Meghan O’Donoghue & Sharlee Lowe Lead Hagyard MidSouth CCI* Divisions

Meghan O'Donoghue and Rehy USA. Photo by Miranda Akins. Meghan O'Donoghue and Rehy USA. Photo by Miranda Akins.

The ever so popular Hagyard Midsouth Team Challenge and CCI* has the Kentucky Horse Park bustling with excitement this weekend. As usual the event is filled to the brim with competitors from levels Beginner Novice to Preliminary in the Team Challenge, plus a Training and Prelim Three-Day as well as the CCI*. Today kicked off the one-star cross country while the long format competitors danced in the sandbox.

It’s no secret that Hagyard CCI* is a big challenge when it comes to cross country. Many riders had stops or unfortunate eliminations, but the top 10 didn’t change much with a leaderboard full of the country’s top professionals. Hagyard is no dressage show, with the top being a clear indication of how a clear ride across the finish line can aid them in their placing.

Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Leading after the dressage yesterday in the one-star was Megan O’Donoghue and Rehy USA on an impressive 39.80; she kept her score adding nothing after cross country todau. Megan led a clear and lovely cross country round to hold onto her first place standing going into show jumping tomorrow. Rehy USA looked super out on course and looks fit and ready to tackle a challenging stadium course tomorrow.

Irishman Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy had a strong score of 42.70 in the dressage yesterday and added no time or jump penalties today to hold onto their second placing. They will definitely be one to watch tomorrow, as we were very impressed with his riding on course today, and he especially rode the coffin combination most effectively.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Rascal Rap. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Rascal Rap. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Phillip Dutton had a double clear ride to add nothing to his 44.00 with Annie Jones’ The Manager in dressage yesterday, and although I sadly missed the master on course due to traffic from my drive down, I bet we will see our Rio Olympic bronze medalist show everyone how it’s done in show jumping tomorrow.

Places fourth through 10 are neck and neck, and one rail for any of the competitors will definitely shake up the leaderboard. 

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In the young rider CCI* division, competitors were eager to come out of the box, as for many it was they first one-star in a finale of their fall season. They all came out ready to ride, and time penalties proved to be a huge game changer that shook up the leaderboard immensely. 

Sharlee Lowe is currently holding onto first on a 50.2 with Jjamaica after dressage, which they held on course today with a fast and efficient round that will keep them on top heading into show jumping tomorrow

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton and Brave New World had a 51.50 in dressage which had them in fourth yesterday; a clear and bold round moved them up to the second place slot. 

Savannah "Woodge" Fulton and Brave New World. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton and Brave New World. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Aisling Carroll and Joinem had a 52.70 in the dressage yesterday, which had them sitting in fith overnight. A lovely clear ride on course now has them sitting in third place.

The leaderboard after cross country is very close, so a rail or time penalties in show jumping will prove influential tomorrow. Upon watching the Preliminary competitors show jump today, it is obvious that competitors will need to be cautious of their time, as many riders had time penalties.

Olivia Dutton and Santa's Playboy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Olivia Dutton and Santa’s Playboy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

The Preliminary Three-Day competitions danced in the sandbox today, with Michael Wilham and Fernhill Cayenne holding onto first with a 27.40. Sitting close behind them on a 29.10 is young rider Lee Camiolo with Caharron VE. In third place is Jen Thompson and Lucy In The Sky on a 30.70. 

Tomorrow will be a busy and exciting day for all competitors, volunteers and judges. The fall Hagyard Team Challenge is upon us, so kick on, have fun and be safe, everyone! Go Eventing.

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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