While many tried, no one could ultimately catch the incredibly high bar set by Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville in the CIC3* at Plantation Field. Boyd Martin and Trading Aces were the final pair to ride today and the last chance to crack the 30s and put pressure on Sinead. Oscar looked fantastic to score 47.7 for fifth place, which is certainly a score Boyd can be happy about on a day when the judges certainly weren’t feeling generous. Plantation is serving as Oscar’s final run before Boekelo, and I expect Boyd to take a conservative approach on Sunday, especially if we don’t get any rain before cross-country day. At the conclusion of dressage, Sinead and Tate hold the lead, with Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott and Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda tied for second on a 46.2. Caitlin Silliman and Remington XXV are in fourth place on 47.1.
Sally Cousins and Ideal Contini rose to the occasion today, scoring 50.1 for sixth place, which is very impressive when you consider how fired up Taz looked in warmup. It says a lot about Sally’s partnership with the horse that she was able to work through those shenanigans in warmup and ultimately turn out a very nice test once they entered the ring. Buck Davidson and No More Rocks nearly snuck into the top 10, scoring 54.6 to tie for 11th place with Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. This was a very steady, fluid test for this pair, although perhaps just a touch quiet; on a day when we saw a lot of horses trying to jump out of their skin, quiet was not necessarily a bad thing. I like this horse a lot and definitely have my eye on him this weekend. Phillip Dutton has all three of his horses in the top 15, as William Penn scored 54.9 to sit in 13th place overnight, and all three of his tests today were equally lovely.
That wraps up the first day of competition in the CIC3*. Over in the CIC2*, no one caught Boyd Martin and Pancho Villa’s sky-high score of 35.6, although Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue D’Argouges came closer than anyone else with a 40.6. Mara DePuy and Alimit hold third place on a 42.2. We’re running the new CIC format at Plantation Field this weekend, so all the divisions we’re watching will show jump tomorrow, with the Advanced division jumping first at 11:28 a.m., followed by the CIC3* at 12:24 p.m. and the CIC2* at 2:42 p.m. While it’s been wonderful to have glorious sunshine so far this weekend, the consensus amongst the riders is they’re hoping for rain between now and Sunday to foster ideal conditions on the cross-country course. Be sure to check The Horse Pesterer’s YouTube channel for dressage videos. Stay tuned for much more from Plantation Field. Go eventing!