Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

Video: US Team, Led By World Top-10 Riders, Wins Mannheim CPEDI3*

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The Perrigo U.S. Para Dressage Team finished atop the podium in team competition at the Mannheim CPEDI3* (Germany) this week, led by strong performances from Paralympic veterans Kate Shoemaker and Rebecca Hart. 

“We won a strong Nations’ Cup here at Mannheim ahead of some incredibly talented teams with our largest-ever team score and an average individual percentage of 75.35,” Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline said. “We can’t rest on our laurels and don’t want to peak too early either. Careful planning is going into this ahead of our next international in Hagen, Germany, next month.”

The team completed the competition on a final score of 452.19, while Germany finished in second on 443.62. Austria rounded out the top three placings with a team score of 433.69. The U.S. team was comprised of Beatrice de Lavalette riding Sixth Sense, Hart with Floratina, Fiona Howard aboard Diamond Dunes, and Shoemaker with Vianne.

Members of the Perrigo U.S. Para Dressage Team (from left) Rebecca Hart, Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline, Beatrice de Lafayette, Kate Shoemaker and Fiona Howard at the Mannheim CPEDI3* (Germany). Stefan Lafrentz Photo

In more good news for the U.S. team looking ahead to the Paris Paralymipcs, the most recent FEI Para Dressage World Rankings, which account for results through April 30, so do not include the May 4-7 Mannheim CPEDI3*, also list Shoemaker in the No. 1 spot, with three more American riders close behind: Hart in fifth, Howard in 10th and Roxanne Trunnell, who did not compete in Germany, in 11th.

In Germany, Hart and Shoemaker led with excellent scores in both the FEI Para Grand Prix Test A and FEI Para Grand Prix Test B team tests, marking their second consecutive international competition with scores above the 75% mark. 

Hart (Loxahatchee, Florida) was undefeated in the competition riding Rowan O’Riley and Chloe Gasiorowski’s 16-year-old Hanoverian mare (Fidertanz 2—Rubina, Rubin Royal OLD) topped both classes in Grade III competition, earning a 75.11% in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test A and 75% in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test B. 

They also rode one of their best freestyles together, earning some marks above 80%, to finish the weekend unbeaten with a 78.84% in the Grade III freestyle. 

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Watch their freestyle here, courtesy of ClipMyHorse.tv:

Shoemaker (Wellington, Florida) and Vianne, a 7-year-old American Hanoverian mare (Vitalis—Raureif, Ramiro’s Bube) owned by NorCordia USA who she only debuted earlier this year, topped both Grade IV team classes, earning 76.57%—a personal best—in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test A, and 75.54% in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test B.

Watch their Grade IV FEI Para Grand Prix Test A, courtesy of ClipMyHorse.tv:

They finished their week with a third place in the FEI Para Grand Prix Freestyle Grade IV, earning a 73.58%.

Howard (Boston), a relative newcomer to international para-dressage program, first representing the U.S. in para-dressage in 2022, also notched a win for the team in Grade II. Aboard Diamond Dunes, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De L’Or—Wibella, Wolkentanz) owned by Dressage Family LLC and Hof Kasselmann, Howard took first in the large class, contesting the FEI Para Grand Prix Test A on Saturday, with the pair earning a 75.11% from the judging panel, before returning to finish with a 74.77% in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test B, good for second place. In individual competition, the pair finished third in the FEI Para Grand Prix Freestyle Grade II (75.61%). 

Also competing in Grade II, de Lavalette (Loxahatchee, Florida) rode her 2022 FEI Para Dressage World Championship partner, Sixth Sense, to a 65.40% percent on the first day of competition, and received a 69.94% in the FEI Para Grand Prix Test B for the team. With the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sir Donnerhall I—Edosta, Florencio I) owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas de Lavalette, she also earned fifth place with her high score of the weekend, a 72.87%, in the freestyle.

See complete results here.

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