Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda absolutely ran away with the small but mighty Advanced division at Plantation Field International Horse Trials, clinching the win with two double clear jumping rounds today to seal the deal on 32.4, a full 18 points ahead of Lillian Heard and Share Option.
Cambalda has been doing his gallops at a racetrack, and Jennie said in Thursday’s press conference that it’s made all the difference with his fitness. He jumped a beautiful clear show jumping round in the fog this morning and then easily cruised around the cross country, the only horse to make the optimum time of 6 minutes, 19 seconds.
“Ping” now heads to the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3*, where Jennie has unfinished business after a runout at the big double corners in the main arena stymied their run at a win there last year. As Jennie said in this interview, Ping is coming into his prime years at 12 years old, and we’re looking forward to seeing them pull out all the stops at Fair Hill next month.
Lillian and Share Option moved from eighth place up to second after cross country with a clear trip and just 2.4 time penalties. “Whitey” is preparing to tackle the Pau CCI4* next month, which will be the second four-star of their career together; they completed their first attempt at the level at Rolex Kentucky in the spring with one runout on cross country.
Sally Cousins and Westerly round out the top three on a score of 51.0, jumping clear and picking up 7.2 time penalties on cross country. A jumping machine, this horse just does it for fun, and while his disdain for dressage will generally keep him from taking home the win, he’s almost a lock to go clear across the country.
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, who led after dressage, ran into some uncharacteristic trouble in show jumping, where they dropped two rails to slip down to fifth place on the leaderboard. Jumping clear with 15.6 time penalties bumped them up one spot to finish in fourth place on 55.4.
Last year’s Fair Hill CCI2* winners Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio round out the top five on a score of 66.9, moving up from 16th after dressage. They pulled four rails in show jumping this morning, and this phase continues to give them grief, but Allie said it was better than his round at Richland Park.
Like many of the riders this weekend, Allie has her sights set on the Fair Hill CCI3*, and she said getting out to run and jump would be good to help “Neo” get settled and ready for the big event. They had the third fastest trip of the division, jumping clear with 3.2 time penalties.
Holly Jacks and More Inspiration were unfortunately eliminated on refusals, and both Katy Groesbeck and Courtney Cooper fell on course; both riders were up and OK. Buck Davidson parted ways from Mar de Amor at fence 5 in show jumping, ending his day early.
So how did Maggie’s By the Numbers predictions play out? She correctly guessed that Jennie and Ping would win, and she also proceeded to correctly guess the entire top five, though the exact placings were rearranged due to Lauren and Veronica having rails in show jumping. Not too shabby, right?