Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken Shine at Rolex

Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken move into tie for fifth place on a 53.7.

Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken were the best of the third group to go today at Rolex, scoring a 53.7 to tie Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star for fifth place on a 53.7. This is Rox’s Rolex debut, and he looked very relaxed and obedient throughout the test. His changes were very exuberant, and Kristin and Rox lost some marks in their canter work. But overall this was a fantastic test for the horse’s first CCI4. Peter Atkins and Henry Jota Hampton were the second best of the third group, scoring a 59.2 to move into ninth place. Henny looked very keen with his ears pricked like always. This horse has a very lovely extended trot and looked eager to go throughout the test. They had the best canter depart out of the reinback that we’ve seen all day. Get excited to see the latest Henny helmet cam on Saturday!

Peter Atkins and Henry Jota Hampton move into ninth on a 59.2.

Katie Ruppel and Sir Donovan are right behind Peter and Henny in 10th place after scoring a 61.8. This test looked a bit quiet in the trot work, but overall it was a very solid test for this pair. Katie has been plagued with bad luck here at Rolex in the past and will hope to complete at their third attempt here. I spoke to Jon Holling, who is here coaching Katie at Rolex, over the lunch break, and he is very confident this pair is going to get it done this weekend. Best of luck to Katie and Sir Donovan as they seek to prove that the third time’s the charm. Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott put in a lovely test to sit in 12th place on a 62.8. This horse tries so hard in dressage and is always a pleasure to watch. Eddie struggled a bit in the changes, but overall this was a very good test for this pair.

Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott moved into 12th on a 62.8.

Jessica Phoenix and Exponential are sitting in 14th on a 65.5. Tucker was very fussy during the test, tossing his head throughout and  never really settling. He jigged during the free walk and kept trying to break into the trot, and then threw his head during protest in the reinback. Jessie also struggled to get the changes, but held it together well overall. Daniel Clasing and Houston were the last to go in the third group of the day, scoring a 64.5 to sit in 13th place. This is Daniel’s Rolex debut, and he should be very pleased with this test. Houston was a touch quiet in the trot work, but put in some really lovely canter work and picked up some marks there. I thought their changes were particularly good. Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice will lead off in the fourth and final group of the day.

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