Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda Take Early Plantation CIC3* Lead

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda took the early lead. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning from Plantation Field! The heavy fog that covered the grounds this morning has since dried off, and it looks to be another beautiful day here in Unionville. Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda made a major statement as the third pair to ride this morning in the CIC3*, scoring 46.2 to hold a commanding lead in the division after the first group of riders this morning. Ping was his usual showman self, and Jennie remains a major contender to win this weekend since she’s likely to go for time on cross country. Lynn and Donner, another very competitive pair in the dressage, would have challenged Jennie and Ping for the lead were it not for an error in the walk work. But it’s better to get the error out of the way here as opposed to Pau, and the test was flawless aside from that bobble, with their flying changes standing out as a lovely highlight. Lynn and Donner are sitting in second on 50.4.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive were second to go this morning, putting in a very consistent test to score 54.6 to sit in third place provisionally. Jack is a big mover and a lot of horse to handle, and Phillip rides him very well in the dressage. Buck Davidson, who has temporarily taken over the ride on Petite Flower from Caroline Martin, worked through some tension with the mare to score 55.2, which puts them in fourth place. Flower was a bit fussy in her lead changes and not keen to accept the bit during the canter work, but the test had numerous lovely moments overall. It’s great to see Kristin Schmolze again with her lovely Ballylaffin Bracken, who’s a huge mover and not the easier horse to ride in the dressage. Rox kept his cool and relaxed beautifully, allowing Kristin to show off his lovely gaits; they scored 56.4 for fifth place. Jan Byyny and Inmidair are sitting just behind Kristin on Rox in sixth place on a score of 57. JR can be incredibly opinionated in the dressage, but Jan held him together very well.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star were another pair to struggle with tension this morning, which is a shame since Hoku looked much more relaxed when I last saw her at Richland. Hoku wasn’t keen on a straight halt and salute to begin the test, but Caitlin slowly worked to coax Hoku into cooperating throughout the remaining movements, and they scored 60.6 to tie for seventh place with Sharon White and Under Suspection. This is a new horse for Sharon, and he just moved up to this level at Five Points. The horse is a lovely mover that unfortunately struggled a bit in the canter work. Sharon had a good save to hold the counter canter together, and the horse was a little naughty in his changes. But this horse definitely looks to be an exciting new partner for Sharon at this level. Jimmie Schramm and Bellamy were first to go this morning in the fog, and I thought their test looked very obedient and would have scored better than 61.5; that puts them in ninth place.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Eliza Farren and Bantry Bays Dublin round out your top 10 on a score of 62.1. This little horse looks like he has quite an attitude; kudos to Elize for convincing him to cooperate. The event is running short 16-minute breaks, so I’ll be doing my best to bring you updates on each test — hopefully without missing any. We still have a lot of exciting rides to go today, with Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville and Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott set to ride back-to-back before the lunch break. Over in the CIC2*, Boyd Martin and Pancho Villa are still holding their monster lead on a 35.6, although Callie Evans and Glendening Avis snuck in to slightly narrow the margin with a score of 43.9. I have to give a huge shoutout to the organizers for putting on such a beautiful event. The grounds are immaculate, the food is delicious and the wifi is wicked fast. What more could a girl want? Stay tuned for much more from Plantation Field!

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