Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro lead the way for China in The Irish Field CCI3* at Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair on a score of 24.6 at the conclusion of dressage in Co Meath, Ireland.
This is Don Geniro’s first international run since Boekelo last year, when the 11-year-old Hanoverian (Don Kennedy X Gina, by Giorgione) owned by Pip Higgins, Pam Dews and Sarah Higgins also led after the first phase and sat second after cross country.
The horse sadly did not complete at Boekelo, as a lost shoe on cross country and subsequent sore foot forced his withdrawal, so Don Geniro is back with a vengeance at Tattersalls. It’s also a critical run for Alex, who needs a qualifying score here to go on to represent China at the World Equestrian Games.
Ludwig Svennerstal and El Kazir SP sit in second place in the CCI3* on an impressive score of 25.5, a career personal best across all levels for the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Capriano X Katella, by Blanc Rivage xx) owned by Jonathan and Jane Clarke.
El Kazir SP was one of only two horses to make the time on cross country in the Event Rider Masters CIC3* at Wiesbaden earlier this month, and the only horse to finish on his dressage score there. This is another horse in the CCI3* at Tattersalls seeking a qualifier for WEG.
Tim Price and Cekatinka are waiting in the wings after the first phase, sitting third on 27.4. The 11-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri X Katinka, by Julio Mariner xx) owned by Joanne Pullan is already a winner at this level, having won Boekelo last year.
Cekatinka is coming off a strong fifth-place finish at Wiesbaden — she was the other horse to catch the time in the ERM class aside from El Kazir SP — and is EN’s pick to take the win at Tattersalls.
Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly, the sole pair representing the U.S. in the CCI3*, scored 29.0 to sit in seventh place after dressage. “Oboe,” a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality X Omard Clover Queen, by Clover Hill) owned by the Four Star Eventing Group, re-routed to Tattersalls from Badminton after an uncharacteristic early runout and retirement.
The horse stayed in Ireland at Cooley Farm while Will returned to the States to compete his other horses during the past month, so he hasn’t had the most ideal lead-up to Tattersalls. Will estimates the horse has only had a dressage saddle on twice since Badminton!
“He wasn’t quite as good as he was at Badminton, but he also didn’t have the same preparation for this event,” Will said. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He wasn’t as flashy today, but he did a clean test, so I was happy with him.”
This is Will’s first time competing at Tattersalls, and he was quick to point out that it is a fantastic event with a very unique cross country course set across sprawling Co Meath hunt country.
“It’s a very flat piece of ground, and Ian (Stark) has built mounds everywhere. Out of 27 jumps on the course, I think about 15 of them have ditches. You don’t see many courses like that. It’s creative, and all those little mounds mean you have to be in the moment the whole way around. I think it presents a lot of challenges.”
Aussie Ryan Wood, our honorary American since he is based in the States, is competing in Europe for the first time and sits 23rd on 35.0 with Woodstock Bennett. The 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Shannondale Sarco X Ponail Belle, by Beau Royale) owned by Curran Simpson is back at the CCI3* level for the first time since winning Bromont in 2016.
“Bennett went as well as he’s ever gone in the ring,” Ryan said. “It’s honestly the best he’s every gone. It’s been a great experience so far but we’ve still got a lot to do.”
Ryan agreed with Will’s assessment that there seems to be a ditch in front of or under nearly every jump on the cross country course: “You wouldn’t want to have a ditchy horse come to Tattersalls!”
“It’s an Ian Stark track. It’s very bold and big, and I’m looking forward to riding it. It starts out with good galloping fences that will hopefully set the tone for the rest of the course.”
Many thanks to Lorraine O’Sullivan for providing EN with beautiful images from Tattersalls. Check back to this post later today for images from the dressage action in Ireland. Go Eventing.