By the Numbers: Millbrook Advanced

New York’s Millbrook Horse Trials has been the kick-off to the U.S. fall season for many years now, with riders using it as a key run for horses headed to long-format 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.

Two days of Advanced dressage kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by cross country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday. EN’s own Abby Powell will be bringing us all the latest from Millbrook 2019, so keep it locked here!

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Millbrook as seen from above. Photo by Dan Cohen.

The Event

  • Only 2.1% of starters (five pairs) have finished on their dressage score in the last five runnings of this event, out of 229.
  • Only 10 pairs have made the time on cross country out of 209 cross-country starters over five years.
  • The winner of the Advanced hasn’t been worse than fifth after dressage since before 2014.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Carlevo is the horse to beat in the first phase, ridden by Buck Davidson. This pair has scored in the 20s in every Advanced and 4*-S/L start since the fall of 2017. They own the best two-year dressage average in the field at this level of 28.0 penalties.
  • Buck Davidson also brings a heavy hitter forward in Copper Beach, who is less consistent than his stablemate but can get closer to the 75% mark. Although he’s had some scores in the low 30s this spring, he clocked in a 26.7 at Rocking Horse Advanced earlier this year.
  • Buck really performs well at Millbrook typically, and his Burghley-aimed ride Jak My Style should step up to the plate as well. In three starts at A/4*-S/L in 2019, the Thoroughbred has dropped his score with each progressive outing and sits on an average of 31.2 penalties for the level under Buck.
  • Business Ben and Allison Springer are another pair that prove Thoroughbreds can get top scores on the flat; in eight starts at the level since 2018, Business Ben has averaged only 31.9 penalties and cracked the 70% mark at Fair Hill earlier this year.
  • Whitney Mahloch and her (Thoroughbred!) Military Mind have been no stranger to the top of the leaderboard after the first phase as well; he’s cracked 70% in three of his five starts at the level over the past two years and rarely scores worse than a 33.

Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Cross Country Machines

  • Military Mind is the one to watch for the fastest round of the day; he and Whitney Mahloch have clocked in the fastest time of the day in six of their eight career clear cross-country rounds. In the two finishes that they weren’t the fastest of the day, they still finished inside the time.
  • Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise have garnered three top three finishes at this level in part thanks to their quick turn of foot; they have clocked in the fastest round of the day or made the time in four of their seven clear rounds at the level.
  • Buck Davidson has used Jak My Style‘s speed to good effect; for their three Advanced starts in the past two years they have finished within five seconds of the fastest time in two of them.
  • Will Coleman with DonDante and Phillip Dutton with Sea of Clouds have both shown quick paces in the horses’ first starts at the top level.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Tight Lines is a very good show jumping horse at A/4*-S level; under Will Coleman he has never had more than one rail at these levels and they have jumped clear in their last five consecutive A/4*-S rounds.
  • Phillip Dutton has another crack jumper in his stable in Fernhill Singapore, who has now jumped clear in all five of his starts at the A/4*-S level.
  • DonDante under Will Coleman has added nothing in the show jumping phase in his first two starts at the level.
  • Ms. Poppins has added only one rail in four rounds at this level with Allie Knowles.

Buck Davidson and Jak My Style. Photo by Jenni Autry.

PREDICTED WINNER: Buck Davidson and Jak My Style

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Will Faudree and Pfun/Michel 233
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo/Copper Beach/Park Trader
  • Will Coleman and Tight Lines/DonDante
  • Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan