There’s not many pairs running in the Advanced and CIC3* division at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles, California, this weekend, but we’re still making predictions per EN tradition! Most of the Rolex-bound horses are already headed east, with the remainder just doing the CCI4* combined test as a final prep. Two of the six horses running cross country are headed for Lexington in two weeks.
There are two pairs competing in the CIC3*, both experienced. In the Advanced, two of the pairs are moving up to the level for the first time, which means I have no data from them yet.
The Advanced is performing 2014 USEF Test A-B in dressage, while the CIC3* uses 2015 FEI 3*-A. The cross country course designer is Derek di Grazia — a nice perk for the two horses heading to Kentucky after this event — and the show jumping course designer is Sarah Dubost.
Andrea Baxter and Indy 500: Indy 500 stepped up to this level in 2013, but it wasn’t until last fall that things started to click. These two have become a very consistent pair across the country since then, although they did have an issue two weeks ago at Galway Downs. Andrea will use Twin Rivers to regain their previous form.
Indy 500 averages a 65.6 on the flat, but did obtain a 58.4 the only time she has performed this test. A clear round with a quick average of only 3.2 time penalties over Derek’s courses will help them along, and averaging only one rail over Sarah’s courses will seal the deal. This pair will likely win with a score in the low 70s.
James Alliston and Parker: These two are by far the most experienced pair in the field. James competes Parker quite sparingly at this level, which is probably why Parker is about to head to his fifth Rolex in as many years. Parker has an extraordinarily quick cross country average, which should help him seize the blue this weekend.
Parker averages a 42.8 on this particular dressage test. He makes up for it by averaging double clear rounds over Derek di Grazia’s courses, which includes four Rolex trips for which he has accumulated only 2.8 time penalties … total. He does tend to add one rail when jumping Sarah Dubost courses, but will still clinch the blue with a score in the mid-40s.