The following press release was provided by The Event at TerraNova.
Lucienne Bellissimo (GBR) of Campobello, South Carolina, blasted across the cross-country course in the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-L, presented by Insurance Office of America, at The Event at TerraNova, maintaining her status as leader on Tremanton (Graffentoltz/Trevia), a bay Thoroughbred-cross mare. Bellissimo also took the lead in the CCI1*-L with Duke’s Jory (Duke of Heart/Zajora), a bay Holsteiner gelding. Both horses are owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC.
In the final analysis, it all came down to the clock on the cross country course. Bellissimo completed the run with a razor-thin lead of two-tenths of a second over Jenny Caras (USA) of Cartersville, Georgia, on Trendy Fernhill (ARS Vivendi/Cruising Girl), a bay Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elyse Eisenberg. Bellissimo scored 34.7 and Caras 34.9. Caras, the only rider to finish the course within the optimum time, also placed fourth on Sommersby (Sergeant Pepper/D’Mademoiselle), a bay Holsteiner gelding she co-owns with Jerry Hollis.
Both riders cleared all 30 fences on Capt. Mark Phillips’ 5,710-meter course, which competitors said was fair and rode well. The twisty-turny track was built progressively. The first six obstacles were straightforward, and then the technicality of the fences came up quickly.
Bellissimo said her starting plan was to “just try and move a little bit on landing, and until I’ve got through the first couple of combinations, not try and get ahead of myself too much with her,” as it was Tremanton’s first 4*-L. Once the horse grew in confidence on the course and was “in a good head space,” Bellissimo said, “I started to put my foot down a little bit more and take a few more chances.” The mare stayed on task all the way through.
Caras called her two horses “complete opposites” and said they “couldn’t be more different.” While Trendy Fernhill has some mileage, this was only Sommersby’s third Advanced competition. “He tried really hard. He’s a little spooky, so you kind of have to keep him in front of you. I ended up being quick and efficient on him, which I was really pleased with.”
William Coleman, in second place going into cross-country, placed third with The Diabolo Group’s Diabolo, the gelding’s first 4*-L since coming to the U.S. from Australia earlier this year.
Riders in all divisions found the courses educational. “Each fence asked a question that set you up for the next one,” said Alyssa Phillips (USA) of Fort Worth, Texas, who maintained the lead on her own Cornelius Bo (Concous Complet/Charlotte) in the The Estates at TerraNova CCI3*-L, presented by Laughlin Tanner Group at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. She said the sequence built the horses’ confidence and helped keep them mentally fresh. “The course rode fantastic.”
The competition wraps up Sunday with the final horse inspection for the FEI divisions at 8 a.m., followed by show jumping, beginning with the 3*-L at 10:00 a.m. EST. The 4*-L will jump at 11:45, the 2*-L at 1:25 p.m., and the 1*-L at 3:30 p.m. You can view the full schedule here. And don’t forget you can watch the action free on TerraNova’s website and YouTube channel, and Horse & Country.