Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023

Lockman’s Personal Best Boosts Team USA To The Lead



 Lima, Peru—July 28 

Since Team USA arrived in Peru, Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald has been sending inspirational quotes to her team, hoping to keep them in a positive mindset. Last night’s was a simple one: “Let’s do this.”

That affirmation worked, as all three team members posted strong scores to jump to the top of the leaderboard after Day 1 of team competition. But they’ve got some serious competition. Canada sits second, just .1 points behind the stars and stripes, and Brazil is in third.

“This is just half the competition; we have tomorrow too,” said McDonald. “I think we have to wait and see, but I could not be happier with the riders and their horses today.”

Anchor rider Sarah Lockman, Wildomar, California, led the charge, putting in a personal best aboard her relatively new partner First Apple. Her score of 76.08 percent was the highest of the day, ahead of Canada’s Tina Irwin (Laurencio) followed by Canada’s Lindsay Kellock and Floratina.

WEB 1 Sarah Lockman First Apple MHT_4330

Sarah Lockman couldn’t stop smiling down her final centerline. Mollie Bailey Photos

“I’m overwhelmed with happiness,” Lockman said. “He was super. He came out super today in the warm-up and was 100 percent with me. Like I’ve said before he goes around that ring and is like, ‘I am here!’ So that’s definitely what I felt the whole time. He was answering every question I gave him perfectly. There were little things that I think we can still improve on, and I think he can be better tomorrow, but I’m more than happy with that obviously.

“This is a personal best in a CDI, and I’m very happy to be able to do that when it counts the most,” she said. “I think I hopefully helped ease everybody’s thoughts with me being a rookie. I’m really happy I could be the anchor rider and pull it off for my team.”

WEB 1 Sarah Lockman First Apple MHT_4369

Sarah Lockman celebrated after hearing her personal best score.

Lockman’s teammates, Jennifer Baumert on Handsome and Nora Batchelder on Faro SQF sit fourth and fifth respectively. Baumert put in a mistake-free test aboard Betsy Juliano’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding.


“I was really happy with how Handsome handled the environment,” she said. “He just lit up when he went in there and got all big. I was like, ‘Oh this is going to be nice.’ For the most part I was super happy with the performance. Toward the end he got a little too much go, but you know what? I can’t complain.”

WEB 4 Jennifer Baumert Handsome MHT_3192

Jennifer Baumert and Handsome sit fourth individually.

Batchelder faced a hiccup in the warm-up when one of her billets broke, and she had to compete with just three. (“Debbie was like, ‘Perfect balance! Perfect balance!’ “) She went on to a lovely test with just one bobble in the walk-canter transition.

“I think maybe a little lack of focus just for an instant,” she said. “I was shortening the reins up, and he took a peek up to the right then we were to the letter, and we weren’t quite organized.

“He tried really hard, and I thought overall his canter work was pretty strong, and the trot was accurate,” she continued. “I was proud of him.”

WEB 5 Nora Batchelder Faro SQF MHT_2335

Faro SQF and Nora Batchelder sit fifth individually.

Riders will return tomorrow for the second half of the team competition. Small tour riders—including all the U.S. combinations—will perform the Intermediaire I test, while large tour riders have the Grand Prix Special.

Questions about the format of the Games? We’ve got answers. 

Two of Canada’s riders will be riding that test, hoping to move into the lead or at very least maintain second in order to secure Olympic qualification. (The United States is already qualified thanks to a silver medal at the Tryon World Equestrian Games, so Canada can finish second behind them and still punch their ticket to Tokyo.)

Second to go for Team Canada, Irwin was thrilled with her Prix St Georges test, which scored 73.73 percent.


“I thought my horse first of all felt really solid today,” she said. “He gave me a really good feeling from the get-go in the warm-up. He was very consistent in the contact, perfectly on my aids. He felt great. I thought, ‘I’m going to have a good ride.’ He came into the stadium and perked up a little bit but in a good way. He felt really solid throughout. I rode the extensions a little conservatively being the first day of the team event, so I definitely have more room to push there. The rest I was really happy with.”

WEB 2 Tina Irwin Laurencio MHT_1226

Tina Irwin and Laurencio put in a lovely test for Team Canada, and they sit second individually.

Kellock saw her hard work at home with Floratina paying off.

“We’ve been working a lot on getting her trot a little bit fancier,” she said. “I thought her extensions were much better. She had more lift, more suspension in the trot work. Of course her changes are a highlight. And a simple thing; the walk pirouettes we’ve been working really hard on. I thought those were much stronger today.   Overall I would say it was one of my best rides for sure.”

WEB 3 Lindsay Kellock Floratina MHT_0805

Lindsay Kellock had a lovely ride on Floratina to help boost Team Canada to a close second place. She sits third individually.


  • Three combinations were rung out for unsoundness: Chile’s Barbara Weber Kunstmann and Entusiasta, Argentina’s Luis Maria Zone and Faberge d’Atela, and Uruguay’s José Ramón Beca Borrego on Zaire. That meant that three-member teams from Chile and Argentina were eliminated. Borrego was riding as an individual.
  • Of the 38 riders who competed on Day 1, only five elected to wear top hats, and two wore their military hats, with the rest strapping on safety helmets.
  • A minimum of 10 Iberian horses competed.
WEB Janet Foy MHT_4461

Judge Janet Foy excused Uruguay’s José Ramón Beca Borrego and Zaire.

WEB 6 Naima Moreira Laliberte Statesman MHT_4553

Canada’s Naima Moreira-Laliberté sits sixth individually.

WEB 8 Vera Beatrix Protzen Wettkonig Argentina MHT_4062

Argentina’s Vera Beatriz Protzen and Wettkonig lie eighth after a lovely test.

WEB 10 Joao Paulo Dos Santos Carthago Comando SN Brazil MHT_0953

Brazil sits overall third thanks in part to a lovely test by João Paulo Dos Santos  and Carthago Comando SN.

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Check out our July 22 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine, our Pan Am preview issue, for much information about the competitors, and be sure to read the September 2 issue to get full analysis from the Games. What are you missing if you don’t subscribe?




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