Like the terrified yet glamourous heroine in a horror movie, RF Demeter couldn’t not look beautiful if she was being chased around the dressage arena by an axe-wielding murderer in a hockey mask. Which wasn’t exactly the case during her CIC3* dressage test this morning here at Luhmühlen, but the w
ooden horse sculptures menacing gargoyles surrounding the arena did seem suspect to the mare.
“She was really afraid of the statues,” Hannah Sue Burnett said after their test, which scored a 46.0. “I tried to show them to her yesterday but I don’t know if that just made it worse. It’s like, ‘Those horses are moving, but they’re not!'”
A tough concept to wrap one’s head around, indeed.
Despite a conservatively played test, the pair managed a very respectable ninth place standing at the conclusion of the first day of CIC3* dressage in a stocked pond of big fish German eventers.
“She was good,” she said. “She obviously knows her job. I’m just trying to get a hang of her a little bit and in this intense atmosphere get as many points as I can.”
While it must be frustrating to know that they’re capable of a score 20 points lower, Luhmühlen is this pair’s first three-star outing together and they’ve got a big future ahead of them. Campaigned through the four-star level by Marilyn Little, who is here contesting the CCI4* with RF Scandalous, Hannah Sue and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Ms. Jacqueline Mars placed second at their most recent FEI outing, the Carolina International CIC2* in March.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to ride her,” Hannah Sue said. “She’s such a special horse. Everybody knows her — she’s like a celebrity.”
With her CCI4* ride on Harbour Pilot not until tomorrow, Hannah Sue plans to head out for a look around the cross country course this afternoon. “William” recently laid down a personal best dressage score at Houghton Hall, but uncharacteristic rails kept a tip-top finish just out of reach. “He hadn’t run for a while before that, and I think he was just a bit wild in the show jumping,” Hannah Sue said. “I’m excited. It’s time to stop messing around.”
Best of luck to you on both your rides, Hannah Sue! And don’t worry, Demi, Chinch has been hard at work since your test to tame those impostor equines.
Germany’s Bettina Hoy is the overnight CIC3* leader with Seigneur Medicott on a score of 26.3. “It went really, really well,” Bettina said of her test. “He’s an amazing horse.”
The 11-year-old Westphalian gelding has been in Bettina’s yard since he was six. “He’d only done show jumping before, but he’s taken everything in stride. He won his last three international competitions: Blenheim, Chatsworth and Houghton three weeks ago.”
The next three standings are occupied by Germans as well: Ingrid Klimke with her 2016 Rio Olympic partner Horseware Hale Bob OLD in second, Michael Jung with his up-and-coming Star Connection, and Julia Krajewski with Chipmunk FRH with whom she recently finished second in the Weisbaden CIC3*.
Dressage continues this afternoon with the start of the CCI4* division.
U.S. dressage ride times:
Sharon White and Cooley on Show: Thursday 1:37 p.m. local time (7:37 a.m. EST)
Katherine Coleman and Longwood: Thursday 3:57 p.m. local time (9:57 p.m. EST)
Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous: Thursday 4:42 p.m. local time (10:37 a.m EST)
Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot: Friday 2:22 p.m. local time (8:22 a.m. EST)
Will Coleman and Obox O’Reilly: Friday 3:32 p.m. local time (9:32 a.m. EST)
Luhmühlen CIC3* Day 1 Dressage Top 10: