Everyone loves a good comeback story, and both of the CCI3*-L winners at the MARS EQUESTRIAN Bromont Three-Day Event battled their own unique adversities to bounce back to the top here in Quebec.
Kylie Lyman had us in all in tears yesterday as she recounted Da Vinci Code‘s emotional journey back to the top. After a two-year recovery from a soft tissue injury, “Davinci,” a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Master Imp X Clovers Apollo, by Clover Hill) owned by Joan Nichols, won his first international back on his dressage score of 28.3.
“He goes out every single day and is just a class, class horse. Everything he does, he gives it everything. He just went out there and tried for me every single fence,” Kylie said. “Even at fence 4 when I wasn’t perfect, he knew what he needed to go out and do today. It’s great to go and win, but the story behind home coming back so well just makes it extra special.”
With just 0.4 penalties separating the top two after cross country, Kylie didn’t have a rail in hand going into show jumping today. “I had a little pep talk with myself that if I had a rail, it’s such a minor piece of the puzzle with his career, and it’s not the end of the world, and to enjoy the past two years of getting him back to this moment. I want to appreciate having a horse of his quality that has the heart that he does. I’m just trying to make the most of it all.”
Looking to the rest of the CCI3*-L leaderboard, Allie Knowles and Business Class, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Harlequin du Carel X Modela, by Quick Star) owned by Katherine O’Brien, jumped a lovely clear to finish second on 28.7. Allie now heads to Germany to compete The Sound Prospect LLC’s Sound Prospect in the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L this week, and the entire EN team wishes her the very best of luck.
Kimmy Cecere and Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco — a full brother to Landmark’s Monte Carlo, who finished second in the CCI4*-L today — finished on their dressage score of 32.1 to take third place.
Click here for final scores in the CCI3*-L.
For our second comeback story, look no further than Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. After being disqualified from their first CCI3*-L completion at the Ocala Jockey Club in 2017, Alyssa bounced back to win the under-25 division today on a score of 27.3.
“In the warm-up I just jumped a couple jumps, and he was jumping a lot better this time than he was at (Ocala Jockey Club),” Alyssa said. “Some of the lines came up a bit quicker, and in the past he’s been a little spooky with the show jumps. He came in and the jumps backed him off a bit, and it did help me because he does have such a long stride, and he can get pretty strong, and that held him off a bit. He jumped super. I had a rail in hand, but I’m glad I didn’t need it.”
As for what’s next for Oskar, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Coriando X Nicole, by Marlo) owned by Julia Phillips, he’ll have a well deserved break, and then Alyssa is eyeing a move up to the Advanced level.
“The goal is the CCI4*-L at Fair Hill or Ocala Jockey Club, depending on what will suit him best. If everything goes to plan, hopefully I’ll go to Bramham next year. He seems ready for it.”
Alyssa and Oskar led the way for Leslie Law’s team in the USEF/USET Foundation Inc. North American Futures Team Challenge, but Erik Duvander’s team ultimately took the win. Click here for a full breakdown of the team results and what the riders gained from the experience.
Nine combinations in the CCIU253*-L jumped clear show jumping rounds to give us a 47% clear rate. Alyssa’s teammate Alex Baugh and Altorac Farm’s Ballingowan Pizazz, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality X Rocklea, by Leabag), delivered a classy clear to finish second on 33.2.
Canada’s Shelby Brost and Crimson, her own 16-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Etta x Dixieland Heat, by Cojak), also jumped clear to rise from eighth after dressage to finish third on their dressage score of 33.6.
Click here to view full results in the CCIU253*-L.
Last but certainly not least, Boyd Martin won the CCI3*-S today aboard Barry, topping a stacked field of championship medalists and five-star stalwarts. Clocking in at 75% Thoroughbred, 10-year-old Barry has all the pieces on paper to be a top class event horse, though he’s had a rather rocky road to the top.
Bred by Canadian Olympian Peter Barry and named after him, Barry is by the British-bred stallion Catherston Liberator — the same sire of Tim Price’s 2019 Kentucky mount Xavier Faer — and out of Freespirit, a Hanoverian/Thoroughbred mare Colleen Loach produced to the CCI4*-L level while working for Peter. When Freespirit’s wild-child son Barry started his party trick of bucking riders into oblivion, Boyd had the opportunity to purchase him “for the deal of the century.”
The fact that this horse won today is a testament to Boyd’s sheer stubbornness to give up on him, and the owners, Kathleen Crompton and Nancy Hathaway, for believing Barry has all the pieces to be something great.
“I think he’s got power and length of stride, and grit and determination in the jumping,” Boyd said. “He’s a pretty good mover, sound and tough, and got a bit of mongrel in him. I think he’s tricky, but he’s going to be a big time five-star horse.”
Boyd added: “You can’t get too high when they’re going well, and you can’t get too low when things don’t work out, because it all levels out at the next show. It’s a funny sport like that, and I’m still loving it and enjoying it at this stage of my life.”
Looking to the rest of the CCI3*-S leaderboard, everyone’s favorite vet, Dr. Kevin Keane, rose from sixth place after dressage to finish second with his own Sportsfield Candy, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Condios, on a final score of 34.4.
Christina Henriksen and JTH Zest, her own 8-year-old British-bred mare ( Zamboucca X Maybee Baybee, by Mayhill), had one rail down to finish third on 34.9.
Click here to view full scores in the CCI3*-S.
And that, mesdames et messieurs, is a wrap on EN’s Bromont coverage. Until next year … au revoir.