Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready’s leading score from the morning session held all day, and Phillip ended up with three in the top ten. I’m Sew Ready held first on a 43.4, Mr. Candyman is second on 46.9 and Z is tenth on 52.4.
I’m Sew Ready’s usual rider Kristen Bond is pregnant with her second child and so Phillip has the ride once again. The horse, owned by John and Kristine Norton, won the Carolina International CIC3* in 2015 with “Jackson” and it seems like they haven’t missed a beat.
“Kristen has been working him and I’ve only had him a week, so I can’t take much credit for that,” Phillip said. “He’s a good mover and does the movements easily. I just try to make it look soft and easy and present him in the right frame. He’s a very good horse in the ring; he doesn’t change. He has three good paces and generally scores pretty well.”
Mr. Candyman, a 9-year-old Holsteiner owned by Ann Jones, Bridget Colman, Caroline Moran and Tom Tierney, was the last horse to do dressage in the CIC3* division. He came the closest to challenging his stablemate with a beautiful, accurate test. Phillip said he felt like he had a “world beater” on his hands after “Elmo” finished fourth at the Galway Downs CCI3* last fall, but he’s only run two Intermediates since the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in May.
“I haven’t put as much time into him with the Olympics and the other horses. Now is his turn. Hopefully have a good performance at Fair Hill and build on it better than I have done so far this year,” Phillip said.
I’m Sew Ready is also aiming for Fair Hill and Phillip will be using Sunday’s cross country round to test “Jackson’s” fitness level.
We’re getting quite used to seeing Ryan Wood in the press conferences after each phase. He has a momentous year, winning the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh with Powell in May, the CCI3* and CIC3* at Bromont with Woodstock Bennett and Frankie respectively, and most recently the Adequan USEA Gold Cup at the American Eventing Championships with Powell.
This afternoon, Ryan and his and Summit Sporthorses, Ltd’s Powell scored a 48.9 to round out the top three in the CIC3*. His stablemate and the AEC Advanced Reserve Champion Woodstock Bennett, owned by Ryan and Curran Simpson, finished the day in eighth place with a 51.8.
“Bennett had a personal best at this level. Powell was great. We made a couple of mistakes but still got a solid score,” Ryan said. “We’ve been traveling a lot so between the AEC and jumping and galloping them there probably hasn’t been that many days of fine tuning. Between now and Fair Hill we have a bit more time to get everything polished up.”
We did ask Ryan if he had considered coming over to the “dark side” and riding for the U.S. He declined (for now) but let us know that he received a green card a few months ago.
“It’s been the best year of my life I think,” Ryan said. “My first three-star win and a green card.”
Here’s to many more best years of your life, Ryan!
While Phillip had not yet walked the CIC3* course, Ryan said it looked challenging but good and he was eager to ride it. “They’ve done a good job (with the footing),” Ryan said. “Over the last two years they’ve been working on it with mushroom compost and the last few days aerating and putting sand out and watering it. I think it should be fine.”
“Unfortunately it’s been nearly unprecedented conditions in this area,” Phillip said. “All credit to Jamie Hicks and Denis Glaccum for all the work they’ve put in. I think it will be as good as we can get with the conditions without having an irrigation system.
Phillip added, “If anyone out there there is a fan of the event and wants to donate money so we can irrigate, that would be the next big step for this event.”
Juniors and Young Riders made up the CIC*-B division. Out of 28 horse and rider combinations, only Cornelia Dorr and Louis M broke into the 30s. They will go in to tomorrow’s cross country leading on a 39.4.
Louis M is an 11-year-old Rheinlander gelding previously campaigned at the three-star level by Germany’s Pia Münker. Louis and Cornelia have competed in two Preliminary events since partnering this summer, winning both.
Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle are sitting second in CIC*-B on 40.7. Haley Carspecken and True Grace are third on 41.6.
The CIC3*, CIC2* and Advanced will do show jumping tomorrow while the two CIC* divisions run cross country, which starts a 9:00 a.m EST. The CIC2* starts off show jumping at 8:30 a.m. The CIC3* show jumping, which you can watch on the USEF Network live stream, gets under way at 12:40 p.m.