Team USA anchor Steffen Peters put in top performances on Legolas 92 at Aachen to help the U.S. win the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.
Aachen, Germany – July 16, 2016 – The United States captured the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series title after taking home the silver medal behind only the hosting German team at the Aachen Nations Cup CDIO5*.
While Germany coasted to a dominating victory at Aachen, the battle for the series title was taking place behind them. The U.S. led for much of the Nations Cup season until Sweden grabbed the lead a week ago at the Falsterbo Nations Cup CDIO5*. To vault back into the top position, the U.S. had to turn in a top performance at Aachen to bridge the gap of 4 points between themselves and the Swedish team.
The silver medal finish by the U.S. gave them 13 points to complete the series on a score of 56, while Sweden’s fifth place finish – with Spain just barely edging them out for fourth – earned them 7 points to complete with a total of 54.
“I could not be more proud of our team here in Aachen,” Dover said. “It’s great when you consider that there are some of the best countries in the world selecting their teams for the Rio Olympic Games here and our team placed second, a team who included our traveling reserve and other super combinations that are not on our Olympic team. I am so proud that of all of them they stepped up to the plate.”
At Aachen, Germany repeated their impressive opening day effort by again turning in three team scores above 80 percent on Saturday morning. This time, world number one Kristina Bröring-Sprehe led the way, scoring a 83.725 percent on Desperados FRH to take first place in the Grand Prix Special. Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH earned a 81.902 percent, while Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, Thursday’s Grand Prix winners, finished third in the Special with a score of 80.686 percent. Their fourth member, Sönke Rothenberger, scored a 76.412 percent on Cosmo 59 to take fifth in the class.
The U.S. team faced extra pressure after Friday’s withdrawal of Katherine Bateson-Chandler’s mount Alcazar due to colic. As a three-person team without a drop score to count on, they each had to step up and deliver to maintain their second place position from Thursday. And they did so, with each member contributing a solid effort to ensure a strong finish.
Tuny Page and Woodstock, first of the U.S. combinations to head down centerline Saturday morning, got things rolling with a score of 71.451 percent. Shelly Francis and Doktor followed that up by earning a 70.647 percent. Earning marks as high as a 9.5 for piaffe, Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 added their score of 76.627 percent to the U.S. team total to seal the deal. The U.S. finished nearly 7 points ahead of third-placed Denmark.
“The first huge relief was when we came in, the announcer said a few things about Legolas, and he did not react whatsoever and that is the exact reason why we were here,” Peters explained. “I still felt like at Rotterdam, in the Grand Prix, that we were still a little on edge during the first minute of our test, but now he has proven that he can deliver for the team and this is exactly what the plan was.
“He did the piaffe movements very nicely, as well as his changes, and did beautiful canter pirouettes,” Peters continued. “Thursday and today the judges gave him a really high mark for his collected walk and that is a gigantic accomplishment. It’s those little things that most people who don’t know Legolas that well don’t appreciate, but I am just stocked about those tiny little things.”
The United States, which competed in all 2016 Nations Cup series events except for Falsterbo, completes the series with two wins (Wellington and Compiègne), two second place finishes (Rotterdam and Aachen), and a fifth place finish (Odense).
Overall Nations Cup Series Standings (calculated by PSdressage.com)
1. United States – 56
2. Sweden – 54
T3. Denmark – 40
T3. Germany – 40
5. Netherlands – 27
6. Great Britain – 23
7. France – 20
8. Spain – 16
9. Australia – 14
10. Belgium – 12
11. Russia – 11
T12. Canada – 8
T12. Costa Rica – 8
14. Switzerland – 4
15. Finland – 3
Final Team Standings: Aachen Nations Cup CDIO5*
2. United States of America/437.139
6. Great Britain/420.419
(Belgium, Australia and Japan did not qualify to move on to the Grand Prix Special as full teams.)
Results: Grand Prix Special
1. Kristina Bröring-Sprehe/GER/Desperados FRH/83.725
2. Dorothee Schneider/GER/Showtime FRH/81.902
3. Isabell Werth/GER/Weihegold OLD/80.686
4. Steffen Peters/USA/Legolas 92/76.627
5. Sönke Rothenberger/GER/Cosmo 59/76.412
6. Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez/ESP/76.176
7. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén/SWE/74.235
8. Cathrine Dufour/DEN/73.922
9. Judy Reynolds/IRL/Vancouver K/73.235
10. Jorinde Verwimp/BEL/Tiamo/72.961
11. Marcela Krinke Susmelj/SUI/Smeyers Molberg/72.549
12. Michael Eilberg/GBR/Marakov/72.216
13. Arlene Page/USA/Woodstock/71.451