By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department
Kalispell, Mont. – The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday at the United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) at Rebecca Farm. The Advanced division also served as the USEF Advanced Horse Trials National Championship, and Helen Alliston and Ebay earned the national champion title as well as the legendary Jack Le Goff Trophy.
Alliston and Ebay began the competition with a lovely dressage test on Wednesday, scoring 25.2 and leading the division after the first phase.
“He did a really nice test,” Alliston said of her 2009 Oldenburg gelding. “He’s pretty reliable on the flat. He is a good horse in that phase. He’s very focused, professional, and fancy.”
The pair expertly tackled Ian Stark’s cross-country track on Thursday with no jump penalties but moved down to second place on the leaderboard with 7.6 time penalties.
“He was phenomenal. He went real fast. Pretty much as fast as he could go. And he was great,” Alliston said of Ebay’s cross-country round. “I thought he went beautifully. He jumped well and was really straight, and I was able to go quickly but keep him confident.”
Alliston and Ebay clinched the win on Friday with a double-clear showing jumping round over Marc Donovan’s track to finish on a score of 32.8.
“He showed jumped beautifully,” Alliston said of the final phase with Ebay. “He’s a good show jumper. He’s really careful, but I’ve been a little rusty this year myself. I haven’t jumped a whole lot of clear rounds on him this year, so it was nice to do that.”
James Alliston, Helen’s husband, was right alongside Helen at the top of the leaderboard throughout the competition. In an impressive feat, James finished second, third, and fourth with Paper Jam, Nemesis, and RevitaVet Calaro, respectively. James and Paper Jam, Helen Alliston’s 2009 Hanoverian gelding, scored 30.9 in the dressage phase, added only 1.2 time penalties in the cross-country phase, and had a single rail in the show jumping phase to finish as the Reserve Champion with a final score of 36.1. James and Nemesis, Alliston Equestrian’s 2014 Canadian Warmblood gelding, were third with a final score of 37.5. With RevitaVet Calaro, James was fourth on a final score 43.7 aboard Alliston Equestrian’s 2012 Holsteiner gelding.