Carolina has a bunch of heavy hitters running this weekend, but let’s not forget that Poplar is also running a CIC3* and Advanced. The fields are a bit smaller and generally less experienced at Poplar, but there are still a few experienced pairs competing in Georgia this weekend.
We’ll see fourteen pairs contesting the CIC3* and nine in the Advanced. Poplar can be very hit or miss, with some years causing quite a few issues on their course, so this weekend will be a big test for the horses coming off their first Advanced at Rocking Horse or Pine Top, in either division.
For the CIC3*, the dressage test will be 2015 FEI 3*-A, which means the horses coming from Red Hills will have prior experience. The Advanced dressage test is 2014 USEF A-A, considered the harder of the two USEF tests. The cross country course designer is Tremaine Cooper and the show jumping course designer is Jan Brodkin.
TOP FIVE CIC3*
1. Julie Richards and Beaulieu’s Cayenne: Julie has a couple of live ones with her pair, and while Urlanmore Beauty may have taken the title at Fair Hill CCI2*, I think Beaulieu’s Cayenne will come out on top at her first CIC3*. The mare has one official Advanced under her belt, as well as a good go at the Wellington Showcase, but this will be the first real test for her this year.
Beaulieu’s Cayenne averages the equivalent of a 54.8 thus far, putting her in the top five after dressage. She hasn’t had a rail or time penalty in two rounds of jumping, but hasn’t seen a course by Jan Brodkin yet. A clear round in Wellington along with a quick round at Pine Top means an average of only 1.4 time penalties across the country, but her first look at a Tremaine Cooper course will probably slow her down quite a bit.
If Julie can help the mare meet her average in time penalties, they’ll finish in first on a score in the mid-fifties. Even if they add some additional time penalties, they could still end up in the top placings.
2. Leslie Law and Tout de Suite: Leslie is back at the Advanced level, this time with Tout de Suite. This horse is another who just ran his first Advanced, this time at Rocking Horse.
Tout de Suite scored the equivalent of a 51.5 at Rocking Horse, and Leslie is likely to equal or better that this weekend. He did have a rail over Jan Brodkin’s Rocking Horse show jump course. While Leslie had a quick round and picked up only two time penalties, this is another pair likely to be slowed down by Tremain’s XC course.
As above, a duplication of the quick cross country round will have this pair in second with a score in the mid to high fifties, but even additional time penalties could secure a top placing.
3. Julie Richards and Urlanmore Beauty: Julie is likely to walk out with two top placings, as her gelding Urlanmore Beauty is equally as capable as his stablemate. A little better on the flat, a little slower across the country thus far has him placing just a bit below Beaulieu’s Cayenne.
Urlanmore Beauty has thus far averaged the equivalent of a 53.0 in dressage, which should nab him third place after the first phase. A careful show jumper, he has averaged no rails and one time penalty in his two attempts at this level. A touch slower ride for Julie, he has averaged 5.4 time penalties, but will again be slowed by Tremaine’s course.
Look for this pair in third with a score just under sixty if they can maintain their average place.
4. Elinor MacPhail and RF Eloquence: Ellie and and RF Eloquence are currently on the entry list for Rolex, but still need another CIC3* to qualify. They will look to accomplish that this weekend, after a rider fall kept them from completing the Red Hills CIC3*.
RF Eloquence is the only horse in the field with a dressage average under fifty, but scored a 52.5 on this test two weeks ago. The gelding does trend towards a rail with two time penalties over Jan Brodkin’s courses. However, these two are very consistent over Tremaine Cooper’s courses, with no jump penalties in five attempts and an average of 13.6 time penalties. They should nab fourth with a score in the low seventies, but could end up higher if other pairs slow down drastically.
5. Kyle Carter and Madison Park: Kyle is back with his old partner Madison Park, after withdrawing him from the CIC3* at Red Hills following the devastating loss of his stablemate, Conahy’s Courage. kyle will be looking for a solid round from his old campaigner as he prepares for the spring CCIs.
Madison Park scored a 55.8 on this test two weeks ago, which is close to his overall average. He favors Jan Brodkin’s courses, averaging double clear over them. Kyle does take him a bit slower over Tremaine Cooper’s cross country designs than he typically goes, accruing an average of 16.4 time penalties. These two will be breathing down Ellie’s neck, with a score less than a point behind for fifth.
TOP FOUR ADVANCED
1. Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato: Jordan has come east to prepare for the run up to Rolex, following Poplar up with an entry to the Fork. Even on the West Coast, this pair has seen a couple of Tremaine’s course, so they should be well-prepared for this weekend. This is Revitavet Capato’s first Advanced run this year.
Jordan and Capato average a 36.6 on the flat, which should give them a top four placing. Revitavet Capato does average two rails and a time penalty in stadium, which will drop them down a bit in the rankings. An average of 11.2 time penalties over Tremaine’s courses will snag them a win with a score in the mid to high fifties.
2. Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless: Elisa recently stated recently in our Rolex Rookies series that she would only be running the CT at Poplar and Ocala in preparation for Rolex, but just in case she changes her mind, we have her listed here.
Simply Priceless is a bit tougher on the flat, and an average of 43.4 on this particular dressage test will have him at the bottom of the pack. An average of two rails in show jumping will maintain his placing. This pair is quick across the country though, and if they match their average of 6.4 time penalties, they sneak into second, less than a point behind Revitavet Capato.
3. Libby Head and Sir Rockstar: This is the fourth time Libby Head and Sir Rockstar will be contesting an Advanced or CIC3* division here at Poplar Place. Another clear round here will make them four for four.
Sir Rockstar laid down one of his better scores the one time he performed this test, scoring a 36.6. They average one rail and two time over Jan Brodkin’s courses, but will probably maintain their placing with that. Libby and Sir Rockstar are a bit slower over Tremaine’s courses, averaging 16.4 time penalties. They should finish in third, just a hair behind Elisa and Simply Priceless.
4. Katie Frei and Houdini: Katie and Houdini are quite experienced at this level and are out to play for the first time this year after an initial appearance at the Wellington Showcase. Katie will be making sure Houdini has a good run here to set him up for the spring season.
Katie and Houdini average a 35.4 when performing this dressage test, which should put them near the top in this division. They tend to jump double clear when the course designer is Jan Brodkin, which should help move up the ranks. A fairly sedate pace with 25.6 time penalties across Tremaine’s course will knock them down to fourth, with a score in the low sixties.