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Saturday, September 30, 2023

The U.S. Eventing team finished second in Aachen and Tamie Smith was third individually

AACHEN, Germany--The  U.S. Eventing Team placed second in the SAP Cup CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen following the final phase of cross-country on Saturday, July 1.

Tamie Smith on Mai Baum and Will Coleman on Off the Record Shannon Brinkman PhotographyTamie Smith on Mai Baum and Will Coleman on Off the Record (Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography)Germany won on an overall team total of 104.9 penalties, with the U.S. second on 108.2,  while Great Britain finished third on 136.60.

Tamie Smith on Mai Baum finished third individually on 33.7 behind gold medal winner Yasmin Ingham of Great Britain on Banzai du Loir, who finished on 27.10,, and Michael Jung of Germany on fischer Chipmunk, 27.2.

It's very special to be on the podium in Aachen," said Smith. "Hopefully there will be more to come. This is a once in a lifetime horse."

Three of the U.S. team riders finished in the top six, as, along with bronze medal winner Smith, Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp on Miks Master C finished fifth on 36.5, and Phillip Dutton on Z placed sixth on 38.0.


THE CROSS COUNTRY course was designed by Rüdiger Schawrz of Germany, and of the 39 competitors that completed the course, none made the time.

Five were eliminated.

"The ground was a little bit soft, and that takes a bit of energy from the horse," said Jung of no one making he time. "But at the end, I felt good."

“I’m encouraged because we planned to come here with the strongest possible team that we could field to make a statement to ourselves that Pratoni wasn’t a one-off," said Chef d'Equipe Bobby Costello. "It was very strategic, and we came with the expectation of a strong finish, and I’m glad we were able to produce a successful result.”

“Make no mistake, everyone will go away from this competition, even with the good result, knowing that there are still gaps to be filled and areas of improvement, and that’s what makes champions," said Costello. "Being honest with yourself throughout the entirety of the competition, and regardless of the result, there’s still so much to learn if we want to keep pressing for medals.”

Dutton of West Grove, Pa., on Z went first for the team out on the cross country, as a bit of damp weather rolled into the area, creating wetter conditions on the day, which proved costly for many competitors.

Z is an experienced horse, and Dutton finished with just 5.2-time penalties to place sixth overall on 38.

With feedback from Dutton reaching the barns, Halliday-Sharp of Lexington, Ky., on Miks Master C had a great ride, navigating all the combinations and open gallops according to her initial plan, adding just 4.40-time penalties to place fifth on 36.50 and help the team solidify its podium finish.

Smith of Murrieta, Calif., was fast and confident, adding just 1.6 time to her score to finish third overall on a 33.70.

“It’s really a dream to be on the podium at Aachen, both as a team and individually," said Smith. "It’s a dream to have a competitive score like that against the world’s best."

Anchor rider Coleman of Gordonsville, Va., on Off The Record ran into trouble at the Turkish Airlines complex, which had given a number of riders problems throughout the day.

Off The Record slipped behind before the first question of the combination, running out of room and sliding out to the side of the jump.

Coleman's first stop at 16a  added 20 faults, then he crossed his track before jumping the option.

That added 40 faults for the second, technical stop, and he added 21.2 time penalties to finish in 38th overall on a 109.30.

Riders get only two stops in stadium jumping, but three stops are allowed on cross country before elimination.

"We were going for it," said Coleman, who started the cross country as the highest placed U.S. rider. "When you're going that fast, it makes more of a risk."

When Off the Record slipped, at top speed Coleman had no time to compensate.

Dan Kreitl of Muncie, Ind., on Carmango competed this week as the individual combination on the squad, finishing on a total three-phase score of 83.60.

Muncie had 20 penalties late on the course and also had time penalties to finish 35th overall.

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