Story and photos by Callie Broaddus
It was a second Nations Cup for Great Meadow, a second win for Team USA, and a second individual Great Meadow International CICO*** victory for Jennie Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s Cambalda.
Thirty-two individual horse and rider combinations from four countries came to compete in the Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan®, held July 7 – 9, 2017. This event has the added designation as an FEI Nations Cup™, the only Nations Cup of eventing held in North America.
Hometown hero Lynn Symansky took home the red ribbon with a great ride on Donner. Symansky and Boyd Martin, who finished 10th on Steady Eddie, were alternates, but got the call-up to Team USA due to injuries forcing two other riders out.
The winning US Team was rounded out by Brannigan on Cambalda and Olympic Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton on I’m Sew Ready. “Boyd and Lynn are very experienced riders and I think everybody was mature about it and took it in their stride. We’re glad to have people like that come in,” said Dutton of the last-minute change for the team.
The second-place team was Team Great Britain, with Selena O’Hanlon on Foxwood High in 5th, Jessica Phoenix on Pavarotti in 6th, Waylon Roberts on Kelecyn Cognac in 8th and Lisa Marie Fergusson, who finished in 16th.
Third place team award went to Team Canada with Nicky Roncoroni on Watts Burn taking 4th, Emily Llewellyn on Emirati Night Sky taking 9th. Matthew Heath on One of a Kind and Justine Dutton on Jak My Style did not finish Sunday’s course.
Internationally trusted course designer Mike Etherington-Smith returned to Great Meadow to switch up his cross-country course, which received praise from riders for its level of technicality.
Nicky Roncoroni of Team Great Britain, who took home an individual 4th aboard Watts Burn, was a first-timer at Great Meadow. “I would like to say, with regards to the footing and the presentation of the course, that it is really up there. … It’s just exquisite course building, and huge credit to them and also to everybody that’s prepared the ground. … This is just absolutely spot on.”
Praise for the event organization and presentation was echoed down the news conference bench all weekend. “This is an incredible venue,” said Dutton. “You know, it’s got it all — a country atmosphere, a great arena, but then it’s got terrain for the cross-country … It’s an honor to be here and to ride here.” ML