Gefeliciteerd/congrats to Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett, who swept into second place at the 11th hour of Military Boekelo CCI3* dressage. They were the very last of 94 entries but closed out the day with a fierce challenge to leader Isabella Innes Ker, who set the bar at 42.0 Thursday morning.
No one could quite catch the 22-year-old Brit, who is making her CCI3* debut with the Duchess of Roxburghe’s 12-year-old Hannoverian mare Carolyn, but Lauren and Scarlett came the closest with their impressive 42.1.
Scarlett, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred/Holsteiner mare owned and bred in the U.S. by Marie le Menestrel, was basically perfect, as usual. If they left a sliver of a point on the table somewhere I certainly didn’t see it, as their test was a study in accuracy, obedience and elegance.
You can tell from Scarlett’s eye what a sweetheart she is, and that she’s a straight-A student who wants nothing more than to please her rider.
Listed as a reserve with Lauren for the U.S. Olympic Team this year, we look forward to seeing Scarlett shake her bridesmaid status this weekend. You’d be a fool to bet against this pair tomorrow — in 45 career starts, including seven three-star events, Scarlett has never had a cross country jump penalty — and she’s a none or maybe one rail show jumper.
Here’s some bad iPhone video of the homestretch of their test:
Ellie MacPhail and RF Eloquence were the first of three American pairs in the dressage ring today. This is Ellie’s first overseas event but if the 26-year-old was troubled by any nerves she certainly wasn’t showing it. The pair scored a 48.2, good for 21st place heading into cross country.
“I was really happy with our test,” Ellie said. “When we went to Plantation he was really up in the atmosphere, and to come here and have his mind in the ring and him be really good, I was really happy with him.”
The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (alias: “Ricky Bobby”), owned by Sally Crane, cuts quite a striking figure in the ring — you couldn’t take a bad photo of him if you tried, see below. And Ellie is a fitting match; I complimented her after her ride on her poise in the tack, “You sit up there like a princess!”
This is a return trip to Europe for Ricky Bobby, who was bred in Germany and competed through the CIC* level with Dirk Schrade. Boekelo is more or less on the Netherlands/Germany border so we’re going to call this a homecoming trip, and he certainly seems happy to be here thus far. Here’s wishing them the best of luck tomorrow — they turned in a confident performance at Plantation and completed their first four-star at Rolex before that. Shake and bake!
Tamie Smith has two horses here: Dempsey, who went yesterday (see our Thursday dressage report here), and Twizted Syster, who scored a 53.9 this afternoon to sit in 49th position.
Tamie reflected on her test with the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by the Twizted Systers, LLC: “Her trot work was lovely. She got a little but strong at the canter but at Blenheim she felt a little bit tired, so I tried to do less today than I did at Blenheim, and she was just a little bit tense.”
The judges here at Boekelo seem to be really marking horses down for any tension, and “Chloe” jigged at the walk, which likely had a ripple effect into her collective marks for submission. “But it is what it is, and that’s what it is today,” Tamie said.
Chloe’s Blenheim outing was followed up by a fourth-placed finish in the CIC2* at Gatcombe Park in mid-September and we’re looking forward to watching this confirmed partnership make short work of tomorrow’s course. It is so much fun to see Tamie on this side of the pond, in the mix with a huge international field, with these two talented horses. She certainly has earned her place and we wish her the best of luck!
Boekelo CCI3* top 20 after dressage:
Cross country gets underway tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. EST) with 9th placed Oliver Townend and Cooley SRS leading off — check out our feature on Oliver from earlier today here.
U.S. Cross Country Ride Times
12:20 p.m. local time/6:20 a.m. EST: Kylie Lyman and Lup the Loop (32nd place after dressage)
12:51 p.m. local time/6:51 a.m. EST: Tamie Smith and Dempsey (69th place after dressage)
2:28 p.m. local time/8:28 a.m. EST: Ellie MacPhail and RF Eloquence (21st place after dressage)
2:32 p.m. local time/8:32 a.m. EST: Tamie Smith and Twizted Syster (49th place after dressage)
4:04 p.m. local time/10:04 a.m. EST: Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett (2nd place after dressage)