The Intermediate horses and riders have just wrapped up here at the Nutrena American a Eventing Championships. Buck Davidson and Quasar, holding the overnight lead, went out about mid-pack and cruised around to come home one second under the optimum time of six minutes and four seconds to take their lead into show jumping tomorrow.
Buck commented yesterday that this horse has been easy for him to get to know and ride, and today’s trip certainly looked effortless for this pair. In the press conference this afternoon, Buck said that he was very pleased with how Quasar had gone, and that he made for an adjustable and confident ride around Capt. Mark Phillips’ course today.
Moving up with a double clear round from a tie for third is Elisa Wallace and Corteo. This is another pair who made a tricky course, and even trickier time, look like a walk in the park. This is only Corteo’s third run at this level, which makes their smooth cross country round and current placing all the more impressive.
Tamie Smith needed a day brightener after taking a tumble on another horse earlier, and she got it with a foot perfect round with Twizted Syster. This pair is another who looked quite polished and professional around a challenging and technical track. I saw Tamie through the second half of the course, and she really gave the mare a great ride. Twizted Syster has a great, ground-covering gallop that really made the time attainable, saving time in between fences and opening up when there was room to gallop.
Matt Brown and Happenstance also had a great run, looking confident and full of gallop even towards the end of the course. Happenstance seemed to be jumping quite big and excitedly; Matt is here on a mission to get to Fair Hill, and he had two great prep runs for the CCI3* and CCI2* today, which he should be quite pleased with.
I saw most of the pairs through their two trips to the second of two water complexes on course. The great thing about this layout is that you can see a good amount of the course from one spot, which Capt. Phillips has remarked was a big factor when it came time to design this year’s course.
Problems popped up throughout, with the big corner following a table at 6AB causing a good amount of trouble. There were also a few hairy moments through the water I was at, with many horses jumping quite exuberantly into it.