Hello from Pine Top! The day is running an hour behind schedule due to a series of severe storms that came through this area this morning. Officials decided around 7:03 a.m. to delay the 7:30 a.m. start time to 8:30 a.m. to avoid the storms. Unfortunately, heavy rains and wind continued well past the new start time, and the horses and riders that rode toward the beginning of their divisions had to suffer through some pretty miserable conditions. All three Advanced divisions rode dressage at the same time, and I primarily watched the Test A division, which, as the name implies, rode Advanced Test A, the harder of the two new Advanced tests released this year.
Allison Springer and Arthur won their Open Intermediate division here two weeks ago, and they put in a dominant performance here at the Advanced today as well, winning the dressage on a score of 26.3. While he showed some of his characteristic tension in warmup, Arthur was relaxed and all business upon entering the ring. I have video of their ride I’ll be uploading later today. Caitlin Silliman and Remington XXV also had a lovely test to sit in second place on 29.7 after dressage. Remi has been acting up a bit with his flying changes lately, and Caitlin said that he was so quiet about his changes during the test that it caught her a bit off guard, and they missed a bit on one of them. No Boundaries performed a very relaxed, workmanlike test for Erin Sylvester, which puts them in third place after dressage on a score of 30.6.
You’ll notice Boyd Martin and Trading Aces toward the bottom of the Advanced A leaderboard. Oscar came undone during the flying changes, first bucking and then anticipating badly. Boyd didn’t have much of a choice but to just try to get through it. Silva Martin has worked a lot with Oscar on his changes, and it just didn’t come together today, unfortunately. Colleen Rutledge also ran into trouble with Covert Rights in the flying changes when he got very change happy. Colleen said after exiting the ring that CR has now lost flying change schooling privileges in warmup.
In the other Advanced divisions, Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 lead the way in Test B Section 1 with a score of 30, followed by Michael Pollard and Ballingowan Pizazz on 35.6, and Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken in third place on 35.9. Our own Kate Samuels and Nyls du Terroir are close behind in fourth place on 36.2. I pulled Nyls’ tail wrap before his test; EN karma works, people! Shamwari 4 was a perfect gentleman in the pouring rain, and Michael and Mango would be sitting much closer to Boyd’s score had the horse’s tongue not flopped out during the test. That kills a score, since points must be deducted from each movement in which the tongue is out.
Doug Payne and Crown Talisman lead Test B Section 2 on a score of 28.5. This score could have been freaky good had Tali not shown some tension early in the test and swapped in the canter work. Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star are in second place on 29.7, followed by Michael Pollard and Mensa G on a score of 30.6. And I have to give a special shout out to Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair, who are just behind in fourth place on 31.2. She was nervous about making sure Cody didn’t swap in the canter half pass, and she worked on it in her lesson with David O’Connor yesterday. I’m pleased to report they nailed it today.
Show jumping is actually going right now as I type this, as it started before dressage ended. I’ll be bringing you a report on that next, and then we’ll be underway with cross country around 1 p.m. I also have plenty of videos to bring you, and our good friend Theorsepesterer is also here shooting video today. The sun is finally starting to peek through the clouds, so it looks like it should be a beautiful rest of the day here in Georgia. Stay tuned for much more from Pine Top!