The masses have converged on the Kentucky Horse Park and not only are things in full swing, the Intermediate and Prelim divisions actually wrap up today. An eye-popping number of starters means we have full action through Sunday of this week!
The Advanced division at the AEC is designated as the USEF Advanced Horse Trials National Championship, in which the top-placed U.S. athlete will be presented with the legendary Jack Le Goff Trophy. It also serves as the first $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final. The Adequan USEA Advanced Final Champion will receive a $30,000 check, while competitors through eighth place will receive the remaining $30,000 of the prize money.
Advanced gets underway on Thursday with dressage beginning at 10:24 a.m. ET. Cross country takes place Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. followed by a grand finale of show jumping at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Here are our predictions for who’ll be crowned champion!
- Long Island T and Boyd Martin will be top dog on day one, having bested the 70% mark in eight of ten starts in 2018/19 and surpassed the 75% mark on two of those occasions.
- Buck Davidson and Copper Beach aren’t hitting the sub-thirty mark as consistently as Boyd Martin, but have come close to the 75% mark twice in the last two years. Their solid average of 30.3 for the level in the 2018/19 season will have them stalking the leader after dressage.
Cross Country Machines
- Sabrina Glaser and Rembrandt moved up to the Advanced level in 2017 and have been slowly gaining steam in the second phase. In their five A/4*-S runs in the last two years, they’ve finished as the fastest time of the day on three occasions, and only one second slower than optimum time at a fourth. In all five of those runs, they finished either within ten seconds of optimum or as the fastest time of the day.
- Clark Montgomery has been quick to make his mark on day two with Caribbean Soul, who moved up to the level late last year. In three completed runs at the A/4*-S level, they’ve always finished within ten seconds of optimum time, and were the fastest pair at The Fork Advanced earlier this spring.
- Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me are well known for their turn of foot in the cross country phase; in six A/4*-S runs over the last two years, they were either inside optimum or the fastest time of the day for four of them, and finished only two seconds over optimum on a fifth run.
- Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise have utilized their speed to gain three high-profile top-three finishes in 2018/2019, including winning the Jersey Fresh CCI4*-L. At the A/4*-S levels, they’ve finished either inside the optimum time or as the fastest time of the day on three of five occasions.
Show Jumping Powerhouses
- With the recent struggles of Z in the stadium phase, Fernhill Singapore has overtaken his stablemate as the best jumper in Phillip Dutton‘s string. In six rounds, the horse has never had a rail and only incurred time penalties in his very first start at the level.
- Voltaire de Tre and Leslie Law are another set of prime jumpers in the field, scoring eight clears in eleven A/4*-S rounds. They’ve never had more than one rail at the level.
- Congo Brazzaville C and Mara DePuy are the final pair of meticulous jumpers this weekend. In fifteen starts at A/4* they’ve only twice incurred a rail, both at the beginning of 2018. They haven’t had a rail since.
PREDICTED WINNER: Boyd Martin and Long Island T
Keep Your Eye On:
- Phillip Dutton and Z/Fernhill Singapore
- Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul
- Leslie Law and Honor Me
- Hallie Coon and Celien