLC Direct, Haygain, John Deere, L.V. Harkness, Santa Cruz Animal Health; Prize Level Sponsors: American Saddlebred Horse Association, Astrid’s Oil, Bluegrass Animal Products, Dressage TestPro, EQuine AMerica Magazine, Flexible Fit Equestrian, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Great British Equinery, Horse & Country, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse, Mare Modern Goods, Romitelli Riding Boots, Strides for Equality Equestrians, Tack of the Town, VetBlue, The Equine Network, and Horse&Country
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