Mackenna Shea and Landioso stole the show in the CCI3* dressage at Jersey Fresh, taking the lead on a 46.7 and showing that the West Coast contingent is here to make a big statement this weekend. Mackenna and Landioso, a stunning Bavarian Warmblood gelding, most recently won the CIC3* at Twin Rivers last month, and have had top placings at Galway Downs and Copper Meadows as well. Samantha Clark caught Mackenna for an interview after her beautiful test, so be sure to check back soon for that video. Buck Davidson and D.A. Adirmo also had a brilliant test in the mid-morning group, scoring a 51.5 to move into third place. I thought they had some of the best transitions we’ve seen so far today, particularly to the medium walk and collected canter, and Buck seemed very happy after the test.
Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive are sitting in fifth place on a 54.8 after putting in a solid test. Fugitive was most recently eighth in the CIC3* at The Fork, and I’m sure Phillip will be looking to improve on that here this weekend. Jessica Phoenix and Erodium — her second ride in the CCI3* this weekend, as she’s also riding Exponential — were the last to go before the lunch break and put in a lovely, relaxed test to sit in sixth place on a 55.4. Jon Holling and Zapotek B are sitting just behind Jessie and Erodium in sixth place on a 57.1. I absolutely love this horse, who is a real show stopper and had some stunning moments in the test. Had the horse been a bit less tense, I think we would have seen much higher marks here, but this still puts Jon and Zapotek B into a solid place going into the cross country on Saturday.
This is the first time I’ve seen Zachary Brandt and Cavallino Cocktail go in person, and I really loved how this beautiful Irish Sport Horse mare went. While there were some bobbles in the test, this West Coast pair is incredibly talented and will be a lot of fun to watch this weekend. Zach and Cavallino Cocktail are sitting in 14th place on 61.3. The sun has poked through the clouds here at the Horse Park of New Jersey, and it’s turned out to be a very lovely setting for Day 1 of dressage. We’re now on a one-hour lunch break before Marilyn Little and RF Black Pearl kick off the CIC3* dressage at 1 p.m. There are 18 horses contesting the CIC3*, and I’ll be back to bring you more photos and videos from the afternoon groups. Stay tuned for much more from Jersey Fresh.