The Advanced course at Millbrook this morning rode incredibly well, with thirty-one of thirty-seven starters coming home with clean jumping records, and in an unusual twist, four combinations crossing the finish line double clear. With the terrain at this event, that feat is almost unheard of! The course was challenging yet fair, and all of the combinations seemed to ride well, providing a great first Advanced run for the fall season.
Sinead Halpin and longtime partner Manoir de Carneville popped around the course double clear and looked like they barely broke a sweat doing so. Tate is incredibly experienced at this point in his career, and he and Sinead have a strong partnership, so it was the perfect prep run for their overseas trip to Millstreet International Horse Trials CCI3* later this month, for which they received a USEF Travel & Competition Grant. They’ll stay on their dressage score of 27.1 going into the show jumping tomorrow.
Buck’s third ride of the day was the little powerhouse mare Petite Flower, and she looked absolutely fabulous. This mare may be small in stature, but she does not lack for talent. Buck managed to win the unofficial cross country accuracy award today, by hitting the optimum time of 6:03 on the nose with Flower, and maintaining their dressage score of 28.2.
Doug Payne must be thrilled with his big scopey gelding Vandiver, as the two of them had the fastest and most fluid round of the day. If you’ve seen the gallop on this horse, you won’t be surprised that he made the time easily, because Quinn’s stride just positively swallows the ground whole. They will go into show jumping just .2 penalties behind Buck, with a 28.4 after two days of competition.
Lainey Ashker and soulmate/best friend Anthony Patch made light work of the course, using their experience to make it look like a walk in the park. Al looks better than ever, and is traditionally excellent at show jumping, where he will begin in fourth place on a 33.1.
Leaders after dressage Kim Severson and the very impressive Cooley Cross Border added just 7.6 time penalties for the horse’s first Advanced back since Fair Hill CCI3* of last year, but she has to be pleased with his efforts. Another horse that is very good in show jumping, this pair is nipping right at Lainey’s heels with just .2 penalties between them.
Buck lodged another one in the top ten with The Apprentice, followed by Kurt Martin & DeLux Z, who is heading to Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* this September courtesy of a USEF Travel Grant. Young Rider Caroline Martin made the water complex look like a simple grid with Spring Easy, and sits in eighth place going into show jumping.
Burghley-bound Simply Priceless took Elisa Wallace around the course with what I can only describe as pure glee, which makes for the perfect preparatory run before the enormous course that is to follow, and they garnered 7.2 time penalties to secure ninth place. Holly Payne cruised around on two horses, coming in with Santino in 10th place and Never OutFoxed in 12th place. Her two horses are heading overseas this fall as well, with Fox going to Burghley and Sonny going to Blenheim.
Show Jumping begins tomorrow with the Preliminary and Intermediate divisions followed by the Advanced, in reverse order of standing. Times will be provided by the end of the day, but in the meantime enjoy these photos of the top ten after cross country!
Many thanks to Marion Latta de Vogel for sharing this Millbrook Saturday highlight video!
Millbrook Advanced Top 15 After Cross Country: