Reflections on Nations Cup and The Plan for Rio

This weekend’s mandatory outing and Nation’s Cup at Great Meadow International was a solid success for Team USA, taking home the win over Canada and Great Britain.  Our reserve horses selected for the Nation’s Cup Team all ran quite well, and Clark Montgomery’s and Loughan Glen’s win proved why they were chosen as a member for the Olympic team.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with Welcome Shadow’s consistent performance.  This mare has risen to the occasion from being imported as a fox hunter for Gloria Callen to rising through the ranks of the upper level of the sport.  I was also very happy with Red’s dressage and stadium, feeling that our dressage test was one of our best to date, and jumping around the stadium course with ease.


Welcome Shadow, Photo Credit Cindy Lawler

WS was a thrill riding on the Nation’s Cup team and a personal best perf and very close to a podium finish.  Very pleased with how she came out of the event after the final USEF vetting.

With Red I was also thrilled with his Dressage and Show Jumping, and I felt like it was his best performance to date.  The plan for cross country was just to coast around and not to press him up too much at this event.  In hindsight I took his cross country talent for granted a bit too much and assumed this course wouldn’t have been as tough as some of the other courses he’s cruised around to date.

Horses have amazing way  of putting us back in our place.  A third of the way around I was faced with the double corners in the arena and I rode too openly to the fences and didn’t give him a change to read the approach.  At the last moment he felt confused and I should have ridden more properly.  Not exactly what I planned with his last round before Rio but I’m so glad the ‘chink in his armor’ showed up this weekend while I have plenty of time to work on those questions at home and at training camp.

Looks like he’s come out of the event well.  Everyone can be assured Red and I will be doing plenty of cross country schooling over next couple of weeks.

At the moment it looks like Phillip and I will have 2 more weeks in Pa for a couple more gallops and jump schools before heading to Ocala for training camp and then on to Rio.

Nation's Cup Team USA Gold, Photo Credit USEA

Nation’s Cup Team USA Gold, Photo Credit USEA

I’m very proud that I helped win the Team Gold for the USA with Gloria Callen’s Welcome Shadow and it was a great experience for the Olympic Team to have a practice run together as a unit before the Olympics.  All the horses competing at Great Meadow are in great form and we all have our homework assignments in order to polish up on some bits & pieces before we ship out.

Many thanks to the event organizers, my owners, sponsors, coaches and the entire team at Windurra who have worked so hard to get us ready for the Nation’s Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio………………It’s show time!

We also send our appreciation to Cindy Lawler for the photos throughout the weekend of both horses.  To see more pics from the entire weekend please click on the links below.

Blackfoot Mystery

Welcome Shadow

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