Tamie Smith and Mai Baum sailed into the CCI3* lead at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International just before the lunch break, scoring 38.5 to hold a comfortable five-point margin over second-placed Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. “Lexus,” a 9-year-old German Sport Horse gelding owned by the Ahearn family, just keeps getting better and better with Tamie in the irons, and that score of 38.5 is their personal best at the level.
This combination has won three CIC3* events in a row and are most recently coming off a big victory at Plantation Field; we’ve predicted them to take the USEF CCI3* National Championship this weekend here in Elkton, Maryland. Tamie executed a beautiful test, with just a tiny flub in the second change standing out as the only real thing to nitpick about. She managed that performance on what is a very tough day for her mentally and emotionally.
EN has followed Dylan Morris’ battle with stage 4 stomach cancer since his diagnosis two years ago. Brother to Heather Morris and a dear friend to Tamie, she calls him her “brother — not by blood — but by love and friendship.” Heartbreakingly, Dylan’s battle is now coming to an end. Heather, who was entered to compete Charlie Tango in the CCI2* this weekend, has subsequently withdrawn from the competition. She flew back home to California this morning to say goodbye.
Because #EventersStickTogether, please join the EN team in sending love, prayers and encouraging thoughts to the Morris family, Tamie and her team, and all who know and love Dylan during what is a very difficult time for them. As Tamie wrote in this guest blog about Dylan earlier this year: “I live each day happier, more grateful and with more meaning than I ever did before, and I have Dylan to thank for that gift.”
Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice delivered a lovely test this morning to sit in second place on a score of 43.5. The 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Moran, Annie Jones, Michael Bombar, Kevin Keane and Evie Dutton has been coming back to competing after sustaining on bone chip on his stifle at Rolex this spring. We’ve predicted him to finish second at Fair Hill weekend.
Park Trader did the best test of his career today with Buck Davidson to sit in third place currently on a score of 44.4. They delivered a steady, accurate performance that really showed the time and patience Buck has put into getting “Kobe” more relaxed in this phase. The 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Carl and Cassie Segal has been making a comeback from an injury sustained last year; this is his first FEI competition since Rolex in 2014.
Buck is having a very good weekend thus far in the CCI3* and currently has three horses sitting in the top 10, plus three of the seven sub-50 scores. The Apprentice is rounding out the top five at the lunch break on 47.2, and Wiley Post delivered a 49.0 as one of the horses that went yesterday afternoon to sit in seventh place.
Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border also did their test yesterday — and led overnight after the first 16 horses — and are now sitting in fourth place on a score of 45.8 in the horse’s CCI3* debut. Marilyn Little and RF Overdressed are sitting in sixth place on 47.7, with Boyd Martin and Crackerjack and Holly Payne Caravella and Santino sitting in equal eighth place on 50.2. Caroline Martin and Center Stage round out the top 10 on 50.3.
Looking to the CCI2*, the top two still remain unchanged from yesterday, with Peter Barry and Long Island T leading and Phillip Dutton and Z sitting in second place. Allison Springer and Cascani did the best test of the day in this division so far, scoring 46.1 to sit in third place with one more group still to come in this division. Doug Payne and Lysander, who went yesterday, are in fourth on 46.6, and Dasha Ivandaeva and DB Cooper did a very nice test just before the lunch break to sit in fifth on 47.8.
We have 13 horses still to go in the CCI3* and 12 still to go in the CCI2*, so stay tuned as we wait to see if anyone can catch Tamie Smith and Mai Baum’s leading CCI3* score and Peter Barry and Long Island T’s leading CCI2* score. Remember to follow EN on Instagram for bonus photos!