Woods Baughman and Maverick McNamara scored 35.4 to sit just outside the top 20 at the conclusion of the first day of dressage in the Meßmer Trophy CIC3* here at Turniergesellschaft Luhmühlen.
The sole American rider in the CIC3*, 22-year-old Woods is competing alongside his mentor Dirk Schrade, with whom he has been training with since January in Germany.
Woods bought Maverick McNamara, a 14-year-old British Warmblood (Medoc X Skippy) who Felix Vogg produced through the three-star level, from Dirk two years ago. When Woods decided to spend a year training overseas, Germany seemed like the clear choice.
“I was really looking for a way to get better and improve as fast as possible to be as competitive as I can be,” Woods said. “I figured Germany is on top right now, so that’s where I needed to be. “
Sharon White, whom Woods trained with for three years prior to moving to Germany, knows Dirk well — he produced her former three-star partner Under Suspection — so basing with him made the most sense.
“Being in Germany has been amazing,” Woods said. “Really understanding the way that they train and work every day is super.”
Woods completed two internationals in Germany in the lead-up to Luhmühlen, finishing 13th in the CIC2* at Sopot in April and 41st in the CIC3* at Marbach in May, both with clear cross country runs.
The opportunity to compete at Luhmühlen is a big one, and Woods said he is thrilled to be here. As for his dressage test today, Woods said “Mac” got a bit tense in the arena.
“I’d love to be able to drop my dressage scores quite a bit. It’s my weakest link,” Woods said. “It would be nice to feel a little more relaxed coming into that phase.”
Woods has a big cheering squad here at Luhmühlen in his parents, Jay and Kim, as well as his girlfriend, Cornelia Dorr, and her mom, Ellie.
“My parents are amazing,” Woods said. “They are with me every step of the way and always supportive and trying to come up with ideas to help things get moving.”
After Luhmühlen, Woods plans to go to the CCI2* at Strzegom in Poland next month to gain a qualifying score to ultimately compete at Boekelo CCIO3* in the Netherlands in October.
He will be based in Germany through December before coming home to the States to focus on building up his string at Sharon White’s Last Frontier Farm in Summit Point, West Virginia.
We wish Woods all the best at Luhmühlen and beyond!
We still have plenty of dressage action to come today at Luhmühlen, with the first part of CCI4* dressage set to kick off at 1:40 p.m./7:40 a.m EST. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z go at 3:32 p.m./9:32 a.m. EST, with Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 at 4:40 p.m./10:40 a.m. EST. Click here to watch live.
Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Luhmühlen coverage so far. Go Eventing.