Rotterdam, the Netherlands—June 24
The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team clinched a gold medal victory over seven countries in the Nations Cup at the Rotterdam CHIO.
Laura Graves, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dawn White-O’Connor, and led by Chef D’Equipe Robert Dover, triumphed after Graves topped the Grand Prix freestyle (80.98%), Perry-Glass was third in the Special with Goerklintgaards Dublet (71.78%) and Lagoy-Weltz was eighth in the Special with Lonoir (68.07%).
Based on the best three scores from the Grand Prix, the best two scores from the Grand Prix Special, and the best score from the Grand Prix Freestyle, the U.S. team won the Nations Cup gold over the Swedish and German teams with 446.442 points.
Due to bad luck, the Dutch team was eliminated from the competition in the Nations Cup. Madeleine Witte-Vrees’s horse Cennin lost a shoe only minutes before their test and could not compete. Under the current regulations, the entire Dutch team was eliminated as a result.
“’They do whatever it takes,” Dover said of his team. “Last year, we finished just behind the Dutch. This year, each combination has improved even further and look at the beautiful scores that results in. It was a shame the Dutch were eliminated. I would have liked the opportunity to take them on.
“I am once again so proud of our Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team for winning a major Nations Cup here in Rotterdam,” said Dover. “This is a year of building depth in our team by introducing many fresh, new combinations, mixed with our fantastic veterans. I am looking forward to the rest of the season and applaud all of our athletes showing in Europe. I want to thank them, their personal trainers, owners, sponsors, the best grooms, USEF, the USET Foundation, Dr. Russillo, Andy Thomas, Tom Meyers, Hallye Griffin, and especially our fabulous and beloved horses. Go Team USA!”
The U.S. team sat in first place, ahead of the Dutch team, after the Grand Prix on Thursday, overcoming the elimination of White-O’Connor and Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92 for unevenness. Graves and Verdades anchored the team, winning both the Grand Prix on Thursday and the Grand Prix freestyle on Saturday.
Witte-Vrees, who was the best Dutch rider on Thursday in the Grand Prix, was one of the riders who was supposed to appear in the Grand Prix Special. The other two Dutch team members (Hans Peter Minderhoud and Diederik van Silfhout) competed in the freestyle, but of their scores, only the highest counted towards the team result. With only Edward Gal’s result in the Grand Prix Special to add to that, the Dutch team were eliminated from the competition.
There was, however, individual success for the Dutch. Edward Gal rode Glock´s Voice to victory in the Grand Prix Special and Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock´s Johnson TN N.O.P. placed second in the freestyle. Diederik van Silfhout made his team debut with Four Seasons and achieved sixth place.