Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM took the lead in the Plantation Field International Horse Trials CIC3* this afternoon thanks to jumping double clear over Marc Donovan’s show jumping track. Buck’s mom Carol clucked along to “Reggie” at each fence, with big smiles all around from owners Carl and Cassie Segal after they clinched the clear. Buck sat in second place on a score of 47.7 after dressage, and overnight leaders Kelly Prather And Blacknight Mystery dropped two rails, which slips them down to fifth place.
Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair also jumped clear to break the tie for third place with Buck and Copper Beech, who dropped one rail to move to fourth place on 52.9, while Maya and “Cody” sit just 1.2 points behind new leaders Buck and Ballynoe Castle RM in second place on 48.9. Boyd Martin and Trading Aces’ clear round moves them from equal eighth place up to third on 51.3; they’re another pair favorited to take the win this weekend along with Buck and Reggie, and they sit in good position to put pressure on Buck and Maya.
Boyd has two more rides in the top 10 with Crackerjack, who jumped a lovely clear round to move from 11th up to sixth place on 53.7, and Steady Eddie, who also jumped clear to move from 17th to 10th on 55.5. Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights dropped one spot on the leaderboard from sixth to seventh place on 54.4 with just the last rail down, and Sharon White is sitting in the top 10 with both her rides, with Wundermaske and Under Suspection pulling a rail each for eighth and ninth places on 54.7 and 55.3, respectively.
With just 14 of the 51 entries jumping double clear, Marc’s course caused quite a bit of trouble, with rails falling throughout the course. As we usually see on his courses, he provided an option at fences 7ab. The route to the left took riders over a seahorse oxer with seven strides to a two-stride daisy combination — by far the faster of the two routes. The left route took riders over the seahorse oxer with eight strides to a grey coin in and out, then a tight rollback turn to a vertical.
Four combinations jumped clear with time penalties, with 17 pulling one rail and 16 pulling two or more rails. Thirteen pairs had time penalties, and the track proved to be a course you definitely needed to go out and attack, with forward riding being rewarded handsomely. Local riders Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star and Jimmie Schramm and Bellamy had especially nice textbook rounds in preparation for the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* — well done, ladies!
In addition to the riders already mentioned, the following combinations jumped double clear: Kevin Keane and Fernhill Flutter, Kurt Martin and Anna Bella, Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace — with mom Sherrie enthusiastically riding every jump right along with her! — Allison Springer and Copycat Chloe, Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me, Dana Widstand and Relentless Pursuit, and Kendal Lehari and Totally Frank.
Live scores are running behind due to some technical issues, so see below for phone photos in the meantime. In other news, the inaugural broadcast of PRO TV has been hailed a huge success, with viewers from all over the world turning in to watch the live stream of show jumping and hear Samantha Clark and Spencer Sturmey’s expert commentary. The playback video is being uploaded as I type, so check back soon for the full footage.