USA Captures CDIO3* FEI Nations Cup Team Gold Medal

Wellington, Fla. – March 14, 2019 – Following the CDI-U25 competition Thursday evening, the senior riders took to the ring to conclude the team competition of the CDIO3* Nations Cup beginning with the FEI Intermediate I and closing out with the FEI Grand Prix Special. The five teams from differing nations returned with the goal of bringing their best scores to contribute to the totals. The U.S. held their position at the top of the leaderboard after the first day of competition, earning the gold medal at the end of the evening with a total score of 437.693. Team Canada earned the silver medal with 433.685 and Germany rounded out the podium with 402.724.

Shelly Francis and Danilo

Team results consist of the best three scores in the first test, FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix, and the three best scores in the second test, the FEI Intermediate 1 and FEI Grand Prix Special. The Nations Cup team scores are calculated by awarding a 1.5 percent bonus for each Grand Prix rider on a team, while small tour scores receive no bonus. Once all riders received their scores and their perspective additional bonus, the lowest score was dropped.

Ashley Holzer and Valentine
Ashley Holzer and Valentine

In the small tour Intermediate I, U.S. team rider Ashley Holzer rode Valentine, her 9-year-old Hanoverian mare, to a score of 71.265 percent and a third-place individual finish, while Jennifer Baumert earned a 70.941 percent on Betsy Juliano’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Handsome.

Jennifer Baumert and Handsome
Jennifer Baumert and Handsome

In the Grand Prix Special, American Shelly Francis topped the class despite a bobble in the one tempis and a rider error. Francis rode her longtime partner, Danilo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding who is owned by Patricia Stempel, to a score of 71.447 percent. Her teammate, Charlotte Jorst followed closely behind her with a 71.064 percent aboard Kastels Nintendo, her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. At the conclusion of the competition, Baumert’s score was the drop score for the U.S. team and they stepped onto the podium for the second year in a row.

Charlotte Jorst and Kastels Nintendo

Team Canada rode away with the silver medal with the help of their dominating performance in the Intermediate I. Tina Irwin maintained her lead, earning an impressive score of 73.588 percent with her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Laurencio. A few weeks ago, Irwin was kicked and injured her hand, making the preparation for the Nations Cup a bit different than usual. Her husband, Jaimey Irwin, competed Laurencio in the CDI3* at their last show, winning two of the small tour classes.

Tina Irwin and Laurencio
Tina Irwin and Laurencio

Placing second in the Intermediate I was fellow Canadian and Holzer’s godchild, Lindsay Kellock, on Floratina with a score of 71.5 percent. Belinda Trussell was the team’s drop score on Carlucci after they received a 68.176 percent. Jill Irving was the only Canadian in the Grand Prix Special but she represented her country well by placing third individually with a 70.404 percent on Arthur.

Lindsay Kellock and Floratina
Lindsay Kellock and Floratina

The team from Germany consisted of Patricia Koschel, Christoph Koschel, Michael Klimke and Kevin Kohnmann, and they earned a total score of 402.724. Adult Amateur Patricia Koschel was the highest scoring German on the second day of competition, with a score of 69.088 percent on Leuchtfeuer DE, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding. The pair have competed throughout the season in the national ring at Grand Prix but were asked to step down to Prix St. Georges for the Nations Cup team. During the summer she is based in Hagen, Germany with her husband, Christoph. He retired Ballentines 10 during his performance in the Grand Prix Special as he could tell the horse was not feeling up to par. 

Their German teammates Klimke on Royal Dancer 333 in the Grand Prix Special and Kohmann on Cascou W in the Intermediate earned scores of 64.213 and 63.353, respectively.

Michael Klimke and Royal Dancer 33
Michael Klimke and Royal Dancer 33

The final competition of the CDIO3* Nations Cup will take place Friday, March 15, with individual medals being awarded following the freestyles.

Results: CDIO3* Nations Cup Intermediate I 

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Tina Irwin / CAN / Laurencio / 73.588
2. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Floratina / 71.500
3. Ashley Holzer / USA / Valentine / 71.265
4. Jennifer Baumert / USA / Handsome / 70.941
5. Patricia Koschel / GER / Leuchtfeuer DE / 69.088
6. Belinda Trussell / CAN / Carlucci / 68.176
7. Monica Burssens / MEX / Elfentanz / 66.824
8. Maria Alejandra Aponte Gonzalez / COL / Duke De Niro / 65.971
9. Marco Bernal / COL / Germany / 65.471
10. Kevin Kohmann / GER / Cascou W / 63.353

Results: CDIO3* Nations Cup Grand Prix Special

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Shelly Francis / USA / Danilo / 71.447
2. Charlotte Jorst / USA / Kastels Nintendo / 71.064
3. Jill Irving / CAN / Arthur / 70.404
4. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 68.681
5. Bernadette Pujals / MEX / Curioso XXV / 65.511
6. Michael Klimke / GER / Royal Dancer 33 / 64.213


Ashley Holzer – United States team gold medalist

On competing on the U.S. team:
“I am very honored to be on the American team with these amazing riders and friends. I think it is amazing to have more opportunities to ride as a team. We were talking about the fact there is a team pressure that comes on no matter what! Even if it is a Nations Cup here in Wellington where you ride a lot, having the responsibility is huge when your ride not only matters to yourself, your horse and your sponsor but also to your teammates. I do think that the more you get used to riding as a team the more you feel supported by your teammates instead of feeling pressure from your teammates. I think that is a great thing to have.”

Ashley Holzer and Valentine
Ashley Holzer and Valentine

On  Valentine:
“I was thrilled with her. Unfortunately, that pesky fly bothered her yesterday, which was a bit of a shame, but today she was way too hot. It has been a long season for her and yes, this is a great opportunity to build a show every second weekend, but I also think we have to learn from our horses. I don’t know her as a competition horse that well. This is really the first season I have ever competed her. She has sort of been on the back burner with the other horses on the front burner, but I think having the knowledge to say ‘okay, maybe not so many shows in a row, let’s stay at home and school to get things working again’ is a great learning curve for me.”

On her plans moving forward:
“Debbie [McDonald] and I were talking about this actually, I think she just needs a few weeks to go hacking and work a little bit on doing some fun stuff because it has been show, show, show, show. She has had an incredible show season this year so I can’t ask more of her. I think that my plans may have changed and I might be looking forward to going to the Pan Am Games. I am going to work with Debbie to get her in the best position she can be in and hopefully she will be fabulous.”

Jennifer Baumert – United States team gold medalist

Inaugural nations cup outing:

“I am certainly very honored to have made the team. It feels amazing to have these three wonderful ladies with me here and to have won the gold. I was really happy with my horse over the last two days — I wasn’t totally thrilled with myself. On the first day, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself and was trying a little too hard so I overrode and it didn’t feel easy. Today I trusted him a little more, thank you Debbie [McDonald], and put him a little more together and let him do his job. I didn’t nag him so much and it was a much better feeling, so I was really thrilled.”

Jennifer Baumert and Handsome
Jennifer Baumert and Handsome

On her future plans with Handsome:
“Handsome will get some hacking and downtime. He is just like Valentine and has had a very busy show season and I couldn’t be happier with him. We are also aiming to qualify for Lima. I couldn’t be happier with him. He is going to be really happy to have some hacking time. He loves it and he deserves it. Big thanks to Betsy Juliano, Handsome’s owner, who could not be more supportive.”

Charlotte Jorst – United States team gold medalist

On riding for the team:
“It is a tremendous experience to be here in Wellington because I was weak in the knees when I saw my teammates go in! You are just more nervous for them than you would ever be for yourself and I think it is such a fantastic opportunity for us. Today when Shelly was riding, I was actually piaffing, and I always laugh at other people who are piaffing! I think the camaraderie between us is great and I have really enjoyed becoming friends and getting closer to everybody. I think that has been tremendous.”

Charlotte Jorst and Kastels Nintendo

On her horse:
“Nintendo, the ninja, he just goes and goes! He has had a great couple of days, but I also think that he needs to rest a little bit.”

On her test:
“The highlight for me was the learning experience from yesterday to today. For me, it is always getting great rides and becoming better at something. Yesterday I messed up my changes, so today I got better changes and my confidence back with it. I think it is tough when you show here for six weeks, you lose a little bit of something and it is surreal when you get it back. It is tremendous, so for me, that was the highlight.”

Shelly Francis – United States team gold medalist

On the test:
“I was really excited about Danilo at the small show so far because he is getting more consistent. Even though he still has these little odd moments of a tiny little spook or his mother had a brain issue, but otherwise, he feels awesome. He feels more honest and I feel like it was really a great show.”

Shelly Francis and Danilo

On the team:
“When I went off course I felt like ‘Oh my god, everyone is going to be mad! That is it, I just ruined the whole thing!’ but sometimes it happens. Anyway, it is really fun to do a team competition. It does take the pressure off of yourself and then you can really get excited for everybody else.”

Tina Irwin – Canada team silver medalist

On her season with Laurencio: 
“This season has been full of highs and lows for me. It started off back at small tour this year after doing Grand Prix last year to get my feet back wet. I got kicked and I thought I had broken my hand. Luckily, I had not, but I entered the show two weeks ago before the derby. I thought I couldn’t ride, so I gave my husband Jaimey the ride. He did amazing and won both technical classes, which is amazing because he hasn’t ridden the horse in months. I do actually think that helped me — with him coaching me, feeling what the horse was in the ring was an advantage to me. Luckily I was able to get back into shape fairly quickly and push through the pain a little, but I really can’t complain. I was super lucky to be ok. My horse is steady has a temperament for a 10. He’s so fun to ride. I feel lucky to have a horse like him.”

Tina Irwin and Laurencio
Tina Irwin and Laurencio

On her future plans:
“Right now the main focus is Pan Ams, so I think we will reassess after the Games. I will just have to see and discuss with my team and go from there to see what we are going to do. I have another Grand Prix horse in the wings, she is a bit on the backburner right now, but I will start to bring her out more this season.”

Patricia Koschel  – German team bronze medalist

On her experience:
“It is really a big honor to sit here with these amazing athletes and to be a part of this Nations Cup team. What we have here is a nice opportunity to include the small tour with the Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges. In Europe, we just have the Grand Prix level, so I think it is a really good idea to have this, because we saw amazing rides for the small tour also. Being a part of a Nations Cup team is something special. We have a really nice German community here. There were a lot of people cheering and it is not so easy for us against the Americans and Canadians that are really strong, but we did our best. Today I was really happy! A little bit over the moon and it is an honor for me to sit here.”

Patricia Koschel and Leuchtefeuer DE
Patricia Koschel and Leuchtefeuer DE

On riding in the small tour:
“It is good to mix it up and for me, it was an interesting two days because he started a little bit lazy yesterday. He has been my companion for the last 12 years and we went up from Prix St. Georges to Intermediate A and B, to the amateur tour [Grand Prix]. We have had a really great season in ring 1 [in the national ring]. Every Friday we are here for a Grand Prix, so when they asked me to go back and do the Prix St. Georges it was hard because I was a little bit arrogant! I thought  ‘Oh, I will do that for sure!’ After my day yesterday, we talked a little bit this morning and thought, ‘okay, we can do that a little bit better,’ and I think it was better today. I was really happy with him.”

Patricia Koschel and Leuchtefeuer DE
Patricia Koschel and Leuchtefeuer DE

On Christoph Koschel retiring from his ride:
“In the warm-up today he did not feel lame, but he did not feel very correct for two or three seconds, but then everything went well and he was good to go in the ring. I think everybody could see it, especially the ones that know the horse. The first extended trot was not normal, he was really not swinging and just running.  I think it is a little bit of a back issue. I don’t think it is anything serious, but it was the right decision to stop at this moment. We are here to take care of our horses and we do not want to ruin them just to finish another test. I am proud of Christoph that he had the feeling to stop it immediately and not go any further. The horses always come first.”

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