Rebecca Farm Finale: Erin Sylvester Wins CCI3*, Tamie Smith Takes CIC3*, Derek di Grazia Bests 2*

Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy.

Yesterday’s three-star cross country leaders held fast to their thrones in today’s show jumping competition. Congrats to Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy, winners of the Adequan USEA CIC3* Gold Cup, and to Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal, winners of the CCI3*! And a job well-done to Derek di Grazia and Ringwood Justice, winners of the CCI2*.

CCI3*

Erin Sylvester’s trip to Montana proved worthwhile today in spades. She returns home to Cochrane, Penn., with Paddy’s first FEI win in tow and an enthusiastic appreciation for the Event at Rebecca Farm. Frank Macentee’s 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding pinged around today’s show jumping course. Designed by Chris Barnard, it was plenty testing from start to finish, including a rollback right out of the gate.

Of the four CCI3* competitors left standing, three had clear rounds inside the time; only one, second-placed Heather Morris with Charlie Tango, had a rail.

“It means a lot,” Erin says of her experience at Rebecca. “This West Coast community is a really neat community. Everyone is so supportive of one another. Everyone has your back and they want to be there for you.”

To East Coast riders who entertain the idea of coming to Rebecca but are put off my distance and expense, she says, “They have to come. It’s attainable to make the trip. You can apply for a travel grant (as Erin did, the receipt of which sealed the deal of her own journey). The effort that they put in to go above and beyond for riders, spectators and owners is really special. Everything event has its ‘thing’ they drive home, and Rebecca tries to nail it all home and make it an amazing experience.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, 2nd place. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500, 3rd place. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against, 4th place. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

CIC3*

Tamie Smith led the Adequan USEA CIC3* Gold Cup from start to finish with Fleeceworks Royal, an 8-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Judy McSwain. The win is a special one for both rider and owner, as Tamie has been developing Rory carefully since the horse was just a 4-year-old.

Fleeceworks Royale and entourage. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

“She jumped out of her skin,” Tamie says. “She can get a little too bold … she started out the course fantastic and was rideable, then she peeked at the liverpool so I had to tap her with my whip and then I regretted that the rest of the course!  She was jumping so well — her hind end was just ridiculous.”

Tamie hesitates to commit to any fall plans with the horse, but says she is toying with the idea of doing the CCI2* at Fair Hill or Galway. “She’s way ahead of the curve for her age but she’s still young,” Tamie says.

Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royale. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Like Erin and so many competitors we’ve spoken with this weekend, she applauds Rebecca Farm for the effort they’ve put into creating a destination event. For example, she says that earlier in the week when she walked cross country the footing was on the firm side, as Montana is experiencing a drought.

“I knew that they would do anything and everything they could do to make it better, and when I went out of the box on Saturday it was like some angel came out here and watered all night,” she says. “I don’t think a lot of people realize just how important footing is to us … and I just can’t thank them enough for the effort they put in. My hat goes off to everybody who made that possible.”

CCI2*

In addition to winning the CIC3*, Tamie placed 2nd in the CCI2* with Glock Pullman behind Derek di Grazia and Ringwood Justice. Tamie was leading heading in but pulled a rail, boosting Derek into the top spot. Everyone was thrilled to see the esteemed course designer capture a big win, Tamie included.

“He deserves it,” Tamie says. “If I was going to not win I’m thrilled for him because that horse is super and Derek’s round was picture perfect.”

“I’m having fun,” Derek says of his week. “I love to still be out competing and I love the horses.”

Derek’s wife Bea also contested the CCI2*, placing 9th with Ringwood Isabelle. He says that they aren’t competitive with one another, but rather just enjoy participating in the sport together. “We work together every day and that’s how it is,” he says. “We support each other and it’s been that way for a long time.”

And one more big congrats to dole out to Rebecca Braitling and Santana II, winners of the CCI1*!

CCI3* Final Results

CIC3* Final Top 5

 

CCI2* Final Top 5

CCI1* Final Top 5

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