First Divisions Take to the Cross-Country Course at The Colorado Horse Park for USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds®

Aug 31, 2018 - 11:09 PM
Due to Inclement Weather, Advanced, Intermediate, and Remaining Preliminary Divisions Are Set to Run Cross-Country on Saturday, September 1, Beginning at 8:00 a.m. MST 


For Immediate Release

Parker, CO – August 31, 2018 – The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena® Feeds continued with the second day of competition at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), featuring both dressage and cross-country competition throughout the day.

Entries from across the United States will compete in Dressage, Cross-Country, and Show Jumping- contending for the top titles in their respected divisions over the course of four days. The event will highlight the Beginner Novice through Advanced divisions and continue through Sunday, September 2.

Due to inclement weather, tomorrow’s competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. MST. Click here to view the updated schedule.Click here, to view daily ride times and find live results for the AEC.

Preliminary Horse
California’s Tamra Smith and Judith McSwain’s 2012 Irish Sport Horse/ Belgian Warmblood mare, Fleeceworks Ghost (Dhannondale Sarco x Riverlon Mist) dominated the Preliminary Horse division, jumping double clear to continue on into the final phase of competition on their dressage score of 29.0.

“I wasn’t sure how the time was going to run,” commented Smith. “We metered it and it was pretty right on, so I figured that the time wouldn’t be super hard to make, but it actually was hard to make, and the course rode a lot more tough than I had anticipated. That mare is pretty experienced and she had her eyes open. I had to ride. All the questions were fair. I thought it presented itself very well. It’s a Championship. It should be at the top of the level. I thought Tremaine [Cooper] did a great job with the design. It was very much a Championship course.”

Tamra Smith and Fleeceworks Ghost
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

Of her plan for the final phase on the “workman” like mount, Smith explained: “She’s a good jumper, I’m really happy to be on her going into day three. I mean, she can occasionally have a rail. She tries really hard and she’s a good jumper, so I’m hoping that it works out great.”

Second place in the division is currently held by Gina Economou, also of California, and Lauren Rath’s 2005 Thoroughbred gelding Syntax (Devil His Due x Synful Maid), who are riding into the Jumping phase on a score of 30.4. Smith also rounds out the top three on the MB Group LLC’s MB Mai Blume, a 2010 German Sport-Horse/Thoroughbred mare (Sir Schiwago x Free Lady), jumping double clear around the track to continue forward on a dressage score of 31.9.

Junior/ Young Rider Preliminary
The Junior/ Young Rider Preliminary division saw a new combination rise to the top of the leaderboard as Madelyn Floyd and her own Clementine, a 2009 Hanoverian mare (Carrico x La Belle), took over the lead after the second phase of competition and head into the final phase tomorrow on a score of 29.5 after Cross-Country.

Madelyn Floyd and Clementine
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

“The course rode great,” said Floyd, “My mare was super good and I was really happy with the overall performance. This is our first year doing the full Preliminary level, so I have been really proud of her. She was bold and confident to everything and just gave me a nice overall feel. I just came off of the Intermediate at Woodside which gave me some preparation. It was a bit big but it was a competitive track and I enjoyed it. She and I both love Cross-Country!”

The fifteen-year-old Washington native has never competed at the AEC before and was excited to have it closer to home this year. “I’ve never been here to CHP before,” Floyd explained, “and this is my first AEC. It was really exciting for me because I couldn’t have made it to the East Coast with school and stuff, so I was very happy to find out it was coming to the Midwest.”

The division will conclude with Show Jumping tomorrow and Floyd will look to keep her grasp on the lead ahead of Camryn Holcomb of KS, and Michaela Holcomb’s Cloud Nine, a 2005 Thoroughbred gelding, who are currently in second-place with a 32.7 and Callia Englund of WA, and her own Xyder, a 2010 Cheval Canadien gelding (D D D-Cromwell Prince 2 I x Cosyland Start Kandi), sit in third place on a 42.3.
Preliminary Amateur
Erin Hofmann of UT, and Darkwatch, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Royal Academy x Without), climbed to the top of the Preliminary Amateur division, mastering the track and maintaining their Dressage score of 32.4 to hold top honors leading into Show Jumping tomorrow.”Our Cross-Country run today was really good,” exclaimed Hofmann, “I was a little nervous at the beginning, but my horse is really bold and likes a good galloping course so it was a good fit for him. It was a lot of fun, and it rode really well.”

Erin Hofmann and Darkwatch
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

Hofmann, who is originally from the Midwest, has competed in every designated Area across the United States. Despite that fact, this is her first time competing at the AEC. She continued, “I was at the very first AEC as a volunteer, but this is my first AEC as a competitor. It’s so nice to be here, and to have this in our home court is a dream. We love coming here, it’s a great facility and a great event.”

Arkansas native Julia Spatt piloted her own 5o1 Macintosh, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding to second in the standings, collecting an additional 0.8 time penalties for a score of 35.1. Darlene McInnes of CO, and her own Speed Bump, a 2010 Thoroughbred gelding (Pomeroy x Everdream) secured third place after crossing through the finish to sit on a 35.5.

Training Horse
The Training Horse division saw Lizzy Jahnke of WI, and Lightspeed Equestrian LLC’s 2012 Irish Sport Horse mare (Royal Storm x Rahard Sally), Patrickswell Royal, move up from fourth to first place after Friday’s Cross-Country run. The pair finished with a total score of 33.6.

“She’s six this year and she’s for sale,” noted Jahnke. “We imported her last year with the idea of a re-sale. We got her out of Ireland and she’s been with me for about a year and a half now. I click well with her. She’s lovely, super sweet and a really nice horse.”

Lizzy Jahnke and Patrickswell Royal
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

Of the day’s track, Jahnke stated, “I thought it was a really nice course. Definitely the biggest course this mare has ever jumped. She’s super young. It was a challenge, but fair. It was beautifully decorated and they made really good use of the terrain. I thought everything rode really well.”

McKenzie Rollins of CA, moved into second place with Excel Star Lord, a 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Non-Stop x Korea B), with a 34.9. Third place is currently being held by Marc Grandia of WA, aboard Michelle Jones’ Command N’ Rule, a 1999 Thoroughbred gelding, on a score of 35.5 penalties.

Training Amateur
Colorado native Linda Quist and her 2004 Iberian Warmblood mare, Belle Gambe (Temerario VII x Mojave), maintained their lead in the Training Amateur division after a solid day of competition. The pair added no time penalties or faults to their score of 27.3.”I thought it was a very fun course,” said Quist, “and my horse was a rockstar. It just flowed really nicely, one thing came to you after the next. The big jumps were big, but nothing too hard to handle!”

Linda Quist and Belle Gambe
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

As for tomorrow, Quist is prepared to go for the win with the hope of capturing top titles in the division. She explained, “Going into tomorrow, I’m just going to try really hard to leave all of the rails up. She likes jumping, but she wants to go like it’s Cross-Country, so it’s our tough spot.”

The second and third-place positions saw a change as Cherye Huber of TX, and her own Sam I Am, a 2006 British Sport Horse gelding (Cameo’s Reflection x Castle War Rebel), moved up from fifth to secure second-place moving into tomorrow’s Show Jumping competition with 30.2 penalties. Dawn Robbins of CA, and her own Diablo Tejano, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding (Sandpit x Soar Like An Eagle) also jumped up the leaderboard from ninth place, and now move into their final phase on a 31.1.

Training Rider
California native Tracy Alvez and her own 1998 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contango x Divottii), Romulus, overtook the lead in the Training Rider division after dashing around the Cross-Country track. Looking to secure top honors in the division after the completion of the final phase tomorrow, the pair will move forward on a score of 26.8.Alvez has been riding the gelding for four years now, and commented, “We’ve only had one solid year of showing because we had two years of quarter cracks and other things that we were dealing with. This is our first year back, but it’s also his retirement year, so today was our final competitive Cross-Country together. I’d like him to dabble in some Dressage moving forward, but I won’t be doing the Cross-Country with him because I’ve just found that the conditioning for it can take a toll on him.”

Tracy Alvez and Romulus
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

She continued, “People tend to think that his strongest phase is the flat because he has a good education, but his favorite phase is Cross-Country. Yesterday he was really quiet in the warm-up, and I thought, ‘Oh man, he’s behind my leg and I’m in trouble!’ when we got in the ring and started going around, he got way more excited. He turns into quite a showman.”

Rebecca Mortensen of WY, and her own Seattle Freckles, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding, are currently placed within striking distance on a 28.8, while Jessica Maranto of Colorado, and Czardus, a 2007 American Warmblood gelding (Sweet’s Lucky Moondancer x Cadence), secured third place with a 32.8.
Junior Training
Washington’s Eva Jacroux held her lead aboard her 2006 Zweibrucker gelding (Radikal x When the Worlds Unite), Rubel, in the Junior Training division after cruising around Cross-Country to remain on their score of 31.4. Rue was really good today,” Jacroux commented. “We were a little sticky in warm up, but as soon as we got out there it was fun! Today I really went out with the goal to not pick up any time faults, so I worked on going a little more forward than I normally do. He was good and seemed to like being pushed a bit more. All of the jumps seemed friendly, but there were some tricky questions in there, which is what this is all about.”

Eva Jacroux and Rubel
©USEA/Leslie Mintz

With potential to hold the lead through tomorrow’s final phase of competition, Jacroux noted her plan for Show Jumping. “It’s always been the toughest phase for us, so tomorrow I want to make sure that I do my job to the best of my ability, so that he can try his hardest for me too. Hopefully it’ll work out!”

Rosie Smith of UT, and her own Seamus, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Corrcullen, RID slid into second on their Dressage score of 33.8, while Texan Sunny Courtwright and Around Midnight, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse mare sit in third on a score of 34.3.

Junior Novice 
Julia Brittain and her 2012 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Haiku by Sir Donnerhall, lead the 19-horse Junior Novice division on a 29.2. “I got him almost two years ago,” stated Brittain, “I introduced him to Eventing, so it’s a big deal to be here. We switched barns a year ago and my partnership with him hasn’t been as smooth as I would have liked, but we’re definitely on an upward trajectory at this point.”

Julia Brittain and Haiku
©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography/Bianca McCarty

Going into tomorrow’s Cross-Country phase, Brittain explained her goals. She said, “Not take any of the jumps for granted. Cross-Country and Dressage are probably our strongest phases. I just need to ride him forward and strong and straight, especially to the combinations.”

Just 0.4 points behind Brittain and Haiku with a score of 29.6 are Miriam Copeland of TX, and her own D’Stinctive, a 2007 Friesian gelding (Diederik x Rippin And Snortin). Blake Foley of TX, and Ellen Doughty-Hume’s 2007 Thoroughbred gelding, Judicial Review, round out the top three behind Brittain and Copeland on 31.8 penalties.

Novice Amateur
Frequent CHP competitor Erin Contino of CO, and her 2012 Thoroughbred gelding Handsome Ransom (Desert Warrior x St. Casmir’s Secret), swept the Novice Amateur division after their Dressage phase with a score of 25.8. “Yesterday in my warm up ride he was obedient, but tight and definitely a little distracted,” said Contino.”He was just a bit more reactive than I wanted him. But today when I got on him, I felt him take a deep breath. I rode a little ahead of my scheduled time, the horse in front of me must have scratched. I debated waiting for my time because he was still a little bit up, but I decided to use that to my advantage to keep him a bit brighter and to come up with a bigger test than I normally do. It could have backfired, but it didn’t.”This AEC is Contino’s first, and she said she was thrilled to hear about the Championships coming to Colorado. “It’s nice that it’s here. We’re really excited. We figured we had better take advantage of that!”

Erin Contino and Handsome Ransom
©USEA/Jessica Duffy
Second-place in the division went to Michelle Meghrouni of CA, and Swizzle, a 2011 Holsteiner mare (Blauer Vogel x Swiss Detail), on a score of 27.0, with Lorilee Hanson of WA, and her own 2011 Warmblood/Thoroughbred gelding Hypnotik, (Montego Bay x Trelawny), close behind in third on a 27.5.
Beginner Novice Amateur 
Cami Pease of the District of Columbia, scored a 24.5 to lead the Beginner Novice Amateur division aboard her own 2000 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Orlando x Fatima Van De Heffenk), Vibrant. The pair have been working to improve their Dressage, and the hard-worked payed-off, as they went in and laid out a well-executed pattern.

Cami Pease and Vibrant
©USEA/Jessica Duffy

“We have been working really hard on Dressage,” Pease explained. “I want to do the Dressage Regionals this year. I just wanted to go in and be positive. He felt really good. I was a little bit surprised by the score. There were a couple of moments that I thought could have been improved, but that’s always true. He was great. Last year at the AEC he was kind of spooky in the ring, Tryon is a big atmosphere. It was nice that CHP let us get the horses acclimated and get in the rings. He was great, focused and happy.”

After walking the course, Pease said she is looking forward to running Cross-Country tomorrow. “It looks great! It looks really fun.” She concluded, “I love that it’s galloping and there are open fields with plenty of space to get into a rhythm. The fences look incredible. It looks like a lot of fun. It’s an incredible backdrop, the sky is huge out here! You can see for miles.”

Texan Sherry Pound and Gestalt, her 2012 Mecklenburg gelding (Gloriosus x Celine), sit in second-place on a score of 27.4, and the third-place pair, Meagan Counts of TX, aboard her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding Aviator, are just behind on 27.5 penalties.

Beginner Novice Horse
The Beginner Novice Horse division went to Alexa Ehlers of KY, and her own 2006 Hanoverian gelding (Rascalino x Hauptstutbuch Wincenta 2), Clear Laveer, who are leading the field on a 27.4. “Our test today was good,” said Ehlers. “I’m pleased with him. He was really obedient, which was good. With that said he was also pretty fresh. Yesterday we schooled and that went great. He’s just a really happy dude. The whole point of me Eventing him is just for him to learn to enjoy working. I got him for that reason. Today he just seemed really happy, and I’m happy for that reason. He was really steady and did everything I asked of him. He threw in a little porpoise-like move, having way too much fun with himself. I’m just happy that he was having fun the whole time. He’s super rideable.”

Alexa Ehlers and Clear Laveer ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography/ Bianca McCarty

After traveling over 20 hours to compete at this year’s AEC, Ehlers hopes to continue her weekend with a strong grip on the first-place position, but her main goal is to continue to have fun. “My plan will be to go out there and get it done, but, I’m merely here to have fun. I just want my horse to have a really good time. I’m going to be the ridiculous person, patting him. Doing all of the things that I don’t do with the other horses. But I want him to go out and have a good time and be confident and come home confident. That’s the whole point.”

In second place are Taylor Lindsten of AZ, and Claudia Channing’s Chestnut Oak’s Drummer Boy, a 2007 Shire gelding (Clononeen Romantic Traveler x Steege’s Beth), on a score of 28.1. A point-and-a-half behind them in third-place are Sophie Mueller of CO, and Dawn Holmes 24Karat Magic, a 2011 Australian Stock Horse gelding by Icewood’s Cadabra, with a score of 29.6.

Click here to view Ride Times and Live Results!

Click here to watch Live Streaming of the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena® Feeds.

For more information on the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena® Feeds, please visit and to learn more about The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), please visit

Photo Credit ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography and ©USEA. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.

About the AEC
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena® Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, this event draws together the best competitors from across the country vying for national titles from the Beginner Novice through the Advanced level. This year’s AEC is being held at The Colorado Horse Park in Parker, CO, August 30-September 2, 2018.

Social Bar

Join Mailing List

Shopping Cart

Like Box

Chronicle Headlines

Most Popular

Like Box

Rider Spotlight

Charity Spotlight

Horse Spotlight

Like Box

Trainer Spotlight

Like Box