Articles: Horse News
Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Finishes Fourth in Eventing World
Championships Presented by Reem Acra
Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos Go Clear for the U.S. Team.
Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2010
by Erica Larson for USEF
Lexington, KY - Everything was on the line today as 55 horse and rider
combinations prepared to compete in the final phase of the Eventing World
Championships presented by Reem Acra at the 2010 Alltech FEI World
Equestrian Games. With just about 10 points separating the top three teams
in the Team Competition, everyone knew they had to have the ride of their
lives to try to bring home the gold medal.
Unfortunately for the Americans, Sunday morning didn't start as planned. The
day started with the withdrawal of Courageous Comet by individual contender
Becky Holder, at the final horse inspection. Holder, who was sitting in the
individual bronze medal position overnight, presented her horse to the
Ground Jury, but chose to withdraw after being held for
re-inspection. Courageous Comet lost a shoe on the cross country course and
was not quite right in the opposite leg as a result of over-compensating.
After cross-country, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team lay second - and all
that lay between them and the medal podium was the show jumping phase.
It was not meant to be, as three riders added faults over Richard Jefferys'
course in the Rolex stadium.
The highlight of the day for Team USA was the lovely double clear round
jumped by Boyd Martin. In his first time representing the U.S. on a team,
Martin had a brilliant ride aboard Windurra LLC's Neville Bardos to finish
on their dressage score of 49.5, good enough for 10th place individually.
Martin was thrilled with Neville's performance in his first international
"He jumped a great round," he said of the former Australian racehorse. "He
was clear and under time, which is one of the reasons they put the horse on
the team, and I just held up my end of the bargain."
Although the USA couldn't quite clinch a medal today, Martin says that
everyone was working hard to bring one home for the host nation.
"In the end, everyone's trying their hearts out," he said. "If they can get
a clear round, they can. If they can't, they can't."
Phillip Dutton and Woodburn, who is owned by Acorn Hill Farm, Mardie
Faucette and Ann Jones, also had a good ride in the main stadium today.
Unfortunately, they had one rail down at the third to last fence and picked
up a time fault, which dropped them back in the individual standings. The
pair's final score was 53.2.
"My horse jumped great," Dutton said. "He tried really hard. I just got to
that fence a little weak. I'm disappointed in myself but I'm really pleased
with how the horse went. He really jumped great."
Karen O'Connor came into show jumping with everything to play for as a medal
weighed in the balance of her round. Sitting in 8th place individually on
Joan Goswell's Mandiba she had an uncharacteristic stop at an airy gate and
then had it down on the second attempt (as well as picking up two time
faults) to bring her final score to 57.6.
"That was a bit unexpected," she said. "I thought he jumped over the triple
bar really well. I took back for the five strides because it was riding
tight and he dropped a little behind me. He just saw it all too late. I
don't have any excuse. I don't have an answer for this."
Buck Davidson and Carl and Cassandra Segal's BallyNoe Castle RM were the
first Americans to jump around the show jumping course. Davidson rode
quickly and positively to add just four jumping faults to his score. His
three-day total was 97.0.
"This weekend, for whatever reason, he's really locked on the bit," Davidson
said. "He was certainly dragging me to the jumps. He was getting stronger
and stronger as the round went on. He jumped that one a little on my hand.
If I had to do it over again I would have stayed out for another stride and
just given both myself and him a little more time. I'll take that one for
me, for sure. He's a good jumper."
In the team competition, Great Britain held on to their overnight lead to
take home the Gold with a score of 139.4. The experienced British team was
made up of William Fox-Pitt and Cool Mountain, Mary King and Imperial
Cavalier, Kristina Cook and Miner's Frolic, and Nicola Wilson and Opposition
Buzz. This is the first team Gold medal for Great Britain since 1994.
"It's hard to pinpoint one thing that made this team so strong," Fox-Pitt
said. "I think we're very lucky to have fantastic support from our chefs and
all our supporters. The fact is that it's a good team here. We've been
together on many teams now. We get on great and have a lot of fun
King adds that another key to their success is all the practice they are
able to get so close to home.
"We're really lucky to have so many horse trials so close to us," she said.
"We're able to get a lot of practice, so we should be strong, shouldn't we."
Moving up a position from Bronze to Silver was the phenomenal team from
Canada, who finished with a score of 151.5. The team is made up of
Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch and Port Authority, Selena O'Hanlon and Colombo,
Hawley Bennet-Awad and Gin & Juice, and Kyle Carter and Madison Park. This
was Canada's first World Championship medal since 1978. On the strength of
their jumping: six clear rounds on Saturday and three in the show jumping,
Canada has rocketed back onto the world stage.
The team credits their success largely to their coach David O'Connor.
"David's responsible for our coaching and putting together the program that
produces the results we've been getting," Carter said. "We've gotten
stronger every time out. He makes it easier for us to do our jobs well. He
really brought it to another level. He's asking for and expecting better
results, and it's paying off."
Finishing in the Bronze medal position was the team from New Zealand. The
team quietly inched up the ladder with brilliant show jumping performances
from Nereo and Andrew Nicholson, Grass Valley and Mark Todd, Mac MacDonald
and Caroline Powell, and Orient Express and Clark Johnstone. This was New
Zealand's first team medal since 1998.
"The team really came along well," Nicholson said. "We've gotten a bit more
together and a bit stronger. To win a team medal was just a bonus."
"This is a fantastic group to be involved with," said Todd, who was the
Olympic Gold medalist in 1984 and 1988. "I think we can only get better from
Both the team and the individual medals were handed out at the conclusion of
the show jumping today. As predicted, Michael Jung of Germany had a
brilliant show jumping round with La Biosthetique-Sam to clinch the Gold
medal on a score of 33.0.
Jung said it has been a dream to be here at the World Games, and earning the
Gold medal is just a bonus.
"It's been a great experience here," he said. "I've had great feelings. The
stadium and facilities are perfect. The people are friendly and the
conditions to compete are optimum."
Although he is savoring the moment, he is already looking towards the
"I hope we can make it to London," he said. "I can't tell right now, but
over last few years we have really grown together, so I hope we can do this
again in London."
Cool Mountain had another brilliant show jumping round for Fox-Pitt from
Individual Silver. He jumped an immaculate clear inside the time to also
finish on his dressage score of 42.0.
Fox-Pitt said earlier in the week that Cool Mountain had grown and matured
since being here in Kentucky in the spring. But after his ride today, he
had nothing but good things to say about the man and horse that edged him
out of the Gold medal position.
"It's really incredible how far ahead Michael is of us right now," he
said. "We've got our work cut out for us over the next two years."
Rounding out the top three and earning Individual Bronze medal for New
Zealand was veteran rider Andrew Nicholson and Nereo. The pair had a super
event and also finished on their dressage score of 43.5. Nicholson was very
pleased with Nereo's effort throughout the Games, and was thrilled to end up
with the Bronze.
"I was hoping to have a chance at an individual medal," he said after his
ride. "He's got a lot of confidence and we've been consistent in all three
phases all year."
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.