Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous are officially on a hot streak after clinching the win in the CIC2* at Red Hills International Horse Trials with a clear show jumping trip today. Less than a rail separated the top three, leaving Marilyn with no breathing room, but the mare was allergic to wood today, and they took home their third FEI win in a row on a score of 47.9.
“I’m unbelievably happy for the horse because she’s just put in such a huge effort and has an amazing will to learn and to win and to create a partnership,” Marilyn said. “In some horses, you can feel like they’re looking for a friend and looking to figure it out, and I wasn’t sure if she was going to be that horse in the beginning. She really has stepped up to the table, and she deserves to be rewarded for it.”
Marilyn said she is also thrilled for Phoebe and Michael Manders, who own the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare in partnership with Raylyn Farms. Phoebe and Michael also owned RF Smoke on the Water, who was euthanized just days after finishing fifth at Rolex last year after sustaining severe injuries while cast in his stall.
“They were such incredible human beings to stay true to the sport and stay behind the sport when they really had no involvement in the sport prior to Smoke. So many people would have walked,” she said.
After the win at Red Hills, Marilyn is looking ahead to get Scandalous qualified for the Pan American Games, which she’ll do at the Ocala Horse Properties International Horse Trials CCI2* next month. While she believes “Kitty” is ready to move up to the Advanced level, she also said she’s hesitant to pull that trigger with Pan Ams selection hanging in the balance.
“My job is to do what’s right for her, but I also have to show the selectors that she is a consistent horse, and there is a bit of concern because of her record last year. Personally, I find it forgivable, because I do think every horse gets to be green, and she’s a little bit older, but she was legitimately green,” Marilyn said.
“Now she’s finding her way, and I hope that they can look at her with fresh eyes. I don’t know whether they will or not. She’s ready to move up, absolutely, but I’m also afraid to move up because I don’t want to give the selectors a reason not to take her because she deserves to have the chance to be great at this level. I think she’s a horse that can win at the Pan Ams.”
Tik Maynard and Christina Aharoni’s Dutch Times also jumped double clear over Fuzzy Mayo’s show jumping course to finish in second place on a score of 51.5. “He recovered really well after yesterday,” Tik said. “We went pretty fast, but he was feeling great today.”
About 45 percent of the CIC2* field jumped double clear in show jumping, and time proved to be more of a factor than in the CIC3*, when every pair beat the clock. “I thought the lines worked out nicely,” Tik said. “I thought they had nice jumps. I thought the people who rode it well rode it really well.”
Marilyn also thought the courses were well designed. “I loved that the rails came all over the course. In pure show jumping, that’s very important that there’s not just one spot. It’s unfortunate when there’s a trap built for the horses because it’s not a true test. When the rails fall everywhere, it’s a really well designed course,” she said.
“The time was spot on. The triple was challenging. It kept coming at you. It was technical enough, but the amateurs on good horses had a chance to excel, and a professional riding a green horse also had the chance to excel if they rode it well. It gently told you what you needed to work on.”
Ryan Wood and Sarah Hughes’ Alcatraz also jumped double clear to round out the top three in the CIC2* on a score of 51.7. Waylon Roberts and Bill Owen pulled one rail to finish in fourth place on 56.2, and Buck Davidson and Be Mine also pulled one rail to finish in fifth place on 62.2.
Hannah Sue Burnett Wins Red Hills CIC*
Hannah Sue Burnett and Jitter Bug brought home the win in the CIC* at Red Hills on a score of 38.2 thanks to a double clear trip earlier this morning. The mare, owned by Jacqueline Mars and Sherry Nemmers, can be a bit sassy, Hannah said yesterday, but she was all business today as she made quick work of Fuzzy Mayo’s course.
Buck Davidson and Carlevo, who is going to be a serious horse for the future, finished in second place on 43.0, with Danielle Dichting Busbee and Fernhill Tastic finishing in third on 45.5. Sharon White and her new ride Clifford M placed fourth on a score of 48.7, while Danielle hit the leaderboard again with Nicole Andrews’ Fernhill Stateside, placing fifth on 49.7.
If you haven’t voted already in Who Jumped It Best, channel your inner George Morris and vote for which of the CIC* riders you think presented the best overall picture today in show jumping. Thank you to the organizers, volunteers, spectators, horses and riders for a fantastic day at Red Hills.