Competition at the 2016 USEA American Eventing Championships Concludes

Shannon Brinkman Photo

The 2016 Nutrena® USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover (AEC) continued at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) over the weekend, as many championships honors were awarded in the George H. Morris Arena following the final phase of show jumping.

Adequan® Gold Cup Advanced Finals
Ryan Wood and Powell, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Summit Sport Horses, set an early tone in the Advanced Gold Cup Finals division, sitting in second place following the dressage phase, only a tenth of a point behind leaders Allison Springer and Arthur. The cross-country phase proved to be influential, as not a single combination who took to the Mark Phillips’ designed track finished within the optimum time. Wood and Powell made easy work of the course, coming home with 8.8 time faults to take over the lead on a 34.2.

Wood tackled the Marc Donovan designed track with confidence, ultimately securing the top two places of the division. “Going into the show jumping I had the advantage of riding the course three times before Powell and I had a good feel of it. He just nicked one rail and my other horse jumped clear and ended up first and second,” he added, touching on his four mounts in the division: McLovin’, Powell, Woodstock Bennett and Fernhill Classic.

Doug Payne guided Vandiver, a 12-year-old Trekehner gelding owned by Debi Crowley, Jess Payne, and Doug Payne, to a third place finish on a final score of 41.5. The pair improved on their relaxation and fluidity after the dressage test, transitioning into a fast cross-country round and an accurate trip around the stadium course. A single dropped rail around the course prevented Payne from securing the win, but overall the pair’s performance was impressive.

Broadstone Masters Beginner Novice
Letha Calvin and Look Cody Look, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, maintained their lead in the Masters Beginner Novice division after cross-country, adding nothing to their original score of 27.5. Calvin and Look Cody Look made easy work of the course, while William Barclay and Stormn Hudson KD, a 7-year-old Trakehner gelding, moved into second place with a 28.3, while Erin Wiel and Boomtown II, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred, sit in third place with a score of 28.8.

Barclay and Stormn Hudson KD rose to the occasion after a steady climb to the top, starting the week in third place, moving into second after cross-country, and then sealing the win with a 28.3. Carrie Griffen and Feuetanzer ES, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, collected second place honors on a score of 31.5, after starting off the week in 11th after dressage. Deborah Hunt piloted Big Bad Tattoo to an exciting third place finish, as the pair rose from twelfth place to third at the conclusion of their competition.

Professional’s Choice Training Amateur
Kristen Paysinger and her own, 8-year-old Oldenburg mare Luistana have been a force in the Training Amateur division as the duo finished the week on their original dressage score of 25.0, completing a fantastic competition in all three phases. Patricia Hidalgo and Sapphire Storm, a 8-year-old Thoroughbred mare finished in second place with a score of 26.4, while Natasha Erschen and 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse Emerald Lion collected third place honors with a score of 26.8.

“I thought my horse was amazing. I thought the atmosphere was really going to through her off and she was just on it,” said Paysinger. “There was a lot of pressure and I’m really proud of her. She didn’t want to go into the combination at 4ab, but listened to me really well.”

Novice Horse
The Novice Horse division rounded out the final day of competition for the 35 riders entered in the competitive class, which was championed by Ashley Phillips and her own Bayani Slade with a final score of 25.3, to complete the week on her original dressage score. Dominic Schramm and Cooley Renaissance Man, owned by Stormy Craine, rode to second place, with a tied score of 25.3, but Phillip’s cross-country round was closer to the optimum time, which ultimately gave her the win. Martha Lambert and her own Sutton finished the week in third place with a score of 26.8.

“He came out and he was very jazzed so I knew the atmosphere in here would get to him. He was a little bit fresh to begin with but really started to focus on me after fence three so I was proud of him,” said Phillips. “We’ve had issues with him not being able to focus at competitions and this week he was really in the zone, which was really great.”

Broadstone Beginner Novice Horse
Doug Payne and Mr. Mitchel, a 4-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, rode to victory with a 28.3 in the Beginner Novice Horse division, as the pair surpassed Rumsey Keefe and her own Eightofasttocatch, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, who finished on their dressage score of 30.5, as well as Lauren Chumley and Nikolas, a 5-year-old Sport Pony Nikolas, owned by Melissa Dowling, who completed the weekend on a 31.3.

Broadstone Beginner Novice Amateur
Kelly Young and her own Shaqir, an 18-year-old Arabian gelding, earned top honors in the Beginner Novice Amateur division after finishing on their dressage score of 29.3. Eleanor Lawson and her own Matapeake, who led for most of the week, finished in second place with a score of 29.5 after dropping a single rail on course, while Allison Williams and Art’s Advantage owned by Erica Addison, rounded out the top three with a 30.3.

“He felt amazing in the warm-up. He was so relaxed and I just tried to keep my composure through the whole test and wait for him,” said Young. “The course rode great and I was really happy with it and didn’t spook at all. There were a lot of rails going down in there and I feel lucky that I had a clear round.

Broadstone Junior Beginner Novice
Julia McElligott and Lauren Meyers’ 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood, Ricky, kept a tight hold on their lead from dressage moving into the final phasee. The pair went double clear around a difficult cross-country track and in show jumping to stay on their original score of 22.5. Kaley Breland and Not An Issue kept their momentum in second place, also finishing a double clear effort around the courses. Ellie Bizot and Ziggy Stardust finished in third with a 27.8.

“He was a little up when we got in there, but he loves the jumps. He took each fence much better than I thought he was going to. I was really pleased with how amazing he warmed up. He went really well for me,” McElligott said. “Everything fell into place. He loves all three phases and he had an amazing weekend, probably the best rides we’ve had. I’m very proud of him, and it’s a great accomplishment for me considering it’s my first year eventing.”

Preliminary Junior/Young Rider
William Zuschlag and RF Southern Command kept hold of their lead of the Junior Young Rider Preliminary division this weekend from dressage all the way through show jumping. The 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood finished on his dressage score of 27.3. Arielle Aharoni earned the reserve champion title for this division aboard her own 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood Dutch Times (Good Times x Alino Queen). They finish on a score of 28. Ali Scannell and her own Faolan, a 12-year-old Irish Draught Sport Horse by Captain Clover, completed the weekend in third with 32.8 penalty points.

Shannon Brinkman Photo

Professional’s Choice Junior Training
McKinsey Wickman and Dassett Profile grabbed a four-point lead in the dressage phase after earning a score of 23.6. They continued the following day with a speedy double clear cross-country, and the pair picked up only one time penalty to end on a score of 24.6 in the Junior Training division.

“It was a little nerve-wracking knowing I didn’t have a rail in hand because [Georgia Dillard] did so good,” she joked to second-placed Dillard. “I think we both handled the environment really well. It’s a lot to take in, but I think we handled that really well under the pressure. It really is a blessing to be here, so I’m super proud of me and my horse for just getting to this point, and to really do well means a lot. It shows all the hard work we put together through the season.”

Georgia Dillard kept the pressure on Wickman throughout the weekend, and ended up the reserve champion of this division for the second consecutive year. Aboard Normandy’s Cole’s Clover, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Normandy Farm, she finished on her dressage score of 27.3. Third place went to Maddie McElduff and her own Tupelo, a 7-year-old Trakehner. 

Junior Novice
Alexis Mazzatta was all smiles after she and Diana Burnett’s Shigatzi were crowned the final champions of the 2016 AEC. In only her fourth event ever, Mazzatta lead the Junior Novice division from start to finish on her dressage score of 26. Nicholas Beshear and his own Badland’s Echo had a clear round in the show jumping to move them from fourth to second. He and the 21-year-old Paint mare finished on their dressage score of 29. Avery Lewis was tied with Beshear, but because he was closest to the optimum time, she ended in third with her own The Manx Man, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred.

Broadstone Junior Beginner Novice 14 and Under
It was a nail biting finale for the Junior Beginner Novice 14 and Under division when the overnight leader, Annabelle Kress and Batteries Not Included, picked up a sole time penalty in the show jumping to tie with second place on a 27.5 Fortunately for Kress, she finished closest to the optimum time on cross-country, which ultimately gave her the championship title.

“I was a little bit worried about having rails because sometimes if I don’t ride him the right way he’s a little less careful,” she explained. “I actually fell off in the warm-up, which was actually a good thing because then I learned that I have to sit back and I have to trust myself, and that’s what I went in there and did.”

Mackenzie Lea and The Main in Black, a 6-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse, were the reserve champions for this division, finishing on their dressage score of 27.5, and Chloe Johnson was third with her own DaVinci, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred, on a score of 27.8.


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