Allison Springer and Lord Willing lead the 41-horse CIC3* division on 27.8 at the conclusion of dressage here at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in Allentown, New Jersey.
“Lord Willing is really fun to do a test on,” Allison said. “I’ve been working really hard on my cross country. He’s a careful horse, but I’m excited about him.”
Allison is looking for redemption with “Liam,” a 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate, after retiring on cross country in the horse’s CIC3* debut at Carolina International in March.
“(The course is) a bit windy in areas, but I think there are some good questions and it will hopefully be a good confidence-booster. I think (course designer Capt. Mark Phillips) has done a good job of trying to improve the course here. I’m really pleased with the improvements he’s made.
Phillip Dutton piloted Sportsfield Candy to the CCI2* win at Jersey Fresh in 2016, and he temporarily has the ride back while the horse’s usual jockey Kevin Keane is sidelined with a broken leg. “Candy,” an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Condios, scored 29.0 to sit in second in the CIC3* after dressage.
“Sportsfield Candy hasn’t been at this level very much,” Phillip said. “He’s been very well trained and prepared by Kevin Keane. It was easy to get him up there and get him competitive today.”
(We are delighted to announce that Kevin will be back walking on Tuesday, and we trust our favorite vet will be back in the saddle very soon!)
As for Phillip’s thoughts on Capt. Mark Phillips’ course: “Every event you go to has some uniqueness about it. There’s always turning and twisting (at Jersey Fresh), which we all have to learn to ride and deal with. … I think Mark has tried to make it as testing but safe as he possibly can with the ground.”
Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C very nearly caught their personal best score at three-star level and sit in third place on 29.7. It is the best test “Congo” has delivered this season by 4 marks, and Mara said she called in the big guns ahead of Jersey Fresh to fine-tune their dressage.
“The flatwork has always been a weakness (with this horse),” Mara said. “I’m good at helping other people (in dressage), but not always good at helping myself, so I got some help. Thanks to David O’Connor, I’ve had three lessons in the last week, and it’s improved my score a ton in my first attempt. I owe him a lot of the credit.”
“Congo,” an 11-year-old KWPN (Tangelo Van de Zuuthoeve X Mexico M, by Highline) Mara owns with David and Mark Clark Regamey, came to her as a 6-year-old. Mara bought the horse sight unseen through Susie Pragnall, who sourced her 1996 Atlanta Olympic partner Hopper.
“I thought I was done coming back to this top level,” Mara said, “but Congo brought me back because he’s such a special horse to ride.”
Mara’s plan for the rest of the season is to kick on to the Bromont CCI3* and then apply for a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant in the hopes of taking Congo overseas to contest a fall CCI.
Looking to the rest of the top five in the CIC3*, Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Courage II X Misty Matilda, by Clover) owned by the Fernhill Fortitude Syndicate, scored 29.8 to tie for equal fourth with Boyd Martin and Kyra, an 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (VDL Ulando H X Wellesley, by Weltstern) owned by Christine Turner.
Looking to the CIC2*, Will Coleman and Soupcon de Brunet, a 12-year-old Anglo Arabian (Zandor Z X Bikadine, by Nouredine du Lirac) owned by The Conair Syndicate, lead on 26.8 in the horse’s first international competition back from injury in more than a year.
Thursday’s CIC2* leaders Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Caeleste, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Happygolucky, by Lucky Lionell), now sit in second place on 27.7.
Boyd Martin and The Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Star Regent xx X Donnice, by Der Clou), sit third on 28.2 in preparation for Luhmühlen CCI4* next month.
Cross country day at Jersey Fresh starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow with divisions running in the following order: CCI2*, CCI3*, CIC3* and CIC2*. Click here for start times.
Course maps for all the tracks are available here. There is no live stream for cross country, but EN will be running live updates for the CCI and CIC3* divisions.
Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from #JFI3DE thus far. Go Eventing.