Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

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About Jenni Autry

Originally from San Diego, Jenni discovered eventing thanks to the Bedford Hunt Pony Club in Virginia. After working in both newspapers and magazines, she joined the EN team in 2012 and became managing editor in 2014. She travels extensively covering the U.S. Eventing Team and has reported at the Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and Olympic Games. She lives with her husband and three cats in Pennsylvania.

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Selena O’Hanlon & Foxwood High Sail to Fair Hill CCI3* Lead on Personal Best

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Selena O’Hanlon has been chasing a dressage score in the 30s all season with John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High, progressively lowering her marks at three-star level in their three FEI appearances leading up to the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. Today she nailed it, scoring 39.4 to deliver a career personal best with “Woody” and lead the CCI3* at the conclusion of dressage.

“Foxwood High felt a little bit fitter in the ring today, which is great because he put it to good use. Being that much older he’s started to become more rideable in the ring,” Selena said. “The horse has been leading up to this, and I’m super excited to break into the 30s.”

Selena has been training diligently at home with Canadian dressage Olympian Christilot Boylen. David O’Connor, who has been teaching a series of clinics for the Canadian eventing team, warmed her up today for her test.

“At this stage there are no good ideas before you go into the ring, but sometimes it is good to have someone on the ground to say the elevation is enough and the suspension is enough, because I think that separates the top five from the top 10, which is what I’ve been trying to go for. It’s been trying to sustain the elevation and the suspension throughout the lateral work.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s cross country, speed always matters at Fair Hill, and Selena and “Woody,” a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse (Rio Bronco W X Evita II), have made the optimum time in their last two international runs at Plantation Field CIC3* and Great Meadow CICO3*.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights will be breathing down their necks, sitting in second place after dressage on 39.8. “CR,” her Maryland homebred 11-year-old Clydesdale/Thoroughbred (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation), have now scored in the 30s in three of their last four tests at three-star level.

“He’s my homebred and I love him to pieces, and he can go out there and perform,” Colleen said. “It’s polishing the little details. It’s getting his walk to be slightly more relaxed. He tries so incredibly hard; he almost tries too incredibly hard to do what I want. That’s what makes him so amazing.”

Colleen and CR have won two CIC3* events in as many months, finishing first at Richland Park and Morven Park, but Fair Hill is a different beast. “It is never a dressage show. It’s a true Derek (di Grazia) course. He uses the terrain in every fence. It’s an open, bold course. I’m looking forward to it.”

We saw two tests in the 30s in the CCI3*, which gives us five total tests in the CCI3* over the last decade at Fair Hill, according to EquiRatings. In a major nod to girl power, those tests in the 30s have all been delivered by women: Tamie Smith (38.5 in 2014), Jessica Phoenix (39.2 in 2014), Selena O’Hanlon (39.4 in 2017), Karen O’Connor (39.6 in 2009) and Colleen Rutledge (39.8 in 2017).

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The men couldn’t quite catch the women today, with Ryan Wood and Buck Davidson settling for equal third place on 40.3. That means we have North American-bred horses in the top three spots on the leaderboard, as Ryan’s mount Powell, an 11-year-old Oldenburg (Pablito X Dinara, by Donnerwerth), was bred in New Jersey by Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses.

Powell’s score of 40.3 is a career personal best for this pair. “He’s really rideable in the ring, and he’s flashy,” Ryan said. “We were able to go through mistake-free. It’s exciting to be riding an American-bred horse and to have him at this level.”

Ryan described Derek’s course as “relentless,” adding that he “has questions going all the way to the end. You need a fit horse and to stay sharp.” Click here for a fence-by-fence preview and drone flyover video of the CCI3* course.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo have completed CCI3* events at Tattersalls in Ireland and Boekelo in the Netherlands, but they’ve never completed one on U.S. soil. Sitting tied for third place on 40.3, Buck is looking to check the Fair Hill box this weekend with the 10-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC.

“He’s sort of always hovering right around 40 (in his dressage scores). He’s very consistent and a beautiful mover. He’s getting stronger and more mature as we go. I was very proud of him,” Buck said. “In the first halt, I probably stood there too long and he took a step back. That was my fault. If that’s the worst thing that happens all weekend, I’m happy.”

Buck thinks the optimum time of 10 minutes on the CCI3* course will be tough to catch. “I think the time is going to be much more difficult than it was last year. That first water is always more difficult than it looks,” he said. “That last water is always a heartbreaker; so many people’s dreams are dashed there. You don’t have a lot of horse at that point.”

Looking to the rest of the CCI3* leaderboard, Heather Morris and Charlie Tango round out the top five on 41.9. Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia sit sixth on 42.0, followed by Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti in seventh on 42.6, Tamie Smith and Wembley in eighth on 44.2, Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C in ninth on 44.4, and Kurt Martin and DeLux Z in 10th on 44.7.

The CCI3* winner at Fair Hill has come from inside the top five after dressage in nine of the last 10 runnings of the event, according to EquiRatings. The dressage leader has gone on to win in both 2015 and 2016. Will the trend hold true for a third consecutive year in 2017?

Click here to view full scores in the CCI3* after dressage. CCI2* cross country runs first starting at 9:30 a.m. EST, followed by CCI3* cross country at 1:15 p.m. EST. Click here for cross country ride times. There is no live stream for cross country tomorrow, but never fear — EN will be running live updates!

Many thanks to David Frechette, AKA Thehorsepesterer, for filming videos at Fair Hill. Click here to view all of his videos from the event so far. Go Eventing!

Fair Hill: WebsiteScheduleXC Ride TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Erik Duvander Named New US Eventing Performance Director

Erik Duvander. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

The USEF just announced that Erik Duvander has been named the new US Performance Director for Eventing. He will take up the role on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

“It is a great privilege and responsibility to be chosen as the U.S. Eventing Performance Director, a role that I believe holds the highest regard within our sport,” Erik said.

“Having spent the last six months in the United States, I have seen a lot of quality athletes and horses. I have met some truly dedicated horse owners. I also know that the US Equestrian has an excellent group of people, and most importantly, all are working towards a common goal. I am looking forward to working within this community and taking on the challenge of putting together the best prepared combinations for the WEG at Tryon in September 2018 and also with a longer view to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”

Erik joins US Equestrian with more than 30 years of High Performance experience. He transitioned from competing into a coaching role after representing Sweden at the World Championships and Olympic level. Since then, he has coached teams and individual athletes to World Championship and Olympic medals, working with Japan, Sweden and New Zealand.

He most recently coached New Zealand to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a team bronze medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

“US Equestrian and our U.S. Eventing Team are gaining an experienced leader in Erik Duvander,” US Equestrian President Murray Kessler said. “His work with both teams and individual athletes is an important asset that will aid in the continued development of our event riders as they set their sights on the WEG and work towards their goals. We are excited for this sport and what is to come.”

Erik was selected and recommended for the position through the US Equestrian Eventing Sport Committee’s (ESC) appointed search group. The search group included representatives from the ESC, the Eventing High Performance Working Group, the United States Olympic Committee, two eventing athletes, USEF Director of Sport Will Connell and USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris.

[US Equestrian Announces Erik Duvander as New Eventing Performance Director]

Jennie Brannigan Withdraws Twilightslastgleam from Le Lion D’Angers

Twilightslastgleam and Jennie Brannigan with Nina Gardner and Jo Whitehouse when he was named 2014 Young Event Horse East Coast 4-year-old Reserve Champion. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tim and Nina Gardner’s Twilightslastgleam was notably absent when the Le Lion d’Angers entry list went live earlier in the week, and Jennie Brannigan confirmed today that she withdrew him from the competition.

“We had some concerns about him having a potential injury brewing and decided that his future is bright, he is young, and to give him a break and bring him out 100% next spring. We are so grateful to the USEA, Timothy Holekamp, and Chris Turner for the opportunity. I am also grateful to my vet Mary Griffin for looking out for the horses so diligently,” Jennie said.

“It is wonderful to have owners that make the right call for the horses and I have to say that this was a very tough and close one to make. My heart breaks for them, but I know Comic will make them smile quite a bit in the future.”

“Comic,” a 7-year-old Thoroughbred (National Anthem x Royal Child), received the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Grant to compete in France, and the USEA confirmed to EN that the grant will not be awarded to another horse this year. The funds will instead remain in the grant account to be used in 2018.

The grant, founded by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner, enables the highest scorer of the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championship to travel to Le Lion d’Angers and compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses as a 7-year-old if the horse obtains the proper CCI2* qualifications.

Comic was the 2014 Young Event Horse East Coast 4-year-old Reserve Champion and ranked third in the overall standings that year. He then placed seventh at the 2015 Young Event Horse East Coast 5-year-old Championships and was ranked 13th overall in the nation.

We are relieved that Comic will be back out competing next spring and wish the best of luck to the competitors heading to Le Lion. We have four North American entries in the competition. Click here to see the entry list.

Fair Hill Lunch Update: Colleen Rutledge Cracks 30s with Covert Rights

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to the second day of dressage at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, where we’ve already had an exciting morning of action with the CCI3* underway. Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, her Maryland homebred 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding, scored 39.8 to hold the lead at the lunch break.

Colleen and Covert Rights have now scored in the 30s in three of their last four tests at three-star level. Their score of 39.8 is the fourth score in the 30s at the Fair Hill CCI3* over the last decade, according to EquiRatings. Colleen and Covert Rights join Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti (39.2) and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (38.5), who both scored sub-40 in 2015, and Karen O’Connor and Mandiba, who scored 39.6 in 2009. Girl power!

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We have two American-bred horses currently topping the CCI3* leaderboard, with Ryan Wood and Powell, an 11-year-old Oldenburg bred in New Jersey by Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses, scoring a career personal best of 40.3 to sit in second place.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Team Express Group, are leading the way for the West Coast contingent, also delivering a career personal best of 41.9 to sit in third place. Click here to view full scores in the CCI3* at the lunch break.

Looking to the CCI2*, the top three from yesterday remain unchanged with 10 horses still to come after the lunch break. Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius still lead on 40.9, with Allison Springer and Lord Willing in second on 48.3, and Kristen Bond and Enough Already in third on 49.7. Click here to read about yesterday’s CCI2* dressage action.

Will Coleman delivered the best CCI2* test of day two so far with Off the Record, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Con Air Syndicate. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2* at the lunch break.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaMS6NaHwwh/

Today is jumping day in the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships. The 4-year-olds already jumped this morning, and Kristen Bond and Bea Ready, a KWPN mare (Cicero Z Van Paemel x Tizora) who led after dressage yesterday, have been crowned the winners. The 5-year-olds are jumping now, so stay tuned for more. Click here to view YEH scoring.

We have 16 horses still to come in the CCI3* after the lunch break, so check back later in the day for photos and quotes from our leaders. Be sure to check out EN’s preview of Derek di Grazia’s cross country course. Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Jumping TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Tamie Smith & Sunsprite Syrius Soar to Fair Hill CCI2* Lead

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Tamie Smith is making her trip across the country count at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, scoring 40.9 with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius to lead the CCI2* by more than seven marks at the halfway point of the division here in Elkton, Maryland.

“It’s cold and the wind was up when I was going, but he’s always been a very consistent, workmanlike horse,” Tamie said. “I had Cecily, Matt Brown’s wife, help me a little bit on the ground. Having somebody was really helpful. He went in and did everything and nailed his halts. Overall, I thought the test was really consistent.”

While we had beautiful weather yesterday for the first horse inspection, today dawned cold and rainy, which is more more in line with the weather we traditionally see for Fair Hill. The drop in temperature and electric atmosphere in the main arena combined to create a challenging environment for some horses.

Tamie said she had one hairy moment during her test when a spectator cheered loudly for a horse in the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, which were running in the other ring alongside the CCI2*.

“He’s really sound sensitive. He could buck me off at any time,” Tamie laughed, “but he went right back to work. I was really proud of him for not losing it in there.”

Sunsprite Syrius, a 9-year-old Trakehner (Titulus X Slytely Cinnamon xx, by Silent Fox xx), has an eye-popping FEI record, winning four of his eight completed international runs on the West Coast and never finishing lower than second place in the others.

Now he’s come east to take on the best in the country in the USEF National CCI2* Championships. “Syrius” led his CCI2* debut at Rebecca Farm over the summer, jumping clear and inside the time to remain on his dressage score of 40.0, but did not move on to show jumping due to studding himself on cross country.

“Thats why we brought him here,” Tamie said. “You can’t replicate Fair Hill anywhere in the country. We’re going to find out what he’s made of.”

Syrius will need to dig deep on Saturday, as course designer Derek di Grazia has once again built beefy tracks for both the CCI2* and CCI3*. Tamie, who won the CCI3* in 2015 with Mai Baum, also has two horses in the CCI3* in Fleeceworks Royal and Wembley.

“It’s really big and technical. The first water is a big brush into the water. I think that’s going to ride tough, more so than it has in the past. From a boldness standpoint, it really sets the tone. From there, the coffin is tough. I think the time looks like it’s going to be very hard to make,” Tamie said.

“There are a lot of rollbacks on the two-star track. If you’re not efficient, you’re going to lose time. It will be fatiguing. We couldn’t have asked for a better rain overnight and earlier in the week, so I think the ground will be good enough.”

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing sit in second place in the CCI2* on 47.7. The 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate won the Bromont CCI2* over the summer in his debut at the level.

“Liam” hasn’t place outside of the top five in his international appearances since then, finishing third in the Richland Park CIC2* and fourth in the Plantation Field CIC2* in the lead up to Fair Hill, so definitely keep your eye on him this weekend.

Kristen Bond and Enough Already, a 9-year-old KWPN (Winningmood Van de Arenberg X Zandora X Landor S) owned by Liz Bond, sit in third place on 49.7. “Drake” finished seventh in the Ocala CCI2* last year before Kristen took time out of the saddle to welcome her daughter, Berkley.

Kristen is starting her Fair Hill weekend off with a bang, as she’s also leading the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships with her own Bea Ready on a score of 41.45%. In the 5-year-olds, Waylon Roberts and Wil Celtic Charlie lead on 43.36%. Stay tuned for our full YEH report!

Kristen Bond and Enough Already. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s action, 30 more horses will make their way down centerline for the conclusion of CCI2* dressage, with Wayne Quarles and Kellie Towers serving on the ground jury. Dressage for both the CCI2* and CCI3* starts at 9 a.m. EST. Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound will be first out in the CCI3*, with Rob Stevenson, Les Smith and Gretchen Butts on the ground jury.

If you’re just tuning it to EN, be sure to check out EN’s preview of Derek di Grazia’s cross country course here, plus a drone flyover video from Jamie Rees. Stay tuned for much more from Fair Hill! Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Land Rover Signs On As Title Sponsor of Kentucky Three-Day Event

Photo courtesy of Land Rover North America

Following eight years as Official Vehicle and five years as Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, Land Rover announced today that it will become the new title sponsor. The event will be rebranded as the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“Land Rover has a long-established connection with equestrian sport and we have partnered with the Kentucky Three-Day Event for eight years now,”Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, said. “Expanding our partnership with this title sponsorship will further strengthen our relationship with the equestrian community, an important audience for the Land Rover brand.”

Land Rover replaces Rolex Watch USA as the title sponsor of the event. Rolex served as the title sponsor for 36 years, beginning in 1981 when the competition was still known as the Kentucky Horse Trials. The event announced in May that it would be known as the Kentucky Three-Day Event, with Rolex no longer serving as the title sponsor.

“Land Rover is the perfect brand to step into the Title Sponsor role of the Kentucky Three-Day Event,” Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI) Executive Director Lee Carter said. “The committed support of a sponsor like Land Rover and the loyalty of our fans and the broader eventing community are what make this event the best weekend all year.”

Land Rover now serves as title sponsor of two of the world’s six CCI4* events, as the company also sponsors the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford, England.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will take place April 26-29, 2018. The Ultimate Stable Experience, which includes a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment with live farrier displays, will return in the sponsor village for all attendees. The seventh annual Land Rover Tailgate Challenge will also return in 2018.

[Land Rover North America Announces Title Sponsorship of Kentucky Three-Day Event]

All Pairs Pass First Horse Inspection at Dutta Corp Fair Hill International

Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hello from an unseasonably warm Elkton, Maryland, where the first horse inspection kicked off the action this afternoon at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. All pairs passed to give us 61 combinations in the CCI2* and 36 combinations in the CCI3*.

We normally have damp, chilly weather for the USEF CCI3* and CCI2* National Championships at Fair Hill, not to mention a mammoth amount of rain leading up to the event. This year has seen bizarre Indian summer weather stretch far into October to give us one of the warmest and driest renditions of Fair Hill in recent memory.

In the CCI2*, Waylon Roberts’ mount Born Ready was sent to the holding box and accepted upon re-presentation. In the CCI3*, Buck Davidson’s mount Carlevo and Sara Moore’s mount Polaris were both sent to the holding box, and both were accepted upon re-presentation.

No rest for the weary! Les Smith, on the left, was also on the ground jury for Boekelo at the weekend. We both flew from Amsterdam to the East Coast on Monday morning and now here we are at Fair Hill. Les joins Gretchen Butts, center, and Robert Stevenson, right, on the CCI3* ground jury. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fair Hill is one of five CCI3* competitions in North America. It serves as a key event for combinations aiming for the Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring, as Derek di Grazia designs the cross country courses at both venues.

There is something sacred about this event. It is the culmination of a season for many. It is the culmination of a lifetime of dreams for others. Simply to be here is an honor, and I love watching the support crews of all the different teams on the Wednesday of Fair Hill.

Marley Stone Bourke, who is competing Quality Pop in the USEA Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old Championships here at Fair Hill, stood ringside with her 8-month-old son, Senan, while proud papa Tim Bourke trotted up his star four-star partner Luckaun Quality.

Marley Stone Bourke and Senan. Photo by Jenni Autry.

I’ll confess upfront that I’ll be cheering loudly for Sara Moore and Polaris this weekend. After delivering a personal best dressage test at the Plantation Field CIC3* last month, they are seeking another qualifying score here at Fair Hill this weekend.

All of us stood with our hearts in our throats when Polaris was sent to the holding box during the CCI3* horse inspection. As tense minutes ticked by and the remainder of the horses made their way down the jog strip, we waited for Sara to re-present Polaris, or “Larry” as he is known to his friends.

Sara’s mom, Lindsy Gumbiner, walked back to the jog strip, faithfully recording video as Sara jogged with Larry once again. When Brian O’Connor spoke those coveted words — “Accepted!” — Lindsy turned to me and wisely said, “It is never easy.”

Sara Moore and Polaris. Photo by Jenni Autry.

No, it is never easy. This sport takes everything we have and more. And yet that’s what keeps us coming back. It is the ultimate test, for horse and rider but also for those who support us. That is what makes eventing at the highest level of the sport so special. That is what makes Fair Hill special.

I’ll let the rest of the photos do the talking. Scroll down for a gallery of my favorite photos from today’s first horse inspection. Dressage starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow for the 4-year-old Young Event Horse division, followed by the 5-year-olds and CCI2* both starting at 11 a.m. EST. Keep it locked on EN for more from Fair Hill. Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderSchedule, CCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Your Guide to the 2017 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International

Tamie Smith, winner of the 2015 event with Mai Baum, returns to Fair Hill this year. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We barely have time to wash the mud off our boots after Boekelo because the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International is upon us! The action kicks off tomorrow with the first horse inspection starting at 1 p.m. EST, and EN will be bringing you coverage of the CCI3*, CCI2* and USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships all week long. Read on for what you need to know.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

What: The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International is one of five CCI3* events in North America and serves as the USEF National CCI3* Championships and USEF National CCI2* Championships. Fair Hill is a key event for riders hoping to aim for the Kentucky CCI4* the following spring, as Derek di Grazia designs the cross country course for both venues.

When: The full event schedule is available at this link. (Please check the link for the most updated version of the schedule, as frequent changes are being made.)

Wednesday, Oct. 11: First horse inspection at 1 p.m. EST
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8 a.m. EST start for YEH 4-year-old dressage. CCI2* and YEH 5-year-old dressage starts at 11 a.m. EST.
Friday, Oct. 13: 8 a.m. EST start for CCI3* dressage and the remainder of CCI2* dressage, as well as jumping for both Young Event Horse divisions
Saturday, Oct. 14: 9:30 a.m. EST start for CCI2* cross country, followed by CCI3* cross country at 1:45 p.m. EST
Sunday, Oct. 15: Final horse inspection starting at 8 a.m. EST, followed by CCI2* show jumping at 9:30 a.m. EST, then CCI3* show jumping at 1 p.m. EST

Where: Elkton, Maryland — the site of a newly proposed CCI4*, which if approved by the FEI will become the second CCI4* event in the U.S. and the seventh in the world.

Who is competing? We have 63 combinations in the CCI2* and 38 combinations in the CCI3*. While Phillip Dutton is noticeably absent due to a broken collarbone, we still have U.S. Olympians Boyd Martin, Will Coleman and Mara DePuy; Canadian Olympians Jessica Phoenix, Selena O’Hanlon and Colleen Loach; Australian Olympian Clayton Fredericks, and many more big names lining up. Click here to view the entry list.

Why should you go? Aside from offering an all-star lineup of some of the top horses and riders in the country, Fair Hill offers a slew of fun things you don’t want to miss. The Craft Beer Festival is at the top of our list, with more than 20 beers available to sample on cross country day.

The Gore Running Wear 5K will also take place Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. Each 5K entrant receives two tickets to the Craft Beer Festival, plus two General Admission tickets to watch cross country. Click here to register.

There are numerous other special activities taking place throughout the weekend, including dog agility and frisbee dog demonstrations, performances from the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team and DVCTA Quad Squad, plus a Kids Corner with face painting and crafts.

What’s new this year? If you don’t want to splurge for tickets to the VIP Tent, Fair Hill has added more prime viewing options. You can join the Fair Hill Club to receive special parking for Saturday and Sunday, covered seating overlooking the Main Arena and access to food available for purchase.

Fair Hill has also added Lawn Box Seating for Sunday, which includes VIP parking, special lawn seating for six people overlooking the Main Arena, and access to food available for purchase. You can also bring your own food.

If you go: Online ticket sales have ended, but you can still purchase tickets at the gate for General Admission, the Craft Beer Festival, VIP Tent and Fair Hill Club. Click here for ticket information.

Pau CCI4* Entries Go Live with Four North American Combinations

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect are one of three American combinations entered at Pau. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hot off the presses! Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* just released the entry list for this year’s event, which will take place Oct. 25-29 in Pau, France. We have three American combinations and one Canadian combination entered.

Boyd Martin will return with Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack, who sat in sixth place after cross country last year at Pau but was not accepted at the final horse inspection. They won Stable View Advanced as their final prep run for Pau.

Buck Davidson is competing Carl and Cassie Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach, who is hot off a win in the Plantation Field CIC3*. They ran a combined test at Morven Park as their final prep run before heading to France.

Allie Knowles will make her overseas debut with Sound Prospect LLC’s Sound Prospect. They most recently won the Advanced at Morven Park and also finished ninth at Richland Park CIC3* earlier in the summer.

Hawley Bennett-Awad will represent Canada aboard her own Jollybo, coming off a 14th placed finish in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final at the American Eventing Championships.

We also will be following along with American-based Kiwi Joe Meyer, who is riding Theresa and Madison Foote’s Clip Clop. They also competed in the packed Advanced division at Stable View, finishing 13th.

There are 58 total combinations entered at Pau. Interestingly, no German riders are entered to compete this year. France brings forward a strong contingent at their home CCI4*, with past winners Maxime Livio and Astier Nicolas both entered. Click here to view the full entry list.

[Pau CCI4* Entry List]

Who Jumped It Best? Boekelo Show Jumping Edition

In the aftermath of a muddy, exhausting cross country day at Military Boekelo CCIO3*, the sun mercifully peeked out from behind the clouds to give us a welcome respite from the rain just in the time for the thrilling show jumping finale in Enschede, Netherlands.

After putting in a mammoth effort the day before, we definitely saw some tired horses for the final phase, but overall they jumped beautifully on the new all-weather arena Boekelo unveiled this year. Boekelo has seen a 20% clear show jumping rate on average over the last seven runnings, according to EquiRatings, but the clear rate climbed to 34% this year, and the fantastic surface to jump on definitely played a role.

With that in mind, take a look at these photos of horses giving it their all on Marinus Vos’ show jumping course. Since a three-day is all about the resilience of these incredible athletes, today we are only judging the horse form over the fence, not rider position. Vote for who you think jumped it best in the poll below. Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lydia Hannon and Tierro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Benjamin Massie and Une Eau Vive Dubanier. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Astier Nicolas and Vinci de la Vigne. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tim Price and Cekatinka. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Blyth Tait and Dassett Courage. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Mark Todd and McClaren. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Price Wins Battle of the Tims at Boekelo, Liz Halliday-Sharp Finishes 16th

Tim Price and Cekatinka. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We saw a thrilling finale at Military Boekelo CCIO3* after what can only be described as a dramatic morning here in Enschede, Netherlands. Following a grueling cross country day in the mud that saw only 50% of the field jump clear, seven horses were withdrawn prior to the final horse inspection, including Alex Hua Tian’s mount Don Geniro, who set in second place.

That moved Tim Lips and Bayro up into second to battle it out with overnight leaders Tim Price and Cekatinka for the win. Tim Lips last won Boekelo, which serves as the Dutch National Championships, in 2007, and the crowd went absolutely wild when he jumped clear to put the pressure on Tim Price, who could not afford a rail with Cekatinka.

The 11-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri X Katinka, by Julio Mariner xx) was nonplussed when she trotted into an electric atmosphere and jumped a beautiful clear round to clinch the win for Tim Price on 43.7.

“I’m super proud of how she jumped,” he said. “She was a little tired in the warm-up, which is typical in a three-day, but was starting to show me how much she delivers in the ring in a performance environment. She used the applause from the previous rider to her advantage. She realized it was something to work at, and she really excelled.”

The question now becomes whether Tim will keep the ride on the mare, as he was only meant to temporarily take the reins during his wife Jonelle’s pregnancy. “She’s Jonelle’s horse, ultimately. She suits her. She’s a great one for her. She’s been a pleasure to ride. She’s healthy and came through the event great, which is half the battle. We’re happy and excited about next year.”

Tim Lips ultimately had to settle for second place with Bayro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Casantos X Vanya, by Corland), but took the title of Dutch National Champion thanks to being the highest-placed rider from the host country.

Alexis Goury and Trompe l’Oeil d’Emery, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Imprevu de la Cour SF X Dagana de Vauberon SF, by Fury de la Censa), moved up to third place this morning following Don Geniro’s withdrawal and finished in the same spot on 46.1 after jumping one of the 23 clear rounds on Marinus Vos’ course.

The past seven runnings of Boekelo have seen an average of 1 in 5 jump clear show jumping rounds at Boekelo, according to EquiRatings. But those years were all held on grass prior to the installation of an all-weather arena for the 2017 event. Horses jumped beautifully on the surface today to give us a 32% clear jumping rate.

Tim Price led New Zealand to a win in the Nations Cup Final on a final team score of 160.9, followed by Germany in second on 174.3 and Australia in third on 203.7. Great Britain did not complete a team at Boekelo and ultimately relinquished the Nations Cup series lead to Germany, who sat only 10 points behind Team GB heading into Boekelo and take the 2017 title thanks to their podium finish.

Team USA, led by Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law, completed all three of our riders to finish seventh out of 11 teams. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend by French Buffett xx), finished 16th of the 68 combinations that completed the event, adding one rail today for a final score of 59.0.

“I tried to give him a little room and a lot of power, which usually suits him to a square oxer like that. I knew that was the last big question for him, and I think he just tipped it out of a bit of greeness,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way he jumped, though. He jumped better than he did at Blenheim, and he’s never run this long in his life and never in the mud.. I couldn’t have asked for more from him really. He was prefect all weekend.”

As for what’s next for “Niro,” first he’ll enjoy a long vacation and then gain more mileage at the three-star level during the 2018 season. “We’ll maybe aim for a four-star at the end of next year, but I’d like to give him a chance to find his way. He moved up so quickly this year. He just did his first CCI* less than a year ago, so I think the right thing for him is to give him time, and hopefully we’ll have a really special team horse some day.”

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus, her own and Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady), had two rails down in show jumping to finish in 32nd place on 63.4 in their Boekelo debut.

“I was surprised when the first rail of the triple went down. It definitely wasn’t his fault. Maybe I could have put more leg on, but it was one of those ‘what if’ rails,” Caroline said. “When I jumped the liverpool, I was a little bit on a left to right line because the turn was tight, and going to the oxer I didn’t keep the rhythm. That was 100 percent my fault. I’m disappointed, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the horse was really good all weekend and did everything I asked.”

As for Caroline’s thoughts on her first Boekelo: “It rained a lot! I’m really proud of how he did on the cross country. I came here really wanting to have a good cross country run, so I did what I wanted to. Thank you to Ms. Mars for the grant and letting me get my feet wet overseas again. I’m glad I got to do another senior team, especially since it’s my first year out of Young Riders. Hopefully I keep improving each time I come over.”

Katherine Coleman and Kalai LLC’s Back to Business II, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), had two rails down to complete the mare’s second CCI3* in 66th place on a final score of 83.9.

I went to half halt a bit, and she really goes against my hand and is fighting me so much that she’s not paying attention to the jumps. She started off really mega and built a bit as the course went, and then went against my hand and was too busy fighting me to pay attention to the jumps. That’s been a theme with her in both the jumping phases. We’ll sort that this winter and try to play with bits.”

This is Katherine’s second time competing at Boekelo, and she said she will definitely be back. “They make it fun for the masses, which then draws a big crowd. Someone who’s not horsey can come here and absolutely enjoy themselves all weekend. I think that’s key for event organizers in general to get more interest in the sport — to make it appeal more to the masses.”

It’s definitely been a very muddy and wet Boekelo, and while we saw some sore horses following cross country, we are relieved to report that no horses or riders suffered any major injuries this weekend. We have much more to bring you from Boekelo, including a special edition of Who Jumped It Best, so stay tuned! Go Eventing.

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Watch the Military Boekelo CCIO3* Live Stream

Boekelo is providing an English live stream this year for the first time in the history of the event! With commentary from the dynamic duo of Diarm Byrne and Nicole Brown, be sure to tune in to hear stats from EquiRatings and analysis from special guests.

The first group of show jumping starts at 11 a.m. local time/5 a.m. EST, and Katherine and Back to Business II are third in to jump. Caroline and Liz will both jump in the final group of the top 30 starting at 2:45 p.m. local time/8:45 a.m. EST. Click here to view the starting order.

Boekelo: WebsiteLive ScoresShow Jumping Starting OrderLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Seven Withdrawn Before Boekelo Final Horse Inspection, 68 Move to Show Jumping

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sixty-eight horses will move on to show jumping at Military Boekelo CCIO3* following this morning’s final horse inspection in Enschede, Netherlands. Seven horses were withdrawn prior to the inspection, including Alex Hua Tian’s mount Don Geniro (CHN), who sat in second place after cross country.

Matt Heath’s mount Cooley Lord Lux (GBR), Millie Dumas’ mount RF West Indie (GBR), Tom McEwen’s mount Strike Smartly (GBR), Ros Canter’s mount Las Vegas 200 (GBR), Tamara Acklin’s mount Kontiki CH (SUI) and Jordy Wilken’s mount Chapeau Spirit (NED) were also withdrawn before the inspection.

Jasmin Gambirasio’s mount That’s It (SUI) was withdrawn from the holding box, and Federico Riso’s mount Rocco II (ITA) was not accepted at the inspection.

All three of Team USA’s horses — Liz Halliday-Sharp’s mount Deniro Z, Caroline Martin’s mount Pebbly Maximus and Katherine Coleman’s mount Back to Business II — looked fantastic at the trot up. Massive shout out to their super grooms, Gemma Jelinska, Sally Robinson and Caz Hewer, for turning them out beautifully.

The first group of show jumping starts at 11 a.m. local time/5 a.m. EST, and Katherine and Back to Business II are third in to jump. Caroline and Liz will both jump in the final group of the top 30 starting at 2:45 p.m. local time/8:45 a.m. EST. Click here to view the starting order.

You can watch the finale live on the free Boekelo live stream with commentary from Diarm Byrne and Nicole Brown. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from Boekelo. Go Team USA! Go Eventing.

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Tim Price Prevails on Boekelo Cross Country Day, Liz Halliday-Sharp 15th

Tim Price and Cekatinka. Photo by Jenni Autry.

All predictions came true for cross country day at Military Boekelo CCIO3*, with dark and stormy conditions plaguing horses and riders from the start here in Enschede, Netherlands. While it didn’t come bucketing down as intensely as it has over the past two days, a steady rain fell from the morning through the afternoon.

Tim Price ultimately prevailed as the 95th of 98 starters to set out on Sue Benson’s course, jumping clear with 4.0 time penalties aboard Cekatinka, an 11-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri X Katinka, by Julio Mariner xx), to move up from fifth after dressage and lead overnight on 43.7.

“It’s always a difficult thing when you go at the end of the day because you have to spend all day watching people do things very well and other people do things not so well, so it’s hard to stay on your focus and not get distracted by other things,” Tim said. “She’s not got a lot of experience at this level, but she’s a very clever horse. She knew her job, so I stuck to my plan.”

Ros Canter produced this mare to the two-star level before Tim’s wife, Jonelle, took over the ride last year. Jonelle won the Lignières CCI2* on her a year ago before passing the reins to Tim while expecting her first child. As to whether the mare will now return to Jonelle, as they happily welcomed their son last month, Tim quipped: “She’s not getting her back!”

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alex Hua Tian, our leader after dressage on 37.3, added 6.8 time penalties with Don Geniro, a 10-year-old Hanoverian (Don Kennedy X Gina, by Giorgione) owned by Pip Higgins, Pam Dews and Sarah Higgins, to slip to second place on 44.1.

Tim Lips and Bayro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Casantos X Vanya, by Corland), lead the Dutch National Championships thanks to a clear round and 6.4 time penalties to move from second to third place on 45.5. Click here to see full individual scores after cross country. (Note that official scores have not yet been released due to a number of appeals.)

New Zealand leads the Nations Cup standings on 152.9 after cross country, with Germany in second on 166.3 and Australia in third on 183.7. Team USA sits eighth of 11 teams, with two of our three riders jumping clear rounds today.

Cross country proved to be very influential, with 50% of the field jumping clear — lower than the 60% average we have seen over the last seven years since EquiRatings started tracking statistics. Just one pair made the time — Chris Burton and Kate Walls’ Cooley Lands, to skyrocket up the leaderboard from 69th to 10 place.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and the Deniro Z Syndicate’s Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend by French Buffett xx), moved up from 24th to 16th place as the highest-placed American pair, jumping a cracking clear round with 10.4 time penalties in the horse’s CCI3* debut.

“What a horse! It was only his second Advanced in his life, and he just did his first two-star this year. To give me the feel he gave me around Boekelo was incredible. He got better and better as he went. He finished very fresh and I could have gone faster, but I really wanted to take care of him out there since it was his first CCI3*,” Liz said.

“This is one of the wetter Boekelos I’ve been to. I tried to find the best ground I could, which is where some of the time faults came from him, and also because I am thinking of him as a horse for the future. Today wasn’t about trying to get the time. I really wanted him to have a good experience in his first CCI3*, and I’m thrilled my owners, Rob and Chris Desino, were here to watch him.”

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caroline Martin had a very long day waiting to go with Pebbly Maximus, her own and Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady). They set out of the start box as the fifth to last pair to go and powered through the slop to jump clear with 13.2 time penalties, moving from 60th up to 32nd place on 63.4.

“He has the biggest heart of any horse I’ve ever ridden. It was very, very muddy, but I just kept kicking and he kept going. My number one goal was to jump all the jumps clear, and that’s what we did. It was one of those rare times where everything went to plan. He was pretty foot perfect,” she said.

“He’s a very short horse and he doesn’t have a huge stride, but he has a more open stride on cross country. My original plan at the water was to go left, but I re-walked it and decided to do the right-hand side, which actually worked out well. At the last question going down the hill to the brush corner he was dead straight.”

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II, the pathfinder for our three-rider USA Nations Cup team, were one of 27 total combinations that had trouble at fence 8, a combination of three brush corners, to give us a 28% total fault rate for 8A, 8B and 8C combined. They also picked up a runout on course at 24b, the brush corner at the bottom of the steep hill following 24A that caused trouble for 11 total combinations.

“She was a bit naughty at that last stop because she locked onto the fence and at the last minute ducked out. I think we’ve got some homework to do over the winter to get her on side a little bit more,” Katherine said.

“She’s going to be as fast as Longwood when she gets established, but she went green on me at those difficult questions. I think she needs a solid season at three-star level next year to get everything confirmed. She’s a really exciting horse for the future. It wasn’t lack of scope; she just needs to focus a bit more.”

Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law also weighed in with his thoughts on Team USA’s performance after cross country: “Katherine was first out for the team, and the horse just showed a bit of inexperience. I think she’ll come on from this and be another horse after Katherine has another winter with her.

“I thought Liz rode fantastically. It’s a young horse and has very little experience at the Advanced level, so it was a lot to ask of him. She rode really positively — forward and in a great balance everywhere. He’s definitely a very exciting horse for the future.

“It was a very good experience for Caroline to have to sit around all day and have to wait until the very end of the day to go. These were not easy conditions, and she had a fantastic ride on the horse.”

The final horse inspection is at 9 a.m. local time, 3 a.m. EST tomorrow. The first group of show jumping starts at 11 a.m. local time/5 a.m. EST and will be streamed live on the Boekelo website. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Boekelo coverage. Go Eventing.

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Team USA Talks Course Strategy Ahead of Boekelo Cross Country

Fence 23AB on Sue Benson’s Boekelo course. Photo via CrossCountry App.

We are in for a wet and wild cross country day tomorrow at Military Boekelo CCIO3*, with the forecast calling for a 90% chance of rain. If the weather mimics the conditions we’ve seen over the past two days, we can expect to see very heavy periods of rain, which will only continue to soak the already saturated course.

Sue Benson has designed the track here in Enschede, Netherlands, for the past 17 years. The optimum time is 10 minutes, 3 seconds, and the course has 40 total jumping efforts. You can view photos of all the fences and listen to Sue’s commentary here.

While six in 10 starters at Boekelo have jumped clear on cross country this decade, only 6.2% have made the optimum time, according to EquiRatings. Thirty seconds separate the entire top 50 on the leaderboard after dressage, and we are expecting time penalties to be extremely influential.

The view looking down the bank to fence 24B. Photo via CrossCountry App.

Liz Halliday-Sharp, Caroline Martin and Katherine Coleman are all ready to do battle with the course tomorrow. Team USA is sitting in eighth place in the Nations Cup standings at the conclusion of dressage and looking to gain ground.

This is Liz Halliday Sharp’s seventh time competing at Boekelo, and she said it is the wettest she has ever seen the ground. Rain has been pouring down steadily over the past two days, and while we had brief bursts of sunlight today, there hasn’t been much drying progress.

“There are some really tough combinations,” Liz said. “I would say the course isn’t overly huge, but there are a lot of questions. It’s going to take some determined and smart riding, and I think managing your ground position is going to be a big factor this year.”

The jump in to the first water complex at fence 10B. Photo via CrossCountry App.

Liz and the Deniro Z Syndicate’s Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend, by French Buffet xx), sit in 24th place on 44.6 in the horse’s CCI3* debut. “I believe in this horse, and he is a trier,” she said. “He trusts me, and the plan is to go out be smart.”

Katherine Coleman competed at Boekelo for the first time two years ago with Longwood, and while she said she thinks some of the questions are easier this year, there is still plenty to do on the course.

“I think the combination of corners at the Hollow (at fence 8) is probably the toughest question,” Katherine said. “It’s quite early on, and there are usually a lot of problems there. I’ll be relieved when that’s over with! There are a lot of corners, so your horse needs to be good with corners. Hopefully the time, especially with the weather, will be a factor so we can gain some ground.”

Katherine and Kalai LLC’s Back to Business II, 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), sit in 53rd position on 51.3. “Bizzy” made the optimum time in her CCI3* debut at Tattersalls CCI3* over the summer, and Katherine is hoping to pilot her pocket rocket to another fast and clear round.

Caroline Martin is making her Boekelo debut with Pebbly Maximus, and she agrees the course is beefy. The 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady) owned by Caroline and Sherrie Martin, is sitting in 60th place on 50.2.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest largest CCI I’ve done, but it’s very technical. There are a lot of questions towards the end that once the horses are tired, it’s going to be hard to get them back and jump clean. I don’t think it’s a dressage competition.”

Looking toward the final water complex, two tables set in the water at 20AB. Photo via CrossCountry App.

USEF Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law, who is acting as Chef d’Equipe for Team USA at Boekelo, said the team has an advantage in that our first rider, Katherine Coleman, doesn’t go out until nearly two hours after the start. They will be able to watch tomorrow and fine-tune their strategy depending on how the course is riding.

“We have a plan and a couple of lines at certain fences. If one line isn’t working out, we have another line in mind. It depends on the weather. We could see two competitions, quite honestly. The ground is soft, and I think it’s going to get chewed up and harder to get the time as the competition unfolds,” Leslie said.

“It isn’t an easy course to get time anyways because it’s twisty, so you have to make sure you’re going from the start and staying up on your markers because you’re probably not going to make up time toward the end of the course.”

The direct route at fences 13 and 14. Photo courtesy of CrossCountry App.

USA cross country ride times are:

  • Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II: 11:26 a.m. local time/5:26 a.m. EST
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: 2:06 p.m. local time/ 8:06 a.m. EST
  • Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus: 3:46 p.m. local time/9:46 a.m. EST

Cross country starts at 9:30 a.m. local time/3:30 a.m. EST. You can watch live with commentary from Diarm Byrne, Nicole Brown and special guests on the free live stream on the Boekelo website. Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteRide Times & Live Scoring, XC Starting OrderLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Alex Hua Tian Holds Boekelo Lead, Team USA Sits 8th in Nations Cup

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro held onto their overnight lead at Military Boekelo CCIO3* to remain at the top on 37.3 at the conclusion of dressage here in Enschede, Netherlands. But Alex and “The Don,” a 10-year-old Hanoverian (Don Kennedy X Gina, by Giorgione) owned by Pip Higgins, Pam Dews and Sarah Higgins, don’t have much breathing room on the tightly bunched leaderboard.

Tim Lips and Bayro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Casantos X Vanya, by Corland), sit in second place on 39.1 as the highest-placed Dutch pair thanks to delivering the best test of day two. Tim last won the Dutch National Championships at Boekelo in 2007, and Alice Naber-Lozeman has dominated the last four years at Boekelo to defend her title. She currently sits in 30th place with ACSI Peter Parker.

Tim Lips and Bayro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

But 30 seconds separate the entire top 50 at Boekelo, meaning every second will prove incredibly costly as we look ahead to what is expected to be an extremely influential day of cross country across Sue Benson’s course.

Australia’s Chris Burton is known for his speedy cross country riding, and he is perfectly positioned to stalk the leaders from third place on 39.3 with Quality Purdey, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Claire Poole.

Chris Burton and Quality Purdey. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Germany’s Julia Mestern, a two-time winner of Boekelo, now sits in fourth place on 39.6 with Grand Prix Iwest. New Zealand’s Tim Price delivered the second best test of day two, scoring 39.7 with Cekatinka to round out the top five on 39.7 and give us five scores in the 30s.

France occupies the next three spots on the leaderboard, with Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus in sixth on 40.5, Aurelien Leroy and Seashore Spring in seventh on 41.1, and Astier Nicolas and Vinci de la Vigne in eighth on 41.1.

Andreas Dibowski, another German rider who has won Boekelo twice, sits ninth on 41.4 with FRH Corrida, and Tamara Acklin and Kontiki CH round out the top 10 for Switzerland on 41.5.

New Zealand leads the Nations Cup after dressage on 127.70, with France in second on 132.0 and Germany in third on 134.3. Our USA #girlpower team of Liz Halliday-Sharp, Caroline Martin and Katherine Coleman sit eighth and are ready to gain ground tomorrow.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend by French Buffett xx) owned by the Deniro Z Syndicate, sit 24th on 44.6 as the highest-placed U.S. pair after dressage. You can read Liz’s comment after her test in our lunch report.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Pebbly Maximus, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady), were our final pair to go today, scoring 50.2 to sit in 60th place out of 99 combinations.

She has been working tirelessly on her dressage with Leslie Law, who is also acting as the Chef d’Equipe for Team USA at Boekelo, and scored in the 40s at Houghton Hall and Bramham over the summer. Unfortunately, some bobbles today with “Rory” chipped away at their score.

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“We’ve been making a lot of progress. I have to thank Leslie for that. All the things that we thought were going to go really well just didn’t go to plan. I thought the trot work went quite well, which I’ve been working really hard on,” Caroline said.

“I made him a bit upset when I slid my leg back and put too much pressure on with my leg (in the serpentine), and he got upset. It was totally my fault. He’s a great horse, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine Coleman did her test yesterday with Kalai Inc’s Back to Business II, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), and now sits in 64th place on 51.3. Click here to read Katherine’s comments on her test in yesterday’s dressage report.

Based on how much rain has already fallen and tomorrow’s forecast calling for even more rain, Boekelo is not going to be a dressage show. Stay tuned for quotes from all three members of Team USA and Leslie Law as to their strategy for tomorrow. Click here to preview the cross country course.

USA cross country ride times:

  • Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II: 11:26 a.m. local time/5:26 a.m. EST
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: 2:06 p.m. local time/ 8:06 a.m. EST
  • Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus: 3:46 p.m. local time/9:46 a.m. EST

Cross country starts at 9:30 a.m. local time/3:30 a.m. EST. You can watch live with commentary from Diarm Byrne, Nicole Brown and special guests on the free live stream. Go Eventing.

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Boekelo Lunch Report: Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z Dance to Top 20

Tim Lips and Bayro delivered the best of day two so far, scoring 39.1 this morning to move into second place. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hello from another rainy day at Boekelo! With more rain anticipated tonight and tomorrow, the anticipation is building for what is expected to be a dramatic day of cross country here in Enschede, Netherlands.

But first, we look to the second day of dressage. At the lunch break, yesterday’s leaders Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro still sit in first place on 37.3 for China, but Tim Lips and Bayro are hot on their heels after scoring 39.1 this morning to slot into second. Boekelo serves as the Dutch National Championships, and Tim and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding are heavy favorites to take the title this weekend.

Our second American combination, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z also did their test before the lunch break, scoring 44.6 to sit in 20th place with the final afternoon session still to come. The 9-year-old KWPN gelding has now scored 44 in all three of his tests at the level since moving up over the summer — definitely consistent!

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“He’s quite green at this level still,” Liz said. “I was hoping to be on a better mark and get a lower score, but it’s a massive atmosphere. They were removing some scaffolding during my test, so every time he went into that corner he was looking.”

Liz is still chipping away at Niro’s flying changes with her longtime dressage trainer James Burtwell, and while they weren’t clean today, she knows clean changes will come in the future.

“He learns everything very fast, but the flying changes have been hard for him,” Liz said. “For this season we had to accept that this is where we are and try to get him to confidently do them and not drill the cleanness yet. I think when those are installed, he’ll be a horse in the 30s. He’s done tremendously well with the atmosphere considering he’s so green.”

Deniro Z has big fan club here at Boekelo, including Deniro Z Syndicate members Rob and Chris Desino and Liz’s husband, Al. Three cheers for our entire American crew who traveled to Boekelo to support our riders!

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II now sit in 47th position after scoring 51.3 yesterday, and she is hoping time will prove to be a factor on cross country so she can climb the leaderboard. The forecast is currently calling for rain all day tomorrow, so she will likely get her wish!

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus, the third and final rider on our U.S. Nations Cup team, are the third to last pair to go today, and you can watch their test live at 4:04 p.m. local time/10:04 a.m. EST thanks to the excellent Boekelo live stream.

Keep checking back to EN for much more from Boekelo, including comments from Team USA on their strategy for tackling Sue Benson’s cross country course tomorrow. If you missed the course preview, be sure to check it out here. Go Eventing.

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Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro Lead Boekelo on Day 1, Katherine Coleman in 30th

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro scored 37.3 as the final pair to go on the first day of dressage action here at Military Boekelo CCIO3* in Enschede, Netherlands, giving China the lead at the conclusion of day one.

Don Geniro, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Don Kennedy X Gina, by Giorgione) owned by Pip Higgins, Pam Dews and Sarah Higgins, is notoriously spooky in the first phase, but Alex expertly kept the lid on to claim one of the three scores we saw in the 30s today.

“He was quite a lot hotter than he was at Blenheim, where I think he probably did his best test all year. I thought he felt really relaxed and really good in the warm-up, and then he went in and just caught me out, spooking at the judge at E. But I’m delighted. I’m glad the judges were brave and gave him the marks despite his moments of tension,” Alex said.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a dressage competition. It absolutely poured this morning. We’re due more rain tomorrow and Saturday. Boekelo can often be very wet. I don’t think it will be any different this year. It’s a stiff course and is going to catch people out for sure.”

Chris Burton and Quality Purdey. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Australia’s Chris Burton scored 39.3 with Quality Purdey to sit in second place. Chris recently took over the ride on the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Claire Poole, and their new partnership started off with a bang at Le Pin au Haras in August, where they won the Nations Cup CICO3* on their dressage score of 36.7.

Chris comes forward as a strong favorite to claim victory at Boekelo, which would give Australia a win for the first time in the history of event. He is also competing Kate Walls’ Cooley Lands, who won the 8/9-year-olds CIC3* last month at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

Julia Mestern and Grand Prix Iwest were the only other pair to score in the 30s today, delivering a personal best at three-star level to sit third on 39.6. This pair is coming off a win in the Nations Cup CICO3* at Waregem, and Julia is no stranger to Boekelo, having won in 2008 and 2009 with Schorsch.

There are five riders competing here at Boekelo who have previously won the event. In addition to Julia, we also have Mark Todd (1989, 1998), Blyth Tait (1994, 1997), Nicolas Touzaint (2006) and Andreas Dibowski (2000, 2011) competing.

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard at the conclusion of day one, France is occupying the next two spots, with Aurelien Leroy and his own Seashore Spring, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Erudit X Bubbles, by Jasmin), in fourth on 41.1.

Astier Nicolas is making his return to the highest level of the sport after missing a large portion of the autumn season due to breaking his knee early in the summer. He scored 41.1 with Vinci de la Vigne, an 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Philippe and Marie-José Gerard, to sit in fifth place.

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine Coleman and Kalai LLC’s Back to Business II scored 51.3 as the first pair out for Team USA to sit 16th on the first day of dressage. She recently started training with British eventing team dressage coach Tracie Robinson, who Katherine said has helped immensely with the mare’s dressage.

While the mare’s flying changes are not yet confirmed, Katherine feels confident that once they get those nailed down, Back to Business will consistently be scoring in the 40s in the first phase. Their best test so far at the level came at Burnham Market in April when they scored 48.3.

“I’ve really struggled with her flying changes, and I really need another winter to work on those,” Katherine said. “She’s been really spooky about the ring, so I tried to get her in there yesterday as much as I could. I was a little bit concerned because she’s normally not a spooky horse. She held it together, but those changes are costly at this point.”

“Bizzy,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), stepped up to the three-star level at Barroca d’Alva in Portugal in March and completed her first CCI3* at Tattersalls in May in flying form, adding just 2.0 show jumping time penalties to her dressage score.

“Bizzy” with her super groom Caz Hewer, center, and Caroline Martin’s groom Sally Robertson. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine and Bizzy are looking for a solid run here at Boekelo after problems at their previous two international competitions, with the mare having a freak fall in their show jumping round at Millstreet CIC3* and two runouts on cross country at Blenheim.

“I hadn’t had a cross country run on her since the Open Intermediate at Aston le Walls at the end of July when we went to Blenheim. She’s green at the level, so it was a big ask to go from Intermediate at Aston to Blenheim. She got up to the top of the hill coming down to the water and was overwhelmed by all the people watching,” Katherine said.

“But after throwing her in that atmosphere I feel ready for the cross country at Boekelo with all the crowds. I’m really excited about her longterm. She’s young and has got it all. In a year or two’s time, she’ll be really competitive.”

Team USA walked Sue Benson’s cross country course with Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law this afternoon, and we’ll be bringing you their comments on the track tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check out photos of each fence on course here.

Looking to the Nations Cup leaderboard at the halfway point of dressage, Germany leads on 87.0, with New Zealand and Australia tied for second place on 90.2. Remember that only 10 points separate Great Britain and Germany on the series leaderboard. Great Britain currently sits fifth on 96.0.

If you didn’t watch the free live stream from Boekelo today, you are seriously missing out. Diarm Byrne and Nicole Brown are providing fantastic commentary, and Laura Collett, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Paul Tapner joined them in the booth throughout the day to weigh in.

We have our remaining two American combinations still to come tomorrow. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z go at 11:41 a.m. local time/5:41 a.m. EST tomorrow, with Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus as one of the final pairs to go at 4:04 p.m. local time/10:04 a.m. EST.

Stay tuned for much more from Boekelo, including exclusive facts and figures on the field from EquiRatings, the official statistics provider of the event. Don’t forget to check EN’s Instagram for bonus photos! Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteRide Times & Live ScoringThursday Ride TimesFriday Ride TimesLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Military Boekelo CCIO3* Cross Country Course Preview

Sue Benson returns to Military Boekelo CCIO3* in 2017 as the cross country course designer for the 17th year. The first part of the course this year looks quite different than in the past because the event has been relocated back to the part of the venue where it all began back in 1971 in Eschede, Netherlands.

The entire venue has received a facelift, with a beautiful new arena with all-weather footing serving as a stunning centerpiece. Two fences from the course are set in the new arena at fences 3 and 4 to give spectators in the many restaurants and bars surrounding the arena a thrill as horses and riders gallop by.

Fence 3 in the new main arena at Boekelo. Photo courtesy of CrossCountry App.

“I think that giving the course a fresh look and getting the first six fences in a different place has totally changed the feel of the course,” Sue said, noting that the open corner at fence 6 is new this year.

The direct route follows the left line at the first water complex at fence 10 10 starts with a narrow brush jump at A before horses and riders jump into the water over a blue wave fence and go on to a narrow angled log at C. Riders then jump a more narrow brush wedge as both the D and E elements of the water complex.

The jump in to the first water complex at fence 10B. Photo courtesy of CrossCountry App.

“The horses burst through the green track into this area for the water complex,” Sue said. “Always the crowds have an effect, particularly on the younger horses. It does have an electric atmosphere here. This year I’ve tried to be quite kind.”

Fences 12, 13 and 14 are separately numbered, but to take the direct route riders will need to angle their line over the brush parallel at fence 13 to make the related distance work for the brush corner at fence 14.

The direct route at fences 13 and 14. Photo courtesy of CrossCountry App.

The optimum time on Sue’s 5,720 meter course is 10 minutes, 3 seconds. While six in 10 starters at Boekelo have jumped clear on cross country this decade, only 6.2% have made the optimum time, according to EquiRatings. We can expect time penalties to be very influential come Saturday.

You can hear Sue’s excellent commentary on the course by clicking through the fences below. View in full screen mode below to scroll through all the fences. Click here to view the photos on CrossCountry App’s website. Many thanks to Willy Leysen for recording the course preview! Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of Boekelo. Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteRide Times & Live ScoringFriday Ride TimesLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Team USA Sails Through First Horse Inspection at Boekelo

Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Hello from Military Boekelo CCIO3* in Enschede, Netherlands! All 99 horses presented to the ground jury of Dr. Ernst Topp (GER), Eric Lieby (FRA) and Les Smith (GBR) were accepted at the first horse inspection.

There are 13 teams in all contesting the Nations Cup Final at Boekelo this weekend. After eight legs this season, Great Britain and Germany will battle it out for the series win, sitting on 590 and 580 points, respectively.

France is well back in third place on 335 points, but the host nation of the Netherlands is within striking distance of a podium finish on 280 points if they can deliver a strong performance on home soil. Sweden sits fifth in the current standings on 210 points.

The USA is sixth in the standings on 180 points, and we have a group of three making up our team for the Nations Cup Final, with Leslie Law acting as Chef d’Equipe.

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Caroline Martin is riding Pebbly Maximus, her 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding she already successfully campaigned overseas earlier in the summer. They had a top 15 finish in the Houghton Hall CICO3* Nations Cup and fifth place finish in the Bramham Under 25 CCI3*.

Liz Halliday-Sharp is riding Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN gelding owned by the Deniro Z Syndicate, in his CCI3* debut. They are coming off a strong fifth place finish in his first three-star in the Blenheim 8/9-year-old CIC3*, have won five internationals over the past calendar year.

Katherine Coleman is riding her own Back to Business II, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare that already has a strong finish at CCI3* level on her record this season, finishing 12th in her debut at the level at Tattersalls in Ireland over the summer.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Dressage starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time/3 a.m. EST. Click here for Thursday ride times and here for Friday ride times. Ride times for our USA ladies are:

  • Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II: Thursday 1:51 p.m. local time/7:51 a.m. EST
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: Friday 11:41 a.m. local time/5:41 a.m. EST
  • Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus: Friday 4:04 p.m. local time/10:04 a.m. EST

The entire event will stream live on the Boekelo website, with the dynamic duo of Diarm Byrne and Nicole Brown providing commentary. If you’ve seen their work on Event Rider Masters, you’ll love watching them at Boekelo!

Boekelo: WebsiteRide Times & Live Scoring, Thursday Dressage OrderEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Canada Gaining New FEI Event at Foshay in New Brunswick in 2018

Team Foshay International: Deanna Phelan, president of the New Brunswick Equestrian Association; Jay Hambly, cross country course designer; Sue Ockendon, technical delegate; and Rob Stevenson, Foshay Organizing Committee.

Canada is poised to gain another FEI event next year at Foshay Farms in Lower Jemseg, New Brunswick. Running over Labor Day weekend in 2018, August 30-Sept. 2, Foshay International has applied to host a CCI*, as well as the FEI’s new proposed 1.05-meter division.

It’s a longtime dream realized for Rob Stevenson, chair of the Equestrian Canada High Performance Advisory Group, whose family is deeply rooted in the New Brunswick equestrian tradition. His grandparents hosted the Fredericton Horse Show for several decades, with his parents holding shows at their Foshay Farms for more than 20 years.

These shows launched Rob’s own competitive career, which saw him represent Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, where he finished 22nd individually riding Risky Business. Since then he has served within Canadian eventing in a variety of different capacities, including sitting on the High Performance Committee from 2001 to 2004. He joined the FEI’s Risk Management Steering Group in 2016.

“It is through my involvement with the national team and the FEI that I have come to realize the impact of so few international eventing competitions in Canada,” Rob said. “There is a clear association between success in international competitions leading to further success at the highest levels of the sport. When we consider the developmental pathway for equestrian athletes in Canada, there is a large gap.”

Rob purchased a portion of his family’s farm 15 years ago in the hopes that one day he could host an FEI competition at the site. The new event at Foshay will join Bromont as the only other venue in Canada that currently hosts FEI divisions. Bromont is located in southwestern Quebec, while Foshay is in southern New Brunswick, which hugs the eastern border of Maine.

“I have ridden on the land my entire life. It’s an inspiring place to ride, an experience that I have always wanted to share with more people,” Rob said. “As many equestrian venues in Eastern Canada and in New England are being lost without succession plans, it seems as though this is an ideal time to launch this type of event here in New Brunswick. We’re about eight hours from Boston, and I hope close enough to appeal to the large number of eventers in Area I looking for FEI events.”

Hurricane Arthur toppled several trees on the property in 2014, which course designer Jay Hambly is eyeing for cross country jumps.

Foshay International is already off to a strong start with Jay Hambly on board as the cross country course designer, and Sue Ockendon at the helm as technical delegate. Jay was recently named to the course building team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, while Sue is the longtime organizer of Bromont.

“In the organization of these events, nothing replaces experience,” Rob said. “No amount of good intention could replace the vast experience that Jay and Sue bring from in running events around the world.”

Jay visited the site last month to lay out the courses, which will be open, galloping tracks tacking advantage of the beautiful rolling hills at the site. Hurricane Arthur downed several large trees on the property in 2014 which will now be repurposed as cross country jumps

Ultimately Rob hopes Foshay International will serve as a springboard for up-and-coming Canadian athletes to gain the experience needed to one day compete on the world stage and represent their country.

“I believe that to succeed at the international levels, we need to compete consistently at the international levels. I believe that we need to connect our developing riders with FEI events for them to excel on a global scale,” Rob said. “With Sue and Jay’s belief that this will be a great event, with a horse and rider friendly venue on great footing, we are excited to welcome competitors to our inaugural event in 2018.”

Much more information will be coming soon on Foshay International, but be sure to mark your calendars now for the inaugural event on Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2018. You can sign up to receive updates at www.foshayinternational.com. Go Eventing.

Ocala Jockey Club Gearing Up for Second $100,000 International Event

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF, winners of the inaugural $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event in 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

As the international eventing season is winding down throughout Europe, the action is just kicking into high gear here in the USA. The $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event is one of several highly anticipated competitions still to come, this year set to take place one week before Thanksgiving on Nov. 16-19.

The 924-acre venue in Reddick, Florida escaped Hurricane Irma without sustaining any major damage, and course designers Mike Etherington-Smith and Clayton Fredericks visited the site at the end of September to inspect the courses and make final preparations for the CIC3*, CCI2* and CCI* tracks.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream, winners of the inaugural CCI2* in 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“I was delighted with how the courses rode last year,” Mike said. “There has been a massive effort ever since, and the course is more mature and grown in this year.

“The Ocala Jockey Club is one of the nicest places to design a cross country course in the U.S. It has exceptional viewing and course visibility from every angle, fantastic tailgating opportunities, great atmosphere, great interest from the riders and a great organizing committee.”

CCI2*/CCI* course designer Clayton Fredericks, organizer Shelley Page, and CIC3* course designer Mike Etherington-Smith inspecting the 2017 courses. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

Mike is once again designing the CIC3* course this year, with Clayton returning as the designer for the CCI2* and CCI* courses.

“The footing is the best in the U.S. It is a real park with open space, long gallops and gentle undulations,” Clayton said.

“As a rider, there are four important things to me about an event — the footing, the quality of the course and fences, the ability to entertain and keep your owners and sponsors happy, and the opportunity to win some prize money. This event and this venue check all four. There are great opportunities to feel the excitement, watch and meet Olympic-level riders and build up the local community.”

The $100,000 in prize money proved to be a big draw for competitors last year, with more than 70 horses entered in the CCI* and 20 apiece in the CCI2* and CIC3*. Like last year, special awards and prize money will also be given to the highest placing Jockey Club registered Thoroughbreds or foreign Thoroughbreds recognized by the Jockey Club in each division.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, winners of the inaugural CCI* in 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

 

In addition to the competition, Ocala Jockey Club will also host community activities during the horse trials, with a Family Fall Festival offering sack races and a scavenger hunt on the cross country course. Ticket information and more details are available at ojc3de.com.

Entries are open through Oct. 30. Click here to view the Omnibus listing. To get a feel for the event, view last year’s courses and read about all the action from the inaugural horse trials in 2016, click here to read all of EN’s coverage from last year.

Are you planning to be at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event as a competitor or spectator? Let us know in the comments below!

Ocala Jockey Club Links: Website, Entry Status, Schedule, Ticket Information

 

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights Win Wire-to-Wire at Morven Park CIC3*

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights won their second CIC3* of the summer today at Morven Park International Horse Trials in Leesburg, Virginia, with a clear cross country round and 11.2 time penalties to complete on 56.9.

Colleen and “CR,” her homebred 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale, led the CIC3* from the start, topping the division after dressage yesterday on 39.7, their second career score in the 30s at this level. After Plantation Field, when CR scored 47.3 to sit well off the pace after the first phase, Colleen said she carefully read the judges’ comments and studied the video to discern where she lost marks.

“Their comments were ‘needs more collection,’ so I pushed him more forward than what they wanted to see. The judges wanted to see a more connected, more controlled test. At Morven I made it a point to go in the ring being more mindful and going a bit less forward than I did at Plantation, having more connection and trying to get him to sit on his hind end more,” Colleen said.

“It wasn’t a mistake-free test. We are still a tiny bit tense in the walk, and in the extended trot I lost the rhythm halfway through it, so he fizzled on me a little bit. It’s getting there. He’s starting to want to put in a little more pizazz, which is exciting.”

Colleen and “CR” added one rail and 2.0 time penalties in show jumping this morning to hold onto the lead, and marking a definite improvement over their round at Plantation Field when they had an uncharacteristic six rails down.

“You have to look back at your mistakes and think about what went wrong because if not you’re doomed to repeat them,” Colleen said. “He showed me that if I leave him alone, he can jump everything fine. When I try to help, he listens too well and I bury him. I firmly take the blame, and again the rail we pulled today was because I tried to help him in a line and I buried him.”

This is their second win in as many months, as Colleen and CR also won the Richland Park CIC3* on a record dressage and finishing score of 33.3. At the time, Colleen said she wanted to win Richland, Plantation Field and Morven Park on her way to the crown jewel of their season at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* in two weeks. Two out of three so far — not bad!

But Colleen said she didn’t set out of the start box today gunning for the win. “I didn’t go out chasing the time. I went out looking to have a good gallop and continue our fitness work for Fair Hill. I know he can make the time and he can make it easily.”

Colleen commended the work of Morven Park’s organizers and grounds crew, who have worked tirelessly aerating the ground after an ill-timed dry spell in the mid-Atlantic region over the past two weeks.

“I am so impressed by what Morven is doing. I love supporting my local events. They are trying to make this into a world-class event. This ground is better than what I have at home to gallop on it, so why wouldn’t I use it?”

Buck Davidson and Jak My Style. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Three of the seven competitors in the CIC3* completed the event. Buck Davidson and Kathleen Cuca’s Jak My Style, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, finished second on 64.8, adding one show jumping rail and 6.0 cross country time penalties to their dressage score.

Buck withdrew his other two rides, Copper Beach and Carlevo, as planned ahead of cross country, as he always intended to only run the combined test at Morven Park. Plantation Field CIC3* winner Copper Beach, owned by Carl and Cassie Segal and Sherrie Martin, will next head to Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* in France, with Carlevo going on to Fair Hill.

Holly Payne Caravella and Never OutFoxed. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Holly Payne Caravella and the Fox Syndicate’s Never OutFoxed jumped to a second-place podium finish in the U.S. Open $50,000 Arena Eventing Team Competition at the Central Park Horse Show last Saturday in New York, and today they stormed around clear and inside the time to finish third in the CIC3* on 70.3.

The remaining competitors in the CIC3* division retired on course or withdrew prior to running cross country. Click here to see full results from the CIC3* division.

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect Win Advanced

Allie Knowles continued her comeback tour with a win in the Advanced division on 42.6 with Sound Prospect, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Sound Prospect LLC, adding one show jumping rail and 5.2 cross country time penalties to their dressage score.

Colleen Rutledge and UNO, her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare bred by Jane Sleeper, finished second on 51.0 with one rail down in show jumping and 10.4 cross country time penalties.

Colleen Rutledge and UNO. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo, her own 15-year-old Trakehner, jumped clear in show jumping and added 7.6 time penalties on cross country to finish third on 64.2. Cindy Anderson-Blank and Phyllis Dawson’s Windchase Phoenix Star finished fourth on 80.6, with Ema Klugman also finishing fifth with her own Joker’s Win on 89.5.

The remaining competitors in theAdvanced division retired on course or withdrew prior to running cross country. Click here to see full results from the Advanced division.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Looking to the CIC2*, Autumn Schweiss and her own Oakport Strauss, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse, added 2.0 cross country time penalties to their dressage score to win on 59.8. Delaney Vaden and her own RedRox Jazzman, a 13-year-old American Warmblood, finished second on 61.7. Nita Sanfilippo and her own Alarmabull, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred, placed third on 67.2.

We have to send a special shout out to friend of EN and super mom Sara Lieser, who completed her first CIC2* today with her own Osh Kosh, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred. “Learning to really ride at this level has been harder than I could have imagined, but I continue to feel like we’re moving in the right direction, and I’m enjoying the journey.” Cheers to you, Sara!

Morven also ran two Open Intermediate divisions, with Kristen Bond and Liz Bond’s Enough Already, a 9-year-old KWPN gelding, winning the A division on 28.8, adding just 3.6 cross country time penalties to their dressage score.

Cheers to EN’s rockstar data analyst Maggie Deatrick, who jumped clear around the Intermediate-A division cross country with her own Divine Comedy, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred better known as “Dante.”

Arielle Aharoni and Christine Aharoni’s Dutch Times, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, finished just 1 second over the optimum time on cross country to add 0.4 penalties to their dressage score and win the Open Intermediate-B division on 33.4.

Click here to view full live scoring from all divisions at Morven Park. The action continues tomorrow in the CIC*, Preliminary and Novice divisions. Many thanks to Valerie Durbon Photography for taking beautiful photos today at Morven. Go Eventing.