Dressage kicked off for the competitors at Chattahoochee Hills this morning, and it was Leslie Law who won the first phase on the talented Tout de Suite. You may remember the 8-year-old British Sport Horse gelding from our talent spot series last year (Part One, Part Two).
Leslie Law has spent much time producing “Colby”, who is owned by Beatrice Rey-Herme, establishing consistency in the lower levels and fine tuning his dressage work as he continues to step up to new challenges.
This weekend marks Tout de Suite’s second CIC3* start, having won his debut at Poplar earlier in the spring. He scored a 43.0 today, performing the 2015 FEI 3*-A test, to take the lead over second placed Ellie MacPhail and RF Eloquence.
Ellie and “Ricky Bobby” re-routed to Chatt Hills after ending their Rolex debut earlier then anticipated and will be looking for a solid, confidence boosting run this weekend. Ellie and RF Eloquence scored a 45.9 to put themselves in great position for a competitive weekend going into the stadium jumping test.
Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino also came to play today, scoring a 48.6, their best score at the three-star level to date. Jacob spent his 2014 season in England riding with Kevin McNab, and now he’s said his goal is to aim for Rebecca Farm this summer.
Jacob and Domino are coming off a win in the Advanced/Intermediate at Holly Hill as well as a fifth place in the Advanced at Texas Rose, and they hold a solid third place going into show jumping this afternoon.
Buck Davidson and D.A. Adirmo will take fourth position into show jumping, scoring a 51.8. This is the 10-year-old Dutch gelding’s return to the three-star level since 2013, and it’s great to see him back out competing for owner Debbie Adams.
Rounding out the top five in a smaller yet mighty division are the save queen herself, Avery Klunick, and In It to Win It. This pair scored a 57.8 and knocked a handful of points off their previous three-star test scores and are returning to three-star competition for the first time since being eliminated at Fair Hill last fall.
After ending their second Rolex trip on the cross country course last month, Julie Norman and Consensus are back in action this weekend, leading the Advanced division after dressage on a score of 33.8. “Thomas” was on his best behavior for his test today, and judging by Julie’s Facebook after her ride, the Norman camp is thoroughly pleased with their performance this morning.
Lara Borson-Knight and Shooby Do are sitting in second place, not far off from Julie on a score of 34.7. Lara and her 11-year-old OTTB gelding are coming off of a fourth place finish in the Intermediate at River Glen. They also completed the Advanced at Rocking Horse earlier this year.
Lara posted on her Facebook that there were some “could have been better, could have been worse” moments in their test, with several things to continue working on and several movements that showed improvement from recent hard work.
Elisa Wallace and Corteo round out the top three in the Advanced on a score of 35.7. This is Rose Spillane’s 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s Advanced debut, having had a solid final prep for the step up in the CCI2* at Ocala last month.
Elisa and Corteo have had a partnership since the gelding was learning the ropes at the lower levels, so this is a fulfilling moment for everyone involved in the journey that is producing an upper level event horse.
The upper levels will show jump this afternoon, before contesting cross country tomorrow, so stay tuned for much more from Georgia. Many thanks to Rather Be Riding Photography, who has provided some lovely photos from the dressage action this morning. Be sure to visit their Facebook page for more, and check out the gallery below for more photos from the three-star and Advanced.