Great Britain topped the leaderboard at the conclusion of the first two phases of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Brook Ledge Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan® (GMI). The team from across the pond led for the entire day with three of the four riders going double clear and entering the cross country phase on a score of 99.3. The developing team from the United States holds second with 123 points, and Canada stands slightly behind in third with 126.9.
In the unique FEI Nations Cup™ format, the dressage phase was held in the morning, and show jumping took place in the evening. Great Britain’s Ben Hobday and Shadow Man finished with a 29.7, the best score of the team. Following his double clear round in show jumping, Hobday could hardly contain his excitement throwing a huge fist-pump as he galloped around after his double clear round. That enthusiasm earned him $500 for the FarmVet best fist-pump of the day.
“I’m fortunate to have such a lovely horse,” said Hobday. “He’s a very good jumper. He was quite calm and relaxed in the warm-up so we didn’t do too much. The bigger the atmosphere the bigger he jumps. Just point him in the right direction and he does the rest.”
Georgie Spence and Halltown Harley set the pace for the British team with the first double clear on the Marc Donovan-designed course. The pair remained on their dressage score of 35.2.
“It’s my first time over here competing. It’s great to be here, the event is amazing,” said Spence. “Harley, my horse didn’t make any mistakes so I was really pleased with him this morning in the dressage. He’s a complete machine jumping, so I really didn’t have to do anything to get around. I’m very lucky, very excited to be here and in this position and hopefully we’ll have a good day tomorrow.”
Following dressage, USA was a close second to Great Britain with a team score of 103. No US team rider was able to show jump without fault, giving Great Britain more than a 20 point advantage going into Sunday’s cross country phase. Caroline Martin (USA) tacked on two time faults aboard Spring Easy to finish on 37.8. Phillip Dutton (USA) on Sportsfield Candy also added two time faults scoring 38. Sydney Elliott (USA) added 13 faults to her dressage score on Cisko A for 50.5 points. Buck Davidson (USA) became the drop score on Park Trader, with 16 show jumping faults added to their dressage score.
Canada sits 3.9 penalty points behind Team USA. Shelby Brost and Crimson had the sole double clear in show jumping to score 35.5. Waylon Roberts (CAN) scored 45.5 on Kelecyn Cognac. Jessica Phoenix (CAN) and Bogue Sound scored 50.9 and Lisa Marie Fergusson scored 45.9 on Honor Me.
Individually, Kim Severson (USA) and Cooley Cross Border held the top spot following dressage and show jumping. At the end of the day Severson withdrew from the competition, moving Hobday into the individual lead. Allison Springer (USA) and Lord Willing moved up to second with 29.8 and Canada’s Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti now stand third with 31.5 points.
After the Nations Cup™ competition, those named to the nominated entry for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 (WEG) had the opportunity to participate in the show jumping phase as part of the optional combination test. Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg finished on top. Phillip Dutton finished second on Z and third on I’m Sew Ready.
The GMI culminates on Sunday with the popular cross country phase. General admission car passes serve as an entry for all occupants in a vehicle. A one-day pass is $25. For a complete list of results click here.