The Houghton International CIC3* FEI Nations Cup dressage kicked off today in Norfolk, England, and a Brit currently sits atop the leaderboard: Gemma Tattersall, riding Chico Bella P.
Gemma and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare scored a formidable 32.7, giving them a nearly nine point lead over second positioned Sam Griffiths and Beaurepraire Nemo of Australia. While they aren’t on the Great Britain Nations Cup team for this competition, the team selectors may be wishing they’d put them on it by the end of the weekend between their guns blazing dressage start and consistent jumping record.
Gemma is on fire this spring, fresh off a third place Badminton finish, and Chico Bella has been knocking at the door all year having placed second at in the Barroca D’Alva CCI3* in Portugal and sixth in the Belton CIC3*. Here at Houghton they’ve laid down the best test of their career and with their track record of clear cross country and careful show jumping rounds they’ve set a high bar for tomorrow’s competitors.
— Gemma Tattersall (@GTeventing) May 26, 2016
Katherine Coleman and Longwood trailblazed for Team USA today, scoring a 57.7 for 22nd place. Katherine had Longwood, her 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, in the States this spring as she prepared another mount, Courage Under Fire, for Rolex. While here they collected three top 15 CIC3* results: 15th at Red Hills, seventh at Carolina International, and ninth at The Fork. They finished the later two events on their dressage score.
— USEF (@USEquestrian) May 26, 2016
The remainder of the U.S. squad, Tiana Coudray riding Sambuca F and Liz Halliday-Sharp riding Fernhill by Night, will do dressage on Friday.
In addition to the CICO3* Liz is competing Deniro Z in the CCI1*, where they are currently tied for 7th after dressage. Tiana is currently in 26th place with her CCI2* mount, Aloha.
It’s a curious format they have going here at Houghton for the Nations Cup division, likely on account of the huge 100-entry field, with dressage taking place Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Show jumping takes place Saturday afternoon and cross country begins at 11 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Houghton International Day 1 Dressage Results: