Doug Payne & Vandiver Prevail in Dramatic Carolina CIC3* Finale

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The CIC3* at the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International concluded with a dramatic cross country finale that saw Doug Payne and Debi Crowley’s Vandiver storm around as the only pair to make the optimum time and ultimately take the win on a final score of 29.6.

Doug said he has been working diligently to develop different strategies for saving time on cross country ever since the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* in 2016, when a few too many time penalties cost him the win with Vandiver.

“I’ve been trying to figure out a way to be more efficient and not waste time setting up,” Doug said. “He helps you out a lot because he’s quite careful. He’s very smart and genuine, so you don’t have to spend that much time preparing him. You can come in a little hot, and he’s always there to help you out. I’m very lucky to have him.”

This is the first international win for Vandiver, a 14-year-old Trakehner (Windfall II X Visions of Grandeur, by Mystic Replica xx) better known as Quinn, and the second CIC3* win of Doug’s career. It certainly wasn’t easy going today, as Ian Stark’s track turned the leaderboard upside down.

“I thought (the course) was pretty stiff, but I thought it was very fair and it rewarded bold and forward riding,” Doug said. Thirty-four of 54 starters (62.9% of the field) jumped clear, with 41 starters (75.9% of the field) completing the course. For the second consecutive year only the winning horse and rider made the time.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp jumped a cracking clear with 7.2 time penalties on Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night to finish in second place on 35.2. Liz said after dressage that “Blackie,” a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Radolin X Argentina XII, by Argentinus), has felt better than ever this season.

“I said 15 might be his year! It was the best he’s ever gone,” Liz said. “Great job by Doug — I don’t think I could’ve made the time today on Blackie because he needs looking after a little bit. I think that’s what he needed today — a fast round but a positive experience because I want a happy horse for another day.”

Liz finished her other ride, Deniro Z, in fourth place on 38.5 and had the save of the day at the first water. The 10-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend, by French Buffet xx) owned by the Deniro Z Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties left a leg at the big log jumping in, and Liz stuck the landing, kicked on in a neat three strides to the brush corner, and went on her way to finish clear with 9.6 time penalties.

Liz’s team has had quite a day, as they were without super groom Gemma Jelinska after Deniro Z reared up and unfortunately struck her in the face early this morning when a four-wheeler zoomed by and spooked him. Liz’s owners Rob and Chris Desino helped arrange surgery for Gemma, and Liz’s husband, Al, stayed with her at the hospital, where she was able to watch Fernhill By Night go cross country on the live stream.

“Katherine Coleman’s crew stepped in and helped us, and Stephanie Simpson and James Burtwell both saved the day,” Liz said. “We’re very lucky to have a great village around us, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped.”

Felix Vogg and Colero. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and Colero, a 10-year-old Westphalian (Captain Fire X Bonita, by Bormio xx) owned by Jürgen Vogg, jumped clear with 6.0 time penalties to move up from ninth after show jumping to finish third on a final score of 37.0.

“He is pretty green, and he is already 10 but not so experienced. My plan for this year was to come (to the U.S.) to prepare him for the (World Equestrian Games) so he has a little bit more time. At home it is snowing and the shows get canceled, so I am quite happy out here,” Felix said.

“I think Ian Stark did a really good job. The questions were really clear for the horses. It was very forgiving. From the beginning on I had quite a good feeling on him. He really wanted to go. I thought first I was a little bit slow, but at the end it came out that he was actually quite fast. I could have tried a little bit more, but my first goal was to prepare him for the WEG.”

Tim Bourke and his own Luckaun Quality, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality X Colwyn Bay, by Cavalier Royale), had the second fastest round of the day, picking up 2.0 time penalties to move from 22nd after show jumping up to finish fifth on 39.3.

Lynn Symansky and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection, a 14-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Naomagic I, by Exorbitant xx), jumped clear with 11.2 time penalties, which dropped them three spots on the leaderboard to finish sixth on 39.7.

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Danger Mouse, a 10-year-old KWPN by Kannan, jumped clear with 6.4 time penalties to move from 15th after show jumping up to seventh on 39.9.

Doug Payne finished two of his three rides in the top 10, with Lisa Wall’s Getaway, an 11-year-old Oldenburg by Contendro, jumping clear with 8.4 time penalties in a very impressive three-star debut to finish eighth on 42.7.

Kurt Martin and DeLux Z, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Lux X Drumin Imp, by Master Imp) owned by Bill and CJ Martin, had a super clear round with 9.2 time penalties to move up from 17th to finish ninth on 43.6.

Lauren Kieffer and Team Rebecca’s Veronica, a 16-year-old KWPN mare (Pacific X Kimbel, by Ferro), jumped clear with 12.4 time penalties in preparation for a return trip to Badminton and finished 10th on 45.6.

We unfortunately had four horse falls in the CIC3*. Overnight leaders Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border fell jumping into the first water complex at fence 12A. She was transported by ambulance to a local hospital as a precaution, and officials confirmed she has no major injuries.

Katie Ruppel and Foreign Affair fell jumping into the second water complex at fence 19A when the horse left a leg. The log there was pinned with frangible technology but did not deploy. Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star fell at fence 20A, the first of two open corners. Sable Giesler and Devil Munchkin fell at fence 3, a table. All horses and riders walked away with no major injuries.

Five more riders fell in the CIC3*. Cornelia Dorr was having a super round with Louis M and unfortunately fell when he slipped going around a corner after the second water complex. Kyle Carter fell from FR’s Trust Fund at 7A, the hanging rail jumping in to the coffin. Daniela Mougel fell from Cecelia at fence 5a, the first of two angled rolltops. Sara Kozumplik Murphy fell from Rubens D’Ysieux at fence 5b, the second of the angled rolltops. Randy Ward fell from Grando at fence 12b, the brush corner in the water. All riders are reported as having no major injuries.

Click here to relive all the action in EN’s open thread. The replay of cross country will also be available to view on EQSportsNet. Stay tuned for much more from Carolina. Go Eventing.

Carolina Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter