Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot prevailed on a tough day that saw just 45% of the field jump clear rounds on Mike Etherington-Smith’s CIC3* cross country at the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event.
“William,” a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Cruising, blitzed around to add 0.8 time penalties and move up from third place after show jumping to take the win on a final score of 42.2. Hannah and William started and ended their international season with a CIC3* victory, as they also won at Red Hills in March.
“I was trying to stay really focused on the game and not think so much about trying to win. I wanted to do a good job, go quick, and work on some of the things I’ve been working on all summer and put it together today,” Hannah said.
“I’m always picking at little things (to improve), and I felt way more in a rhythm and let him run a bit. He got kind of strong, and I was OK with it rather than trying to fight him like I have been the last couple of years. We felt like a team again; it was really fun.”
Phillip Dutton made an impressive return to competing after breaking his collarbone in September, taking both second and third places in the CIC3*. The Z Partnership’s Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide, jumped clear with 1.2 time penalties to move from fifth to finish second place on 46.3.
David Garrett’s Indian Mill, a 12-year-old English Thoroughbred gelding, jumped one of the four clear cross country rounds inside the optimum time to move from equal eighth place to finish third on 48.4.
“Z was phenomenal,” Phillip said. “Indian Mill hasn’t done this level since Aachen last year, so it was incredible to have him come out and do that” — especially considering he delivered the fastest round of the day, coming home 6 seconds inside the optimum time of 6 minutes, 12 seconds.
Phillip campaigned Indian Mill in 2016, and David’s daughter Holland competed him at the CIC1* level in 2017, finishing in the top 10 at both Pine Top and Fair Hill. Now Phillip has the ride back, though maybe not for long.
“Indian Mill is for sale if the right person wants to bid for the World Championships next year,” Phillip said. “Otherwise I’ll keep going with him and aim for a CCI4*.
Katie Ruppel and her own Houdini jumped clear with 5.6 time penalties to finish fourth on 49.7 and take the award for the highest placed Thoroughbred in the CIC3*. The Ocala Jockey Club allocated $25,000 of the $100,000 in prize money to honor the top Thoroughbreds in all three divisions, with $15,000 awarded in the CIC3*.
Kurt Martin and Anna Bella, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by the GSC Syndicate, jumped clear with 1.6 time penalties to move from equal eighth up to round out the top five on a final score of 50.0.
Joe Meyer and Theresa Foote’s Clip Clop also made the optimum time to move from 11th place up to finish sixth on their dressage score of 50.8 — the only pair to finish on their dressage score in the CIC3* field.
Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus capped their first international run back since the Kentucky CCI4* this spring with a solid clear round and 10.8 time penalties to finish seventh on 56.1.
Elisa Wallace and the Simply Priceless Syndicate’s Simply Priceless also ran for the first time at international level since their spring CCI4* at Badminton, jumping clear and inside the time to leap from equal 20th up to finish eighth on 60.5.
Overnight leaders Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night were one of 15 combinations to pick up jumping penalties at fence 9AB, a combination of two corners appropriately named Diablo’s Devil Corners. Liz and “Blackie” added 20 jumping and 7.6 time penalties to finish ninth on 61.6.
Erin Sylvester and Mettraise win EN’s Biggest Mover Award, rocketing up from 25th to finish 10th with a clear round inside the time to complete on a final score of 65.0. Click here to view full scores in the CIC3* from Ocala.
Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras Win CCI2* Wire-to-Wire
Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras set the place from the start in the CCI2*, leading after dressage on 36.7, adding 0.4 time penalties on cross country, and jumping a clear show jumping round today to complete on 37.1 and seal the deal on a wire-to-wire victory.
“He’s a super horse, and he’s an amazing show jumper,” Lauren said. “He went in there and jumped great. He had a great weekend — he was calm and collected. It was a great way to end the season.”
The 9-year-old KWPN owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars has jumped clear show jumping rounds in eight of his last nine international runs (88.9%). Shout out to EquiRatings, the Official Statistics Providers of #OJC3DE, for providing data and analysis for the event.
Katherine Coleman and her own Monte Classico, an 8-year-old German Sport Horse, jumped clear and inside the time to move up one spot on the leaderboard and finish in second place on a final score of 40.2.
Jon Holling and the Two Doors Town Group’s Sportsfield Two Doors Down, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, finished third on 42.8, one of only five combinations in the CCI2* to finish on their dressage score. Click here for full scores from the CCI2*.
Allie Knowles and Business Class Take CCI1*
Allie Knowles and Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class jumped a clear round inside the time to hold their overnight lead in the CCI1* and take the win on 40.2. She has fought hard to come back from severe injuries sustained at Red Hills in March and said the win today is an amazing way to end what has been a tough season.
“In some ways it’s been the best year of my career and life yet, and in some ways its been the worst,” Allie said. “Either way, I learned a lot, and I feel like it all came together in the last month between the last trip (to Pau) and this weekend. It made all the hard work coming back from this injury well worth it.”
“Oso,” a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse, came out fresh and with plenty left in the tank to jump a beautiful clear round over Chris Barnard’s tough show jumping track. Five of the combinations sitting inside the top 10 after cross country had rails. Only 29 of the 74 combinations (39.1% of the field) jumped clear rounds inside the time.
“He’s just a cool customer, and I think he’s quite easy on himself,” Allie said. “He doesn’t try any harder than he needs to, but when it counts, he puts in the effort.”
Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s QC First Class jumped clear to move from sixth up to finish second on 43.0 and win the 6-year-old CCI1* title in the Oldenburg gelding’s debut at the level.
Stephanie Cauffman and her 6-year-old Chatsworth Third Revolution jumped clear to move from seventh up to finish in third place on their dressage score of 43.1. Click here to view full scores in the CCI1*.
Please join EN in sending a massive thank you to the Ocala Jockey Club for providing $100,000 in prize money for this event. The CIC3* alone saw $45,000 awarded to the top 10, with first place receiving a cool $27,000.
This event checks all the boxes. From fabulous footing and course design to top notch hospitality and amenities, not to mention the incredible team behind the event, the million dollar view of the sunset from the OCJ Clubhouse is the icing on the cake.
Thank you to the venue owners Erik and Pavla Nygaard for sharing your slice of heaven with the eventing community; organizer Shelley Page and co-organizer Max Corcoran for running a super event; and all of the officials and volunteers working hard behind the scenes. Go Eventing.