Show jumping day at the Millbrook Horse Trials was met with sunshine and perfect 70 degree weather. The course designed by Marc Donovan was beautifully set and the tents were filled with spectators, making for a perfect afternoon.
It was a fun day, watching some riders ‘turn and burn’ like jumpers trying to make the time–which was tough. There were only 12 out of 32 riders who were able to keep all the rails up and make time. Seven of those were granted a place in the top ten, some moving up drastically on the scoreboard.
Holding the lead heading into the show jumping had been Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. A super unlucky rail at the first fence sent a sigh through the crowd. Boyd had one rail to spare with his 33.9 but sadly took two rails in the triple and then a time fault, dropping them down to 13th.
Ultimately taking the big win was Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubens D’Ysieux who had been sitting in second overnight. They produced a lovely double clear round that was effective and quick to finish on a 38.1. Sara was absolutely thrilled with their round.
“He’s a serious show jumper. He’s actually bred to be a show jumper and it’s pretty obvious when you see him in that phase,” Sara said of Rubens, a 12-year-old Selle Français. “It’s really nice to wake up in the morning and have a horse like this to ride…so really it’s me just making sure that I don’t get nervous and make a mistake, that I jump in the middle of my lines, I get my numbers and I don’t get into my head and make a silly mistake…because if I ride at 60 percent, he’s going to go clear.”
This was Sara and Rubens’ last run before heading to Ireland for the Millstreet International Horse Trials. Sara said she will continue to work on Rubens fitness in the lead up.
“He’s quite fit right now, and I find that I like to peak and then be a little calmer before the event because you can obviously get a little bit in your head and a bit worried and work a bit too hard and break your horses down. He’s a very sound, tough horse–knock on wood–and he’s in really good shape right now.”
Sara is still fundraising for the trip and working towards syndicating Rubens to support his career at the upper levels. You can help by visiting Sara’s website and click on “Team Unicorn” to find links to shirts and more cool swag. She and her husband will also host a show jumping schooling show as a fundraiser at their farm this coming Thursday.
Taking second in the division was Phillip Dutton and the Revelation Group’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Revelation. They jumped double clear and finished on a 38.2. Phillip was the first rider of the day to successfully make a very sharp turn after fence two to shave off time. A few riders took the master’s route after seeing his round and were able to save seconds on the clock themselves.
Phillip was in Kentucky last week jumping Mighty Nice, Mr. Candyman, Fernhill Revelation, Z and Fernhill Singapore at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Richard Picken is his show jumping coach and was there working with him for every round.
“The week in Kentucky was a lot of effort with the travel involved to get there, but it was definitely worth it, especially for Warren (Fernhill Revelation). We got to experiment with the best way to warm him up and the best way to ride him in the ring,” Phillip said. “Riding him more forward then shortening his canter stride to compact him a little before the jump really gets him in the air more.”
Phillip also took third with Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, moving up all the way from seventh after the competitors ahead of him added penalties to their score. They finished on a 39.5 with a fantastic clear round.
“He has all the pieces to be a top horse,” Phillip said of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood. “Going fast on cross country is not easy for him, so our main focus will continue to be his fitness and getting him ready to go to Pau in the fall. I was really happy with how he jumped today.”
Phillip elected to withdraw Mr. Candyman before show jumping, leaving three for him to jump in the Advanced, all of whom finished in the top six with faultless rounds. The 9-year-old Zangersheide Z, owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran, moved from 13th to sixth finishing on 42.9.
Taking fourth was Kurt Martin and his and Caroljean and William Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Delux Z who produced a fast clear round to move up from eighth and finish on a 39.6.
Fifth went to Emily Beshear and Deep Purple Eventing’s Silver Night Lady with a lovely show jump round with great rhythm. They finished on a 41.7.Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, owned by Sherrie Martin and Carl and Cassie Segal, had been sitting in fourth after cross country but an unfortunate rail at the double moved them down to seventh to finish on a 43.0.
Taking eighth was Boyd Martin and Tura Lura, owned by Gloria Callen and Nancy Hathaway. A beautiful double clear round with fantastic form over the fences moved them up from 14th to finish on a 43.3.
Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate’s Donner picked up a rail but remained in 9th place to finish on 44.1. Timothy Burke and his own Luckhaun Quality had a rail and one time fault to finish in tenth on a 44.2.
Taking top honors in the Intermediate A division was Allison Springer and the Lord Willing Syndicate’s Lord Willing. They were the leaders after dressage but dropped to second with a few time penalties on cross country. A beautiful round this morning moved them back up to win on a 32.6.
Taking second was Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore who had been in third after the first two phases. They finished on a 35.5 and also produced a lovely double clear round. Overnight leaders Boyd Martin and SBF Cortez sadly had a rail but had a strong enough score to stay near the top, finishing third on a 35.7.
In Intermediate B Boyd Martin took the win on Contessa with a double clear show jump round and final score of 35.5. Kylie Lyman took second with Lup the Loop who also produced a double clear round to finish on a 39.6. Kristen Bond and Enough Already round out the top three on a 39.8 with their double clear show jump round.
Overall it was a beautiful day with some great fun at a stunning facility with wonderful riders. The park was filled with spectators who were excited to see some of the top riders in the world compete. Millbrook is a horse trials you don’t want to miss and a must for any rider or spectator.
Until next year Millbrook Horse Trials and best of luck to all riders headed overseas to contest big events or to headed to a fall three-day!
Jenni Autry and Leslie Threlkeld contributed to this report.