US Eventing team stalwart Phillip Dutton leads the Stable View CCI4*-S in both experience and placings as he and his World Equestrian and Olympic Games partner Z landed themselves in the overnight lead position after the first two phases.
On their morning dressage efforts, both judges — Vanda Stewart and Amanda Miller — shared similar opinions, both giving Phillip and Z the identical score of 71.88% for a penalty score of 28.1. Phillip gives thanks to dressage coach Tuny Page on that front, who he says has had him laser focused on maintaining a correct and effective position throughout the test.
“[Z is] getting so mature and professional about it all now and early in his career as dealing lot more with his tension and nervousness, whereas now he sort of understands a lot more the dressage. He kept his calm and kept thinking with me all the way through the test,” he said.
The 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca Z — Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) will stay on his sub-30 score (the only one in remaining in the division) after a show jumping showdown of sorts that saw only four of the twenty-two competitors emerge double clear.
“He’s just a beautiful jumper and he’s pretty rideable now as well, and I’ve gotten to know what works best in the warm up for him,” he said. “I just try to keep the warm up as quiet and as easy and as relaxed as possible with lots of walking in between jumping and just lets him take a deep breath and doesn’t build up and build up and get more and more tense.”
Phillip admits he had the advantage of being sat on an excellent show jumper, but he still had plenty of work to do across Michel Villancourt’s show jumping track. “I thought it walked strong actually when I walked it. It’s quite square and it wasn’t very forgiving in the lines — you kind of had to stick to the numbers or else you paid a price. I think the Liverpool probably came down the most, and that required you to get really straight and square to it and again I think you’ve paid the price if you didn’t you didn’t do that,” he said.
Phillip’s closest rival tomorrow is second-placed Lucienne Belissimo who saw one rail go early in the course with the Horse Scout Eventing’s Dyri.
“I was pleased with Dyri in the dressage this morning. He is an insecure gelding and can curl up on me a little — today he actually felt confident and maintained a good frame & brain throughout,” she said of the 11-year-old Holsteiner (Diario — La Calera, by by King Milford xx). “The one rail he had was a shame early on because the show jumping suited him as he likes to run a little deep, and there were a few clever combinations that were followed with a short distance.”
Lucienne and Dyri carry forward a score of 33.1 to the final phase.
It’s a pleasure to see Mary Bess Davis and Imperio Magic in the top three of this feature class, but no one was beaming more Mary Bess herself. After being sidelined from a neck injury this spring, she’s picked up exactly where she left off with “McColl.”
“I knew it would be tough, and if you’re going to ride a course like that you want to be on a horse like him. It gives you a lot of confidence being on him, so I was really kind of excited about how hard it was because I thought we could jump clean and do well because it just suits him,” she said.
She was exactly right on that front, leaving all the rails in place with her 9-year-old Anglo European gelding (Cassander C — Khadija des Hayettes, by Banboula du Thot) to remain on their dressage score of 34.0 going into the final phase.
Sarah Kuhn is fourth with Mr. Cash van de Start after having one rail down for a two-phase score of 34.9, and Lucienne nabbed another top five position with her second ride, Tremanton coming in fifth on 36.4 points.
In addition to International divisions, Stable View is also playing host to the USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships for 6- and 7-year-olds.
Katherine O’Brien’s P.S. I Love You tops the 7-year-old Championship, which is held at the CCI3*-S level. Ridden by Allie Knowles, the Irish Sport Horse (FSS Correlli Bravo — Woodmount Queen, by Crannagh Hero) put forward a double clear show jumping effort to remain on their dressage score of 32.6.
The 6-year-old class currently belongs to Monbeg Zebedee, who is ridden by Allison Springer. The Zebedee Group’s Irish Sport Horse (Dignified Van’t Zorgvliet — Bolacreane Dolly, by Cult Hero) earned a 28.6 on the flat and will continue forward with both jumping phases tomorrow.
Competition continues tomorrow with cross country for all International divisions beginning at 8:30 a.m. Stay tuned for much more from Stable View.