By US Equestrian Communications Department
The U.S. U25 Dressage Team took second place on the podium today following team competition in the FEI Intermediate II Test during the FEI Dressage Nations Cup Wellington CDIOU25 competition, finishing on a final team score of 129.50. The team placed just behind Canada, who took the top placing on a 133.323. The team was led by Chef d’Equipe Charlotte Bredahl and comprised of Quinn Iverson aboard Beckham 19, Nicole Scarpino and Lambada 224, and Kaylee Christensen and Chateau 28. All three combinations are competing on their first U.S. team this weekend, providing valuable experience for the future.
“The team did really well today given that we faced some adversity with the heat and first-time team jitters, which is why these experiences are so important for our up-and-coming athletes,” said Bredahl. “Each of these combinations has such potential and are looking to improve on their marks in tomorrow’s test and in their Freestyles on Sunday, which is exactly what we’re looking for from them.”
Iverson (Wellington, Fla.) and Beckham 19, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Billie Davidson, were the highest scoring pair on the team and are a relatively new combination, contesting only their second international competition together this week. The duo scored a 65.824 percent, earning impressive marks in their trot tour.
“I’m very proud of my horse today. We’re still quite a new partnership, and for him to just go out and still be as honest as he was in this weather, I was very happy with him,” said Iverson. “I’m so proud of him for just what a new pair we are to come out and I’m very excited for the future and really glad to have these great teammates.”
Aboard Lambada 224, Nicole Scarpino (Gainesville, Fla.) rode a solid test to earn a 63.676 percent in their first competition representing the U.S. Team. Scarpino has brought the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by herself and Jennifer Scarpino, through the levels, first competing together at the Junior level before moving into the Young Rider ranks and now U25 classes.
“I’ve had my mare since the junior division and we’ve come up the levels together, so we’re still both a bit green at this level,” she explained. “I’m super happy with how much energy she brought to the test even with the weather. We also had some miscommunication in our one-tempis, but I’m very happy with her and how she handled the atmosphere and I’m grateful to be here with these great teammates.”
Kaylee Christensen (Holland, Mich.) and Chateau 28, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by herself and Kate Christensen, overcame adversity in their test when Chateau 28 accidently slipped his tongue over the bit. Christensen kept her cool and piloted the pair through the test, though they received a mark they hope to improve on tomorrow.
“I’ve had my horse since 2018 and we’ve come up from Young Riders all the way to the U25. Unfortunately, today my horse got his tongue over the bit and sometimes there’s nothing you can do, but I’m still really, really proud of him,” she said. “He still tried his heart out in this difficult weather, which is tough for him. I’m grateful to be here and be a part of this team with these amazing teammates.”
The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team currently sits in second place in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup USA on a team score of 215.49 following the first day of competition, just narrowly behind Germany on a 217.204. Team competition will conclude tomorrow with the FEI Grand Prix Special and FEI Intermediate I test. The U25 combinations will compete in the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 test for individual medals.
The FEI Intermediate II concluded the CDIO-U25 Team competition on Thursday. Awards for the CDIO3* will be presented following the FEI Grand Prix Special and FEI Intermediate I tomorrow evening, while individual winners will be crowned following the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, FEI Intermediate I Freestyle, and the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 Freestyle on March 20. Watch the competition live on USEF Network.