Boyd Martin didn’t just beat the clock on the Fair Hill International CCI2* cross country course today — he demolished it, piloting Christine Turner’s On Cue around a whopping 14 seconds inside the time to take the lead on 23.7.
On Cue, a 12-year-old Anglo-European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising xx), won her CCI2* debut at Jersey Fresh in May, but Boyd he wasn’t sure how she would handle a track like Fair Hill.
“She’s all class,” Boyd said. “I didn’t know whether to bring her here or not, but she sailed around the course today and did the time quite easily. I think she will be a good horse for the future.”
The door opened for Boyd Martin and On Cue to take the lead when dressage leaders Heather Morris and Charlie Tango sadly picked up two refusals at the Chesapeake Water at fence 9, and she elected to retire.
Derek di Grazia’s CCI2* course certainly shook up the leaderboard, with 67% of the field jumping clear rounds. Only five of the 63 starters managed to catch the optimum time of 8 minutes, 48 seconds.
Emily Beshear and Jennifer Ward’s Olney Uncle Sam finished bang on the optimum time to move from seventh after dressage up to second place on 26.8. “Sam,” an 11-year-old Trakehner (Sonset Seiger X Aerial, by Starman), won Millbrook Advanced this year, but Emily ultimately elected to run him in the CCI2* at Fair Hill.
“I was really happy we did the two-star here because certainly it was enough of a challenge,” Emily said. “It allowed me to attack the course and try to be quick around knowing that he had that (Advanced) experience under his belt. He was super.”
Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Michel 233, an 8-year-old Hanoverian (Mighty Magic X First Lady, by Federweisser), added 1.2 time penalties to move from eighth up to third place on 28.3.
“I did Fair Hill on him last year in the CCI2* and he was very, very green,” Will said. “He’s come back this year very strong. He didn’t do a spring CCI because I planned to give him time this year to get strong at the level. … He’s a big horse, so I took my time on the sharper turns. He’s a machine on cross country.”
Lexi Scovil and her own Chico’s Man VDF Z jumped clear around their first Fair Hill and added just 0.8 time penalties to move from 11th up to fourth place on 28.8.
Caitlin Silliman and The Vagabon de Champdoux Syndicate’s Vagabon de Champdoux added 0.8 time penalties to move from 14th place after dressage up to fifth on 29.5.
Allie Knowles and Katherine O’Brien’s Morswood finished 1 second over the optimum time and move from 23rd up to sixth on 31.0.
Mia Farley and her own BGS Firecracker skipped around clear with 2.0 time penalties to jump from 19th up to seventh place on 31.9.
Phillip Dutton and Sea of Clouds, owned by Anita Motion, Jodi Dady, Annie Jones, Evie Dutton and Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, rocketed around 12 seconds inside the time to move from 29th up to eighth on 32.2 in the horse’s CCI2* debut.
Matt Brown and Alexa Gartenberg’s Big Berry added just 1.2 time penalties to move from 26th place after dressage up to ninth place on 33.3.
Tim Bourke and Carla Abramcheck’s Quality Time finished 7 seconds inside the time to jump from 35th after dressage up to 10th on 33.4.
We also have to give a special shoutout to 18-year-old Flintstar, the only other horse to make the time in the CCI2*. Six years ago he carried Jonelle Price to a team bronze medal at the London Olympics. Today he safely carried Ryan Keefe around her first CCI2*, moving from 50th up to 14th place. What a horse!
We did see one rider injury in the CCI2* when Amber Levine fell from Cinzano after the horse slipped on the flat between fences 3 and 4. Amber was transported to Union Hospital of Cecil County and is being treated for a concussion and broken foot.
No other major injuries were reported for any of the horse and rider falls in the CCI2*.
The final horse inspection will be held tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EST. CCI2* show jumping will start at 10 a.m. EST. Keep it locked on EN as we crown the next Dutta Corp/USEF National CCI2* Champion. Go Eventing.