Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM Hold CIC3* Lead at Plantation Field Lunch Break

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry. Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We’ve just wrapped up the first half of the 50-strong CIC3* division at Plantation Field International Horse Trials, and, as expected, Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM are leading the way at the lunch break on a score of 47.7. After retiring on cross country at the World Equestrian Games, Buck said yesterday that “Reggie” is feeling fit and ready to go. He also said several factors will determine if he runs cross country on Sunday.

First, the ground needs to be in good condition, and unfortunately Unionville hasn’t had much rain at all this week; we expect the grounds crew will be aerating quite a bit over the next two days. Second, Buck needed to get a dressage score that puts him in good position to clinch the win. He checked that first box today, and now we’ll wait to see how the ground looks coming Sunday morning. If Reggie does run, he’ll be hard to beat.

Sharon White and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sharon White and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Trading Aces, who also retired on cross country at WEG with Phillip Dutton in the irons, is also competing this weekend, and we expected him to challenge Reggie for the big win. Boyd Martin, who hasn’t competed the horse since Red Hills in March, left some points on the table today, with Oscar getting a bit tense in the canter work and the changes looking fiesty. But the score of 51.3, which puts them in equal second place, will still have them in striking distance.

Sharon White and Under Suspection are sitting on the same score, and “Pippy” is another horse looking very fit, which led to some fussy moments in the test. She’s heading to Boekelo CCIO3* next month, and Sharon will have a few things to work on before going to the Netherlands, namely the halts and changes, which tacked points onto the score today.

Boyd Martin and Crackerjack

Boyd Martin and Crackerjack. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd also holds fourth place with Crackerjack on a score of 53.7, as well as equal sixth place with Master Frisky on 55.8 — not a bad day in the office. Crackerjack’s test was especially nice, and this is his first attempt at the CIC3* level with Boyd, as Phillip rode the horse in his three-star debut last year at Jersey Fresh. Bred with a lot of Thoroughbred blood — he’s by Aberjack — this is definitely a horse to keep your eye on this weekend.

Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon round out the top five in the early going on a score of 54.9. Emily just pushed for a bit too much in the first medium trot, and “Delta” got away from her. She settled nicely after that break to canter; the mare is still pretty green to this level, so the other little blips along the way are understandable and will continue to smooth out with more time.

Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We have to give a shout out to Caitlin Silliman, who said Catch A Star was keenly aware of her surroundings yesterday while hacking around the grounds. The horses who live locally like “Hoku” know exactly where the cross-country course is at this venue, and Caitlin expertly handled the mare today for a score of 55.8, which ties them for sixth place with Boyd and Master Frisky.

With Fair Hill just around the corner and many of these horses running their final prep here at Plantation Field, we’re seeing some exuberant displays of fitness from pairs like Will Coleman and Obos O’Reilly, who wanted nothing to do with the little white box today. Tim Bourke also struggled to handle a very excited Luckaun Quality, and Lisa Barry did a very good job of piloting a fiery F.I.S. Prince Charming.

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We’re on the lunch break now, with plenty of heavy hitters still to come in the afternoon group. We could see very good scores from consistent combinations like Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair, Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, Sharon White and Wundermaske, Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries. Spectators are filling into the grounds, and the chilly morning has thawed out to a lovely afternoon, with a light breeze blowing and the sun shining. Stay tuned for much more from Plantation Field.

Plantation Field International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Times] [Live Scores]

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