Chattahoochee Hills is undergoing a revamp this season as the 8,000 acre facility takes on the title of Bouckaert Farm. While the team on board remains the same, the updated name represents a new, inspired vision for the Georgia property, owned by Belgian olympian Carl Bouckaert.
After the first two phases, Buck Davidson and Carlevo lead the way for the Bouckaert International CCI4*-S, their last stop on the way to third appearance at the Kentucky Three-Day Event.
“Knock on wood, he’s pretty consistent in all three phases,” Buck said of Katherine O’Brien’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Eurocommerce Caresino x Ramatuelle). He said he relied heavily on his partner today as an ill-timed virus nearly sidelined him. “I’ve been up since the middle of the night throwing up, so I probably didn’t do much good on either one of them today, but he’s a seasoned horse that knows his job, and sometimes as they say, ‘When life gives you lemons, you’ve got to make lemonade.'”
Rails were plentiful early in the going, but this didn’t deter Buck from his plan. “I didn’t get a chance to watch, but I ride him a little off my eye anyway — he’s got such a big stride. I thought he jumped really well in here. This would be hard for him because he has a big stride and a big open step, so I thought he jumped the first eight fantastic and having to slow down so much for this two stride the canter just breaks apart a little bit, but he’s really trying,” he said.
Buck has had a productive winter with Carlevo after a fall ended their shot at the Maryland CCI5*-L early last autumn. This weekend they’re on a dressage score of 25.1 going into cross country on Saturday. “He won Ocala a couple weeks ago after falling at Fair Hill, so maybe it did him some good because this is the best he’s ever gone. Hopefully all goes well tomorrow and we’re excited for a couple weeks from now.”
A classy, clear round kept Mia Farley in second place with BGS Firecracker. She and her own 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse are on a score of 26.5. Sara Kozumplik moved up one spot into third after a penalty-free jump with her handsome 17-year-old Selle Francais Rubens D’ysieux on a score of 28.1.
Canada’s Dana Cooke and FE Mississippi are forth. The 12-year-old Württemberger (Cassini II x Liastra) owned by her namesake syndicate have a score of 29.
Edie Green’s Highly Suspicious made easy work of Marc Donovan’s show jumping course with Cosby Green in the saddle. They’re in fifth place on 29.3 points.
The show jumping phase proved to be influential with only 13 of the 34 starters jumping double clear (38.2%). The same was true for the Advanced division over the same course with two pairs jumping clear, overnight leader Allie Knowles and Business Class (25.9) and Sara Kozumplik with Devil Munchkin (30.7).
All FEI divisions take on Hugh Lochore’s cross country tomorrow, starting with the four-star at 9 a.m. Click here to follow along with all the scores.