Buck Davidson and Petite Flower had the strongest test of the final group in the CCI3* at Fair Hill, scoring 46.8 to sit in sixth place overnight. I’m a sucker for catty mares, and Flower is a lot of fun to watch across all three phases. She’s very good in the dressage and relaxes nicely in the little white box, which allows Buck to really show off her lovely movement. She’s also a rocket across the country, and she’s definitely going to be competitive tomorrow. Buck’s sub-50 score means we finished the day with 10 horse-and-rider pairs cracking the 40s, which is 22 percent of the field; four of those were scores of 45 or lower. Looking back to last year’s scores in the CCI3* at Fair Hill, we only had six riders crack the 40s, and just two of those had sub-45 scores. While that’s not a huge jump, we’ve still nearly doubled our number of riders and horses earning scores that could be considered internationally competitive.
Speaking of horse-and-rider pairs that earned a score in the 40s, I have to apologize to Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star, whose score was entered incorrectly in the live scoring earlier today. They scored 46.8 to sit in equal seventh place with Buck and Flower overnight, so I’m including them in my reports a bit belatedly. Tag has been very consistent in the dressage this year, and while he played and fussed a bit today, he still looked very good. Courtney and Tag were one of the pairs to part ways in the water complex at Plantation Field, but they romped around Jersey Fresh in good form earlier this year, so they absolutely have the experience to get around Derek’s course tomorrow. We’re about to start the press conference, and I still have much more to bring you, including photos of the cross-country course and all the dressage videos I couldn’t upload today due to slow-as-molasses wifi. Stay tuned!