The U.S. team had a superb day in the sandbox at Millstreet International Horse Trials in Ireland to tie for the Nations Cup lead after the first phase, but the real headline of the day has to be Tom Carlile and Upsilon’s record-setting score of 16.8 to top the CICO3* leaderboard.
EquiRatings confirmed that 16.8 (25.2 in former FEI scoring) is a career personal best across all levels for both Tom and Upsilon, and the best CIC3* dressage score in more than a decade at any international competition. It is also the best score delivered by a French rider this decade. You can watch a replay of Upsilon’s test below.
Fresh off defending their Barbury title in the most recent Event Rider Masters leg, Tom and Upsilon, a 10-year-old Anglo-Arabian stallion (Canturo X O’Vive, by Fusain du Defey), are leading the charge for the French Nations cup team, which sits tied with the U.S. team for the lead after dressage on 85.7.
Buck Davidson enjoyed the lead for a very brief moment before Tom and Upsilon stormed in as the next test, and Carlevo’s score of 23.5 has him in second place out of 65 starters overnight. That is a career personal best across all international levels for the 11-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC. Watch the replay below.
“He’s very good in the first phase and always consistently in that range for his scores,” Buck said. “About 10 minutes before I went, it just poured — sideways rain and blowing wind — and Carlevo wouldn’t go in one direction. I was thankful that the rain held off for a bit during my test!”
Carlevo stayed across the pond following Aachen and has been in JP Sheffield’s yard in England. Buck arrived on Sunday to prepare for Millstreet, and said Carlevo felt fantastic after spending the past four weeks in JP’s care.
“At this level the horses are so finely tuned,” Buck said. “It took a couple days to get him back completely with me, but I feel that JP did a fantastic job of working on things that maybe I wouldn’t normally work on at home. I think having another rider of that caliber ride your horse can really help.”
Ros Canter is riding as an individual in the CICO3* for Great Britain and led with Zenshera after the first day of dressage. She now sits third on 24.0 and also has a second ride in the top five in three-star debutante Pencos Crown Jewel. The 9-year-old British-bred mare (Jumbo X Cornish Queen, by Rock King) scored 25.5 for fifth place.
Millie Dumas also has two rides in the top 10 for Britain, with her Nations Cup team mount Artesiek, a 13-year-old KWPN (Numero Uno X Lilian NW, by Hopefull) owned by Ellie Guy, in fourth on 24.2.
Liz Halliday-Sharp has two rides in the CICO3* for the U.S., with Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night competing as an individual. The 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Radolin X Argentina XII, by Argentinus) scored 25.9 to sit in sixth place after dressage.
“The footing in the arena is really deep and grabbed him a bit,” Liz said. “He had a swap behind in the medium when I really went for it and he stumbled, but I couldn’t have asked for more. He was on form and he really stayed with me.”
Liz piloted her Nations Cup team mount Deniro Z into 11th place on 28.3, which is a personal best at three-star level for the horse. “Niro,” a 10-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend, by French Buffet xx) owned by the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties, is back out at international level for the first time since finishing eighth in his CCI4* debut at Luhmühlen. Watch their test below.
“Deniro has come away from Luhmühlen an even better horse,” Liz said. “He is moving better and feeling stronger, and he was happy to be at the big party today. He tried really hard. The deep footing affected him, especially in the halts. He fell into them, and they weren’t good like they have been in training. The changes weren’t great, but he’s getting clean ones at home. With better halts he would have been in the top 10 even without the changes.”
Hallie Coon and Celien, an 11-year-old KWPN mare (Tenerife VDL X R Quicksilver, by Hamlet), were first out for the U.S. team yesterday and sit 30th on 33.9 at the conclusion of dressage. Click here to read her comments about her test.
Canada also has one rider in the Nations Cup in Mike Winter, who sits 47th after dressage on 37.9 with El Mundo, a 9-year-old KWPN owned by Mike and Emma Winter and Jonathan Nelson.
With France and the U.S. tied for the Nations Cup lead on 85.7 and Great Britain sitting third on 86.5, tomorrow’s cross country is sure to be a nail-biter. Millstreet is testing the three-rider team format that will be used at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and Liz said the goal for the U.S. is three clear rounds inside the time across Mike Etherington-Smith’s course.
“Millstreet is a good, hearty Irish track,” she said. “There are four water jumps, which is a lot for a CIC. It’s all there to be attacked. Mike has built a really great course. The ground is amazing. You just have to get in and really attack it. I think it will reward you if you come out fighting that way.”
Buck also praised the course and said the downpours today helped soften up the ground beautifully. “The grounds crew has been amazing with watering and spiking, and we’ve had a lot of rain today, so I think conditions should be perfect.”
You can watch cross country live at this link starting at 11:30 a.m. local time/6:30 a.m. EST, with Hallie Coon and Celien as the first out on course. Cross country ride times for our U.S. and Canadian combinations are as follows:
- Hallie Coon and Celien: 11:30 a.m./6:30 a.m. EST
- Mike Winter and El Mundo: 12:30 p.m./7:30 a.m. EST
- Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z: 12:57 p.m./7:57 a.m. EST
- Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night: 2:06 p.m./9:06 a.m. EST
- Buck Davidson and Carlevo: 2:21 p.m./9:21 a.m. EST