Today’s forecast showed a 2 percent chance of rain for the morning’s cross country action at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event, but Mother Nature quickly proved she has a sense of humor when a downpour started toward the end of the CCI2*. Overnight leaders Michael Pollard and Carl Bouckaert’s Cyrano battled driving rain to deliver a double clear round to remain on their dressage score of 36.9, which will give them a rail in hand going into tomorrow’s show jumping.
Tamie Smith had to keep her cool when Alex Ahearn’s Mai Baum, who was sitting in third place after dressage, threw a show in warm up, causing her to miss her scheduled ride time while she waited for a farrier. With Lexus’s shoe tacked back on, they delivered a double clear to move into second place after cross country on their score of 41.5.
Then this California girl showed she’s impervious to weather when she returned later in the division in the worst of the rain to record another double clear round with the Team Milton Syndicate’s Fleur de Lis. That puts “Milton” in third place on 42.8, just behind his stablemate Lexus. Tamie came east to make her case for the U.S. Pan American Games team, and she made one hell of a statement today in the final selection trials.
Buck Davidson had a cracking round aboard Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo to remain in fourth place after jumping clear with 1.6 time penalties. That’s the brightest spot to his day so far, as he popped off Lisa Darden’s Be Mine at fence 7; the horse was sitting in sixth place overnight. He was up right away and walked the horse back to stabling. There’s no rest for Buck — he still has three more horses to ride today!
Ryan Wood jumped double clear on both of his horses, moving up to fifth place with Sarah Hughes’ Alcatraz on 44.3 and seventh place with Summit Sporthorses’ Powell on 47.4. Phillip Dutton also jumped double clear on Get Ready, owned by John and Kristie Norton and Ray Bond, to move up to sixth place on 47.3.
Seventeen combinations in all jumped clear and inside the time. In addition to the pairs already named, the following also jumped double clear: Mara DePuy and Coolcorron Kinsale (8T), Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue D’Argouges (8T), Waylon Roberts and Bill Owen (10th), Lillian Heard and Arundel (12th), Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy (13th), Matthew Ulmer and Palmetto Conair (14th), Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow (15th), Buck Davidson and No Remorse (20th), Adrian Jones and Irish Odyssey (21st), Francesca Broggini and Petit Bleu Marine (22T), and Sara Gumbiner and Polaris (28th).
Kevin Baumgardner and Wembley win the Save of the Day Award after pulling off a hell of a ride at the Jersey Shore. Every single rider took the option at 17bc except Kevin, even when Wembley stumbled up the bank. He pulled to the left to make the direct route work when jumping off the bank and got to the final element of the combination, a skinny brush, with no trouble. I hope someone got that on video!
John Williams’ course rode very well overall, with only a few problems cropping up. Most notably, Jessica Phoenix has been transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton after falling with Exultation upon landing from fence 6, a hanging log with a steep drop off the back. The horse was up right away and is reportedly OK, and we had a long hold on course while waiting for Jessica to be transported off the course. We have been told she is “doing well at present.”
Jessica subsequently withdrew her remaining horses from the competition. She was sitting in second place in the CCI2* with Patras VR, 15th with A Little Romance in the CCI3*, and second in the CIC2* with Pavarotti. We will continue to bring you updates on Jessica’s condition, so keep checking back to EN.
Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack had a heartbreaking fall when the horse slipped after fence 23; they were having a cracking round up until that point. Both are reportedly OK. Marley Burke Stone was also reported as OK after falling off Kilrodan Ambassador when he slipped near fence 8.
The only jumping penalties on course came at 9b, the arrowhead in the main arena, where Lillian Heard and FYI had a glance off, and fence 18, the big brush after the Jersey Shore, where Faolan ducked out at the last minute with Ian Roberts. The course had a very high completion rate, and 82 percent of the starters jumped clear around the course.
You can relive a play-by-play of the action in our live updates here. The CCI3* is about to get underway now. Matt Brown has withdrawn Super Socks BCF, so Kelly Prather and Blackfoot Mystery will be the first out on course. Follow along with our live CCI3* updates here, and stay tuned for much more from Jersey Fresh.