It’s a busy weekend down in Florida, with more than 450 horses competing in the Ocala Horse Properties International Three-Day Festival, presented by Equiventures, at the Florida Horse Park. Clayton Fredericks is in command of the Coast to Coast CCI2* after dressage, handily leading on 34.2 with FE Money Made, a 7-year-old Westphalian gelding he owns with Amanda Bernhard and Diana Crawford.
“Connor” is off to a memorable start in his CCI2* debut so far, as that score is 10 points better than he did at Red Hills last month, where he ultimately finished in fourth place in the CIC2*. The horse’s stablemate, FE Bowman, won that event, and “Bowie,” an 8-year-old Wurttemberger gelding owned by the same group, isn’t far off the pace at Ocala either, currently sitting third in the CCI2* on 41.6 after dressage.
Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection are breaking up Clayton’s stronghold at the top of the CCI2* leaderboard, scoring 40.5 to sit in second place. “Pippy,” a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Mary Ann Gadbhan, is competing in her first CCI since 2014 following a careful rehabilitation period after an injury.
Alex O’Neal and DJ, formerly known as “Get Real” prior to the FEI’s new name change rule, went early in the order of go for the huge 90-horse CCI* at Ocala yesterday, but their score of 33.4 still won the dressage after the division concluded today. The 8-year-old Dutch gelding Alex owns is competing in his first one-star at this event, coming off three consecutive Preliminary wins at Three Lakes, Red Hills and Carolina.
USEF Eventing 18 rider Karri Bellamy is sitting in second place in the CCI* on 36.5 with Cool Connection, her own 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding. They’re off to a great start in Karri’s first one-star as she looks to gain her qualifier with “Noodles” to represent Area I at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships this summer.
Lee Camiolo, 16, is also competing in her first one-star at Ocala with Caharron V.E., a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding she owns. Their dressage score of 37.8 has them sitting in third place currently and is a big jump from the 53.5 they scored in their FEI debut in the CIC* at Red Hills last month. The young riders are on top of their game in Ocala!
While there’s plenty going on in the FEI divisions at Ocala, there are also a number of riders making their final preparations for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Marilyn Little is leading the Open Intermediate division at Ocala with RF Demeter on 26.5 after dressage and show jumping.
She spoke to EN last month about her different approach to Rolex this year, only running “Demi,” a 14-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Raylyn Farms, Jacqueline Mars and Patrick Witte, at the Wellington Eventing Showcase, an Intermediate at Rocking Horse and now at Ocala in the lead up to Rolex.
Ellie MacPhail and RF Eloquence, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Sally Crane, are also heading for Rolex and are currently sitting second place in the Intermediate division on 26.7. Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo, a 10-year-old Irish/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars, are in fifth on 31.5; “Patrick” is cross-entered at both Rolex and Jersey Fresh.
Ocala also held an Advanced combined test today for the Rolex pairs, with a single judge, Beth Barritt, scoring the riders on 2009 FEI Four-Star Test B, the same test that will be used in Kentucky. Liz Halliday-Sharp is still sore from her hard fall at The Fork on Sunday, but she gritted her teeth to ride Deborah Halliday’s HHS Cooley to the lead after dressage on 35.5 before withdrawing before show jumping.
Maya Black and Dawn Dofelmier’s Doesn’t Play Fair, who are coming off a big win at The Fork CIC3* this past weekend, won the Advanced combined test with a dressage score of 39.8. Buck Davidson and Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach finished second with a dressage score of 40.2, and Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot rounded out the top three on their dressage score of 41.5.
Tomorrow is cross country day, with the CCI2* division going first starting at 9:45 a.m., followed by the CCI*. Cavalor is sponsoring a wine and cheese party from 5-8 p.m. Saturday in the hospitality tent, with a special prize drawing for one lucky winner, so don’t miss that if you’re there.
EN’s good friend Thehorsepesterer is uploading more videos from today’s action to his YouTube channel right now. Click here for more information on the Ocala Horse Properties International Three-Day Festival, and click here to view live scores from the event. Equiventures also has more information at this link.