Ian Stark’s cross country course was the final deciding factor for the Woodside CIC3* that had Alexis Helffrich and London Town coming out on top.
Pamela Williams’ 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Warmblood (Laitin x Kildara Baylee, by Rising Fortune) was second after the first two phases, and a clear cross country run with 13.2 time penalties confirmed the win on a three-phase score of 62.2. Alexis was also awarded the Fric Frac Berence Award for the best three-star cross country performance.
“He was really good on the flat. I think he was a little fresh — I’m getting him ready for the CCI at Ocala so he’s fairly fit right now. He was the same in the show jumping. He was pretty spooky out there, very fresh and a little hard to ride, but he jumped super,” Alexis said on Friday’s competition.
“I intended to go fast, but I didn’t really care about the time,” he continued, commenting on the cross country. “The CIC3* is very hard to make the time here. There’s a lot of terrain, and it’s a very quick cross country. I went out and just wanted to give him a really good go and experience, and he felt amazing. He jumped phenomenal, and he felt really fit.
Alexis and “Luke” will next be heading east to contest the Ocala Jockey Club CCI3*, with their eyes on an appearance at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI4* next spring.
“I was at Ocala last year for the CIC, and he did pretty well in that. It was my first time east. He really liked it there and that’s why I wanted to go back and do the CCI. I think it’s a good venue for him. The footing is fantastic, and it would be my last prep and qualifications for Kentucky next year, so I am hoping for the best,” he said.
Liza Horan picked up second place with her own Lafite, an 11-year-old Holsteiner (Linaro x Sundrift Sandal, by Brogan). They were the fastest pair across the country, coming home 21 seconds above optimum time for a final score of 66.7.
Bec Braitling piloted Andrea and Connie Baxter’s Soaring Bird to third place on a score of 72.1. The 12-year-old Thoroughbred (Birdonthewire x Vuelta, by Far North), added 18.8 time penalties to an otherwise clear run.
Overnight leaders Marissa Nielsen and her own Vinetta M opted to retire after picking up stops on course, and fourth-placed Kerry Groot fell from Borasco on course.
Lauren Burnell’s superstar Santana II won the CIC2* with Bec Braitling in the tack. This is the 8-year-old Oldenburg’s (Camax L x Hofdame H, by Heraldkik xx) fourth FEI win. The two picked up 4.4 time penalties to finish on 33.9 points.
Amber Levine and her Carry On, a 11-year-old KWPN (Vittorio x Jaraica, by Bredero), finished four seconds slower for second place on 34.8 points. Madison Temkin and her own Dr. Hart, 11-year-old Thoroughbred (Skimming x Moving Memo, by Memo), were third after 8 time penalties had them finishing on a score of 39.7.
Charlotte Babbitt closed out a wire-to-wire win of the CIC* with her own 2 A.M. She and the 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Sheraton x Regina K) added nothing across the jumping phases to finish on their dressage score of 29.
Alexis was second with M Creme De La Creme SE on a score of 31, and Just behind in third place was Asia Vedder and Isi on 31.1.
“He was super. He’s the one that I would like if possible to take to France next year for the 7-year-olds (at Lion d’Angers). He’s a really nice horse. He’s coming along very well. He’s good in all three phases, so I’m excited about him,” Alexis said.
EN would like to give an enormous thank you to Sherry Stewart whose stunning photos you’ve seen throughout our Woodside coverage. Go Eventing.