The top three after cross country all jumped clear show jumping rounds today at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* to keep the final leaderboard unchanged. Jennie Brannigan and Beth Battel’s Stella Artois are your USEF National CCI2* Champions, finishing on their dressage score to take the win on 44.5.
Emily Beshear and Deep Purple Eventing’s Silver Night Lady remained in second place to complete on 45.0 and take the USEF National CCI2* Reserve Championship, with Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco finishing third on 45.8.
This is a special win for Jennie and the entire team behind “Toddie.” Philipp Kolossa sourced the mare in Germany, and when she became available for sale as a 5-year-old, Jennie knew she couldn’t let her get away. Beth Battel stepped in to own the mare in partnership with Jennie, who used the insurance money from her beloved late partner Cooper to purchase her share.
“This connection to Cooper is pretty special for me. It’s a horse I’ve always believed in, and I’ve put whatever money I had where my mouth was. … This time of year and obviously this place is always very emotional for me because of Cooper, and time doesn’t necessarily seem to make that easier,” Jennie said.
“I didn’t necessarily think I’d come to this event and win, so I think that probably makes it a little more like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that just happened!’ I’m just thrilled. I think it’s a really cool horse, and I’m so excited she got to go out and have the result that was in her.”
Jennie said the mare felt fresh and ready to go this morning after jumping clear and inside the time yesterday on Derek di Grazia’s cross country course — and “Toddie,” an 8-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare, definitely proved she was feeling great in the awards ceremony with some theatrical rearing and prancing.
“I think I probably had her overly fit for this event … She is a good jumper, but in my last two rounds at Plantation and at Morven, I thought she jumped so super but she had a pole in each of them, so I was thrilled that she jumped clear at the AECs and I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’m due a clear one now!’” Jennie said.
“I know she wants to be a good horse in all three phases, so today I’m just happy that she jumped so well. I think even I was feeling a bit nervous, for sure, going into it, and she felt fit going into it. I’ve had some bad luck trotting horses up this year, so it was nice to come here this morning and not be stressed out about that.”
Silver Night Lady was also feeling fresh this morning for Emily Beshear and came into the show jumping ring with her chest puffed out and ready for the task at hand. “I had my hands full this morning at the jog and same in the jumping warm-up. She was pretty full of herself, and she’s still getting used to bigger environments like this, so to me it was just trying to balance out keeping her focus in the ring but not messing with her too much,” Emily said.
“Fortunately she’s a really good show jumper and she wants to jump clean, so I didn’t feel like I had the smoothest round or gave her the best ride, but she was jumping out of her skin, so I’m certainly happy about that.”
A beautiful clear round inside the time — one of 15 in all in the division — secured the USEF CCI2* Reserve National Championship for “Silvy,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, and Emily said she is thrilled for the group of owners, Deep Purple Eventing.
“They’ve really trusted me to make good decisions for the horses, and this is a horse we weren’t really sure we could afford to buy, but we had a couple extra people step in and help us,” Emily said. “My goal from the beginning was to try and get a two-star qualifier done this year, so to come in here and finish second really helps to make everyone realize that it’s definitely worth the effort put in, and I’m just really excited for the future.”
Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco secured yet another top placing in a CCI2* with a clear show jumping round today, adding a third-place finish at Fair Hill to their eighth-place finish at Jersey Fresh and 10th-place finish at Osberton in England last year.
“He’s such a lovely horse and he’s such a little trier; obviously his older brother Monte Carlo has a lot of experience too, so it’s a lot of fun to have the homebreds and to produce them to the level and have them do well,” Lauren said. “It’s really a nice feeling when you get on these horses that have the mileage under them and have the blood … He felt great and he was fresh and jumped a beautiful round.”
Jacqueline Mars bred the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse/Thoroughbred stallion, and Lauren said Ms. Mars gets “just as tickled with the young horses doing well. … When Monaco did his first one-star and finished cross country, she was in tears at the end … She’s had horses go to the Olympics and win gold medals and everything else, but they’re like her children to her, so it’s always really special for her.”
The next three on the leaderboard also jumped clear rounds, with Will Coleman and Kathleen McDermott’s Boris O’Hara finishing in fourth place on 48.9. Dom Schramm and the Naked Horse Eventing Syndicate’s Bolytair B finished fifth on 48.9, with Maya Simmons and Archie Rocks (the highest-placed Thoroughbred in the field!) in sixth on 51.1.
Meghan O’Donoghue and Pete Humphreys’ Rich N Famous had one rail down to finish in seventh place on 52.2. Holly Payne Caravella and Bruisyard Hall jumped clear to finish eighth on 56.0, and Will Coleman and Gideon also left all the poles in the cups to place ninth on 57.0. Matt Flynn and Wizzerd round out the top 10 with one rail down to finish on 58.9.
The CCI3* show jumping is about to get underway now, so keep it locked on EN for the finale of #DuttaFHI. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage so far.