Rotterdam, The Netherlands – June 27, 2022 – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team had a successful week at CHIO Rotterdam, bringing home a second-place finish in the FEI Nations Cup – The Netherlands CDIO5*. The team consisted of Katie Duerrhammer and Paxton, Ben Ebeling and Illuster Van de Kampert, Ashley Holzer and Valentine, and Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF.

Ashley Holzer and Valentine. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Ashley Holzer and Valentine. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

The result came down to a tie with Sweden for second place; the U.S. team came out ahead thanks to their higher combined score in the Grand Prix to finish just behind the winning home team from The Netherlands.

The Nations Cup competition kicked off on Thursday with the Grand Prix. Ashley Holzer (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Valentine, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, led the U.S. team’s standings with a 72.957% and a third-place finish. The pair were rewarded by the judges for excellent lateral work and walk/passage transitions. Alice Tarjan (Oldwick, N.J.) and her own 9-year-old Hanoverian mare, Serenade MF, also finished in the top ten, earning a 71.239% from the judges. Katie Duerrhammer (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Kylee Lourie’s 11-year-old Westphalian gelding, Paxton, scored a 70.456% in their Grand Prix test and Ben Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) and Illuster Van de Kampert, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by ACR Enterprises, Inc., scored a 57.152%.

Tarjan and Serenade MF returned for Saturday’s Grand Prix Special where they turned in a solid test with exceptional extended trots that earned high marks from the judges. Their 71.191% put them in third place for the Special. This was the first overseas outing and first competition at the 5* level for Serenade MF, who was bred in the U.S. by North Carolina-based breeder Maryanna Haymon.

Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Holzer and Valentine performed their Grand Prix Freestyle test to contemporary music by Camila Cabello and Simply Three. Their performance earned a 76.420% and fifth place in the Freestyle, helping to secure the team’s spot on the podium.

“I couldn’t be happier with our team placing and am proud of our riders, two of whom rode in their first European competitions just last year,” said Chef d’Equipe George Williams. “I couldn’t have asked for more, and it bodes well for the future considering that our team in Rotterdam was made up of some younger horses, all of which are really just starting their grand prix careers.”

In addition to her role in the team’s success with Paxton, Duerrhammer and Quartett, Kylee Lourie’s 14-year-old Brandenburg gelding, won the CHIO Rotterdam Prize on Wednesday ahead of the start of the Nations Cup, scoring a 72.087% in the Grand Prix test. This was the pair’s first win at a European competition.

Duerrhammer and Ebeling will join Charlotte Jorst and Steffen Peters this week for the FEI Dressage Nations Cup – Germany CDIO5* at CHIO Aachen, which begins on Thursday, June 30.

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