Kieffer Tops CCI2* Leaderboard at Ocala Jockey Club; Burnett Leads CCI1*

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras top the CCI2* leaderboard at the conclusion of dressage in the 41-horse division here at the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event in Reddick, Florida. Their score of 36.7 is a career personal best dressage score for the 9-year-old KWPN owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars, and the first time D.A. Duras has ever cracked the 30s at an international competition.

D.A. Duras has competed at the three-star level for the last two seasons, most recently spending the summer competing in England. While Lauren and D.A. Duras scored top-15 finishes in large CIC3* divisions at Barbury Castle and Hartpury, they parted ways at Bramham and Blenheim. Lauren elected to step him back to two-star level to get their mojo back.

“He had a really fluid test today. He’s been in a lot of atmosphere this year at big shows, so he’s gotten really good in the big ring,” Lauren said. “He’s had some ups and downs this year, but he’s also been impressive in a lot of places too. I think he’ll come out next year and be a better horse.”

Katherine Coleman and Monte Classico. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Katherine Coleman and her own Monte Classico also delivered a personal best score of 39.4 to sit in second place in the CCI2*. That is the second time the 8-year-old German Sport Horse has scored in the 30s, the first being in his international debut with Bettina Hoy, who produced him to the one-star level before Katherine took on the ride. Well done to Katherine for channeling her inner German dressage queen!

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar, an 8-year-old Holsteiner owned by Alyssa and Julie Phillips, round out the top three in the CCI2* on 40.0, their personal best score as a combination. Oskar is making his CCI2* debut here at the Ocala Jockey Club and coming off a second place finish in the CIC2* at Virginia last month.

Oskar has two one-star wins on his international record, having won the Ballindenisk CIC1* with Liz Halliday-Sharp, who produced him to the one-star level before Alyssa acquired the ride, and the Galway Downs CCI1* with Angela Bowles, Alyssa’s longtime trainer in Texas. Alyssa has just recently made the move to the East Coast, and we would like to send her a hearty EN welcome as she settles in.

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Another rider we are over the moon to welcome to the East Coast is Maya Black! After spending the last year back home on Whidbey Island, she has officially made the move back east. Maya is competing here at the Ocala Jockey Club in her first competition back on the East Coast, currently sitting tied for 14th in the CCI2* with Mowgli on 48.3.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Strattonstown Lewis. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The first half of the mammoth 91-horse CCI1* division also went today in dressage, with Hannah Sue Burnett and Strattonstown Lewis scoring 41.8 as the penultimate pair to go to hold the overnight lead. The 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Christa Schmidt is making his FEI debut here at the Ocala Jockey Club.

Elisa Wallace and Steve and Vicki Sukup’s Riot Gear held the lead for much of the day in the CCI1* and ultimately sit second on 42.6 at the end of the day. The 8-year-old Oldenburg won the CIC1* at Richland Park over the summer and is one of many horses in this CCI1* field making his debut at the level this weekend.

Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s QC First Class, a 6-year-old Oldenburg and another CCI1* first-timer in this division, sit third on 43.0. The second half of CCI1* dressage starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. EST. Click here for ride times.

The CIC3* also gets underway tomorrow with dressage at 9 a.m. EST, and you can watch live on EQSportsNet with live commentary from Ed Holloway and statistics from EquiRatings.

We have a thrilling weekend ahead here at the Ocala Jockey Club. The farm is a training base for Thoroughbreds, and the venue owners Erik and Pavla Nygaard are renowned breeders and owners in Thoroughbred racing. (Case in point: They bred Battle of Midway, winner of the 2017 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile!)

It’s only appropriate that the event pays homage to Thoroughbreds! A total of $25,000 in prize money has been set aside for the top placing Thoroughbreds in each of the three FEI divisions. The Retired Racehorse Project will also host a showcase of Thoroughbreds available for sale in the main arena from 1-1:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-1 p.m. Sunday. Click here to view the online catalogue.

Saturday is Hip, Handsome and Hoakey Hats Day at the event to pay tribute to horse racing’s tradition of wearing hats. There will be prizes for the top entries, so if you come out to the event on Saturday be sure to wear a hat and enjoy the sprawling Vendor Village, food trucks and world-class atmosphere at the Ocala Jockey Club

Sunday is family day at the event, with bouncy horse races, stick horse races and jump courses, musical chairs, arts and crafts, face painting, a mechanical horse and much more. Click here to read more about all of the special events planned this weekend at #OJC3DE.

Be sure to follow the OJC3DE Facebook page for updates and to view beautiful photos from official event photographer Shannon Brinkman Photography. Stay tuned for much more throughout the weekend, especially as the action kicks in to high gear tomorrow with the CIC3*. Go Eventing.

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