The overnight CCI3*-L leader after yesterday’s cross country, 23-year-old Woods Baughman, could finally breathe easy after jumping the last fence of Marc Donovan’s Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Three-Day show jumping course. His double clear round meant he held on to the top spot in the division, and became the 2019 USEF CCI3*-L National Eventing Champion aboard C’est La Vie.
“I was so happy when he made it over the last rail,” Woods said. “I could breathe for the first time since yesterday afternoon.”
Woods said that the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding was a little tired this morning, but quickly got back to business when Woods took him out for a morning ride and the pelting rain that came down during the three-star finale helped to keep him keen as well.
“He immediately snapped back to and gave me everything he had, and this afternoon he was right there with me,” said Woods.
The partnership between Woods and “Contendro” is a relatively newer one, as the Baughman family purchased the gelding from Dirk Schrade last December after Woods had spent the year training in Germany.
“I didn’t like [Contendro] too much in the beginning,” Woods admitted. “I thought Dirk was joking when he said to buy him, but once I actually bought him he’s an amazing horse. We’re actually quite similar. We both like to go and get a little big and jump things. Once we put it to, it clicked right away.
It clicked particularly well over the past few days for this duo, as this is actually the first time as a partnership that they have finished on their dressage score (27.6). No time like the present, particularly when the pressure is on, to cash in your best showing yet.
Woods is excited to move Contendro back up to the Advanced level next year — he completed two at the level this fall, along with a top-ten Intermediate finish at the American Eventing Championships — and would like to complete two four-stars in 2020 with the goal of competing in his first five-star at Kentucky 2021. Watch out world — Woods is on his way.
Representing Canada, Colleen Loach and Vermont also delivered a double clear show jumping round which meant that they kept their second place position just a single point behind the leaders.
“I’m thrilled with Monty. He was jumping me out of the tack in warm up and he continued to jump really well in the course,” Colleen said. “He handled the weather and the atmosphere really well, so I’m proud of him.”
Thrilled with how fresh the horse felt this morning, the future is looking very bright for the 7-year-old Hanoverian owned by Peter Barry. Colleen plans to take it take it slow in continuing to bring the 18-hand gelding along to the top level. She’ll spend at least another year at Intermediate, whole-heartedly believing that mileage at that level is key to a horse’s development, confidence, and ultimately their success. And with what she thinks could be a future Team Canada horse on her hands, she’s happy to give Monty all the time he needs.
Caitlin Silliman and Holly Payne Caravella shared their score of 29.8 through all three days of competition, but in the event of a tie the higher placement goes to the pair who came closer to the optimum time across the country. Coming in with just one second in hand yesterday, Caitlin was officially awarded third place with Ally KGO and she couldn’t be more pleased with the mare’s performance in her first CCI3*-L.
“You never know bringing them up to this level — this was her first really tough one,” Caitlin said. “She finished strong yesterday, but you never know on Sunday morning how much horse you’re going to have and how they’re going to show jump. She’s a very good show jumper typically, but she’s never jumped after a long format like this.”
Caitlin said that the 8-year-old Trakehner owned by Q-Brook Stables felt no worse for the wear after her fantastic run yesterday. Even though the track was a bit slippery, the cool weather helped to keep the horses fresh and consistent.
“She felt the same to me today, which is exciting for the future that she jumps the same on the third day. There’s a lot of decorations in there and she can be a spooky horse, but she was all business and really focused, Caitlin said. “I think she wanted it as bad as I did. I think we’re looking at an Advanced move up this spring. We’ll see
This has been the mare’s second full season at the Intermediate level, and Caitlin is considering a move up to Advanced next year.
Holly Payne Caravella and CharmKing LLC’s CharmKing finish their weekend in fourth place, since they were just three seconds further away from the cross country optimum time than Caitlin and Ally KGO.
Dr. Kevin Keane made a triumphant return to upper-level competition after being sidelined with an injury for some time. The veterinarian steadily climbed the leaderboard over the weekend with his own Sportsfield Candy, a 12-over Irish Sport Horse gelding, from an initial 11th place to ultimately finish fifth overall on his dressage score of 31.60.
Another combination to finish on their dressage score was Stephanie Cauffman and her own Chatsworth Third Revolution, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding. They kept their initial score of 34.3 to move up 16 place over the course of the weekend and finish sixth in their first long format three-star.
Megan Sykes and her own Classic’s Mojah, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, sat in 5th place heading into the final phase, but pulled a single rail which resulted in a drop to 7th place on a final score of 34.7.
8th place went to Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare that she owns. They missed out on a double clear by just a single second and accrued 0.4 time penalties for a final score 35.1.
It looks like Maya Black has an exciting young horse on her hands in Laurie Cameron’s Miks Master C. Maya and the 7-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding only added a 1.60 second in cross country time penalties to their dressage score to finish with 36.0 penalties points for 9th place.
Will Faudree rounds out the top ten with Mama’s Magic Way, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables. They finished on their dressage score of 36.6, and moved up 21 places from 31st after dressage.
Of note, Will rode two horses in this division and finished both on their dressage scores. His other mount, yesterday’s pathfinder, FRH Ramona began the weekend in 51st but moved up a whopping 34 places to finish 17th. They tie Cornelia Dorr and Daytona Beach 8 for the “biggest mover” award — they also moved up 34 places, from 53rd to 19th.
We still have so much more from Fair Hill to bring you, including the four-star report and a massive photo gallery. Stay tuned!