North American Countries Reach High Scores in 2015 CDIO Nations Cup for Upcoming Pan American Games

Written by Betsy LaBelle - In Dressage - Friday, March 27, 2015

USA Team 1 won Gold at the 2015 CDIO Wellington Nations Cup

In North America, the international dressage arena shows growth and depth for Americans and Canadians during the 2015 CDIO Nations Cup, with both the USA Team 1 and Canada Team 1 and Canada Team 2 scores averaging more than 70%. 2015 is an important year because only one team can qualify for the 2016 Olympics during the upcoming Pan American Games.

“It would be to the detriment of our sport if the United States and Canada teams are both not allowed to compete in next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics,” said Robert Dover, USA Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe at the press conference during the CDIO Wellington Nations Cup. He continued, “Once both Canada and the USA averaged 70% at the World Equestrian Games last year, the FEI should have allowed for two teams to qualify from the Pan American Games coming up this summer.”

USA Team 1 won Gold at the 2015 CDIO Wellington Nations Cup L-R (Laura Graves, Kim Herslow, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Allison Brock)

Team averages from this past week’s Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida:
(Small Tour is Prix St. George and Intermediaire I, and Large Tour is Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special)

USA Team 1 - GOLD
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz - Rassing's Lonoir     71.605   71.368 (Small Tour)
Kimberly Herslow - Rosmarin                 73.684   76.158 (Small Tour)
Allison Brock - Rosevelt                           72.200   74.255 (Large tour)
Laura Graves - Verdades                        74.420   75.882 (Large Tour)
                       Team Average: 73.697%

Canada at the 2015 Wellington Nations Cup L-R (Jill Irving, Chris von Martels, Shannon Dueck, Megan Lane and Diane Creech)

Canada Team 1 - SILVER

Diane Creech - Robbie W                     71.868   72.474 (Small Tour)
Chris Von Martels - Zilverstar              73.316   74.895 (Small Tour)
Megan Lane - Caravella                       69.940   71.588 (Large Tour)
Belinda Trussell - Anton                       69.980   73.433 (Large Tour)

                    Team Average: 72.186%


Canada Team 2 - BRONZE
Tina Irwin - Fancy That                     68.211   70.368 (Small Tour)
Christilot Boylen - Donatella 79      71.132   73.579 (Small Tour)
Shannon Dueck - Cantaris               69.921   71.000 (Small Tour)
Jill Irving - Degas 12                         66.620   69.431 (Large Tour)
                   Team Average: 70.032%

July 10th - July 26th, the 2015 Pan American Games will be held in Toronto, Canada at the Caledon Equestrian Park. Only one team can qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro through the Pan American Games. That team must include at least one Grand Prix combination.

Thomas Baur, the Director at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida said, “It’s a real pleasure to have this CDIO here in Wellington. It's the only one that’s outside of Europe and we get to show our European friends that we can have a good lineup of teams. We have several great teams, including some from Central and South America, and the original idea was for them to come up here for the Nations Cup.”

The only FEI Nations Cup Series in North America, it is important for all to recognize the significance of the international team event and what its presence indicates in international competition in the United States. Baur continued, “It’s really a big step for us here to make the Wellington Nations Cup all Large Tour.”

He explained why the Central and South American countries need to be included in Florida for the long-term benefit for the sport, “I would like to pursue that we make the Wellington Nations Cup all Large Tour, but I think the reality is that it’s a big step right now for these countries to go to Grand Prix level. I think we have to give them a couple of more years.”

Baur is on the Dressage FEI Committee and brings a great voice to the table during the European FEI meetings for both of the Americas.

Quotes from two Nations Cup Team Members:

USA Team 1 member, Laura Graves: “It’s always an honor to represent your country, especially in our own country. I can’t wait to hopefully be on a team with some of these people again and bring home a gold medal in another country.”

Canada Team 1, Chris von Martels : “I’m very happy with our team result over the past two days. It was a very strong competition with our American friends. I think it’s a very exciting time in our sport because there are quite a few good strong combinations. Some had their personal bests here. It’s going to be a really nice time this summer having our American friends in our country.”

Laura Graves and Verdades at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival