Double overnight leader Doug Payne looks like he’s gotten quite comfortable at the top of both Advanced divisions at Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials at TIEC presented by EquiSafe Global. After three clear rounds in the show jumping, it doesn’t look like he has any plans to leave here without two blue ribbons.
Starr Witness, the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Catherine Winter and Laurie McRee, added nothing to her Dressage score to remain first in the A division with a 25.70 heading into cross country. The same was true for Quantum Leap, the 9-year-old Zweibrücker gelding (Quite Capitol x Corporate Report) owned by Doug and Jessica Payne, adding nothing to their 26.10 Dressage score to hold onto second place.
“These two are both stepping up to the level,” he said of his Advanced A mounts after touring the Chris Barnard course design. “Quantum [Leap] has had a little more experience than Starr Witness, but both of those guys responded really well and I think they benefited from the time we spent here in the summer.”
Matthew Flynn improved from fourth to third, riding Wizzerd to a clear round to keep his original score of 27.30 aboard Patrick Flynn, Kathleen Flynn, and Merry Go Round Farm’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wizzerd WV x Oklund).
Doug’s untouched score of 23.10 with Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne kept them atop the Advanced B division.
The remainder of the leading trio also remained unchanged after Show Jumping, with Hallie Coon (Ocala, FL) on 26.90 aboard Celien, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (VDL Tenerife x Hamlet) owned in partnership with Helen Coon, and Ann Goodwin (Aiken, SC) in third on a score of 28.00 after two phases with her own Fedarman B, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Eurocommerce Washington x Fedor).
“Vandiver has never jumped better, honestly,” Payne emphasized. “He just keeps getting stronger and stronger, and he’s just got about the biggest heart of any horse I’ve ever had. It’s getting to be a lot of fun with him, actually, because he’s so reliable and jumping great.”
The Advanced divisions head out on Capt. Mark Phillips’ cross country course today beginning at 10:57 a.m. We will have live updates right here on EN, so check back for minute-by-minute action. For more information on how to watch ALL divisions live, click here.