Favorites Coleman & Chin Tonic HS Rise to the Occasion in Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS earn a 26.5 to win the first phase of the 2024 Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field. Photo by Shelby Allen.

While the eventing calendar is well underway in the southeast, each year the Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services feels like the unofficial starting line for the upper level campaigners’ spring season. This convergence of some of the most elite event riders in the world creates a melting pot of proven and potential world-beaters all looking to stretch their legs in a condensed format with $100,000 on the line.

Slated favorites, according to EquiRatings’ Prediction Centre, Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS are living up to their promise after the first phase with a score of 26.5 that has them leading the 37-entry field.

“It’s an early season test, so it’s kind of a ‘Where are we now?’ type weekend for us — that’s our reason for being here. They do a great job of presenting a big time atmosphere and a showcase event here, so I think it’s just great practice, and it’s an excellent opportunity for us to get this horse into this five-star test again,” Will said, noting his main goal for Chin was to squeeze out every mark possible in this test, especially throughout the flying changes.

Will and Hyperion Stud’s 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ – Wildera, by Quinar), delivered a silky smooth test, which we’ve come to expect from the pair, though they are just hovering a few points above their six run International average of 22.5. Today, though, they were rewarded throughout the movements, with their halt standing out as a perfect 10 for dressage judge Xavier Le Sauce at B.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Olympic and World Championship stalwarts Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF landed in second place on a 29, earning an identical score of 71.11% from Le Sauce at B with our dressage winners. “Thomas,” a 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall – Thabana, by Buddenbrock), was absolutely at home in this Aiken venue. Though he hasn’t won here yet, he has previously posted two of the top ten dressage scores in this event’s history — a 23.7 in 2022 and 23 in 2023.

Phillip Dutton and Possante. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Phillip Dutton slots into the top three in this early phase with the only other sub-20 dressage result aboard Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool, a 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados – B-Estelle, by Lord). He’s also fourth with one of his newest partners, Possante, a 2013 KWPN gelding (Namelus R – Wendelien, by Otangelo), on a 30.6.

The final pair of the morning, 2022 GPE winners Boyd Martin and Fedarman B, battled what was likely the biggest downpour of the day to sit fifth on a score of 31.3.

Liz Halliday and Miks Master C. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Three-time GPE winner Liz Halliday is well in the hunt with three horses giving her a pre-competition 38% likely win chance. Cooley Nutcracker is the best placed of the bunch currently in sixth (31.6), followed by Cooley Quicksilver in seventh (31.7) and Ocala Horse Properties and Deborah Palmer’s Miks Master C in ninth (32).

Competitors next turn their attention to Michel Villancourt’s show jumping track, and we will welcome our first rider in the ring at 3 p.m. Stay tuned for much more from Bruce’s Field.

$100,000 Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Showcase at Bruce’s Field (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Ride For Charity Teams] [Ride For Charity Online Vote] [Volunteer] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [Ultimate Guide]

We’re pleased to introduce Deirdre Stoker Vaillancourt, with her robust expertise and portfolio of property options in the Aiken area, as the sponsor of our coverage of the Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field. Seasonal or year-round, southern charm and the sporting lifestyle await you in Aiken!

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