Morning came early for the riders in the upper divisions at Copper Meadows. While the CIC1* completed both dressage and stadium yesterday, the remaining FEI and horse trials divisions shifted schedules to show jump early in the morning, and turn around to go out and tackle the Hugh Lochore cross country course.
Overnight leaders were tight in all divisions, and Jose Nava’s stadium course shook things up a bit.
Eveready is Ready to Seal the Deal in the CIC3*
This small division got even smaller this morning when Jolie Wentworth withdrew Mojito to save his legs for another day.
Barb Crabo and Eveready have 20 penalties in hand after show jumping, but we doubt they will need it! After a double clear round, it’s clear Ready has forgotten any trouble at Rolex and focused on the task at hand.
Andrea Baxter and her Indy 500 moved into second with a double clear as well. Just to note, folks, this mare is technically for sale!
Winston and Avery Klunink had two unfortunate rails to drop them down to third. But don’t count them out, as the cross country course is untested and only 2.1 points separate second and third.
Barb Crabo Continues to Lead the Advanced Division
Barb Crabo and Over Easy, predicted to win this weekend, remain in first despite a rail and some time. They hold a comfortable lead over Ashlynn Meuchel and Morning Star, who also picked up one rail and some time, but anyone who knows Copper knows that time cross country is definitely a factor.
The only double clear round of the division went to Gina Enconomou and Calidore, the horse that doesn’t believe scope can be defined. (Seriously, have you seen him go?) This moved Gina and Leo from 6th to 3rd, and only one point behind Ashlynn.
Kevin Baumgardner withdrew Wembley, and time was difficult to make for this division, with all competitors but Gina adding time.
This is where the double jumping format may have come into play, with the riders being a little conservative before tackling the brand new track. Four of the six pairs are contesting their first Advanced as well.
Amber Levine makes it look easy in the CIC2*
Our overnight leaders, Amber Levine and Guinness St. James’, made easy work of the course to remain in first. JJ, the small but mighty Irish Sport Horse, certainly didn’t let his size factor into his ability to leave the rails up.
Amber said yesterday that both of her horses are good jumpers, and we would have to agree. Her younger horse, Carry On, had two rails to move him into fifth, but look for Cory and Amber out on the cross country course.
The two horses are “almost 100% completely different, “just in size alone! Cory is about one full hand bigger than JJ, but they both ooze talent and are certainly ones to watch.
Lauren Billys reflected yesterday that she is starting to feel like Marseille, aka Oz, is finally starting to feel like ‘her” horse. Their double clean round puts them in definite striking distance for win, should Amber pick up any time on course.
Despite having one rail, it’s Heather Morris sitting in third with Charlie Tango. If you want a safe bet on Belmont day, go for the girls from Team NLE/Express! Chuck has already proven himself at this level cross country, so time may play a huge factor in deciding our winner today.
Katherine Cole also benefited from a clear round, moving from 7th to 4th this morning. Her own Don Juanito, and Argentinian gelding, moved back up to Intermediate this spring.
This pair has been incredibly successful in their last two outings, winning the competitive Open Intermediate division at Galway Downs in March, and placing second at Twin Rivers in an equally big division. (The winner there was Lauren Billys and her Pan Am bound Castle Larchfield Purdy.)
A special shout out to Elizabeth New, who also jumped double clear to move into sixth. Ellee inherited “Bean” from her sister after a winning season at NAJYRC’s last year. Read more about the New sisters and Bean here!
See how the new arena played out for the riders with this recap thanks to Ride On Video!