While the East Coast focuses on Bromont, those in the west are beginning the run up to the CCI3* at Rebecca Farm later this summer. A healthy contingent will compete at Copper Meadows, which will be the last chance for the West Coasters to get a run in before the July event in Montana. Most of the horses are relatively green for the level, many contesting their first three-star this weekend or even stepping up to the level for the first time.
The dressage test will be 2015 FEI 3*-B. Hugh Lochore is the cross country designer, while Michael Roy Curtis has charge of the show jumping.
1. Heather Morris and Charlie Tango: After fighting a scary bout of botulism last fall, Charlie Tango had a delayed start to his season. Once he got rolling, he stepped smoothly up the Advanced level, finishing second in both of his full outings this spring.
Since this is his first three-star, Charlie Tango has yet to perform this test but averages a 47.0 thus far for the level. This horse has yet to have a penalty in the show jumping phase, including a double clear over Michael Roy Curtis’ course at Galway Downs. Heather has put in one quick run and one easy run across the country thus far, and the two runs average at 13.6 time penalties. Despite the time penalties, this pair will likely win with a score just over 60.
2. Josh Barnacle and Celtic King: Another pair with just a couple of runs under their belt, Josh and Celtic King just stepped up to this level earlier this spring. This will be their first attempt at the CIC3* level.
Dressage is not Celtic King’s favorite phase, and thus far these two average a 61.0 for the level. Despite that, jumping is definitely where the horse excels, and he recently jumped clear with three time penalties over Michael Roy Curtis’ course at Galway Downs. In two Advanced runs across the country, this pair has only accumulated one second over the optimum time, so look for a double clear round this weekend. They’ll move up to second after the two jumping phases with a score in the mid-to-low 60s.
3. Jolie Wentworth and Goodknight: Jolie is competing her four-star partner Goodknight at this level for the first time since Rolex in 2015. This horse is by far the most experienced in the field, which will serve them well this weekend.
This pair hasn’t done this particular test yet, but average a 54.1 on the flat which will be near the top after dressage. Although they haven’t seen any Michael Roy Curtis courses yet, they average one rail and one time penalty overall. A strong cross country record with only 6.8 time penalties will keep them high in the standings, although this will be the first time Goodknight sees a Hugh Lochore course. Jolie should round out the top three with a score in the mid-60s.
Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin: Chatwin first stepped up to Intermediate at this event last year, placing first or second at every event since until finishing fifth at Jersey Fresh CCI2* after leading the division through the first two phases. He now steps up to the big leagues, and with his track record, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see this horse finish at or near the top in his debut.