A full day of cross-country was scheduled for Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced at The Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado for the second day of competition in the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena® Feeds, but the weather had other ideas and lightning and thunder cut the day short. Only Training and three of the four Preliminary divisions had their chance to leave the start box on Tremaine Cooper’s cross-country course.
The remaining Preliminary division, Intermediate, and Advanced will now go cross-country on Saturday morning. Preliminary will show jump on Saturday, while Intermediate and Advanced will Show Jump on Sunday morning. Click here for the revised schedule.
Junior/Young Rider Preliminary
The Junior/Young Rider Preliminary division saw a new combination rise to the top of the leaderboard as Madelyn Floyd and her own Clementine, a 9-year-old Hanoverian mare (Carrico x La Belle), took over the lead after the second phase of competition and head into show jumping tomorrow on a score of 29.5 after cross-country. “The course rode great,” said Floyd, “My mare was super good, and I was really happy with the overall performance. This is our first year doing the full Preliminary level, so I have been really proud of her. She was super bold and confident to everything, and just gave me a nice overall feel. I just came off of the Intermediate at Woodside which gave me some preparation, it was a bit big but it was a competitive track and I enjoyed it. She and I both love cross-country!”
The 15-year-old Washington native has never competed at the AEC before, and was excited to have it closer to home this year. “I’ve never been here to CHP before,” she explained, “and this is my first AEC. It was really exciting for me, because I couldn’t have made it to the East Coast with school and stuff, so I was very happy to find out it was coming to the Midwest.”
The division will conclude with show jumping tomorrow and Floyd will look to keep her grasp on the lead ahead of Camryn Holcomb and Michaela Holcomb’s Cloud Nine, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, who are currently in second place with a 32.7 and Callia Englund and her own Xyder, an 8-year-old Cheval Canadien gelding (D D D-Cromwell Prince 2 I x Cosyland Start Kandi) who sit in third place on a 42.3 after cross-country.
Tamra Smith and Fleeceworks Ghost. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
California’s Tamra Smith and Judith McSwain’s 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse/Belgian Warmblood mare Fleeceworks Ghost (Shannondale Sarco x Riverlon Mist) dominated the Preliminary Horse division, jumping double clear to continue on into the final phase on their dressage score of 29.0.
“I wasn’t sure how the time was going to run,” commented Smith. “We metered it and it was pretty right on, so I figured that the time wouldn’t be super hard to make, but it actually was hard to make, and the course rode a lot more tough than I had anticipated. That mare is pretty experienced and she had her eyes open. I had to ride. All the questions were fair. I thought it presented itself very well. It’s a championship. It should be at the top of the level. I thought Tremaine [Cooper] did a great job with the design. It was very much a championship course.”
Of her plan for the final phase on the “workman” mount, Smith explained, “She’s a good jumper, I’m really happy to be on her going into day three. I mean, she can occasionally have a rail. She tries really hard and she’s a good jumper, so I’m hoping that it works out great.”
Second place in the division is currently held by Gina Economou and Lauren Rath’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Syntax (Devil His Due x Synful Maid), who are riding into the show jumping phase on a score of 30.4. Smith also rounds out the top three on the MB Group LLC’s MB MaiBlume, an 8-year-old German Sport Horse/Thoroughbred gelding (Sir Schiwago x Free Lady), jumping double clean around the track to continue forward on their dressage score of 31.9.
Erin Hofmann and Darkwatch. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Erin Hofmann of Utah and her own Darkwatch, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Royal Academy x Without), climbed to the top of the Preliminary Amateur division, mastering the track and maintaining their dressage score of 32.4 to hold top honors leading into show jumping tomorrow.
“Our cross-country run today was really good,” said Hofmann, “I was a little nervous at the beginning, but my horse is really bold and likes a good galloping course so it was a good fit for him. It was a lot of fun, and it rode really well.”
Hofmann, who is originally from the midwest, has competed in every Area across the United States. Despite that fact, this is her first time competing at the AEC. She continued, “I was at the very first AEC as a volunteer, but this is my first AEC as a competitor. It’s so nice to be here, and to have this in our home court is a dream. We love coming here, it’s a great facility and a great event.”
Julia Spatt piloted her own 5o1 Macintosh, an 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding to second in the standings, collecting an additional 0.8 time penalties for a score of 35.1. Darlene McInnes and her own Speed Bump, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Pomeroy x Everdream) secured third place after crossing through the finish to sit on a 35.5.
Eva Jacroux and Rubel. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Washington’s Eva Jacroux held her lead aboard her 12-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Radikal x When the Worlds Unite), Rubel, in the Junior Training division after cruising around cross-country to remain on their score of 31.4. “Rue was really good today,” Jacroux commented. “We were a little sticky in warm up, but as soon as we got out there it was fun! Today I really went out with the goal to not pick up any time faults, so I worked on going a little more forward than I normally do. He was good and seemed to like being pushed a bit more. All of the jumps seemed friendly, but there were some tricky questions in there, which is what this is all about.”
With potential to hold the lead through tomorrow’s final phase of competition, Jacroux noted her plan for show jumping: “It’s always been the toughest phase for us, so tomorrow I want to make sure that I do my job to the best of my ability, so that he can try his hardest for me too. Hopefully it’ll work out!”
Rosie Smith and her own Seamus, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Corrcullen, RID slid into second on their dressage score of 33.8, while Sunny Courtwright and Around Midnight, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, sit in third on a score of 34.3.
Lizzy Jahnke and Patrickswell Royal. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
The Training Horse division saw Lizzy Jahnke of Wisconsin and Lightspeed Equestrian LLC’s 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Royal Storm x Rahard Sally) Patrickswell Royal move up from fourth to first place after Friday’s cross-country run. The pair finished with a total score of 33.6.
“She’s six this year, and she’s for sale,” noted Jahnke. “We imported her last year with the idea of a resale. We got her out of Ireland and she’s been with me for about a year and a half now. I click well with her. She’s lovely, super sweet, and a really nice horse.”
Of the day’s cross-country course, Jahnke said, “I thought it was a really nice course. Definitely the biggest course this mare has ever jumped – she’s super young. It was a challenge, but fair. It was beautifully decorated, and they made really good use of the terrain. I thought everything rode really well.”
McKenzie Rollins of moved into second place with Excel Star Lord, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Non-Stop x Korea B), with a 34.9. Third place is currently being held by Marc Grandia aboard Michelle Jones’ Command N’ Rule, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, on a score of 35.5 penalties.
Linda Quist and Belle Gambe. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Colorado native Linda Quist and her 14-year-old Iberian Warmblood mare Belle Gambe (Temerario VII x Mojave) maintained their lead in the Training Amateur division after a solid day of cross-country competition. The pair added no time penalties or faults to their dressage score of 27.3.
“I thought it was a very fun course,” said Quist, “and my horse was a rockstar. It just flowed really nicely, one thing came to you after the next. The big jumps were big, but nothing too hard to handle!”
As for tomorrow, Quist is prepared to go for the win with the hope of capturing top titles in the division. She explained “Going into tomorrow, I’m just going to try really hard to leave all of the rails up. She likes show jumping, but she wants to jump stadium like it’s cross-country, so it’s our tough spot.”
The second and third place positions saw a change as Cherye Huber and her own Sam I Am, a 12-year-old British Sport Horse gelding (Cameo’s Reflection x Castle War Rebel), moved up from fifth to secure second place moving into tomorrow’s show jumping competition with 30.2 penalties. Dawn Robbins and her own Diablo Tejano, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Sandpit x Soar Like An Eagle) also jumped up the leaderboard from ninth place and now move into their final phase on a 31.1.
Tracy Alves and Romulus. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
California native Tracy Alves and her own 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Romulus (Contango x Divottii) overtook the lead in the Training Rider division after dashing around the cross-country track. Looking to secure top honors in the division after the completion of the final phase tomorrow, the pair will move forward on a score of 26.8.
Alves has been riding the gelding for four years now, and commented, “We’ve only had one solid year of showing because we had two years of quarter cracks and other things that we were dealing with. This is our first year back, but it’s also his retirement year so today was our final competitive cross-country together. I’d like him to dabble in some dressage moving forward, but I won’t be doing the cross-country with him, because I’ve just found that the conditioning for it can take a toll on him.”
She continued, “People tend to think that his strongest phase is dressage because he has a good education, but his favorite phase is cross-country. Yesterday he was really quiet in the warm-up, and I thought ‘oh man, he’s behind my leg and I’m in trouble!’ when we got in the ring and started going around, he got way more excited. He turns into quite a showman.”
Rebecca Mortensen and her own Seattle Freckles, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, are currently placed within striking distance on a 28.8, while Jessica Maranto and Czardus, an 11-year-old American Warmblood gelding (Sweet’s Lucky Moondancer x Cadence) secured third place with a 32.8.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) 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. This year, the USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 29-September 2, 2018 at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The USEA would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the USEA American Eventing Championships: Presenting Sponsors: Nutrena Feeds; Gold Cup Advanced Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Sponsor: Devoucoux; Gold Level Sponsors: Charles Owen, Standlee Hay, Merck Animal Health, Parker Equine Insurance; Silver Level Sponsors: VTO Saddlery, Mountain Horse; Bronze Level Sponsors: SmartPak, Dubarry, The Chronicle of the Horse, Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles, Auburn Laboratories, FITS Riding, CWD, Ovation, Acuswede, and Equipparel; Contributing Level Sponsors: Nunn Finer, RevitaVet, Emerald Valley Natural Health, CrossCountry App; Prize Level Sponsors: Ride Safe, GumBits, Equus Magnificus, Scoring Chix, Ride Heels Down, C4 Belts, A Little Pet Vet, ChubbyCov LLC, The Jockey Club, Absorbine, Arenus Animal Health, Equestrian Athlete Camps at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.