The scoreboard shifted yet again as riders in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L tackled a tricky Chris Barnard-designed show jumping track to close out the weekend at Jersey Fresh International. Once the dust settled – and with just three pairs in the CCI4*-L turning in double clear rounds – it was Boyd Martin and the Luke 140 Syndicate’s Luke 140 who would become your 2021 Jersey Fresh International winners. They end the weekend on a final score of 32.4. Tamie Smith and Julianne Guariglia’s Solaguayre California take home the CCI3*-L crown.
Luke 140 (Landos – Omega VI, by Limbus) first joined Boyd’s string as an 8-year-old, having competed through the former two-star level with Swedish rider Malin Petersen. When the Holsteiner gelding first came to the States, Boyd says they had a few growing pains to endure while they forged a partnership.
Time does every partnership a load of good, though, and by the time Boyd hopped on a plane to California to contest the gelding’s first CCI4*-L at Galway Downs last fall, he says they had really begun to hit their stride (we’d say so: they won that event fairly decisively). This season, it ended up being a bit fortuitous (though Boyd’s body probably doesn’t agree) that he took a couple of tumbles on the CCI5* track and subsequently elected not to run Luke in the CCI4*-S as planned.
“To be honest, I wasn’t too keen to run him at Kentucky as I don’t really like to run them two weeks apart,” Boyd said earlier this week. “I think it’s a bit tough on their bodies. So it was actually good taking him to Kentucky and having that intense week of building up to a dressage test.”
Boyd certainly needed all of his experience to navigate a track that yielded very few clear rounds. Of the 41 finishers, just nine pairs left all the rails in their cups (Doug Payne and Starr Witness, Sydney Solomon and Early Review C as well as Colleen Loach and FE Golden Eye produced the three double clears), and even Boyd needed an extra second of time to get home.
“My job is just to keep him relaxed and he pretty much jumps clean every time,” Boyd said. “He’s an awesome horse to have after a grueling cross country, especially when the show jumping course was tough. I was still nervous but I think I was on the best jumping horse here.”
The time allowed of 80 seconds meant riders had to hustle from the get-go to make it around Chris Barnard’s track consisting of 12 numbered questions and 15 jumping efforts. “I think if the time had been five seconds slower there would have been a lot more clears because you could take a bit more time setting up to the fences,” Boyd commented. “I screwed up fence two to three – I did eight strides and I wanted to do seven, so that was probably my second (over the time).”
Take a look at how the track rode:
Boyd had entertained the idea of moving Luke up to the five-star level at Kentucky after his solid showing in California, but he opted to put more confidence on the horse instead. “His character is so willing and such a trier and I don’t want to abuse his good nature by making him do something that he doesn’t quite understand yet,” he explained. “So keeping him at this four-star level for six more months I think just created more confidence. And this year this level has felt pretty easy for him.”
Despite the second over the time, Boyd’s round was enough to keep the pressure on overnight leader Tamie Smith, who had a single rail in hand on Ruth Bley’s EnVogue. At the end, she used up three rails and a second of time to end the weekend in a still-respectable third place on a final score of 39.5. Stablemate Danito, also owned by Ruth Bley, lowered two rails and had four seconds of time to end just behind EnVogue in fourth place on a finishing score of 41.5. Tamie is no doubt a bit disappointed with the final result, but she’s got a slew of top finishes to add to her collection as the feather in her cap at the end of a very long trip away from her home base in California. She’ll begin the long drive home this week with the seven horses still remaining (20 of the original 27 horses traveling with the Next Level Eventing squad had already gone home). We hope the woman has some sort of vacation planned for herself! At least a long weekend, Tamie – you deserve it.
“Five years ago, I would have been doing backflips to have two in the top five at a four-long,” Tamie told reporters after her ride. “My expectations have just risen a little bit but they both jumped great.”
“(EnVogue) did try her guts out,” she said of the 16-year-old Hanoverian mare by Earl. “I was just saying that when you’re on ground like Kentucky they can really trust that the ground feels good when they’re landing, but they’re on this and it’s a little stingy after they’ve ran 10 minutes. At least both of them are so good on the flat that they still ended up third and fourth.”
Not a bad person to be finishing second to! Congratulations to Alyssa Phillips for coming second to Boyd Martin at New Jersey today.
Posted by Jennie Brannigan on Sunday, May 9, 2021
Sandwiched in between Boyd and Tamie in second place is the rising star Alyssa Phillips, whose 2021 season has been nothing short of incredible as she builds on her big CCI4*-S win at Kentucky just last month with the 12-year-old Oskar (Coriando – Nicole, by Marlo). Lowering just one rail was enough to make her finishing score of 38.5 strong enough to hold onto second place – not too shabby for your first CCI4*-L together. Alyssa has been partnered with Oskar since 2016 and the pair has really hit their stride and come out swinging in 2021.
Alyssa told us earlier this week that Oskar came in from turnout with a swollen face after returning home from Kentucky, causing concern that he’d broken a tooth or a cheekbone. He was thoroughly examined and no serious injuries were found, but Alyssa rode him in a halter for a good amount of her final preps for this weekend. Clearly no worse for the wear, though, Oskar once again proved himself a tough cookie (really, every horse that came home from the tough track in the Kentucky CCI4*-S deserves the tough cookie award) and made short work of the tasks at hand this weekend.
“I felt like it was the fastest 80 seconds of my life, it all happened so fast!” Alyssa said. “The arena isn’t that big, so you have to keep turning and moving. So I kept my turns pretty tight and kept coming. The rail I had was not him it was me just getting a bit too deep. He jumped fantastic, he tried really really hard and was really rideable after yesterday.”
Oskar actually show jumps better on the third day of a three-day versus events where the horses show jump prior to cross country, Alyssa says. “Sometimes when he’s a bit strong, like if we jump before cross country, then I’m taking time in the corners to set up but this course you kind of just had to keep coming and it worked out for him.”
Alyssa graduated from Texas Christian University last fall and says it’s been really nice to be able to focus more on her riding now that she’s finished school. Previously splitting time between Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania was challenging for Alyssa, but now she’s enjoying seeing the time and hard work she’s put in pay off. You’ll want to keep an eye on this pair (and on Alyssa’s rising string of horses – her Cornelius Bo horse is currently on a nine-strong win streak that extends back into 2020!) as their career continues to progress.
The morning didn’t start off in the most quiet way as several horses were held at the Final Horse Inspection. Five horses in the CCI4*-L (Arielle Aharoni’s Dutch Times, Jonathan Holling’s Prophet, Tamie Smith’s Danito, Meagan Marinovich Burdick’s Riviera Lu and Buck Davidson’s Soracaima) were held, with Dutch Times and Prophet subsequently withdrawn from the hold box. The remaining horses were passed upon reinspection. In the CCI3*-L, Tamie Smith’s Cheers and Liz Halliday-Sharp’s HHS Cooley Calamaria were both held but passed on re-presentation. Jules Ennis withdrew Cooley O overnight.
Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California on their way to winning the CCI3*-L!
Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California Win CCI3*-L
Clear rounds were a bit easier to come by in the finale of the CCI3*-L, with 22 of the 47 finishers producing double clear rounds.
Tamie Smith will have one win to take home with her after piloting Julianne Guariglia’s Solaguayre California (Casparo – Solaguayre Calandria, by Casall) to the CCI3*-L win in the 10-year-old Argentinian mare’s Long format debut. This is a mare Tamie’s been excited about as she’s taken like a fish to water to the sport as the levels have gotten trickier. After first doing some show jumping in Argentina before joining California-based David Adamo’s program early on in her eventing career, she joined Tamie’s string and hasn’t looked back. Her double clear show jumping effort today makes for a finishing score of 26.7.
Dassett Olympus finished 3rd place at Jersey Fresh International in the 3 Long division!!! He also won the optimum time…
Phillip Dutton and Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool (Quo Vados – B-estelle, by Lord) also keeps his position, taking home second place on a score of 27.4 to mark a successful CCI3*-L debut for the 10-year-old. Moving up into third place overall are Lillian Heard and the 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Dassett Olympus (Lancelot – Cushlamochree, by Cruising), owned by Debby Greenspan, who improves on his first CCI3*-L at Midsouth in 2020 with a final score of 30.5.
Many thanks for keeping up with Jersey Fresh alongside us! I can’t thank Conklin Photographic, Amber Heintzberger, Courtney Carson, Audrie Stanka and everyone else who helped me keep eyes on the action without actually being able to be there all weekend! Enjoy a few more social pieces from the grounds below. And – most importantly – happy Mother’s Day to all of the hardworking moms, horse show and otherwise, who always make this world a better place.