King’s Lynn, United Kingdom – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team finished on the podium at the conclusion of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Great Britain CCIO4*-S, competing the weekend of competition on a total team score of 117.9. The home team from Great Britain won the event on a final score of 114.0, while Sweden finished with the bronze on a final total of 122.0. The U.S. contingent led by Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law, saw top performances from Isabelle Bosley, Cornelia Dorr, Allie Knowles, and Caroline Martin over the three days of competition.
Knowles (Lexington, Ky.) and Ms. Poppins, in their first time competing abroad together, produced a lovely dressage test to earn a 29.6, keeping them in the hunt with the larger field. Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Islandwood Captain Jack were stellar throughout the weekend competition, receiving a 30.4 from the ground jury in their first phase and setting the team up nicely heading into the jumping phase of competition. Bosley (Cochranville, Pa.) and her mount Night Quality received a 39.3, while Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) and Daytona Beach 8 earned a 42.7, which served as the team’s drop score on the first day of competition.
The team produced several key rounds on the second day of competition, with Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline & Sherrie Martin, producing a clear round inside of the time, alongside teammates Knowles and Ms. Poppins, a 2011 Westphalian mare owned by Katherine O’Brien, and Dorr, and Daytona Beach 8, a 2010 Oldenburg mare owned by HCS Syndicate, who made quick work of the stadium course set by Sue Peasley (GBR). Bosley, and Night Quality, her own 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding, dropped just one rail in their stadium outing, with the team moving forward to the final phase of cross-country on a score of 102.7 and holding third place overnight.
Cross-country proved to be influential in the overall leaderboard. The U.S. combinations impressed around the Alec Lochore-designed track, which spanned 3810 meters and featured numerous technical questions over undulating terrain. Dorr and Daytona Beach 8 blazed around the track as the trailblazers for the team, navigating through the difficult questions and combinations with precision, crossing through the finish timers in 6:42 seconds with only .4 time-faults to add. Bosley and Night Quality had an unfortunate parting of ways at the water complex, which both were unharmed, which put the pressure on Martin and Knowles to finish strong for the team with no drop score.
Knowles and Ms. Poppins were careful and polished in their trip, opting to take some of the long routes to ensure a team finish. The pair crossed through the timers in 7:14 seconds, adding 13.2 in time, leaving Martin to secure the team’s overall standing on the leaderboard. The veterans of the young team, Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack showed the value of their longstanding partnership, producing a strong round for the team and finishing in 6:45 seconds, to add just 1.6 in time to the team’s overall score, securing the silver medal position for the team and finishing fifth overall in an extremely competitive CCIO4*-S division.
Knowles and Ms. Poppins finished in 14th overall, just ahead of teammates Dorr and Daytona Beach 8 who secured 15th.
The team will stay based in the UK for the next few weeks and will return to contest Bramham Horse Trials in West Yorkshire, UK, from June 9-12, 2022.