Kylie Lyman put her big girl britches on today to tackle Derek di Grazia’s beefy Pine Top Advanced cross country course aboard Da Vinci Code, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Joan Nichols. And tackle she did, picking up just 5.2 time penalties on the horse’s first Advanced course to finish first in the Advanced Test B division.
While being the first at the level for Da Vinci Code, this is also Kylie’s first run at Advanced in four years. “On cross country he answered all of the questions easily and I couldn’t have asked for a better ride. He was absolutely perfect,” Kylie said.
It was a move up weekend for this pair, who finished the dressage phase in eighth place with a score of 31.5. A double clear show jumping effort moved them into fifth and their quick and clear cross country run sealed the deal on the win.
“Overall I was pleased with his dressage test, but there’s definitely a lot I’m looking forward to improving on as we both get more comfortable at this next level,” Kylie said. “In the show jumping he put in a solid effort for me and is naturally very careful, so although I had moments where I could have been more patient, he was amazing.”
Kylie has collected quite the impressive string of talent, having brought home three horses in the top 20 of the CCI2* at Fair Hill last fall. From here, she’ll move forward to Carolina International and The Fork as she looks to continue building confidence in all of her horses.
Allison Springer and Cascani, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Mary Ann Ghadban, finished their Pine Top weekend in second in the Advanced B division. This was also a step up for Cascani, making his debut at the Advanced level. This pair finished on a final score of 43.7 with just time on cross country added to their dressage score.
“I was really pleased with his first Advanced test,” Allison said. “I went out on cross country with the intention of being forward thinking, and I was happy with both of my horses.”
Allison also had Mr Sydney Rocks out this weekend, who made quick work of the cross country today to finish in 10th overall. Both horses will head to Carolina International for the CIC3* next, where they’ll meet up with Allison’s veteran partner, Arthur. Allison is excited to see where the season will take Cascani, who she believes has much talent to spare.
“He’s aiming for the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh,” Allison said. “I think this is a horse that can be very competitive. He’s a snaffle ride in all three phases. His trot has changed a ton since last year but he has a heck of a trot in there. It’s just going to be about keeping him confident, and I think he’ll be a winning horse.”
Completing the top three in the Advanced B are Emily Beshear and Shame On the Moon, a 10-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare owned by Deep Purple Eventing. “Delta” is aimed at her first CCI4* in Kentucky this year, and will also head to Carolina and The Fork as the remaining stops on her prep tour.
“I was thrilled with how she ran cross country,” Emily commented. “I need to do a little fine tuning in the show jumping as she has gotten so much better over the winter and I need to challenge her a little more in the ring.”
There is one Mandatory Retirement on the board for this division: Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Thankfully, Ryan has confirmed to EN that both he and “Bennett” are fine after their tumble.
In the Advanced Test A division, it was Lillian Heard and Share Option who took home the top honors, leading from start to finish with just time on cross country to add. Holly Payne-Caravella and Santino finished in second place on a score of 54.4, followed by Holly’s second ride, Never OutFoxed on a 58.6.