Watch the throne, EN: The first batch of 2017 American Eventing Championship crowns have been distributed! Friday saw the coronation of most Prelim and Training divisions, with Beginner Novice, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced divisions continuing on today. Once again we have the hardworking USEA/TIEC press team to thank for chasing down the winners and leaders of each #AEC17 division at day’s end yesterday to collect ride reflections and thoughts going forward.
Boehringer Ingelheim Open Intermediate
Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle are tied for first place with Molly Kinnamon and The Diesel Boy in the Boehringer Ingelheim Open Intermediate division on a score of 27.9. Leslie Law piloted his own Call The Law, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding to third place on a score of 28.2
Brannigan, speaking about her test aboard the 7-year-old German Sport Horse (Leo von Faelz x Berina A) owned by Tim and Nina Gardner, Brannigan said, “He was good. He’s young, only seven so, we recently moved up to Intermediate and this is his fourth one. Our partnership is definitely growing in itself, but he’s also still very new to this level. I think the strength and the canter work is still a little bit hard for him, but at the trot he’s just so natural. He’s a beautiful horse.”
The pair put in a lovely test to tie an equally beautiful test performed by Molly Kinnamon and The Diesel Boy, a 9-year-old American Warmblood (Lyracist x Fleur) owned by Kinnamon, which Brannigan noted would not have been possible without the help of her dedicated team.
“I owe a ton to my girls Steph Cauffman and Alexa Lapp who have been riding Ping and this horse this past week while I was in in Ireland,” she elaborated. “I was thrilled with how he went today and that’s a testament to them. He just keeps getting better. I had a mistake in the canter work and I was previously having multiple mistakes there, so I’m happy that he’s been improving. I was thrilled that it scored so well and I saw Molly’s test and thought it was awesome, so I was maybe even a little bit surprised. I know the future is bright for him.”
Kinnamon has been partnered with The Diesel Boy for most of his career and she is thrilled to be sitting atop the leaderboard in an intense Intermediate division. The Diesel Boy was nervous with the oncoming storm approaching, but held his composure for the lay down one of the best tests of the week.
“I was extremely pleased with our ride today. He doesn’t really like storms, and he could tell that it was getting stormy, so at the beginning of our warm-up we couldn’t even go by someone without him jumping in the air. It’s pretty cool that he got in the arena and was very professional. When we left the arena we were back to jumping up in the air! He kept it together when he knew he had to and that’s pretty exciting.”
As for tomorrow, Kinnamon will look to give The Diesel Boy a strong run in attempt to maintain their quest for the lead heading into the divisions final day of competition, which will be on Sunday.
“For cross-country, to be honest, I have a pretty long-term partnership with this horse now, so I know what I need to do. It’s sort of a matter of getting it done, and if I give him a good ride he’s always there for me, so I have to make sure I’m very positive into all the combinations. He goes a little bit like a smaller pony, so I have to make sure I jump in with enough scope to get him across the distances. That I know I’ve got to do.”
Yesterday’s cross-country was very influential in the Preliminary Amateur division, which gave Cindy Buchanan the opportunity to climb up the leaderboard into first. Once Buchanan had the lead, she wasn’t letting go of it and a double clear show jumping round secured her the win. Riding her homebred, Flying Candles, an 11-year-old ¼ Clydesdale and ¾ Thoroughbred mare (Icognito x Flying Pidgeon), Buchanan finished on her dressage score of 35.1.
“She was a little tired today,” said Buchanan. “We went fast yesterday. She jumped really well, and I was very pleased with her. She was a little flatter than usual, but she was keen enough to complete it.”
“Candles” won four of her last five events (she finished second at the fifth), so Buchanan decided this would be a great year to bring her to the AEC and then she turned it into a family affair with her two daughters competing as well. “I had never been to AEC before,” continued Buchanan. “My whole family is here and this is the first time for all of us. We figured this was the time to go. We are here until the end of this competition, and then we are going to drive home and make it to the opening fox hunting meet on Monday, because I’m a field master [for Chesire Hunt] and have to be there.”
Buchanan paid ode to her great partner who is by the same stallion as Colleen Rutledge’s four-star partner, Covert Rights. “[Candles] has the greatest personality ever. I fox hunt her; I ride side-saddle on her; she goes in hunter horse shows at Devon; she’s just an all-around great mare and I love her.”
Like Buchanan, Kathy Cain, had moved up in the standings following cross-country and maintained her overnight placing with a double clear round aboard her own Legal Limit, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Secret Prince x Cheese Blintze).
“I was thrilled with my horse,” said Cain. “He was wonderful. He’s used to jumps on grass so this [show jumping] was a little bit different for him, but he had lots of energy and the warm-up went well, and we went in there and he was amazing. I couldn’t be happier with him.”
“The week was fantastic,” continued Cain. “It was so nice to come out to such a beautiful facility, and it’s wonderful that you’re riding in the same facility that the WEG is going to be held in, and get to ride around on a similar track on the golf course side. My horse was wonderful in all three phases. I was a little slow on cross-country, but it was a great weekend.”
Leah Snowden and her own Ivy League, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Seattle Syn x Don’t Even) started out the competition in 12th and made an impressive climb throughout the weekend to end up in third place in the Preliminary Amateur, adding nothing to her dressage score of 37.3.
“I had a fabulous weekend,” said Snowden. “I had never ridden a course like this before, but I live in Kentucky, so I get to ride at the Kentucky Horse Park all of the time. The course rode so much better than expected.
“My trainer rode before me and came back and said that we needed to stud up a little more so we did,” continued Snowden. “And we went out and my horse really galloped; we had a ball. I had a good time. The place is beautiful.”
Four months ago Coti Hausman was lying in the ICU in a hospital with a grade 5 liver laceration caused by a horse kick. Today she was crowned the champion of the Preliminary Rider division.
“I remember one of the first things I thought [after I was kicked] was, ‘I can’t do AEC this year!’ because I had already qualified,” said Hausman. “The second day, the doctor came in and told me that I wouldn’t be able to ride for two and a half months and I started crying.”
Bobby Meyerhoff kept Quantico, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quite Easy I x Little Black) in work and Hausman rook back the reins in early July. Hausman worked towards her goal of competing in the AEC and her determination paid off.
“He’s just so awesome,” continued Hausman. “Whenever I’m not completely right he says ‘it’s okay little lady, I got this!’ Otherwise he felt good, I wasn’t as anxious as I thought I would be. Usually I get very nervous, and I was quite calm in warm-up, I was very workman like and didn’t freak out mentally. That definitely played a role going into the ring. Last year riding in that ring was a lot, and I kind of lost my nerve but this year I held it together which definitely helped him get around clean.”
Caitlin Silliman rode two horses in the division and they swapped positions after show jumping with Q-brook Stables LLC’s Monbeg Myth moving above stable mate, Ally KGO. A 6-year-old Trakehner mare, Ally KGO (Hirtentanz x Anabel Lee), had one rail down to maintain her third place finish. Monbeg Myth, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Capitalist x Piltown Precious) made a steady climb throughout the weekend to finish from seventh to second to finish on his dressage score of 34.0.
“They were great,” said Silliman. “They’re both awesome. [Monbeg Myth] is a little more experienced, and so it was great to go out with him first, especially yesterday, and kind of feel out the course. He’s really fast – he’s like a little pocket rocket, so it was great to have him around before Ally.”
“The show jumping courses rode great. It’s awesome to get young horses in the atmosphere of a big stadium today, and have them perform well, to keep that in mind for future big events. I’m going to Plantation [Field International] with both of them in two weeks, and this was a really good tune-up for them because there won’t be as much atmosphere there. They’ll really be on their toes because of this experience.”
As for yesterday’s cross-country course, it was a good experience for Silliman. “This is definitely a different style of cross-country riding than I’m used to in Pennsylvania. You have to think fast, ride fast, be quick on your feet and make quick turns, have the horses focused, so it was fun and definitely educational for me.”
Junior/Young Rider Preliminary
Katherine Knowles didn’t have a rail in hand heading into show jumping in the Junior/Young Rider Preliminary division, however it wasn’t Knowles who felt the pressure, but rather Caroline Martin. “[Caroline] gets very competitive, which is pretty funny. She was more nervous this morning than I was! It’s really great having her support,” Knowles said of Martin, who she worked for during her gap year between high school and college. “[Working for her] really got me into it. I had been eventing, but not that seriously. I saw what it could be and that got me hooked on it even more.”
Knowles rode her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Cillnabradden Ceonna (Creevagh Grey Rebel x Willow Garden) who she found in Ireland while grooming for Martin a few years back.
“I thought she was great today,” said Knowles. “I didn’t ride the best round, but Ceonna was perfect. She’s a good jumper, so as long as I don’t mess up too badly I’m usually all right,” she said. “She helped me out there. This was definitely the biggest atmosphere I’ve ever ridden in. The course rode beautifully.”
Throughout the competition, Knowles added just 0.8 time penalties to finish on a 28.2 – one point over second-placed Ali Scannell and her own Faolan, a 13-year-old Irish Draught Sport Horse gelding.
“I thought the course rode well, and yesterday I didn’t mess up which was nice,” Scannell said. “He was calm. He tends to get a little up and excited in this atmosphere and usually that creates more nervous energy and less constructive energy. We’ve had some down time while I was away at college, so we’ve just been working on getting better over the last couple of months.”
Rounding out the division was Abby Dubrawski and Cobble Creek, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Storm Creek x Dance Moccasin) owned by Beth Dubrawski. “I thought it was a great course, my horse was really great. We had a relaxing dressage test, cross-country also went nicely. I thought the course rode well.”
Professional’s Choice Training Rider
Jordan Good led from start to finish this week in the Professional’s Choice Training Rider division aboard Danito, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik) owned by Ruth Bley, concluding their three-phases of competition on their dressage score of 28.0. Erin Liedle and her own Fernhill Boodle, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding finished in second on their original dressage score of 30.7, while Brynn Littlehale and her own Lagerfeld, a 6-year-old German Sport Horse (Last Man Standing x Bonja), completed their show jumping phase on their first phase score of 30.9.
Good spoke of her round today aboard Danito saying, “My horse was listening really well today. Usually I have to ride with a lot of half-halts because he’s really forward, but he was really good and came back really well. He just stayed super consistent.”
Danito is a bit of a different ride for Good, who only took the reins a year ago. The gelding is flashy and talented, but was also an adjustment due to his laid-back nature. “I’ve always had sort of hotter Thoroughbreds, but he’s super talented and I can actually go do a dressage test and ride it. He’s super brave, so it’s been really good. We are going to continue on and see how far he goes. I think he has all of the talent in the world.”
Liedle jumped up the leaderboard following cross-country and was proud of the show jumping round the pair produced to secure second place. “My horse is fantastic. My other horse in the Preliminary division has been my main focus this year, so he’s hasn’t been out since March and he really stepped up to the plate. I was very proud of him. He was great.”
Littlehale traveled all of the way from California to compete at this year’s championship event and was thrilled with the performance of Lagerfeld. She stated, “Charlie was really great today. He’s pretty young, so I thought he would be a little spooky, but he went in there, and was super laid back. He put in a really great round.”
“It was well worth the drive. They really make it feel like a special occasion. It’s fun for all of the horses and it’s fun seeing all of my friends from California again, so it’s been great.”
Professional’s Choice Training Amateur
The Professional’s Choice Training Amateur division concluded with Brittany Hebets moving up from second place to finish on top, aboard LeighAnn Hazel-Groux’s MTF Bugatti, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wisconchin x Jessica) after clear rounds in both cross-country and show jumping phases of competition.
Hebets, who has been a working student under Skyeler Icke Voss for three years, says that her first AECs experience is a dream come true. “Today’s ride felt so good-he can be kind of a spooky horse sometimes so it was nice to go out and feel his confidence and it gave me confidence to go and ride each fence that came. I was thrilled.”
Ruth Bley and her own Frankfurt, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Edition x Charen) took second place, also posting clear cross-country and show jumping phases after earning sixth place in the dressage phase. She said she loves competing at Tryon and is pleased with Frankfurt’s performance, especially in the show jumping.
“He’s a little bit green, so it was a challenge to get him through cross-country, but he’s such a good jumper. He’s so balanced and he’s just been wonderful about that,” she commented. “We didn’t get to do as much eventing as we wanted to this year. I broke my arm and separated my shoulder, and then I broke my leg and I had to re-qualify to get here. We’re happy just to be here and to get it done,” she concluded.
Sandra Holden and her own Cano Cristales, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Conteur x Hauptstupbuch konny), took third after posting a four-fault run in show jumping-a ride she’s proud of.
“I was happy with my ride today because I actually made it through the course. I spent this entire year preparing mentally, to conquer my issues with show jumping,” she explained. “It’s my weakest of the three and he’s so sensitive that if I don’t soften my mind, he reacts. I’m so happy that I made it through-that was the biggest accomplishment for me.”
Professional’s Choice Junior Training
Madeline Hartsock led from start to finish aboard her own Prinz S.W., an 8-year-old German Sport Horse Pony (PR H. Principal Boy x St. Pr. St. Hauptstutbuch Bienchen) in the Professional’s Choice Junior Training division, as the pair finished their competition on a score of 25.0 to secure the top title. Isabella Gunningham and her own Leroy, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Lucio Silla x Hetty) earned second place on a score of 26.8, while Claire Howard and her own Fernhill Euro Star, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding by Qredo van de Kampenhoeve out of Panama, captured third place with a total score of 28.7.
“I’m feeling really excited right now. I had two lessons before I came down here, and then I rode with Sharon White on cross-country when we stopped in Virginia, which I think really helped,” explained Hartsock. “When we got here I did a flat ride, and then I went right into competition and he felt really good.”
Hartsock has enjoyed every moment competing Prinz, who she purchased two years ago from Germany. She explained, “We imported Prinz two years ago, and brought him to Florida because that’s where I was riding at the time. We started competing down there. He’s really great to handle and is quite the personality.”
Gunningham, who drove all of the way from Washington state to test her skills at the event this year, was thrilled with her finish aboard Leroy and commented on the progress the pair made this week, as well as how her horses handled the travel.
“I’m really happy and excited to be here. We came down from a very long drive from Washington. Because of that, my horses were fairly tired after the trek, but I thought they were fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for us.”
Howard, a Georgia native, expressed her excitement and love for Fernhill Euro Star, who she feels has changed her riding career and goals in the best of ways.
“I came in and he was great on the flat, the cross-country he was solid, really focused and the show jumping was probably one of the best rounds we’ve had so far. It was really good. He’s my dream horse. We have a great bond and he trusts me. That’s more than anything you can ask of a horse!”
Professional’s Choice Training Horse
Chris Talley and Aura CF, a 6-year-old Oldenburg mare (Belissimo x Aussprache) have been a force in the Professional’s Choice Training Horse division as the duo finished the week on their original dressage score of 24.1, completing a strong competition in all three phases.
Courtney Cooper and Caia Z, a 6-year-old Zangersheide mare (Calato Z x Djerba Z) owned by Caia Z Group, finished in second place with a score of 24.8, while Megan Sykes and her own Classic’s Mojah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chabertin x Hauptstutbuch Senna), collected third place honors with a score of 25.1.
“My horse jumped really well. My stirrup broke after fence three and I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to go, but she’s a really careful horse and she’s been really super, so I’m happy with her,” said Talley. “This is my first time at AECs and my first time competing at Tryon. The courses were really good. There was a lot of water and the footing held really well. I thought the show jumping rode well, but was also challenging.”
“Caia is a lovely mare. We did have a few discussions about things, but she is going to be a great athlete. She was great,” said Cooper.
Second and third place were very close, capping an exciting competition for the riders in the division. Sykes commented that she was very proud with her gelding’s ability to finish the competition on such a positive note.
“Mo was awesome. He did his best jumping, and unfortunately my inexperience did show through on that last combination. I got a little too excited and we had that last rail, but I’m super happy with how he went and he jumped great all the way around the course,” she concluded.
Yesterday, Bailey Snyder of Fort Worth, TX, aboard her own Corina, a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare by Acorino out of Phaedre, earned the lowest score of the Novice level, a 20.5, for first place in the Novice Amateur division. They jumped clear and inside the time today on cross-country to maintain their impressive score.
“She felt great,” said Snyder. “I was a bit interested to see how she’d be with a different type of course than she’s used to back in Texas, but she started out great and by the time we got into the next field she was really just in her groove. I could feel that she clicked in and by the time we came to the derby field and some of the more galloping questions she was just taking me on to the fences.”
While Snyder’s family is from the northern part of Texas and were not affected by recent flooding in that state, she said, “But, we have lots of friends down there and our hearts go out to everyone in Houston.”
Snyder competed previously in the Beginner Novice Championship two years ago at the Texas Rose Horse Park and said that coming to Tryon is a very different experience. “The course designer here did a great job and they have beautifully intricate jumps, even on the Novice course, which was super exciting for everyone. It was a different feel, but I think it was a good test.”
Eleanor Wassenberg and her own 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Matapeake, who finished second in the Beginner Novice Master Amateur here last year, and Savannah Welch and her own Langcaster, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Languster x Galiffi), were tied for second place on a score of 21.8. Wassenberg added 4.8 time faults and fell to sixth place, making room for Krissy Smith Shellenberger and her own Invictus, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Ibisco out of Viness H, to move into third on 23.3 with a double clear round.
Novice Master Amateur
Once again in the Novice Master Amateur division, the top three riders held on to their placings. Megan Northrop and her own Fleur de Lis scored a 24.5 yesterday to lead the division. Northrop said she felt very pleased with the 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare, who she originally purchased as a resale project.
“It went terrific,” said Northrop. “I was concerned about the turns and how that would impact my time. My mare can bulge out on the right side, so I thought we might have a little trouble turning, but she was on it. I just made sure she saw everything when we got there and knew what we were doing. She was fantastic.”
Regarding the pressure of being in first place she said, “It’s hard to be on the top, for sure. It’s a little pressure! It got to me before my course, I have to admit, but once I got in the start box and headed out with her over jump number one, I knew she was on it, and we just had a great time. That’s the part of the sport that keeps you coming back over and over again.”
Annette Reals and Knight’s Tale, her own 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, sit in second place on a score of 26.3 and the third-place pair, Sarah Wildasin and James Wildasin’s 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Totally Awesome Bosco, by Coever’s Diamond Brigade out of Flying Brigade are half a point behind on a 26.8. Totally Awesome Bosco previously competed from Beginner Novice to the Advanced/CCI2* level with the Wildasin’s daughter, Arden before Sarah took over the ride in 2014.
Lauren Chumley and Melissa Dowling’s 6-year-old Sport Pony, Nikolas (Novalis T x Capina Mia) jumped around clear to lead the Novice Rider division to stay on their dressage score of 23.8.
Chumley imported Nikolas from Germany as a 2-year-old, broke him herself, and has been competing him all his life. She usually competes him in dressage but brought him to the AEC last year and finished third in the Beginner Novice.
“I saw a lot of people having stops early this morning,” she said. “The take-off spots were just a little bit sticky, so you had to ride really forward. My student went this morning in the Amateur division on a really good cross-country horse and had some trouble, which is unusual, so I knew I’d have to be really aggressive — which is usually not an issue! He’s a very bold horse and didn’t look at a thing. You point him at the fence and he knows what he’s supposed to do, he’s a really good boy.”
Claire Solomon and George Wintersteen’s Ballyneety, an 11-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, cantered around to stay on their score of 25.0, followed closely by Di Stebbins and her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Spot On Cosmos by Travellers Gallaxy, on a 25.5.
The top three spots in the Junior Novice division after dressage all went to riders who train together at Mike Huber’s Gold Chip Stables in Fort Worth, TX. Sunny Courtwright and her 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Around Midnight jumped double clear and are leading the field of 59 on a 23.5.
Courtwright said, “She felt good today, she’s really honest and quite good to me, I love her a lot. She’s only 9, so it’s nice that I’ll have her for a while.”
In second place are Courtwright’s barn friends Suzanne Stevens and her own Smokin’ Boots, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare (More Smoke x Miss Boot Scoot) on a score of 24.8, and two points behind them in third place are Chloe Johnson and DaVinci, her own 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Byars out of Super Mount.
“We all came out to cheer each other on,” said Courtwright. “Susan and I have the same cross-country colors, too, blue and white. It’s a lot of fun.”
Looking forward to tomorrow’s show jumping test she said that her mare’s jumping ability depends on the day, but explained, “As long as I keep her straight and honest and keep my leg on she usually jumps well. We’ll just have to see.”
Booli Selmayr of Millbrook, NY, maintained her lead in the Novice Horse division riding Thomas Duggan’s 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Kildare’s MHS Tampa on their dressage score of 24.3. Duggan imported Kildare’s MHS Tampa from Ireland in January of this year, and Selmayr began riding her in April. They plan to take her to the 5-year-old USEA Young Event Horse championships at Fair Hill in October.
“She was fantastic,” said Selmayr. “She’s such a competitor and she just wants to go out there and do her job. I was wondering how she was going to be because this is more of a derby-cross kind of feel here, and there are a lot of distractions for a young horse. I really wanted to see if she could focus, and she did. She was super bold and kept looking for the next jump, and just took it on.”
Selmayr said that the back of the course was her favorite part. “I could really let her rip a little bit; she’s a fun horse and she loves to gallop, so I was able to let her take the bridle a little bit, and then I was also able to ask her to come back a little bit and just test the gears. She was awesome.”
Ashley Giles riding her own Chayenne, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare by Elfado out of Charima, remained in second place on their dressage score of 24.5 followed by Taylor Blumenthal riding Martha Woodham’s 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Saxon Mills (Fitz x Criss Cross) on 24.8.
Beginner Novice Horse
Amanda Ruane and her own Bally Lord Who, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, dominated the Beginner Novice Horse division today, as the pair scored a 22.3 to take a handy lead. The pair currently lead the division by over three points as the group will look to contest cross-country tomorrow.
“Today was good. He likes the atmosphere of the show a lot, which is kind of exciting,” explained Ruane. “When we got here on Tuesday late, he just liked being in the environment and I had a good feeling he was going to perform well, and he did. He likes to show off when it counts.”
Ruane noted that the gelding was started late and is really starting to come into his own in the arena after suffering a few untimely injuries at the beginning of their partnership.
“He wasn’t really green-broke until he was six, so he had quite a late start. When I first got him, he immediately injured himself and was laid up for six months, so we’re really, really behind where we should be going, but I think slow and steady right now is the best thing for me to do,” she said. “I’m looking at this horse as a long-term forever horse, so I’ll just take my time getting to where I need to get with him,” she said.
Beth Stelzleni piloted her own Mighty Handsome, a 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Mighty Magic x SPS Whitney) to second place with a score of 25.8, while Holly Payne-Caravella guided Benjamin Button, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Classic Alliance x Lively Lady) owned by Kathleen Hall, also earned a 25.8 to tie Stelzeni for second place.
Beginner Novice Rider
Alexandra Riddle, aboard her own Now or Never, a 19-year-old pony gelding, scored 25.5 to start off in first place in the Beginner Novice Rider division. “My pony was awesome today,” she commented. “We’ve been working on our cantering transitions, and he was probably the best he’s ever been. I’m so proud of him.”
The pair has been together for ten years and have been eventing for the past three years after successful careers in both the pony hunter and jumper divisions.
Kristie Wells and her own Temple, a 9-year-old Clydesdale gelding, sit in second on a score of 26 heading into tomorrow’s cross-country phase, while Kathleen Bertuna sits just a point behind with her own Millye’s Mojave, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Mojave Moon x Slew the Dragoness).
Junior Beginner Novice
Brynn Hershbine is tied for first aboard Julie Hershbine’s Cadenza Aria, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Turnofthecentury x Whisper), with Rowan Edmonds aboard Liberty Bell, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Hellion x Beth) owned by Michelle Jones, after both scored 24.3.
Brynn Hershbine and Cadenza Aria
“Our ride today felt very good,” she commented. “At first she felt a little tense, so I wasn’t sure if the ride would be good, but it was. My game plan for tomorrow is to make it over all the jumps without refusals.”
The pair has been together since December, and Hershbine has plans to compete in the Novice division after this season. Sydney Lee and her own Sweet Georgia Brown, a 10-year-old Mustang mare, currently sit in third with a score of 25, as all three pairs will contest cross-country tomorrow morning.
Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under
Ashley Stout and her own Deo Volente scored a remarkable 19.8 to lead the Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under division. The 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding normally shines in dressage, said Stout.
“Today went really, really well. My horse was listening to me and wasn’t fighting, so that was very good. I feel pretty good [about cross-country] tomorrow and I’m excited,” she said. “I think I’m going to like the water. He’s great with water and I like the A-B combination for that, so I’m excited to ride it.”
Avery Cascarino sits in second aboard Gloria Cascarino’s Dudley Do Right, a 13-year-old gelding, with a score of 20, while Viktorija Petraitis and Our Little Secret, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding owned by the Petraitis Family, hold third place with a score of 25.
Beginner Novice Amateur
Jessica Weishaar piloted her own Joey Joey Joey, an OTTB gelding, that she has owned for two years, to take the top spot in the Beginner Novice Amateur division.
“My horse was so good today. It’s one of the best tests he’s ridden for me. I can’t believe that we are in first! I took a look at the course and it’s beautiful. I’m so excited to go gallop around on it tomorrow. I know that my horse won’t let me down, and I’m so lucky to have him and to be here competing this year.” The pair is atop the leaderboard on a score of 25.8.
Diane Zrimsek and Coronado Charlie are trailing behind Weishaar, as the 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Bwana Charlie x Pleasure Hunt) scored a 28.8. Leah Backus and Diamond of Truth earned a 29.3 and are currently in third place heading into tomorrow’s cross-country competition.
Master Beginner Novice Amateur
Carrie Griffen holds first place aboard her own Feuertanzer ES, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nicholas x Daybreak) with a score of 23.3.
Robin Barr and her own Tout Fini, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Purge x Firehouse Waltz), sit in second with a score of 24.8, while Jane Manetta and her own George, a 12-year-old cross gelding have a tight grasp on third place after receiving a 26.3. The Master Beginner Novice Amateur division will head out on the cross-country course tomorrow, and will conclude on Sunday with their final phase of show jumping.
[Divisional Winners Crowned for First Time at the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® While Cross-Country and Show Jumping Competition Set to Continue Tomorrow]