Good morning from Fair Hill! It’s an overcast but pleasant day here in Elkton, Md., and after spending the past weekend in miserable weather at Boekelo in the Netherlands, I’m loving the forecast for this weekend. Boyd Martin is also loving the warmer temperatures, I’m sure, and he hopped right off a plane from Europe and straight onto his horses to prepare for the CCI2* this weekend. He was second to ride this morning in the two-star, and he currently leads the way with Pancho Villa. Boyd and Pancho led the dressage by a mile in the Plantation Field CIC2*, which they went on to win, and they’re also enjoying a healthy lead so far here at Fair Hill on a score of 41.4. This horse is very impressive in the dressage, and he has incredibly balanced paces; he looked relaxed and engaged throughout the test, and Boyd seemed happy with the result.
Kristen Bond and Seams Ready are holding second place after the first group on a 48.3. This pair is a fresh off a win at the Area II Intermediate Championships, and they worked well together today for a solid score. This is a new ride for Kristen, and I’ve never seen him before, so I’m looking forward to watching them more this weekend. Kurt Martin and Anna Bella, who I featured on EN’s Got Talent earlier this year, are close behind in third place on 49.4, and this is definitely a pair you’ll want to watch this weekend. Kurt and Anna Bella are coming off very strong second-place finishes in the Virginia CIC2* and Plantation Field CIC2*, and she looked very good in her test today. This is Anna Bella’s first CCI2*, and she’s definitely starting the weekend off well. She’s a lovely mover and an even better jumper, and she absolutely has the talent to shine here at Fair Hill this weekend.
Ryan Wood and Fernhill Classic are our other score in the 40s so far, and they kicked things off this morning as the first ride of the day to score 49.7 for fourth place provisionally. This is the first of three horses for Ryan in this division, and the horse is competing in his first CCI2* this weekend. They’re coming off a 15th place finish at Plantation Field, and I thought this was a good, workmanlike test from this pair. There’s one more group to go before the lunch break, with Will Faudree and DHI Colour Candy kicking things off next. I’m thrilled to be here at Fair Hill this weekend, as it’s the first event I ever covered for EN exactly one year ago, so it will always be a special event for me. As always, the grounds look fantastic, the press tent is lovely, and the best of the best have come to Elkton to compete this weekend. Stay tuned for much more from Fair Hill.