This competition is dedicated to Jack LeGoff (1931-2009), the mastermind behind the FEI World CupTM Eventing, who passed away on 24 July.
KALISPELL WINNER ON THE WAY TO POLAND
Kelly Prather (USA) is on her way to the HSBC FEI World CupTM Eventing Final at Strzegom (POL, 21-23 August) after winning the North American leg at Kalispell, Montana.
Riding Andrea Pfieffer's mare Ballinakill Glory, Prather, 25, held her nerve in a nail-biting finish to score the only double clear round to hold her overnight Cross-Country lead.
"I just wanted to have a good round," said Prather. "She is a wonderful show jumper, so it was exciting to ride her and she deserved to jump clear. This was a good course for her and a great flow so you could lock into a rhythm. Coming into the last fence with my reins on the buckle was a bit nerve-racking though!"
Second-placed Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe (USA) was equally pleased with her mare The Good Witch, owned by Daisy Tognazzini, clear but with 3 time penalties.
"After this performance, I feel I can go to Europe and stand my ground. I'm really excited," she said.
The organisers of the event at Rebecca Farm, Rebecca and Jerome Broussard plus Cindy and Larry Lippon have generously created a fund to help US-based riders travel to Poland.
14 Dressage starters
Marks range from 45.6 to 72.4
13 started the Cross-Country after Kate Gillespie withdrew Renegade Reno, 4th after Dressage
13 completed with 9 clear rounds
No one achieved the optimum time
13 started the Jumping
1 double clear, 2 clear with time penalties
LEADER FROM FLAGFALL
Prather led from the start with a dressage score of 45.6, adding 9.6 Cross-Country time penalties. Wooten-Dafoe, who had the fastest time (5.6 penalties) rose from 3rd to 2nd after Cross-Country.
The Dressage runner-up, Tiana Coudray (USA) on Ringwood Magister, incurred 20 penalties when missing the left-hand turn to the B element of the Jurassic Park combination at fence 18 and slipped to eventual 8th.
Sara Mittleider (USA) and the veteran El Primero rose from 6th after Dressage to 3rd after Cross-Country but rolled the very last Jumping rail to swap places with Californian Kristi Nunnink (USA) on R-Star.
Riders were complimentary about the Cross-Country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips and built by Californian Bert Wood, which featured intricately carved obstacles, many reflecting the Montana culture, and posed all the right questions of riders while allowing horses to fully understand what was being asked of them.
Kelly Prather: "She went out of the start box and was stronger galloping than she's ever been. She jumped very big and bold and I never felt a moment's hesitation. It was one of the best Cross-Country rides ever."
Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe: "I haven't been here (to Rebecca Farm) for a couple of years and the course was great. There were a few changes which I felt were good exercises for the Witch and me. Mark Phillips has designed a superb course and it was beautifully built, which made it that much more exciting to take a spin around it."
Kristi Ninnink: "It is so nice to have an event in the West (of the USA) that makes you feel prepared for other events. You can compete here and feel comfortable about what you will face at the big international competitions on the East coast."
Jim Wolf of the USEF: "Rebecca Farm is truly a world class event. The facilities, the footing and the outstanding organisation combine to create a premier world-class competition."
1 Kelly Prather/Ballinakill Glory (USA) 45.6 + 9.6 + 0 = 55.2
2 Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe/The Good Witch (USA) 51.4 + 5.6 + 0/3 = 60
3 Kristi Nunnink/R-Star (USA) 58.8 + 12 + 0/5 = 75.8
4 Sara Mittleider/El Primero (USA) 55.2 + 14.8 + 4/4 = 78
5 Amy Tryon/Leyland (USA) 54 + 17.6 + 12/3 = 86.6
6 Karen Shull/Just My Style (USA) 58.4 + 21.2 + 8 = 87.6
Full results on www.rebeccafarm.org
2009 HSBC FEI World CupTM Eventing standings (after 7 of 10 qualifiers)
1 Megan Jones (AUS) 203
2 Mary King (GBR) 159
3 Alexandr Markov (RUS) 125
4 Simone Deitermann (GER) 117
5 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 104
6 Kai Rüder (GER) 92
7 Ilya Anisin (BLR) 74
8= Marina Köhncke (GER) 71
8= Patricia Ryan (IRL) 71
8= Kelly Prather (USA) 71
11= Buck Davidson (USA) 70
12= Heelan Tompkins (NZL) 67
12= Georgia Clifford (AUS) 67
12= Julia Mestern (GER) 67
12= Peter Thomsen (GER) 67
12= Michael Ryan (IRL) 67
12= Aistis Vitkauskas (LTU) 67
12 = Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe (USA) 67
Qualifying venues for the 2009 HSBC FEI World CupTM Eventing series:
1 Kihikihi (NZL), 10-12 April 2009
2 Sydney, (AUS), 2-3 May 2009
3 Marbach, (GER), 8-10 May 2009
4 Chatsworth, (GBR), 16-17 May 2009 (CANCELLED)
5 Malmo, (SWE), 23-24 May 2009
6 Tattersalls, (IRL), 28-31 May 2009
7 Minsk, (BLR) 16-19 July 2009
8 Kalispell, (USA), 23-26 July 2009
9 Mansfield, ON, (CAN), 7-9 August 2009
10 Gatcombe, (GBR) 7-9 August 2009 (ADDED)
HSBC FEI World Cup TM Eventing final 2009 Strzegom POL 21-23 August 2009
To find rules and points system, plus full results and standings for the HSBC FEI World Cup TM Eventing series, please visit www.feiworldcup.org