Defender U.S. Eventing Team Finishes in Second Place at FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Ireland CCIO4*-NC-S | USET Foundation

Defender U.S. Eventing Team Finishes in Second Place at FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Ireland CCIO4*-NC-S

Millstreet, Ireland – The Defender U.S. Eventing Team concluded a successful outing at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup CCIO4*-NC-S – Ireland on Sunday, securing a team second-place finish at the event held at the Millstreet International Horse Trials. Millstreet is part of the European Development Tour, which is intended to give up-and-coming combinations experience competing overseas in a team environment.

US Eventing team on the podium at Millstreet
©Libby Law Photography

All U.S. combinations finished in the top half of the division, which saw 51 starters from seven countries.

Caroline Pamukcu (Springtown, Pa.) with King’s Especiale, a 2015 KWPN gelding owned by Redfield King’s HX Group, posted the top individual score for the team, finishing on a 37.1 after adding only 0.8 cross-country time penalties to their dressage score. Jenny Caras (Buckhead, Ga.) and Sommersby, the 2012 Holsteiner gelding she co-owns with Jerry Hollis, also turned in a double-clear show jumping round with just two time penalties from cross-country to finish on a score of 38.2.

Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and her own and Julie Phillips’s 2009 Holstener gelding, Oskar, had a phenomenal dressage test with a score of 30.8, which put them in seventh place after the first phase. With one rail in show jumping and 3.6 cross-country time penalties, they completed with a 38.4. Emily Hamel (Aiken, S.C.) and Corvett, a 2007. Holsteiner gelding owned by Black Flag Option, went double-clear in the show jumping phase and added 8 time penalties from cross-country to their dressage score, finishing with a 44.2.

Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) and her own Disco Traveler, a 2010 Oldenburg gelding, competed as an individual combination for the U.S. and completed on a score of 41.8 to finish in 23rd place.

“Overall the team did extremely well,” said Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law. “I think everybody was good in the dressage. In the show jumping, I thought the riders were really great. We had a lot of clear rounds.

“I thought they rode extremely well this morning [in cross-country],” said Law. “The ground was very soft and heavy and not the type of going they’re used to. The Europeans get more practice on that type of ground, and even they felt the ground was heavy. So for them to go out and ride the way they did on the going and on top of that, to post really good, fast rounds to stay competitive, and finish second, I think that says a lot. They really rose to the challenge in conditions that they aren’t used to. They’ve done a fantastic job.”

The team came into Millstreet after having had a last-minute schedule change. The intended first stop on the development tour was the Chatsworth International Horse Trials in Great Britain, which was cancelled due to extremely rainy conditions. Several of the U.S. combinations rerouted to last weekend’s Bicton International Horse Trials to run the dressage and jumping phases.

“Bicton was not in our plans at all previously, but with them having CCI4*-S down there, we thought it would be very useful to get them into the ring doing a dressage test and having a show jumping round,” said Law. “It turned out to be a very useful exercise because part of Great Britain’s probable Olympic team was there. To go and compete at that level and against that standard—they posted some really good results in the dressage. When you look at what some of those experienced combinations were doing, our results were very comparable. It turned out to be a very good exercise in the end, and it gave them a chance to get in the ring and settled their nerves. After that, we were able to come here and move forward as planned.”

In addition to the Nations Cup, three U.S. athletes completed the CCI4*-L at Millstreet. U.S. Cosby Green (Lexington, Ky.), a U.S. Eventing emerging athlete, finished in second place with Highly Suspicious, a 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Edie and Clay Green. Caroline Pamukcu and She’s The One, a 2015 Anglo European mare she co-owns with Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, and Andy Hoff, earned the top dressage score in the division—an impressive 28.2— and finished in fourth place overall. UK-based Rowan Laird rode his own Irish Sport Horse stallion Sceilig Concordio to finish in seventh place in his CCI4*-L debut.

Event website | Team Results | Individual Results

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