When I talked to Mackenna Shea on Thursday about her game plan going into the weekend, she said her strategy was to keep her head on her shoulders and her competitive side reined in. The deep-breath approach paid off today when she and Landioso laid down the best dressage test of the morning, earning a score of 45.2.
Landioso blew everyone’s hair back a little when he entered the ring — he’s the sort of elastic, expressive mover that is capable of doing much more than simply going through the motions. Mackenna had said that when she went into the dressage ring at Jersey a few weeks ago, she sort of went showboating around and forgot to focus on the details. Today’s test struck a perfect balance between letting Landioso flaunt what his momma gave him and channeling that pizazz into something accurate and organized. Mackenna was all smiles walking out of the ring toward David O’Connor, who has been helping them on the flat this week.
Trailing a few points behind her was Maya Black, who piloted Doesn’t Play Fair to a 50.2. At 15.3 hands Doesn’t Play Fair doesn’t have a big physical presence in the ring but Maya left nary a point on the table — their test was tidy and poised, and I can’t wait to see this pair go zooming around the cross-country tomorrow.
Rounding out the top three is Katy Groesbeck, who is close on Maya’s heels with a score of 50.4. Katy’s partner Oz The Tin Man always has the best expression on his face — you can tell he’s smart as a whip, and he’s always trying his best to deliver exactly what Katy wants. At 17 years old this horse is in the mature stage of his eventing career and I’m really cheering for them to walk away from this weekend with a good result — they deserve it.
Rounding out the top five are Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries (52.0) and Jon Holling and Proper Timing (52.4).
More photos from the CCI3*:
R.N.S. has also posted the video of Ashley Adams’ leading CCI2* test, followed by Peter Barry and Long Island Ice Tea’s test. They are still hanging onto their lead in the CCI* heading into this afternoon:
Dressage is resuming as we speak … we’ll keep you posted!