Well that’s a wrap on Rebecca Farm 2015! The three-star divisions show jumped concurrently this afternoon, making for an exciting finish for both the CIC and CCI riders.
The course took many, many prisoners today. Four of the eight completing riders left all of the poles up in the CCI3* and just two jumped without knocking any in the CIC3*.
It was not the day for overnight CCI3* leaders Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. They never really got into a good rhythm together, resulting in six rails on the ground and a drop out of first place for Buck.
“Dirk” has a show jump record dotted with rails, including six down at Rolex this year, so we know Buck continues to work to find an improvement for Sherrie Martin’s Irish Sport Horse.
Buck had his usual positive demeanor in the press conference following show jumping, knowing that he and The Apprentice would be back another day. “Obviously I’m disappointed,” he said. “I didn’t come here to be third, but on days like this I always say turn on CNN and my life is not that bad.”
“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and we’ll have to see if we can make it better,” Buck continued. “I thought I was onto something last year when he was jumping well and it’s sort of fallen apart this year but we’ll have to go back and find it. That’s one thing about this sport is you’ve just got to keep working and trying different things.”
The door was open, though, and Kurt Martin had already jumped a beautiful clear round to really lay the pressure on thick from second place. Kurt received a Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant for this trip, and he’s sure to be all smiles in the press conference to have made such a successful trip.
“I think (Delux Z) was a bit overwhelmed, he was spooky and I’ve ridden him long enough to know that that’s how he’d be going in,” Kurt said. “It wasn’t my smoothest round, but I think he trusts me. When he spooks, he jumps higher so that’s definitely a good thing. I’m really proud of him, and to put it all together at your first attempt and finish on your dressage score is not easily done.”
Kurt and Delux Z are the sole pair to finish on the dressage score here in the CCI3* on a final score of 47.0. From there, it wasn’t too much of a contest as second placed James Alliston and Parker lowered three rails for a three day total of 62.9.
Parker’s round today was also a bit surprising, but as I said before the course was very tricky and asked a lot of both horse and rider. There was little room for error, and unfortunately many fell victim to the smallest of mistakes.
James was still pleased with Parker today, though. “It was a bit of a disappointing end to the show, it really wasn’t the best show jumping round honestly, but I’m still delighted to be second,” he said.”
Both David Acord and Bunnie Sexton produced the other two double clear rounds of the division. David Acord gave Reigns of Justice a very enthusiastic “Good girl!” halfway through, and Bunnie was equally pleased with her “Ecko” after her lovely round.
Poor Kiyomi Foster and Tasman Sea were having a lovely go of things in their second CCI3* when things came to a sliding stop at the triple bar at 6A. Tasman Sea decided he’d prefer not to get to the other side, leaving Kiyomi to pick her bruised ego up off the ground. Such a bummer, but we know they’ll be back to fight another day.
In the CIC3*, it was a no contest as Tamie Smith and Mai Baum ran away with the win despite having one rail down, the pesky plank at the railroad crossing. I’m excited to hear Tamie’s thoughts on her ride today in the press conference, as she’s sure to be thrilled. She is preparing to go back East with Alex Ahearn’s German gelding this fall, so this was an excellent prep and guage of where this newer partnership is.
“(Show jumping) is kind of his trickiest phase,” Tamie said. “He’s so careful and spooky and he hasn’t had a lot of experience at this level. He was very good at the one-star and Intermediate level, but when he went up to two-star and Advanced and three-star now, it’s been a bit of a struggle.”
The rail that came down, a plank, was on a flat cup that Mai Baum barely touched, which Tamie attributed to a slight disagreement on the distance. “He’ll leave from a gap sometimes and sometimes he wants to add. Susie Hutchinson came over and worked with me last month, and she said ‘when you’re on that decision, you need to add,’ and then I had the rail. But we’ll get to know each other and I think he’ll get more confident as we keep going. But he was phenomenal … he jumped really well.”
Barb Crabo and Eveready had perhaps my favorite and one of the smoothest rounds of the entire day, making the three-star course look easy much as Barb did with Over Easy in the two-star. Barb picked up just one time penalty but she’s still good for second place on a final score of 70.2.
Jen McFall and High Times also had a lovely round, but some hard rubs finally gave way to two rails down towards the end of the course. Jen’s planning to run a couple of combined tests as a part of her prep plan for Blenheim, so we know she will be working hard to get Billy’s show jumping as close to perfect as it can be before she goes to England. Overall, this pair looked fantastic all weekend — really one that is beginning to come into their own.
Once again, I can’t congratulate all of these hard working and gracious riders enough on a great weekend, and thank you to all of the support staff who has made this, without a question, my favorite event to cover.