Alex Hua Tian Holds Boekelo Lead, Team USA Sits 8th in Nations Cup

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro held onto their overnight lead at Military Boekelo CCIO3* to remain at the top on 37.3 at the conclusion of dressage here in Enschede, Netherlands. But Alex and “The Don,” a 10-year-old Hanoverian (Don Kennedy X Gina, by Giorgione) owned by Pip Higgins, Pam Dews and Sarah Higgins, don’t have much breathing room on the tightly bunched leaderboard.

Tim Lips and Bayro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Casantos X Vanya, by Corland), sit in second place on 39.1 as the highest-placed Dutch pair thanks to delivering the best test of day two. Tim last won the Dutch National Championships at Boekelo in 2007, and Alice Naber-Lozeman has dominated the last four years at Boekelo to defend her title. She currently sits in 30th place with ACSI Peter Parker.

Tim Lips and Bayro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

But 30 seconds separate the entire top 50 at Boekelo, meaning every second will prove incredibly costly as we look ahead to what is expected to be an extremely influential day of cross country across Sue Benson’s course.

Australia’s Chris Burton is known for his speedy cross country riding, and he is perfectly positioned to stalk the leaders from third place on 39.3 with Quality Purdey, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Claire Poole.

Chris Burton and Quality Purdey. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Germany’s Julia Mestern, a two-time winner of Boekelo, now sits in fourth place on 39.6 with Grand Prix Iwest. New Zealand’s Tim Price delivered the second best test of day two, scoring 39.7 with Cekatinka to round out the top five on 39.7 and give us five scores in the 30s.

France occupies the next three spots on the leaderboard, with Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus in sixth on 40.5, Aurelien Leroy and Seashore Spring in seventh on 41.1, and Astier Nicolas and Vinci de la Vigne in eighth on 41.1.

Andreas Dibowski, another German rider who has won Boekelo twice, sits ninth on 41.4 with FRH Corrida, and Tamara Acklin and Kontiki CH round out the top 10 for Switzerland on 41.5.

New Zealand leads the Nations Cup after dressage on 127.70, with France in second on 132.0 and Germany in third on 134.3. Our USA #girlpower team of Liz Halliday-Sharp, Caroline Martin and Katherine Coleman sit eighth and are ready to gain ground tomorrow.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend by French Buffett xx) owned by the Deniro Z Syndicate, sit 24th on 44.6 as the highest-placed U.S. pair after dressage. You can read Liz’s comment after her test in our lunch report.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Pebbly Maximus, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady), were our final pair to go today, scoring 50.2 to sit in 60th place out of 99 combinations.

She has been working tirelessly on her dressage with Leslie Law, who is also acting as the Chef d’Equipe for Team USA at Boekelo, and scored in the 40s at Houghton Hall and Bramham over the summer. Unfortunately, some bobbles today with “Rory” chipped away at their score.

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“We’ve been making a lot of progress. I have to thank Leslie for that. All the things that we thought were going to go really well just didn’t go to plan. I thought the trot work went quite well, which I’ve been working really hard on,” Caroline said.

“I made him a bit upset when I slid my leg back and put too much pressure on with my leg (in the serpentine), and he got upset. It was totally my fault. He’s a great horse, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine Coleman did her test yesterday with Kalai Inc’s Back to Business II, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), and now sits in 64th place on 51.3. Click here to read Katherine’s comments on her test in yesterday’s dressage report.

Based on how much rain has already fallen and tomorrow’s forecast calling for even more rain, Boekelo is not going to be a dressage show. Stay tuned for quotes from all three members of Team USA and Leslie Law as to their strategy for tomorrow. Click here to preview the cross country course.

USA cross country ride times:

  • Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II: 11:26 a.m. local time/5:26 a.m. EST
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: 2:06 p.m. local time/ 8:06 a.m. EST
  • Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus: 3:46 p.m. local time/9:46 a.m. EST

Cross country starts at 9:30 a.m. local time/3:30 a.m. EST. You can watch live with commentary from Diarm Byrne, Nicole Brown and special guests on the free live stream. Go Eventing.

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