Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair are quickly making a name for themselves at the upper levels, and they didn’t disappoint today, scoring 42.3 to lead the 31-horse CIC3* division at Richland Park Horse Trials. Maya and “Cody” average 49.3 on 2009 FEI 3* B, and they blew it out of the water with their best score at this level to date.
EN talent spotted Maya and Cody last fall, and since then, we’ve watched them go around their first Advanced, CIC3* and CCI3* with total ease. They were invited to the USEF Winter/Spring training sessions with Coach David O’Connor and earned a spot in the National category on the Summer/Fall training lists.
Sitting just behind them are another up-and-coming West Coast pair Mackenna Shea and Landioso, who scored 43.5 for second place. After conquering her East Coast CCI3* demons at Bromont earlier this summer, Mackenna stayed on this side of the country to work for Boyd Martin. She received a Land Rover Competition Grant for Boekelo CCIO3* in October with “Landi” for their first overseas event.
Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon put in an impressive performance in the mare’s first dressage test at this level for a score of 44.7, which puts them in third place. Coming off a win in the Jersey Fresh CCI2* and holding their own at Millbrook in the big Advanced division, Emily and “Delta” could be poised to play spoiler this weekend.
Michael Pollard and Mensa sit in the top five after dressage, scoring 45.6 for fourth place, and Maggie has predicted this combination as the big winners this weekend. They have an impressive clear record over Ian Stark cross-country courses, and while they typically pull a rail on Marc Donovan’s show jumping courses, they’re poised for a very good weekend with their dressage score.
Sharon White and Wundermaske round out the top five on a score of 46.8, sitting just ahead of his stablemate Under Suspection, who is also heading to Boekelo this fall thanks to a Land Rover Competition Grant.
“Patch” led the big Advanced division after dressage at Millbrook only to have his weekend cut short when Sharon fell victim to the new tree trunk skinny on course, bashing her knee hard against the fence and retiring. This pair is just waiting for their moment in the spotlight, and they’ve put themselves in striking distance to make that happen at Richland.
In the Advanced division, Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries just edged our predicted winners Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda for first place with a score of 28.8. When “Bucky” is good, he’s very, very good, and it looks like he held it together nicely today for a solid score.
Jennie and “Ping” scored 30.0, which gives them a bit of a margin over Lillian Heard and Share Option in third place on 33.5. Lillian and “Whitey” received a Land Rover Competition Grant to go to Pau CCI4* this fall to tackle their second four-star and first event overseas.
Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me sit in fourth place on 37.4, followed by Callie Evans and Glendening Avis, who are shaking off an unfortunate disqualification at Millbrook earlier this month and looking for redemption this weekend. Maggie called them the sleeper combination in this division, and they’re in striking distance to prove her right.
Jessica Bortner-Harris will kindly be sending in photos of Ian Stark’s CIC3* cross-country course, so stay tuned for fence preview photos and more scored from Richland. Go Eventing.