Ariel Grald, Buck Davidson Win Carolina Advanced Divisions

Ariel Grald and LBF O'Leagh's Image. Photo by Jenni Autry. Ariel Grald and LBF O'Leagh's Image. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Rails came tumbling down in this afternoon’s Advanced show jumping at Carolina International Horse Trials to shake up the leaderboards and ultimately determine the winners. Ariel Grald and LBF O’Leagh’s Image, last year’s CIC2* winners, continued their winning streak at this event, jumping double clear to take home the blue ribbon in Advanced-A on 37.7.

Ariel and “Leah,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Carol Rittenhouse, just completed their first Advanced together at Pine Top last month and dominated in their second appearance at the level this weekend, delivering the only double clear cross country trip yesterday and one of the five double clears today.

Sharon White and her own and Richard Weber’s Wundermaske jumped clear with 1 time penalty to finish second in this division on 41.7; Sharon confirmed the 10-year-old Hanoverian/Thoroughbred gelding will return to Kentucky for his third CCI4* next month, having completed both Kentucky and Pau last year.

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica, who are also aiming for a return trip to Kentucky, jumped a lovely double clear round to finish third on 43.3. The 13-year-old Dutch mare is our reigning USEF National Champion and continues to look in fantastic form with Rolex just five weeks away.

The following horse and rider combinations also jumped double clear in the Advanced-A division over Marc Donovan’s show jumping course: Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star, 4th; Lillian Heard and Share Option, 6th; and Ryan Wood and Frankie, 9th.

Zach Brandt withdrew Cavallino Cocktail from this division after dressage but show jumped today, with one rail down, to complete the combined test, which he said had been his plan all along for this weekend. “Skotty” will run the CIC3* at The Fork in two weeks as her final prep run for their first CCI4* at Rolex Kentucky.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monte Carlo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Wiley Post took first place in the Advanced-B division on 41.9, moving up the leaderboard with one rail down and 3 time penalties after overnight leaders Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville retired during their round. “Tate” slammed on the brakes at fence 8 after not jumping like his usual self, and Sinead decided to call it a day.

She later posted on Twitter: “After stumbling on the landing of 2 different fences in SJ decided to call it a day in order to make sure Tate is feeling 100%.” Kudos to Sinead for making that decision, and we’re looking forward to seeing Tate out in two weeks at The Fork CIC3*, an event he won last year, in preparation for Kentucky.

Caitlin Silliman and her own Catch A Star jumped the only double clear round in this division to move up to second place, finishing the weekend on a score of 43.5. “Hoku,” a 15-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare, is aiming for her third consecutive trip to Kentucky, and Caitlin said the mare has never felt better.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z had one rail down to finish in third place in this division on 44. Lynn Symansky and Donner, who she confirmed is heading to Kentucky, finished fourth with one rail down on a score of 48.5, and Colleen Rutledge and Escot 6 round out the top five with one rail down on 53.

Thank you to the organizers, volunteers and everyone who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this weekend at Carolina International such a great one. This event continues to get better and better, and we can’t wait to return next year to see how they up the ante even more. Click here to catch up on all EN’s coverage from #CarolinaCIC.

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