The good news? U.S. rider Tiana Coudray held her own against a massively talented field and an extremely testing course to finish 10th in the CIC*** at the Aachen CHIO (Germany).
The bad news? The rest of her teammates didn’t fare so well. Coudray was the only U.S. rider to complete the cross-country without jump penalties, though she added 14.8 time penalties to her score. She’d jumped clean the day before in show jumping and scored 43.0 in dressage. (see full individual results)
“I am over the moon,” said Coudray. “He was absolutely playing with the course today. It obviously caused so much trouble. It was very, very tough. Very experienced riders had trouble. I went later in the day and I had not seen a clear round all morning, but he gave me such a good feel out there on the challenging course.”
Of the 41 starters, three horse-and-rider combinations retired on course and three were eliminated.
Clark Montgomery completed the course with two run-outs at fence 10C, a skinny brush fence set after the Normandy Bank. Their 85.6 penalties moved them into 35th. Marilyn Little, riding RF Smoke On The Water, lost her line to 8B, the corner in the Rolex water complex, resulting in rider fall for Little. Both she and Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ 8-year-old Wurttemburger gelding came away unharmed, with the unfortunate result marring an otherwise successful year for the pair.
Will Faudree had led the U.S. effort in dressage with a 40.6 for 13th place in that phase on Pawlow. One rail in show jumping moved them down to 18th, but a freak fall on cross-country took them out of competition. Jennifer Mosing’s 14-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding pulled both front shoes early on course. The pair had refusals at 8B, the corner in the Rolex water complex, and 21A at the STAWAG double corners complex, and then had an unfortunate fall within yards of the finish line when the gelding lost his footing on landing from the last fence. Neither horse nor rider was hurt in the fall.
Australia’s Christopher Burton and Holstein Park Leilani claimed the win after having the only double clear round of the day, finishing on their dressage score of 35.6. Sandra Auffarth of Germany and Opgun Louvo added 4 time penalties to their dressage score to settle for second place with a 35.8. Germany’s London Olympic Games double gold medalist Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam FBW incurred 6 time penalties to finish in third place.
Germany held onto the lead to claim victory in the team competition with a score of 134.6. Great Britain finished in second with 182.6, while Sweden was third with 219.0. The U.S. team placed seventh. (see full team results)
In the dressage stadium, however, Caroline Roffman flew the U.S. flag proudly and claimed second in the Under-25 CDI Grand Prix freestyle aboard Sagacious. (see results)Dressage competition has been a highlight for the U.S. team at Aachen, with the team of Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot, Jan Ebeling and Shelly Francis claiming bronze in the dressage Nations Cup.
Earlier in the week, Roffman had to withdraw Her Highness O from the CDIO small tour.
But with Hyperion Farm, Inc.’s 14-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding Sagacious in the Under-25 Grand Prix freestyle, Roffman executed two-tempi flying changes around the corners and along the short side of the arena, as well as one-handed two-tempi flying changes on the centerline. The pair was rewarded with a 76.27 percent to finish in second place.
“It was an amazing experience,” commented Roffman of her time at the CHIO Aachen. “To be part of a team, have people supporting you, and showing you the ropes for hopeful future experiences on teams. People like Steffen, Tina, Jan, and Shelly with so much experience, and of course Robert [Dover, Chef d’Equipe] and Jenny [Van Wieren-Page, Managing Director of Dressage], sort of learning the ways from them. It has been an amazing experience, probably the most memorable horse show or horse-related experience I have.”
Roffman was awarded a Dutta Corp. flight to train and compete in Europe and had an impressive showing at the prestigious European CDI.
Nanna Skodborg Merrald of Denmark and Millibar won the class with a score of (78.47%), while the Netherlands’ Diederik Van Silfhout and Arlando were third (73.95%).
Four-in-hand driver Chester Weber drove to third place in the CAIO for the United States. Weber and James Fairclough had formed a two-man team for the United States, and they finished in sixth (see results). Weber led after the dressage and cones, but placed 14th in the marathon.