Wellington, Fla. – March 18, 2021 – Competition at the Nations Cup of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Thursday with the CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25. Following Canada’s historic win for the first time in the CDIO-U25 Nations Cup team competition Wednesday, the youth riders returned to the international stadium to take their chance at an individual gold medal, with some riders even accomplishing personal bests for this division.
Earning the top spot on the podium in Thursday’s Grand Prix 16-25 was USA’s Hope Cooper aboard Hot Chocolate W, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Mary Mansfield. After setting the second-highest individual score of the team competition and taking home multiple top placings in the division in 2019 and 2020, the 25-year-old rider is no stranger to the division. Cooper ended her career in the U25 grand prix division by earning a personal best of 70.590%.
Fellow USA team member Codi Harrison earned the silver individual medal by also receiving a personal best of 70.282% with her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion Katholt’s Bossco.
Camille Carier Bergeron represented Canada in the winning circle with Acoeur, the 14-year-old BAD-WÜ gelding owned by Giles Bergeron. The duo stood on the third-place spot of the podium after receiving a 68.205% overall score. Earlier in the week, the 20-year-old athlete contributed as the anchor rider to Canada’s historic victory for the first time in the five years of the Wellington CDIO-U25 Nations Cup team competition.
Competition for this division for the AGDF Week 10 CDIO-U25 Nations Cup will continue Friday, March 19, 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. Hope Cooper / USA / Hot Chocolate / 70.590%
2. Codi Harrison / USA / Katholt’s Bossco / 70. 282%
3. Camille Carier Bergeron / CAN / Acoeur / 68.205%
4. Paula Matute Guimon / ESP / Delagronge / 66. 410%
5. Rosemary Julian-Simoes / USA / Rankrado / 65. 743%
6. Beatrice Boucher / CAN / Baldacci / 65.513%
7. Vanessa Creech – Terauds / CAN / Fleur de Lis L / 65.000%
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Hope Cooper – CDIO-U25 Grand Prix 16-25 Gold Medalist
On Thursday’s ride with Hot Chocolate W:
“Today’s ride I was really thrilled with. He has come a long way in the past few months. I wouldn’t say I was expecting to have that type of incredible feeling, but he has felt so with me and is such an honest horse. I couldn’t ask for more from him. He puts his heart and soul into everything he does so I was thrilled and over the moon about today.”
On her gold medal finish:
“It feels incredible. This is my last year of the U25. It’s been a long road and there have been a lot of ups and downs which anyone who competes in this sport knows, and to have this be one of the ways I get to finish the Florida season well, I don’t really have any words. It’s pretty surreal.”
About her partnership with Hot Chocolate W:
“I started riding Chocolate as an 11-year-old and Mary Mansfield, his owner, rides him frequently but also told me I could take the ride and he learns so fast and he never gets stressed. All of the new things you throw at him, he takes them head-on. The thing that is the most different this year is that Christoph Koschel has taught me how to get the most energy out of him. He’s not the spiciest horse and this year feels like he is ready to go all the time and that never something I’ve experienced with him before. He and I have really grown together coming up through the U25 and he has taught me everything I know. I feel like I also got to teach him a lot too, along with a lot of help, so it’s an amazing thing to have a relationship that matures and grows like that. He’s put up with a lot of bad riding on my end and I’ve had him be confused a lot of the time and we somehow always come back together, feel very cohesive and always have a blast in the ring.”
On her Team USA experience:
“The team environment here is unbelievable. It’s so supportive and even through all of those ups and downs, they have been so supportive and it really feels like they have your back through everything. I don’t know if that happens with other teams but it’s an incredible feeling. To have this experience and be a part of USA dressage before hopefully getting into the Grand Prix ring is completely invaluable and I would do it again and again if I could. It really sets you up for a lot of success. The fist bump at the end of the awards meant the world and there isn’t a single person here who is not wanting you to succeed. There is such a team feeling the whole time which is an amazing experience.”
On her support team:
“I’d like to thank Diamante Farms and Terri for everything she does for U25 and youth dressage — it’s incredible. Thank you to the Dutta Corporation for sponsoring Team USA and everyone that makes this possible, Adequan and Global, Christoph, my mom and of course Hot Chocolate’s other mother [owner], Mary Mansfield, who is back in Massachusetts. There isn’t a better person I could ask to have our backs through all of this.”