Michael Pollard and Carl Bouckaert’s Cyrano jumped a foot perfect show jumping round at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event today to win the CCI2* on their dressage score of 36.9. “It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle here,” Michael said. “Things either seem to go really well here for me or really badly, so I’m glad we choose this weekend to have an up weekend.”
Now Michael will wait to see if the selectors are willing to overlook Cyrano’s 20 jumping penalties at Ocala from last month and give him a slot on the U.S. Pan American Games team. “I’m hoping that they’ll want to look at him and put him on the short list,” Michael said. “I think at the two-star level he’s a hard horse to beat anywhere in the world, and actually I think he’s got a lot more than that in him.”
The 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding represented Belgium at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and now he has a good shot at representing the Stars and Stripes in Toronto thanks to winning the final selection trials for the U.S. team. “He’s a little bit quirky, but I think that’s what makes good horses often,” he said. “I haven’t had very many top horses that weren’t a little bit strange, so you have to deal with that, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Tamie Smith knows firsthand about quirky horses, and she experienced quite a swing between the highs and lows of the sport in the show jumping today. While Tamie jumped a beautiful clear round with Alex Ahearn’s Mai Bum to finish in second place in the CCI2* on 41.5, she was also eliminated with Fleur de Lis, who was sitting in third place overnight, after two refusals.
Things came unraveled with “Milton” spooked and reared at the second jump, which had planks painted in the exact blue shade of a liverpool. “He’s kind of funny at liverpools and fence 2 he thought was a liverpool (hanging vertically),” Tamie said. “He’s never done that in the show jumping before.”
She got Milton going again, but then the horse somehow got his egg bar shoe stuck in the carabiner clip of his belly guard girth while jumping over fence 9b. With his shoe caught in the girth (click for a close-up photo — many thanks to EN readers Tracey and Erin Soboleski!), he stumbled on landing, which ripped the shoe off his foot and pitched Tamie forward. There was no way for her to make it to fence 10 a few strides away.
“I knew I rode the best I could ride, and there wasn’t anything I could do. It just happened,” Tamie said. “I just put it out of my mind and went, ‘Thank God I have another shot.'” She came back later in the division to deliver the clear round with Mai Baum to keep her Pan American Games bid alive.
Ryan Wood and Sarah Hughes’ Alcatraz finished third on their dressage score of 44.3 after jumping clear — a super showing in the 10-year-old Dutch’s gelding’s first CCI2*. “I was thrilled with him. He hasn’t had a rail down all year, and I was thinking maybe today was going to be the day,” Ryan said. “He moved up quite a few places after the cross country and then a couple more to get the bronze.”
“Murray” will now enjoy a nice summer break and come back out in the fall for the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2*. Ryan is also hoping to get some Advanced level horse trials under the horse’s belt with the long-term goal of aiming for a three-star next spring.
Phillip Dutton and Get Ready, owned by John and Kristie Norton and Ray Bond, also jumped clear to finish fourth on a final score of 47.3, and Mara DePuy and Coolcorron Kinsale round out the top five after jumping clear to finish on a final score of 47.8.
Thirteen horses and riders jumped double clear rounds. In addition to those already named, the following pairs jumped double clear: Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue D’Argouges (6th), Waylon Roberts and Bill Owen (7th), Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monaco (8th), Lillian Heard and Arundel (9th), Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy (10th), Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow (13th), Peter Barry and Long Island T (15th), and Adrian Jones and Irish Odyssey (16th).
Sally Ike’s CCI3* course is being set now, and we’ll get underway with CCI3* show jumping at 1:30 p.m. EST. Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM are sitting in the lead on 41.6, followed by Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett in second on 42.0, and Kelly Prather and Blackfoot Mystery in third on 44.2. Less than a rail separates the top three, so it will be an exciting show jumping finale here in Allentown!