At this point in the season, we are probably getting a sneak preview of the pairs who might be contesting the inaugural CCI3* at Rebecca Farm, as Copper Meadows is the last Advanced and three-star event on the West Coast prior to the July event. Hopefully some East Coast pairs will come out for Rebecca, but there will almost certainly be a large contingent from the west ready to defend their turf.
There are only four pairs in the CIC3*, but all four have quite a bit of experience at this level. In complete contrast, the Advanced division is fairly green, with one experienced horse stepping back up to the level after a hiatus, one pair with a couple of Advanced runs under their belt from last year, and three pairs who will be attempting the level for the first time. I’m predicting that one rider in particular will be having a very good weekend.
The Advanced division is performing 2014 USEF A-B while the CIC3* runs 2015 FEI 3*-A. The cross country course designer is Hugh Lochore, who isn’t often seen out west, and the show jumping course designer is Jose Nava, who only designs in the west.
Barb Crabo and Eveready: Although this pair’s Rolex experience may have ended earlier than they would have liked, their consistent form out west will see them return to the top this weekend. By far the most experienced pair of the group, returning to their territory will give them a confidence booster moving into the rest of the year.
These two have performed this test only once so far, scoring a 51.5 at Galway Downs in March. Although they haven’t seen one of Hugh Lochore’s courses yet, they’ll probably be the quickest of the bunch, averaging only six time penalties across the country. They do average one rail when attempting Jose Nava’s stadium courses, but will be able to hold onto the win with a score in the low 60s.
Barb Crabo and Over Easy: After running into some trouble at the Advanced and CIC3* levels last year, Barb dropped her younger horse Over Easy down to Prelim and Intermediate for the fall and spring seasons. Several confidence building runs culminated in a win at the Galway Downs CIC2* in March, and Barb is bringing this mare back out at this level for the first time in almost a year.
Over Easy averages a 40.2 on this test, which is quite a bit above her typical average. Like most West Coast horses, she hasn’t seen a Hugh Lochore course yet, but averages 9.6 time penalties when going clear across the country. A tendency to have one rail over Jose’s designs will not keep this pair from winning, ending on a score in the low 50s.