Great Meadow International has quickly become a premier event in only three short years, first gaining an FEI Nations Cup leg for the U.S., then becoming a finalist in the bid to host a second CCI4* in this country. With many riders using this event as a final prep before making the long trek to Montana for Rebecca Farm, Great Meadow has filled a void in the schedule.
- Anyone not in first place after dressage will be fighting an uphill battle; the two winners at this event thus far both led the field after dressage.
- Only three pairs have finished on their dressage score out of 60 starters at this venue; all three occurred last year.
- The field is quite strong in the stadium phase, with 14 horses trending towards jumping clear at this level when show jumping is held before cross country.
- Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda will be the first pair to attempt to be a two-time winner of this event, and they have a good chance of leading from start to finish. Despite being out for the 2016 season, Cambalda’s three-star dressage average since 2015 is a strong 44.7. Their score of 39.8 at this venue two years ago was a personal best for the pair.
- Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are no slouches on the flat, with 87.5% of their career three-star tests in the 40s or below. With an average of 47.1 over the past two calendar years, they should be up near the top after the first phase.
- Donner has become Mr. Consistent in dressage over the past two years, putting in scores with Lynn Symansky at the three-star level that range only from the mid-to-high 40s. A two-year average of 47.5 would put them right in stalking range from day one.
Show Jumping Powerhouses
Cross Country Machines
- Sound Prospect was out for the fall season in 2016, and Allie Knowles sat on the injured list this spring, but they are finally both out again at the top level. Since 2015, this pair has been flawless over CIC3* cross country courses and averaged only 7 seconds over the optimum time for the spring 2016 season over short courses at this level.
- Steady Eddie has really found his groove over the past 12 months, with only clear runs at the CIC3* level in the past two calendar years. He and Boyd Martin are generally quite speedy as well, averaging only 9 seconds over the time over the same period.
- Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me are another pair who have really stepped up, going five for five in clear CIC3* cross county rounds over the past two years, all coming in less than 20 seconds over the time. Their average pace for this level sits at 9 seconds over optimum.
PREDICTED WINNER: Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda
Keep Your Eye On:
- Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready
- Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie
- Lynn Symansky and Donner
- Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect
- Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection