By the Numbers: Copper Meadows Advanced

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry. Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s time for some West Coast love! The action is heating up in California, with Copper Meadows running the West Coast’s second Advanced of the year. Copper Meadows launched a new website just in time for the event, so be sure to check it out here. While the Advanced division is lighter with seven entries , we do have some exciting prospects stepping up to the plate.

Because the division is smaller, I’m only bringing the top two predictions to you. I’m also going to highlight the two horses moving up, as either of them could steal the show.

The dressage test will be 2014 USEF A-B. The cross country course designer is James Atkinson, and the show jumping course designer is Jose Nava. Both James Atkinson and Jose Nava are frequently used by the West Coast shows, so this field is pretty familiar with both of their styles.

TOP TWO

1. Mackenna Shea and Landioso: Mackenna and Landioso are preparing to travel east for The Fork next month, and they are using Copper Meadows as their final prep. This pair didn’t have the best fall, but they got right back on track with a fast and clear run at Twin Rivers two weeks ago. Mackenna will keep tightening the screws as she prepares for her first Rolex.

Landioso should have a top placing after the flat, with an average of 32.7 for this dressage test. These two are very swift across James Atkinson’s courses, averaging only two seconds over optimum time. Landioso can struggle a bit with time penalties in the show jumping, and his last attempt at a Jose Nava course produced only one rail but 9 time penalties. Even so, a final score in the mid-40s should clinch them the win.

Jolie Wentworth and Goodknight. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jolie Wentworth and Good Knight. Photo by Jenni Autry.

2. Jolie Wentworth and Good Knight: Jolie and Good Knight are the most experienced pair in the field here, but have had a light six months since Jolie gave birth last fall. She withdrew after dressage at Twin River, but completed the CIC2* at Fresno County a month ago, so there’s a good chance we’ll see this pair compete this weekend.

Good Knight is fairly consistent on the flat, averaging 36.6 on this dressage test, which is close to his overall average. This pair averages 11.2 time penalties on James Atkinson courses, which is a little slower than their average. They ought to make up for that over Jose Nava’s show jumping course, over which they average double clear. Jolie and Good Knight should finish just behind Mackenna with a score in the mid-to-high 40s.

Tamie Smith and Twizted Syster. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tamie Smith and Twizted Syster. Photo by Jenni Autry.

THE SLEEPER

Anything Tamie Smith is riding: Tamie Smith is moving a pair of her rides up to Advanced this weekend, and I wouldn’t count them out just because it’s their first attempt at this level. Both Twizted Syster and Mai Baum are getting some heavy training time with David O’Connor, and both are headed east to contend The Fork and then Jersey Fresh.

Mai Baum has yet to achieve a Pan Ams qualifier and will look to do so at Jersey, but recently won his final Intermediate at Twin Rivers. Twizted Syster has already obtained qualifiers at two different Pan Ams selection trials, the CCI2* at Rebecca Farm and Fair Hill. While the number of horses “double-qualified” for the Pan Ams may increase after the spring CCIs, this mare looks like one of the few to have a shot at triple the qualifiers.

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