Here’s a roundup of the three-star cross country action at beautiful Rebecca Farm today!
Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy, a 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding owned by Frank McEntee, booked it into the CCI3* lead. The pair was in second after dressage but wedged into the top spot when overnight leader Heather Morris and Charlie Tango picked up 15.2 time on course, which slipped them to third. Emilee Libby and Nonsensical, meanwhile, turned in the second fastest round of the division to move into second.
To recall, Erin and Paddy the Caddy were EN’s pick to win the CCI3* in our “By the Numbers” preview. They have an excellent jumping record, jumping clear rounds each of the three times they ran cross country prior to show jumping and leaving all the rails up in 10 of 12 rounds at this level. With less than a rail in hand, they’ll be looking to continue that streak tomorrow!
This is Erin’s maiden voyage to Rebecca Farm and she is, not surprisingly, happy that she made the trip. “Rebecca is even better than everyone describes it,” she says. “It was a great day for Paddy. He took off with me out of the box and was so keen for everything. I was really proud of him.” “
The pair is rerouting from their original plan of contesting Bromont; Paddy missed a month of work due to a stone bruise and Erin thought his fitness might not be up for the long, testing CCI track. Logistically and financially, the idea of traveling to Rebecca was daunting at first, but the receipt of a USEA Foundation Rebecca Farm travel grant, awarded to 16 riders to offset the cost of making the journey to compete in the three-star divisions, made it feasible.
Without a million horses to compete and students to coach — like she did last weekend at Loch Moy — Erin says Rebecca Farm has almost felt like a holiday. Asked how she’s been filling the time with only one horse to compete, she says she’s been taking a lot of naps!
In both the CCI3* and CIC3* divisions time played a big factor — Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration were the only CCI3* pair inside the time. Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against picked up 20 at the final water, an ABCD combination featuring a gator-topped rail in, a keyhole on an island, a log and a water drop. Alyssa Phillips and Bliss III retired after two stops on the far periphery at 14AB, a corner combination, followed by another at the 16ABC Normandy bank.
Dressage leaders Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal, an 8-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Judy McSwain, are still sitting pretty atop the scoreboard after cross country today. We’re thrilled for both Tamie and owner Judy, who is such a staunch supporter of our sport and clearly knew what she was doing when she put “Rory” in Tamie’s hands as a talented 4-year-old to develop!
“Judy is such a huge supporter of me and always has been,” Tamie says. “We’ve brought along a couple horses together and Rory is the first to get to the three-star level. And she is such a huge supporter of eventing — the long format, Young Riders.”
Of today, Tamie says she was thrilled with Rory. She thought the Normandy Bank combination, in particular, was a tough ask but the mare rose to the occasion.
“I hope Rory can jump clear (tomorrow), because Judy deserves it and the mare deserves it,” she says. “And I needed today after the spring.”
Be sure to stop by the Fleeceworks booth in the trade fair to give Judy a high five, give Mini Rory a scratch behind the ears, and do a little shopping, as they’re donating 10% of this week’s sales to Rebecca Farm’s Halt Cancer at X initiative.
Tamie and Rory struck out with a eight-point cushion over second placed Emily Pestl-Dimmett and Airlington, and gained a bigger margin when Emily came home with 26 time penalties in hand. Their own 10.4 time penalties were good enough to keep them in first, while Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo move from third to second. Alexis Helffrich and London Town round out the top three, jumping clear with 12 time.
There were a handful of scattered problems on the course. Lauren Billys and Castle Larchfield Purdy ran into a bit of trouble early, collecting 20 at the 7AB barns. Allison Sparks and Mystic Mojo glanced off 12, a hanging brush at the bottom of a hill on the second pass through the first water.
Maya Simmons and Archie Rocks were sadly technically eliminated after misinterpreting the 7AB barns. Ashlyn Tursey fell from RF Kinetic at 16ABC, the Normandy Bank, and Clara Cargile and and White Indian were eliminated when the horse repeatedly refused to jump into the first water.
The FEI leaders are coming in for a press conference later this afternoon, so I’ll update this post with quotes from the leaders in a while — check back! And more a special edition of CIC3* “Who Jumped It Best?” soon.
Rebecca Farm CCI3* cross country results:
Rebecca Farm CIC3* cross country results: