Team USA Takes Gold and Silver in CDIO-U25 Nations Cup

Wellington, Fla. – March 11, 2020 – One of the highlight events of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the Nations Cup, kicked off during Week 10 with the CDI-U25 Intermediate II 16-25. Nine youth riders from three countries took to the stadium to compete for the Under 25 team competition. The United States boasted two U25 teams, titled Star Spangled and Stars & Stripes, while Canada had one U25 team. Each team consisted of three riders, with scores from all three riders counting towards their final score. 

For the second year in a row, the United States rode away with the win, with team Stars & Stripes earning the gold medal after Benjamin Ebeling, Emma Asher, and Rosemary Julian-Simoes, earned a total score of 203.941.

Twenty-year-old Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, were the highest scoring pair on team Stars & Stripes with a score of 70% that helped them earn second place individually. Ebeling and Illuster have had a successful 2020 season thus far, dominating in the U25 division during Week Eight’s Florida International Youth Dressage Championships with wins in the FEI Intermediate II, FEI Grand Prix 16-25, and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25.

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

Emma Asher added a score of 69.559% to team Stars & Stripes aboard Elegance N, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Seeley Equestrian Ventures. This week’s competition marks 18-year-old Asher’s first time riding for a team in dressage competition, and she is off to a good start with a great contributing score and a third place individual finish in the class.

Emma Asher and Elegance N

Rounding out team Stars & Stripes was Rosemary Julian-Simoes and Rankrado, a 16-year-old German Sporthorse gelding, receiving a score of 64.382%. Julian-Simoes, 24, has earned several top-ten finishes at the Intermediate II and Grand Prix level in the 2020 season.

Rosemary Julian-Simoes and Rankrado

Stepping up to the podium with a silver medal was team Star Spangled for the United States with a total score of 202.970. Their team was made up of Hope Cooper on Hot Chocolate W, Kerrigan Gluch on Vaquero HGF, and Natalie Pai on Utopie d’Ouilly. Pai earned a 70.676%, the highest score of the class, on her 12-year-old Selle Français mare.

Hope Cooper and Hot Chocolate W

The bronze medal was awarded to Team Canada which consisted of Vanessa Creech-Terauds on Hallmark 3, Laurence Blais Tetreault on Utah, and Camille Carier Bergeron on Acoeur, with a total score of 200.

Vanessa Creech and Hallmark 3

The individual competition for the CDIO-U25 will begin on Thursday, March 11, with the FEI U25 Grand Prix and will continue on Friday with the FEI U25 Grand Prix Freestyle.

Results: Intermediate II 16-25 CDIOU25
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Natalie Pai / USA / Utopie Douilly / 70.676
2. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Illuster Van De Kampert / 70.000
3. Emma Asher / USA / Elegance N / 69.559
4. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Diamond’s Diva / 67.706
5. Hope Cooper / USA / Hot Chocolate W / 67.235
6. Maria Alejandra Aponte Gonzalez / COL / Duke De Niro / 67.235
7. Vanessa Creech-Terauds / CAN / Hallmark 3 / 67.147
8. Camille Carier Bergeron / CAN / Acoeur / 66.853
9. Laurence Blais Tetreault / CAN / Utah / 66.000
10. Kerrigan Gluch / USA / Vaquero HGF / 65.059
11. Paula Matute Guimon / ESP / Legacy’s Cosmico / 64.765
12. Rosie Julian-Simoes / USA / Rankrado / 64.382
13. Mary Fischer / USA / Xama Dos Pinhais / 61.706


Benjamin Ebeling – Stars and Stripes team gold medalist

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

On his test:
“[Illuster Van De Kampert] always lights up a little in this ring. He’s kind of a hot horse naturally, and that’s nice to have. Sometimes he’s a little bit too hot. Coming into the arena, I could tell that this was going to be one of those tests where I really needed to be precise with my movements, my own positioning. I think his passage was really great today, and I was really pleased with his piaffe. He kept calm and maintained his balance. Coming into the walk was a little tricky, just the nature of it because he is so hot, but I think that I handled it relatively well. I think the canter work was the highlight of the test for me, and the final centerline as well. Coming out, I was really pleased because Emma [Asher] and Rosie [Julian-Simoes] had such strong rides, and I was happy that we could make this work.”

On being on a team:
“I was on the NAYC [North American Youth Championships] junior team in 2017, and we won the team gold. I was an individual at NAYC in 2018 with my horse Behlinger, and the summer prior to that I was on the team with George [Williams] as my Chef d’Equipe in Europe with Behlinger as a young rider going to the Hagen Future Champions Show. The summer following that I was on the team with George again and we went to Hagen, that time with the horse I was riding today.”

Emma Asher – Stars and Stripes team gold medalist

On being on a team:
“I have never been on a team before. I’ve only ridden as an individual. I went to what was still NAJYRC in 2017 as an individual, and other than that, I’ve never been on a team. I’ve always felt like dressage was an individual sport. I was a jumper before I rode dressage and with that, you travel with a barn and do things as a team. To have a team and have that support has been great. It didn’t change how I approach the show, but it’s nice to know that there are other people there supporting you. Having the team on the rail was really special, I really enjoyed that.”

On Elegance N:
“I have had Elegance since April of last year. He’s relatively new to me, and it’s been interesting. Before that, my horse was very much a school-master. I asked and things happened so it’s been interesting to get to ride a ‘real’ horse for lack of a better word. Today, he did not disappoint. I was really proud of him.”

Rosemary Julian-Simoes – Stars and Stripes team gold medalist

On being on a team:
“It boosts everyone’s morale. Even within team USA, we’re two different teams, but we were all there to watch the other team go. I know some of us have barn-mates on the other teams and we were certainly excited to see them come out on top and get great scores today. Even though we’re technically two teams, we’re really just one USA team.”

On Rankrado:
“I’ve been on a junior team in the past. I was also on two young rider teams with a different horse. The horse I’m riding right now is Rankrado. We’ve had him for about three years and he’s owned by a group of investors, Rankrado LLC. Some of them were able to be here today so that was special.”

On her test:
“Coming into this week was a little bit rough because I had the flu last week. I was just excited to be able to compete. [Rankrado] gave me a lot of good moments, we had some unfortunate mistakes, but I was really happy with a lot of the rideability. There are always things to improve on, but he’s quite a hot horse as well and he’s taught me a lot about knowing when to let him do his thing and when to ride and support and coach him through that. I’m very lucky.”

George Williams – Stars and Stripes team Chef d’Equipe

On team Stars and Stripes:
“First off, I’m very proud of our riders. This team did extremely well, but I’m proud of all of the US riders from both teams. I think it really reflects on the programs that we have and what we’re trying to do in our whole coaching problem, and how we try to work together. These riders are making tremendous strides so it’s wonderful to see.”


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