By US Equestrian Communications Department
Enschede, the Netherlands – The FEI Eventing Nations Cup Netherlands CCIO4*-L at Military Boekelo-Enschede concluded on Sunday with the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of James Alliston, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Boyd Martin, and Alyssa Phillips finishing in fifth place out of 10 nations. Under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello, the U.S. team consisted of veteran athletes with newer mounts and up-and-coming combinations testing out their skills against top international competitors. At the end of the competition, two U.S. combinations finished in the top seven in a competitive field.
“The team competition just didn’t go our way this weekend,” said Costello. “We were looking at a very strong finish, but unfortunately one of our horses could not show jump today, which dropped us to fifth. We as a team were consoled by the fact that we had two finish in the top seven with class performances by Liz and Boyd.
“The future of U.S. eventing continues to look very bright with both human and equine talent showing positive potential this weekend,” continues Costello. “It was an honor leading a great team of athletes, grooms, owners, and support staff at this fantastic competition. Thank you to the USEF, USET Foundation, and Land Rover.”
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C began their partnership this year and have quickly turned into a successful pair. Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and the 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties & Deborah Palmer had a lovely dressage test to earn a score of 26.2. They tackled the solid cross-country designed by Adrian Ditcham (GER), tallying 3.2 time penalties. Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C had a double-clear show jumping round over Kris van Gelder (NED)’s track to finish on a score of 29.4 in fifth place.
Boyd Martin and Federman B are a newer partnership that has racked up top results in the past year. Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s 2010 KWPN gelding had a smooth dressage test, scoring 29.8. The duo was double-clear on cross-country day to add nothing to their dressage score. Martin and Fedarman B delivered another double-clear jumping round in the show jumping phase to finish on their dressage score of 29.8 in seventh place.
Alyssa Phillips and Oskar made their Nations Cup debut at Military Boekelo-Enschede. Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and her and Julie Phillips’s 2009 Holsteiner gelding scored 31.2 on their dressage test. The pair had an unlucky runout at 19B of the second water complex for 20 jump penalties but regrouped to finish the course, adding 18.4 time penalties to their score. Phillips and Oskar added 2.0 time penalties to their score in the show jumping phase to finish on a score of 71.6 in 44th place.
James Alliston and Nemesis also were named to their first Nations Cup team. Alliston (San Ramon, Calif.) and Alliston Equestrian’s 2014 Canadian Warmblood gelding scored 37.4 for their dressage test to begin the competition. They added only 2.0 time penalties to their score following the cross-country phase. Unfortunately, the pair did move on past the second horse inspection.
The top three spots on the Nations Cup leaderboard went to Great Britain, New Zealand, and France, respectively.