Millbrook has been the kick-off to the fall season for many years now, with riders using it as a key run for horses headed to CCI3* and CCI4* events in the coming months. As the only Advanced event on the East Coast in this timeframe, Millbrook consistently draws a large field with plenty of big names.
This year many of the horses selected for the World Equestrian Games are running in the Intermediate divisions at Millbrook, but the newcomers to the level have stepped up abundantly to fill out the Advanced division.
- Millbrook was absolutely dominated by Buck Davidson and Laine Ashker and their old partners Ballynoe Castle RM and Anthony Patch earlier this decade. Combined, the two riders won this division every year between 2010 and 2015.
- Of 182 pairs who have started since 2014, only four have finished on their dressage score. All four of those accomplished that in 2016, and all four placed inside the top 10.
- Only seven pairs of 173 cross country starters have made the optimum time in this division.
- Boyd Martin and Long Island T have scored over 70% in five of their seven starts together. With the lowest dressage average in the field, this pair is a good bet to lead from day one.
- Doug Payne and Getaway are the only other pair to have a career average above 70% at this level, executing dressage tests with an average of 29.8 in four tests for the horse this spring.
- Allison Springer is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard after day one and she has another talented partner in Lord Willing. Although his average hovers just over 30, this horse has cracked into the 20s in his last two consecutive starts.
- Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux have had dressage scores as low as 26.6 in their career together. While they can consistently reach the upper 20s, they trended more towards scoring just under the 70% range this year.
Cross Country Machines
- Since taking over the ride on Archie Rocks, Buck Davidson has averaged only seven seconds over the optimum time in two Advanced/CIC3* runs. This pair was the fastest to complete the cross country at Horse Park of New Jersey Advanced, finishing exactly on the optimum time.
- Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise have finished within 15 seconds of the optimum time in three of their four starts at this level and twice have finished within five seconds.
- Steady Eddie and Boyd Martin have delivered the fastest round in their Advanced/CIC3* divisions on multiple occasions over the last two calendar years, including being the fastest pair on course at Millbrook last year.
- Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Fly Me Courageous and Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage are two pairs to watch. Both are still knocking off some rust after a hiatus from the Advanced level, but they had impressive and fast form across the country in their starts prior to taking time off.
- Newcomers to the level Jorgen Olijslager with Northern Quest Lady’s Man and Kaelen Speck with Sweet Rebellion both clocked in rounds less than 15 seconds over the optimum time at Horse Park of New Jersey.
Show Jumping Powerhouses
- Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux are very consistent in the show jumping phase, having only ever incurred one rail in seven rounds at the level.
- Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes stand out of the field this weekend as one of the better jumpers, having jumped clear in five of their seven starts at the Advanced/3* levels and never incurring more than one rail.
- Lord Willing has also proved to be a careful jumper since stepping up to the Advanced level with Allison Springer, incurring one rail in five rounds at the level.
PREDICTED WINNER: Doug Payne and Getaway
Potential Spoilers: If Long Island T and Rubens D’Ysieux can deliver fast and clear cross country rounds, both will be near the top of the leaderboard on the final day.
Keep Your Eye On:
- Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Fly Me Courageous
- Buck Davidson and Archie Rocks
- Boyd Martin with Ray Price and Steady Eddie
- Kylie Lyman and Cooley Ice