Dressage kicked off today in the FEI Nations Cup CICO3* at Millstreet International Horse Trials in Co Cork, Ireland, with the first 24 competitors making their way down centerline. Andrew Bennie (NZL) presided at Bromont CIC3* in Canada last weekend and heads the ground jury at Millstreet alongside Vanda Stewart (IRL) and Ciska Van Meggelen-Peek (NED).
FEI World No. 2 Ros Canter and her own Zenshera lead on 24.0 in the early going, a career personal best score across all international levels for “Alfie,” a 14-year-old KWPN (Guidam X Telvera, by Matterhorn). Millstreet is Alfie’s first international run since finishing third at Luhmühlen CCI4* in June, and while his stablemate Allstar B ultimately got the call up for the British squad at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, he remains a strong contender this weekend in Ireland.
Britain is dominating the CICO3* leaderboard thus far, with Millie Dumas and Ellie Guy’s Fabian, an 8-year-old KWPN (Up To Date X Ineke, by Beaujolais), sitting second on 27.9 in the horse’s debut at the level.
Both Ros and Millie are representing Britain as individuals in the Nations Cup, and Alex Bragg and Barrichello are the best placed pair for the British team in third place on 28.9. “Barry,” a 9-year-old Anglo European gelding (Balou du Rouet X Madon’s Even Wise, by Matnee de Madon VII) owned by Sarah Hughes, has finished inside the top 15 in each of his three international runs this season.
Sam Griffiths and his stalwart partner Happy Times, a 19-year-old Oldenburg (Heraldik xx X Mandy, by Maraschino) he owns with Dinah Posford and Juliet Donald, sit fourth as individuals for Australia on 29.9.
Selina Milnes and Iron, a 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Aquilino X Ushuaia, by Donnerschlag) owned by Scott Milnes, round out the top five on 33.8 as individuals for Great Britain.
Ireland, France, Great Britain and the U.S. all fielded teams for the Nations Cup at Millstreet, which is the sixth of eight legs in the 2018 series. After five legs, France leads the overall standings on 300 points, with Britain in second on 290 points. The U.S. sits sixth on 170 points.
Hallie Coon and her own Celien, an 11-year-old KWPN mare (Tenerife VDL X R Quicksilver, by Hamlet), were first out today for the U.S. Nations Cup team and sit sixth on 33.9. That score is right on par with their dressage average of 33.8 for the 2018 season thus far.
Celien has spent much of the spring and summer season based overseas, having traveled over in May to contest the Nations Cup at Houghton Hall CICO3* and the Bramham CCI3*-Under 25 as part of the Karen E. Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour.
Hallie has traveled back and forth to continue competing in the States, and she also flew back to Ireland to compete Celien in the CIC3* at Kilguilkey House in June, where they finished 12th. She based with fellow Nations Cup teammate Liz Halliday-Sharp at her Chailey Stud in East Sussex in England in the lead up to Millstreet, and Hallie said it was especially helpful to have Liz’s help on the flat.
“Celien is a sensitive mare, and the footing was loose, deep sand, so she got a little precious on me during the test,” Hallie said. “It was also really windy, and all of a sudden I was kicking and kicking and getting nothing out of it. It was strange for her to be that relaxed. There’s a lot of room for improvement for sure, and I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the team and have this is as such a valuable learning experience.”
Hallie has been battling a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) for much of the summer and has been fighting to get back to top fitness. She said working with U.S. Eventing High Performance Director Erik Duvander has been incredibly helpful in the lead up to this competition.
Millstreet is testing the three-rider team format that will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Teams are allowed to have four riders, with one serving as a reserve should a substitution need to be made to complete a team with three counting scores, but the U.S. team is down to three following Sara Kozumplik Murphy’s injury at Millbrook. Sara is healing well and cheering the team on from home.
The remaining two members of the U.S. team, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z and Buck Davidson and Carlevo, do their dressage tomorrow. Liz is also competing as an individual with Fernhill By Night. Canada also has one rider in the Nations Cup in Mike Winter, who sits 13th after dressage on 37.9 with El Mundo, a 9-year-old KWPN owned by Mike and Emma Winter and Jonathan Nelson.
You can watch the full replay of Day 1 dressage action at this link. Day 2 of dressage in the Nations Cup kicks off at 9 a.m./4 a.m. EST. You can watch live on EN at this link. Click here for ride times and live scoring. Friday ride times for the U.S. contingent are:
- Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: Friday at 9:40 a.m./4:40 a.m. EST
- Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night: Friday at 2:20 p.m./9:20 a.m. EST
- Buck Davidson and Carlevo: Friday at 3:23 p.m./10:23 a.m. EST
Stay tuned for much more from Millstreet. Go Eventing.