U.S. Eyes Strong Finish in FEI Nations Cup Competition at CDIO3* Hickstead

The U.S. sends a promising group into this week’s FEI Nations Cup at CDIO3* Hickstead.

July 30, 2014–The U.S. sends a promising group into this week’s FEI Nations Cup at CDIO3* Hickstead, running July 31-August 3. The team of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Susie Dutta, Brian Hafner, and Lisa Wilcox, led by Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald, have drawn third in the order of five international teams. Nations Cup competition kicks off Thursday with the first day of Grand Prix competition, and continues Friday with the second half of the combinations performing the FEI Grand Prix Test. The 2014 victors will be crowned on Saturday following the FEI Grand Prix Special, as overall team scores will be calculated by the top three scores in Grand Prix being weighted equally with the top three scores from the Special.

The U.S. Team for Hickstead | Photo Copyright USEF Archive

Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, Fla.) and longtime owner Jane Clark have found an exciting prospect in the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Wellnetta. With former rider Laurens van Lieren, of The Netherlands, the mare contested the 2013 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. Bateson-Chandler, a 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veteran, began riding Wellnetta at the beginning of this year and quickly earned top placings at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Most recently, the pair was second in the Grand Prix Special at CDI3* Hartpury.

Dutta (Wellington, Fla.) is making her second Nations Cup start of the summer with Tim Dutta Inc.’s Currency DC, after representing the U.S. at CDIO5* Rotterdam in June. At the prestigious show in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Dutta and the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding finished seventh in the Grand Prix Special. To close out the month of June, the pair produced solid work at CDI4* Perl. Before travelling to Europe for the summer, Dutta spent the winter competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Additionally, she will ride Tim Dutta’s Lumberjack 12 in Small Tour competition at Hickstead.

Hafner has travelled from his Penngrove, Calif., base to spend the summer in Europe competing his own and Rebecca Hafner’s Lombardo LHF in Big Tour competition. Prior to heading overseas, the pair won at the Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W. Alongside Dutta, Hafner and Lombardo LHF were part of the U.S. Nations Cup team in Rotterdam, where they also earned a 12th-place finish in the Freestyle.

Wilcox (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Betty Well’s Denzello head into the weekend’s competition on strong form after competing at CDI4* Fritzens and CDI4* Aachen as members of the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team. In Aachen, they led the U.S. effort, finishing 12th in the CDI4* Grand Prix. Prior to heading to Europe, the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding finished eighth in
The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and Selection Trial for the U.S. Dressage Team Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Dutta and Hafner will complete their Grand Prix Tests on Thursday at 2:18pm and 3:03pm CEST, respectively, with Bateson-Chandler and Wilcox going at 3:55pm and 5:27pm on Friday.

Find out more about the Hickstead CDIO3* at http://www.hickstead.co.uk/home.aspx.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.