AACHEN, Germany--It was an uphill battle for the U.S. Eventing Team,but they finally finished in fourth place at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup CICO3* in Aachen.
Led by Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander, the U.S. team comprised of Will Coleman riding OBOS O’Reilly, Buck Davidson riding Carlevo, Lauren Kieffer riding Landmark’s Monte Carlo, and Kim Severson riding Cooley Cross Border ended on a score of 189.1.
New Zealand earned gold with a score of 112.9 ahead of France and New Zealand, who won silver and bronze respectively.
“Aachen is one of the best competitions in the world, and there is a ton of learning to be done here,” said Duvander. “Every time you go to Aachen, you learn. The competition is very tough; the best judges are always here, and the course is unique in the way that you have to jump in the big stadium. The cross-country course is highly technical and very fast. People want to take a risk and go fast. It is a high risk when you go fast. When you go slow, it is safer.”
SEVERSON and Cooley Cross Border led the way for the team in the dressage phase.
But, following a disappointing performance in the show jumping phase, the U.S. team and their horses looked to cross-country to boost their final standings and end on a positive note.
Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo were first for the U.S. team, but with a refusal at the DHL Complex, they finished on a total score of 73.60.
Davidson and Carlevo and Severson and Cooley Cross Border both jumped clear on course ending with scores of 60.80 and 54.70, respectively.
Unfortunately, Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly was eliminated on course.
“The goal for us in this space was to give the riders that experience – going fast, under pressure, on a team and being able to manage that,” continued Duvander. “Either you are learning or you are winning, and we weren’t winning today, so it comes down to learning.”