The first 20 horses in the CCI3* danced down the centerline today at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event here in Allentown, New Jersey. Jessica Phoenix and Don Good’s Pavarotti lead the division on 28.5 (42.8 in former FEI scoring) with six more horses still to come tomorrow.
Pavarotti, a 16-year-old Westphalian (Pavarotti Van de Helle X Fidelia, by Foxiland), has scored in the 20s in all of his international appearances thus far this season in his bid for a return trip to the World Equestrian Games for Canada. Jessica said she thought today’s test was one of the nicest Pavarotti has ever done.
“He felt relaxed and like he kept his hind legs underneath him more in this test than in previous tests. He’s so excited to be here and feels so fit and ready to go,” Jessica said.
“Pavarotti has been a horse of a lifetime for me. The things that the horse has done for me and the teams he’s ridden on and being so competitive every time out for me, to bring him to Jersey and have him feel this fit and ready to go is pretty exciting.”
Jersey Fresh is Pavarotti’s fifth appearance at the CCI3* level, and he finished 11th in the CCI3* here in 2016. Since then, Capt. Mark Phillips has taken over as course designer, introducing a new loop to the course in 2017 in an effort to unwind what has historically been known as a very twisty track.
“I think (the course) really flows nicely at the start … and they can get into the rhythm before you start doing circles later. There’s a lot of turning and a lot of circling back on yourself towards the later part of the course … I think with the way they’ve used the hills, fitness will be really important this year,” Jessica said.
“When you’ve been around that many courses on a horse (like Pavarotti), you feel like they are your best friend and you know each other inside and out. On cross country, anything can happen any day, but you feel really confident leaving the start box on that horse.”
Boyd Martin‘s homebred Ray Price is stepping up to the CCI3* level here at Jersey Fresh and impressed in his test this morning, scoring 29.1 to sit in second place after the first day. “He was green and wiggly in the test, and there’s lots of improvement to be made, but I think he’s all class,” Boyd said.
This is the fourth career Advanced start for Ray Price, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred/Dutch gelding (Raise A Stanza X Fair Fiona, by Salute) owned by the Ray Price W Syndicate. He finished fourth in his CIC3* debut at Fair Hill last month.
Boyd bred Ray Price’s grandmother and mother, and has a 2-year-old sister to the horse as well. (Click here to read more about Boyd’s breeding program.) He affectionately described the horse as a bit of a “weirdo,” and said the whole family can be a bit sharp — “You wouldn’t want to take your rain coat off when you’re riding him.”
But at 78% Thoroughbred, Ray Price is also the shining example of a modern event horse: “He’s got speed, he’s got movement, he’s got heaps of jump,” Boyd said. “By the end of the year at Fair Hill I think he’ll be a genuine, proper three-star horse, and then if that all goes well I think he’ll be good to go up to (four-star) next year.”
Canada is dominating the top of the leaderboard after the first day of dressage, with Waylon Roberts sitting in third on 30.8 with Michelle and John Koppin’s Lancaster, an 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse by Yavari, in the horse’s CCI3* debut.
Waylon originally had this horse as a 4-year-old and sold him to Boyd, during which Mike Pendleton took Lancaster around his first one-star. When the horse went back on the market in 2016, Waylon jumped at the chance to get him back. Since then he has produced him though the two-star level and up to three-star, finishing seventh in the horse’s debut at the level at Red Hills.
“The horse just comes out of his stall in the right outline and shape,” Waylon said. “It’s just trying to put all the right movements together in a row.”
As for the cross country: “There are plenty of challenges out there. I think Mark has done a good job with setting it to get some of these younger horses around. I’m looking forward to tackling that on Saturday.”
Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino sit fourth on 31.7 in his first CCI3* appearance since Galway Downs in 2015.
“Domino,” a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Dunlough Striker X Atlantic Amanda, by Glidawn Diamond) owned by Frank Fletcher and Fletcher Farms, has had a cracking spring season, with the first CIC3* win of Jacob’s career at Chattahoochee Hills, plus a second-place finish at Red Hills.
Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play round out the top five on 31.9. “Coolio,” a 10-year-old German Sport Horse (Condors Champion X Roxana, by Radscha) owned by The Donner Syndicate, is another horse making his CCI3* debut at Jersey Fresh. He impressed in his first CIC3* at The Fork at Tryon, finishing seventh in a strong field.
Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman Top CIC3*
The first 11 pairs in the 41-horse CIC3* division also went today in dressage. Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman, a 10-year-old Wurttemberger (Balloon X Concorde, by Cabaret) he owns with Amanda Bernhard and Diana Crawford, lead on 30.1 in the early going.
“He was a bit tense today,” Clayton said. “I didn’t give him as much work as I normally have and made one little error, which is a bit unusual for him. It’s a hard arena for him because he’s such a looky horse.”
FE Bowman finished 10th in the CIC3* at Chattahoochee Hills last month and is aiming for his first CCI3* at Bromont to gain his qualification for the World Equestrian Games.
“It seems like he’s been around for awhile, but he’s quite green at the three-star level,” Clayton said. “We have some bits to iron out and get right … but he’s well capable of doing it.”
Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Danger Mouse, a 10-year-old KWPN by Kannan, sit in second place in the CIC3* on 30.6. We are relieved to report that Caroline said her injured foot is feeling much better six weeks post her fall at Carolina International — fantastic news!
Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie sit in third place in the CIC3* on 31.2. The 15-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred (Jetball X Tudnela) owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen, Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, is re-routing to the Bromont CCI3* following early trouble on course at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Boyd Martin and On Cue Top CCI2*
Twelve of the 18 horses in the CCI2* division went down the centerline today, with Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s On Cue leading on 25.7 in the mare’s first appearance at the level. On Cue, a 12-year-old Anglo European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising), finished third in the CIC2* at The Fork and also finished seventh in the two-star at Pine Top early in the season.
Allison Springer and Business Ben, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred (Artie Schiller X Min Elreeh, by Danzig) owned by the Business Ben Partnership, scored 30.8 to sit in second place. This is his second appearance at CCI2*, having finished 31st at Fair Hill International last autumn.
Young rider Cassandra Wallskog, 17, and her 18-year-old Oldenburg mare Feine Loesung round out the top three in the CCI2* on 34.5. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2*.
Will Faudree and Caeleste Lead CIC2*
The first 17 pairs went today in the packed 58-horse CIC2* division. After the first third of the division, Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Caeleste, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Happygolucky, by Lucky Lionell), lead on 27.7.
Boyd Martin is the only rider in the competition to have a horse in the top three of all four divisions here at Jersey Fresh. He currently sits in second place on 28.2 with the Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Star Regent xx X Donnice, by Der Clou), in preparation for Luhmühlen CCI4* next month.
Holly Payne-Caravella and CharmKing, a 7-year-old Holsteiner (Cassito X O-Heraldika, by Heraldik) owned by CharmKing LLC, sit in third place in the CIC2* on 30.0.
Keep it locked on EN for much more from #JFI3DE, including our full preview of Capt. Mark Phillips’ CCI3* cross country course. We also invite you to join us in doing a rain dance, as the footing could definitely use some extra rain before Saturday.
Jersey Fresh has borrowed Fair Hill’s aggravator to work on the footing, and after Morgan Rowsell spent a significant portion of the day out working on the course, the riders are reporting that the portions aggravated thus far feel significantly better. Thank you, Morgan!