A small crowd gathered to watch the CIC3* horses do their dressage this afternoon, and we did see some tension in many of the entrants, which was reflected in the resulting scores. The atmosphere almost served to puff Tamie Smith’s Mai Baum, owned by Alex Ahearn, up even more, resulting in a very impressive show that earned a 40.5 from the judges.
“It was his best test all year,” Tamie said. “At Great Meadow, he just didn’t feel super connected and I just felt a bit out of my element. So we came home my dressage trainer, Niki Clarke, and I worked really hard on getting him more connected and more through and today he was really, really good.”
“He has a very good presence about him,” Tamie said. “But he can be tricky, because he’s so short coupled he can a little tight in his back, but we just strategically planned a specific warm up for him and it really paid off for him.”
Chesna Klimek kindly shared this video of Tamie and “the Black Stallion’s” winning test:
I think Tamie isn’t alone when she said she was hoping for a score to crack the 30s, but she’ll take a handy 12.3 point lead into tomorrow. While judges Marilyn Payne and Angela Tucker both scored Mai Baum in the mid to high 70s, the judge at M, Heather Buckland, scored much lower, causing a 10.39 percentage point spread and also kicking the score up into the 40s.
Barb Crabo was our trailblazer in the CIC3*, and she earned a 52.8 with Eveready to take second overnight. This is pretty darn close to their average on the flat (this is their first time performing this test), which is 53.6, so they’re in excellent position to perhaps improve upon the predictions Maggie set forth earlier this week.
Barb and Eveready, a 16-year-old Swedish gelding, are one of the most experienced pairs here, and they are no strangers to Rebecca Farm. They’ve placed fifth in the CCI3* for the past two years running.
Jen McFall and High Times also put in a very nice looking test, earning a 53.1 for third place overnight. Jen was pleased with her test, as she can feel her 11-year-old Holsteiner really maturing as time goes on.
“He started off actually pretty hot in the warmup, so I was a little worried because he wasn’t feeling real rideable,” Jen said. “But when we got (in the ring), he actually was showing a little maturity. He got in there and went to work. We still had some sticky moments, but he actually recovered from them and went on.”
A year ago, Jen says, “Billy” may have let a few tense moments steer the direction of the remainder of the test, but today Jen felt him listen to her aids and respond by continuing to work instead of melting down. That’s a start she’ll take as she looks ahead to the CCI3* at Blenheim this fall.
Anna Collier and Gleaming Road, one of our returning Rolex pairs in this division, slotted into fourth place with a score of 58.9. An 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Gleaming Road completed his first CCI4* in Kentucky this spring and has been a consistent three-star performer for Anna. This pair was ninth here last year, and they’ve taken a bit off their score of 60.6.
Topping off the five leaders are Anna Grandia and Chaos and Ashlyyn Meuchel and Morning Star, who are tied on a 60.9. Anni and Chaos, a lovely 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, are CIC3* first-timers, as are Ashlynn and Morning Star, who is a former ride of Lynn Symansky’s.
We’re kicking off the inaugural CCI3* dressage in just a few minutes — we have 14 horses and riders to see, so keep checking back for more from that division.