Boekelo, The Netherlands- The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team stands eighth in FEI Nations Cup competition as they head into Saturday's cross country at the Military Boekelo CCIO3*. The final two members of the Nations Cup team, Jennie Brannigan and Jon Holling, performed their dressage today in front of the Ground Jury of Sue Stewart, Eric Lieby, and Helen Christie.
All riders on Friday had to contend with heavy rain throughout the day but the weather didn't deter Holling (Ocala, FL) from producing a solid test with Constance Ann Holling's Downtown Harrison. Holling and his winning partner from the 2012 Volvo Bromont CCI3* Three Day Event scored 49.6 for their effort.
"I was really happy with him. To be honest it was his best test in terms of the quality of the work. He scored better at Bromont but the quality here was better; much more uphill."
The eight-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred gelding currently lays 41st in the high class field.
Holling will again be the final rider for the U.S. on the cross country and will be looking for feedback from U.S. veteran team rider Phillip Dutton, who currently stands tied for 72nd on a score of 54.8 with Tom Tierney's Atlas. He will also be keeping close tabs on how the notoriously narrow galloping lanes hold up throughout the day.
"Phillip is the first out and is by far the most experienced, so we are counting on him to tell us if it's riding like we planned. The footing will be a big question; we got a lot of rain today," said Holling. "I'm going to watch Phillip in the morning and then keep an eye on how the ground is."
Brannigan (West Grove, PA) and Nina Gardner's Cambalda scored 52.4 Friday morning to slot into 60th place following the first phase. She and the 10-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding will look to showcase the cross country form that helped them to win the CCI3* at the 2010 Galway Downs International Three Event.
Clark Montgomery (Kennett Square, PA) continues to lead the U.S. charge with his Nations Cup horse, Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft's Loughan Glen, who will start the cross country in 25th place standing on a score of 46.2. Montgomery rode his second horse, wife Jessica's Universe, Friday afternoon scoring 49.4 laying one place ahead Holling in 40th.
Germany leads both the Team and Individual standings, in the Nations Cup they set-off on the cross country on a combined total of 124.6. Thursday's dressage winner Michael Jung and Halunke FBW maintained their lead with a score of 32.
Dutton will be the first U.S. team member on the cross country at 9:34am local time.
All four U.S. team members are competing at Boekelo as part of the Land Rover Competition and Training Grants program.
For live scoring and results visit; http://janssen.sportcg.net/2012/boekelo/leaderboard01.html
For more information about the Boekelo CCIO3* visit; http://www.military-boekelo.nl/
Follow the 2012 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.