Allison and Arthur Leading The Fork CIC3*

Leslie Mintz took a ton of lovely photos of the dressage, check them out at EventingUSA.

Allison and Arthur delivered a great test today and lead the CIC3* by 4.1 points over Mara Dean and Nicki Henley.  In the advanced division, Mara, Phillip, and EN’s own Hannah Burnett are tied for the lead on High Patriot, Connaught, and St. Barths respectively.  The second half of the dressage for the CIC3* and advanced starts Friday morning.  

A few notes from the several hours of today’s dressage action that I managed to watch:
(1) I know I have mentioned this before, but Mara Dean is a really fantastic dressage rider.  Not to take anything away from High Patriot, but that horse’s movements start one point lower than St. Barths’ and two points lower than Connaught’s, and Mara tied both of them.  She rode the test to near technical perfection and probably got a 9 for rider.  
(2) Speaking of Connaught, he looks as energetic as ever and ready for Kentucky.  His enthusiasm led to a couple bobbles, such as head flipping in the walk, but the changes were mostly calm.  That horse makes up for everything by absolutely pouring on the movement and athleticism.  Does Connaught look dressage ready to repeat his ’08 performance at Kentucky?  Absolutely.  His stablemate TruLuck sits in 5th in the CIC3*.
(3) I will let Hannah and Holly write about their weekends, but both had very good dressage tests today.  Hannah came out of the arena (after dropping a 27.3 mind you) and the first thing she said is that she was disappointed in her shoulder-in.  That mentality, of always trying to be better is why she and Nike are tied with a Rolex champion right now.  Holly looked polished as always, and should win the best dressed rider award (if they give one) in her navy blues.
(4) 5 Rolex entrants hold the top 5 spots in the CIC3*, and 6 hold the top 6 spots in the advanced.  
(5) In the CIC3*, Mystere Du Val had a super test that probably deserved a lower score.  If Mystere Du Val gets around, he almost always medals with his extremely strong dressage and show jumping.
(6) I would be remiss not to give credit to Mother Nature for providing amazing weather today; sunny and in the high 70’s.  The main goal was not getting sunburnt, at which I failed.  Maybe it’s because of the weather, or maybe it’s because I was in a good mood, but everyone I spoke with seemed to be in a great mood today.
(7) In addition to Mother Nature, the volunteers and organizers did a wonderful job today.  The Fork does one of the best jobs of any event at getting the community involved  A local boy scout troop is providing much of the volunteer support this weekend, I need to remember to get the troop’s name so I can give them a proper shout-out tomorrow.
The XC is being aerated as I write; the footing is awesome.  Tomorrow we will have the culmination of the dressage along with a XC preview in the afternoon, and we will have much more from The Fork.  Go eventing.  
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