Personal Bests Abound in Copper Meadows Advanced

Mackenna Shea and Landioso at Galway Downs. Photo by Jenni Autry. Mackenna Shea and Landioso at Galway Downs. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s a beautiful day in Ramona, California: Blue skies, warm weather, West Coast eventing — it’s a perfect recipe for dressage at Copper Meadows!

For those of you who may be shivering in your boots,  still dealing with blankets with over 250 grams of fill (heck, blankets in general!), and being happy you have an indoor arena — we’re keeping you warm in our hearts.

Enough about the weather – and on to the horses!

A common theme today with our Advanced pairs was reminiscent of “How to Train Your Dragon” (perhaps the horses have had discussions about this other horse, Valegro?), as everyone put in competitive scores, and the top four all received their best scores to date. Note to self: Hard work in the dressage court really does pay off.

While this is Mai Baum’s first Advanced, our numbers expert Maggie Deatrick reminded us that “anything Tamie Smith is riding” should be considered as a threat.

Sure enough, it is Tamie and Alex Ahearn’s Mai Baum who are our dressage leaders for the day, with the black German Sport Horse gelding showing off his homework with David O’Connor for a score of 22.8. With The Fork and Jersey Fresh on his upcoming schedule, “Lexus” is letting us all know he’s a horse ready to make a huge splash.

Mackenna Shea and Landioso are also preparing for their trip east, but their end goal includes a trip to Kentucky for this long time partnership. Putting in a great performance and a score of 25.7, they are ready to tackle cross country course tomorrow. This is their best Advanced dressage score to date, which is definitely cause for a smile or two.

Jen McFall and High Times, otherwise known as Billy, played brilliantly in the sandbox today, also resulting in their best score in Advanced to date for 27.4. With Rolex on the horizon, this talented duo is clicking at all the right times.

“I’m extremely pleased with Billy’s progress in his dressage work,” Jen said after the test. “I’ve changed my approach with him, and I feel right on track for solid performances at Galway’s CIC3* and Rolex.”

Cori Davis, who has brought her bay Thoroughbred gelding, A Golden Effort, up the levels with her, is sitting in fourth with a 32. 7 in their third outing at Advanced.

This pair was part of the 2014 Eventing 25 training list, and Cori said she is thrilled with the performance, as it shows a real breakthrough in their efforts on the flat.

“We have been working to really just be able to keep the connection in the ring. I’ve struggled a bit to keep him from breathing fire in the dressage ring,” she said. “Today we were actually able to apply all we have been working on at home in the test. So I’m super excited for that.”

Expect them to eat up the course tomorrow — Cori and “Ty” won the CIC2* here at Copper last summer and haven’t had a blip to date.

While the cross country course tomorrow will certainly have challenges, expect the standings in this division to be close until the last stadium round on Sunday. Stay tuned for updates from the other divisions. Go Copper Meadows!

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