Benjamin Ebeling Takes Individual Top Honors in CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25 Competition

Wellington, Fla. – March 12, 2020 – Competition at the Nations Cup in Week 10 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Thursday with the CDI-U25 Grand Prix 16-25. Following the U25 team competition that saw the United States’ two U25 teams, Stars & Stripes and Star Spangled, riding away with the top two podium placings, while Canada’s team took home the team bronze medal, youth riders from three countries returned to the arena to compete for individual honors in the Under 25 competition.

Emma Asher, Benjamin Ebeling and Camille Carier-Bergeron
Emma Asher, Benjamin Ebeling and Camille Carier-Bergeron

Coming out on top in Thursday’s Grand Prix 16-25 was USA’S Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. Following a rocky start in their partnership, Ebeling has been excited to see improvement in the arena with Illuster Van De Kampert. Being able to channel the gelding’s energy to his advantage has been essential, and has translated to the pair’s high scores. Ebeling received an overall score of 71.179% to secure the victory and gold medal. 

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert
Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

USA’s Emma Asher and Elegance N, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Seeley Equestrian Ventures finished in second to earn the individual silver medal. The pair established an early lead in the class with their score of 70.051%, which was unchallenged until Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert entered the arena. Asher explained that the transition to riding Elegance N from her previous U25 horse, Traneenggaards Akondo, has not always been smooth, but that her results in the Nations Cup have motivated her and let her know that she is on the right path.

Emma Asher and Elegance N
Emma Asher and Elegance N

Canada’s Camille Carier-Bergeron and Acoeur, a 13-year-old Bad-Wü gelding owned by Gilles Bergeron, earned the bronze medal with a score of 69.692%. Carier-Bergeron and Acoeur are in just their second year riding the U25 together, and she was excited to reflect on the whirlwind journey and progress they have had as a team. 

Camille Carier Bergeron and Acoeur
Camille Carier Bergeron and Acoeur

Competition for the AGDF 10 CDIO3* Nations Cup will continue Friday, March 13, with the Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 set to kick off at 1:05 p.m. 

Results: CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score 
1. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Illuster Van De Kampert / 71.179
2. Emma Asher / USA / Elegance N / 70.051
3. Camille Carier Bergeron / CAN / Acoeur / 69.692
4. Hope Cooper / USA / Hot Chocolate W / 69.564
5. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Diamond’s Diva / 69.487
6. Maria Alejandra Aponte Gonzalez / COL / Duke De Niro / 67
7. Laurence Blais Tetreault / CAN / Utah / 66.59
8. Rosie Julian-Simoes / USA / Rankrado / 64.923
9. Vanessa Creech-Terauds / CAN / Hallmark 3 / 64.743
10. Natalie Pai / USA / Utopie Douilly / 64.205
11. Paula Matute Guimon / ESP / Legacy’s Cosmico / 63.128
12. Kerrigan Gluch / USA / Vaquero HGF / 61.769
13. Tanya Strasser-Shostak / CAN / Renaissance Tyme / 59.513
14. Mary Fischer / USA / Xama Dos Pinhais / 57.615


Benjamin Ebeling – CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25 gold medalist

On Illuster Van De Kampert:
“The first two times that I did a Grand Prix, we had to retire. We were getting these really, really hard scores because he is such a hot horse and it’s taken me awhile to get to know him and how to control him. Now these last few shows have been really positive for us. I think it’s just getting to know my horse a little better. He’s trusting me a little bit more, which is something that I hope to do with all of my horses.” 

On his victory:
“It certainly goes up there for me. But, my favorite thing is riding on a team, so the win yesterday was really important to me. This one isn’t less important, but for my self-confidence with this horse it meant a lot.”

On the feedback from his father [Jan Ebeling]:
“I have a great team behind me. Obviously, starting with my mom and my other owner, Sasha. The first thing that my dad and my other coach, Christoph [Koschel] said to me was, ‘Great job. Well handled.’ So, I’m happy that’s what they said.” 

Emma Asher – CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25 silver medalist

On her test:
“I was surprised! I said ‘the judges liked it better than I did!’ which doesn’t happen very often. It was really exciting, because we’ve had a little bit of a struggle transitioning this horse from my previous U25 horse. He was very much a schoolmaster who did everything perfectly the first time. It’s been different to get to ride a serious horse who’s not a schoolmaster. It was really great just to break the 70 percent barrier.” 

Camille Carier-Bergeron – CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25 bronze medalist

On her bronze medal finish:
“This is our best score so far in any of the Grand Prix. When the score came out, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I think it’s a mistake. Only one judge gave me that score.’ Then I was like ‘Wow, maybe it’s two,’ and then the third score came on and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really true!’ For me it was a great surprise because we did our best, and we got so much better dressage in there than we usually do. We’re still green as it’s our second year in the U25. There was a lot of work behind this and getting to know him and getting to know the level, and for him to also trust me and get to work together and improve our test. I’m just so happy with the scoring and what we did today.” 

On her history with Acoeur:
“I’m based in Canada. I bought him December 2018, so last year was our very first year. I got in in January and landed in Miami and then a month and a half later we were showing in CDIs. It was a quick transition to U25 for me and for him, and we did it quite well, but I think this year we’re one step higher in the level. It’s really nice to see the improvement.” 

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