As Great Meadow International is hosting the only leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup that takes place in the United States, it seems only fitting that the top three spots on the CICO3* leaderboard are occupied by three different nations. The United States' Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border command the top spot following dressage, followed by Switzerland's Felix Vogg and Colero in second and Canada's Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti in third.
Midway through today’s dressage competition in the Brook Ledge Great Meadow International presented by Adequan, Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz) laid down the second score of the day to break into the 20s, taking over the lead on 28.3. Severson and The Cross Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding are out for the first time since completing the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event earlier this spring.
“It had some good stuff, stuff [we need] to work on,” said Severson of her test this afternoon with Crossy. “I think for his first time back since Kentucky it’s a good place to start.” Severson and Crossy are preparing to travel to Germany later this month to compete on the U.S. team in the Aachen CICO3* FEI Eventing Nations Cup. “It’s nice to have such a lovely arena to be able to ride in. I was very pleased with him today.”
Felix Vogg and Colero. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Switzerland’s sole combination in this year’s FEI Eventing Nations Cup, Felix Vogg and Colero (Captain Fire x Bonita), sit close behind Severson and Cooley Cross Border on a score of 28.8. Vogg and Jürgen Vogg’s 10-year-old Westphalian gelding will be representing Switzerland at the World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in September and will only be running dressage and show jumping this weekend. “I was a little bit surprised about him because normally he’s shy in the ring and today I was a bit too shy, so the mistakes were on my side,” commented Vogg.
“I didn’t expect to stay so long [in the United States],” commented Vogg, who has been based in Florida since February. “I was going to go back home after the Tryon [WEG] Test Event but I like quite a lot the guys, Phillip [Dutton] and Boyd [Martin], so they made me to stay longer. I qualified at Bromont for WEG and for me it didn’t make sense to fly back and forth . . . [Great Meadow] is the perfect place to test ride and get some atmosphere.”
Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Rounding out the top three are Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti (Pavarotti van De Helle x Fidelia) on a score of 29.5. Phoenix and the 16-year-old Westphalian gelding have been together since 2011, and she commented that, “We’re just getting to the stage in our career where we go out and we have fun.”
“I could not have been happier with Pavarotti today,” she said. “He’s such a competitor . . . He’s so consistent and just loves going into the ring and showing what he can do. There’s still definitely some parts in the test that we need to work on and get smoother in but overall I was so proud of the way we carried himself. I think it was some of his best movement ever; I was really, really proud of him.”
“I always think coming to Great Meadow is an excellent opportunity for these horses, especially as we prepare them for big events in the fall,” remarked Phoenix. “Doing it later in the afternoon is just adding another element of surprise for the horses. They definitely feel more energy as the move from the warmup down to the big ring so it’s a great training opportunity for them.”
Great Britain’s Ben Hobday and Shadow Man are the highest placed team competitors thus far, sitting in fourth on 29.7. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
After the first phase of competition, Great Britain sits firmly in the lead on a score of 97.7. The U.S. team sits in second place on 103.0 and Team Canada lie in third on 108.9 heading into tonight’s show jumping.
Click here for full scores from dressage.
Riders will take on Marc Donovan’s show jumping course this evening at 4:45 p.m. in the Fleming Farm Arena.
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