Tim Price (NZL) won the Longines CCI5*-L with Ascona M in a nail-biting finish. He jumped clear, but didn’t quite make the time allowed; however, he had a cushion with Alex Bragg (GBR) and Zagreb dropping a pole. Tom McEwen (GBR) with Figaro van het Broekxhof moved up to finish second while Bragg settled for third.
Twenty-two riders presented their horses in the final vet inspection on Sunday morning and were all given the green light to continue by the ground jury. In reverse order, the riders then completed the final jumping and showed world-class eventing sport to the numerous spectators. The show-jumping course by Martin Otto (GER) was demanding and quite a few riders added penalties to their scores.
The eventing world number one follows in the footsteps of his wife Jonelle, who won Luhmühlen last year also on a gray mare. “It’s very special for me to compete here again. I won my first [five-star] competition here in 2014 and I’m so happy that things went so well again this year. It makes me really proud that the mare has performed so consistently in all three phases. She does have a bit of an unconventional jumping technique, but that’s because she always tries so hard to do everything right,” said Price of Mrs. Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster, and Sir Peter Vela's 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Cassaro x Naomi)
McEwen with Figaro van het Broekxhof worked his way steadily up the leaderboard. After the dressage, McEwen was sitting in 11th place, but with a spotlessly clean cross-country round he moved up to fourth place before the final show-jumping. With only three seconds above the allowed time, he finished in second place. McEwen, who has been riding Barbara Cooper's 14-year-old Belgian warmblood (Tauber Van Het Kapelhof x Damira Van't Derdehof) since 2018, was full of praise for his horse: “He has a very special character and always tries his best to please. I couldn't be happier.”
Bragg and Zagreb, the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Perion x Renera) owned by Philip and Sally Ellicott, were the penultimate starters, missed their chance of winning the Longines CCI5*-L due to an obstacle error. “My horse felt fantastic. That's why I tried to put some pressure on Tim with a fast round. The time was very tight, so after we had cleared the triple combination, I felt like most of the work was done and took a little risk on the way to the next vertical. Unfortunately, this cost us the win. I'm super happy to be on the podium and with Zagreb's performance.”
Frankie Thieriot Stutes and the Chatwin Group's Chatwin (Contendro I x Oktav), an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding put in a fine finish by leaving all the jumps up to move up to fourth place in her first ever CCI5*-L competition.
Thieriot Stutes was able to travel from her home base in California to Germany thanks to the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard Developing Rider Grant which she received in 2018 from the USEA Foundation. To learn more about the USEA Foundation and the various grants it supports, visit www.useafoundation.org.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.