The Advanced division is stacked with talent this weekend, and it has been a pleasure to watch these pairs in action. The caliber of entries is evident by viewing the scores after day one; a mere 12.2 penalties separate the entire field. In speaking with several riders today, it is evident that no one is anticipating this being a dressage competition. True to Capt. Phillips form, the cross country course promises to be challenging, and it seems the consensus is that the time is going to be a major factor tomorrow.
Second placed Michael Pollard with Mensa also laid down a phenomenal test. Michael said that Mensa has continued to improve his dressage score this year and was happy with the test today, although he believes there is still untapped talent to be discovered. Mensa appeared eager and happy to dance in the sandbox today, and their score places them well within reach of the top honors going into cross country.
This is the first time I have gotten to see R-Star in person, and the mare is even more beautiful than videos and photos make her! She and Kristi definitely win my favorite test of the day, although an error in the extended trot cost them what likely could have been first place. Overall, it was a lovely test. R-Star is coming off of back to back wins at Rebecca Farm and Copper Meadows and will be a force to be reckoned with in the remaining phases.
Barb Crabo has both Over Easy and Eveready going this weekend, and Over Easy turned in a relaxed test to score a 31.5 to tie Laine Ashker for fourth. Over Easy is relatively young and just moved up to Advanced this year, and she appears to have great potential to go much farther.
Laine told me that she felt a bit disappointed with her test today, as she felt the test lacked some impulsion and left some points on the board. She has her eyes set on cross country tomorrow, and I think we’ve all come to know that Al absolutely loves cross country. This pair is tied for fourth with Barb Crabo and Over Easy after dressage, lying only 3.8 points out of first place.
Here is your full album of dressage pictures from today.