MARS Great Meadow International CCI4*-S Cross Country Live Updates

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Welcome, welcome to another EN live update thread! This time we’re coming at you from the MARS Great Meadow International. Well, sort of … technically I’m coming at you from my house north of Boston where we’re on the outskirts of a rare New England hurricane, but all the better to pretend that I’m in The Plains, Virginia watching some CCI4*-S cross country action.

Sally Spickard, however, IS at he event in the flesh this weekend and has put together some excellent reports recapping the other divisions and phases. So before the 4* starts, catch up with what you may have missed yesterday here.

Riders will be tacking a David O’Connor-designed course today and you can get a feel for it in this course preview. Sally also put together a really fun fence-by-fence course walk on the EN Instagram yesterday featuring some insight from Sharon White. You can find that here.

Because of the heat, the course has since been shortened by 400 meters from 3960 to 3560 and the new optimum time is now 6 minutes 14 second. Fence 4AB, the Open Oxer to Triple Brush, is now a single jumping effort and the final fence has been moved up in the course.

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This week’s coverage of MARS Great Meadow International is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products.

2:37 PM: Here are your top ten in the CCI4*-S! Sally will be along later with a full report from the day’s action. Thanks for following along and be sure to check back in!

2:30 PM: Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Signapore are our CCI4*-S winners! They’re home with just 3.2 time penalties for a final score of 31.2. Phil’s airbag went off somewhere, possibly getting triggered after a bit of a stumble on landing from 19A, but no matter when you’ve just won the whole shebang anyway.

2:28 PM: HOLY CRAP. Marilyn and RF Scandalous splash down and both fall into the water at 11A. That’s hugely unexpected and a major bummer, but for Phillip it means it’s his game to lose as he approaches the finish line.

2:27 PM: Will and Chin Tonic HS finish with 7.2 time, which will drop them down to 4th for the moment.

2:26 PM: Our leaders and last pair on course, Marilyn Litte and RF Scandalous are out of the box now!

2:25: PM: Beautiful ride for Will and Chin Tonic HS through 19AB the MARS Sustainability Bay. Phillip and Fernhill Singapore have been out on course for a bit now and they’re already through the second water. Everyone is speeding up here in the final rides, I can’t keep up!

2:23 PM: Ah, barely missed it! Lauren and Bug come home 2 seconds over time. They’ll squeeze into second place currently on a 32.5 behind Off The Record.

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Sally Spickard.

2:21 PM: Go little Bug, go! Lauren seems to be ahead of the clock as gallop on their way to the second water.

2:20 PM: Kevin celebrates with a fist pump as he and Sportsfield Candy make it through 19Ab clear! They’re having a fab round and are almost home. Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS are just out on course now.

2:17 PM: Kevin isn’t wasting any time and he’s clear through the coffin. Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, who sit in 5th on a score of 31.7, are now on course and they’re also not wasting any time, frankly. Little “Bug” pings through 9ABC superbly.

2:14 PM: Aw dang!! Kimmy and Monaco have a stop at the ditch element of the coffin. Ugh ugh ugh, major bummer. Boyd and Penhill Celtic have now finished and Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy are now on course.

2:13 PM: Kimmy and Monaco are clear through 11 ABC and Boyd is clear through 19AB.

2:11 PM: Weeee! Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco are fresh out on course and they are flying. Nobody made the time here last year, but Kimmy was the closest. It’ll be fun to see what they do this year!

2:10 PM: Lillian and LCC Barnaby cruise through the 19AB and Boyd and Penhill Celtic are out on course now and having a steady ride.

2:08 PM: Oh shoot! We didn’t quite see it, but it looks like Ariel and Simon had a glance off at that danged 19B. That’s a bit uncharacteristic, but better here than at Aachen at least! What’s that saying about dress rehearsals and performances?

2:07 PM: Just to recap here as we get into the final combinations, our clubhouse leaders right now are Will Coleman and Off The Record on score of 32.0. He’s followed by the only two double clears of the days so far: Lauren Nicholson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo on 34.5, followed by Ema Klugman and Bendigo on 39.0.

2:05 PM: Holly and Candy King are nicely through 19AB and Lillian Heard and longtime partner LLC Barnaby are fresh out on course now. Ariel is clear through the coffin at 12ABC, giving Simon a nice easy ride.

Holly Jacks-Smither and Candy King.

2:03 PM: Aw dang! Cosby Green and Highly Suspicious couldn’t quite lock onto that notorious 19B quick enough and they have a drive by. Another Aachen-bound pair, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan a.k.a. Simon, are now on course too and that means we’ve reached the top ten riders, so we’re in the home stretch of the division now!

2:00 PM: Canada’s Holy Jacks-Smither and Candy King are out on course now.

1:59 PM: We just got word that Sharon White has withdrawn Claus 63, so we will not see them on XC. Cosby Green is clear over fence 17 and is looking full of run still.

1:58 PM: Arielle and Dutch Times are kicking on home and they finish with 13.2 time.

1:57 PM: Highly Suspicious seems a little suspicious of the corners at 9ABC, but Cosby gets him to pop through them clear! She’s kicking on and is through 11ABC clear now too.

1:54 PM: Phillip gives Sea of Clouds a textbook ride though the MARS Sustainability Bay and are home with 6.8 time. Arielle is through the coffin complex. Cosby Green and Highly Suspicious are on course now.

1:51 PM: Night Quality locks onto that 19B element at the last second and they get over it clear! Isabelle and Night Quality cross the finish line with 15 time penalties as Arielle Aharoni and Dutch times leave the start box.

Phillip Dutton and Sea Of Clouds. Photo by Sally Spickard.

1:49 PM: Philip Dutton and the OTTB Sea of Clouds are now on course and galloping nicely along to Fence 7.

1:48 PM: Isabelle has a beautiful ride through 9ABC. They’re clear now through 11ABC as well as they step on the gas.

1:45 PM: Darn. Early Review C stops at 19A. Sidney gets the horse’s feet wet before they decide to call it a day. Isabelle Bosley and Night Quality are now on course as well.

1:43 PM: Ah dang, Early Review C kind of slides into the A element of the coffin at fence 12 and picks up a stop. And, oh no! We just got one look at Colleen Rutledge and Confidence Game and it looks like they’re having a show issue and Colleen is pulling him up. Caitlin Silliman has finished with some time, but otherwise clear.

1:42 PM: We’ve got Caitlin Silliman and Ally KGO as well as Sidney Solomon and Early Review C both on course now.

1:41 PM: OK, we’ve got a lot to catch up on here while I was trying to stick some photos in below. Amanda Beale Clement and Carlson 119 are home clear after a hairy moment at the B skinny at the MARS Sustainability Bay where it looked like Carlson 119 locked onto the fence before Amanda did and said HANG ON MOM. They scraped their breastplate off the girth attachment, but make it out clear! Elizabeth Bortuzzo and Belongs to Teufer were on course and pick up a runout at the C element of 9ABC. Then unfortunately they were coming in a little too hot to 11A and Teufer slipped a little and sat down on the takeoff side of the fence and Elizabeth popped off. They’ll be back another day!

1:30 PM: If you don’t recognize that rider in the polka dots, that’s Hannah Sue Burnett in some new colors! She and Captiol HIM are on course clear through the coffin. Boyd gets Wabanaki through the MARS Sustainability Bay clear.

Lauren Nicolson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Photo by Sally Spickard.

1:28 PM: Boyd is back with his second ride, Wabanaki. Lauren and Landmark’s Monte Carlo were flying and they are our second pair home double clear! Will and Timmy picked up just 3.6 time, but they stay ahead of Lauren on the leaderboard.

1:24 PM: Will steadies Timmy after the drop into 19AB, the MARS Sustainability Bay, makes the horse wait for it, and easily flies over the skinny B element. Meghan is home with 17.2 time.

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Sally Spickard.

1:22 PM: Woo! Palm Crescent takes little peck on landing in the drop into the MARS Sustainability Bay but Meghan stays in the tack and get over the B element too. Fabulous riding! Lauren Nicolson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo are now on course too and coming up to 9ABC.

1:19 PM: Nations Cup-bound pair Will Coleman and Off the Record a.k.a. Timmy are now out of start box. Meghan and Palm Crescent are clear though the coffin at 12ABC.

1:16 PM: After a little gap without anyone on course, Meghan O’Donaghue and Palm Crescent are out of the start box now!

1:13 PM: Aw geez, Nicole Aden and Truckee Bash have trouble at the first of the double brush corners, the BC elements, of fence 9. They opt to retire after two stops.

1:11 PM: CRAP. Obos Darkos gets too underneath one of the table fences, chips it, and pops Jill out fo the tack on landing leaving her on the ground. Both Jill and her horse are totally fine, but Jill is bummed! Ugh, we’re bummed for you too, Jill!

1:10 PM: Nicole Aden and Truckee Bash are on course now.

1:08 PM: Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill have been on course for a while now, in fact, they’re already at fence 19AB MARS Sustainability Bay and, WOHOO, Jenny rides it beautifully and get over the B element nicely. We’ve also got Jill Thomas and Obos Darkos on course now and they look clear through the coffin complex.

1:06 PM: Geez, another one! Colleen and C Me Fly miss the skinny at the MARS Sustainability Bay too. The horse just didn’t lock onto it. Colleen has put her hand up after the next combination, 21AB, and opt to retire there.

1:02 PM: That B element skinny in the MARS Sustainability Bay, fence 19AB, is catching out the young horses! Lillian and Dassett Olympus have a flyby there too. Commentators Lynn Symansky and Karen O’Connor are thinking riders need to take a wider line to the B element with their young horses.

1:01 PM: We can hear Colleen give her mare a big “Good girl!” shout after they tackle 6AB. We love to hear it!

1:00 PM: Aw dang, Cooley Candyman jumps big into the water at the MARS Sustainability Bay and Buck couldn’t line him up for the skinny second element. Colleen Rutledge and C Me Fly are now on course as well.

12:55 PM: Emily is home with no jumping faults and 19.6 time penalties. Lillian Heard and the 8-year-old Dassett Olympus are on course now. Buck looks clear through the second water, fence 14.

12:53 PM: Buck Davidson and Cooley Candyman are on course now. Emily and Deal With It are clear through fence 18.

12:52 PM: Emily Beshear and Deal With It are on course and clear through the new coffin complex where Sharon had a stop earlier. And, oh dear, Sharon has had another stop now, this time at the jump into the final water at fence 19, the MARS Sustainability Bay. She puts her hand up and calls it a day. Major bummer, man.

12:50 PM: YOU GO EMA! She’s home clear and inside the time! I’m so bummed my Believe in Bendigo shirt is in the wash today.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Sally Spickard.

12:49 PM: Sharon White, who was so kind to join us for a course walk yesterday (check above for a link), and Cooley On Show are on course and were clear up to fence 12ABC, the new coffin complex, where they’ve had stop at the first element. “Louie” is just looking a little uncharacteristically unconfident today.

12:45 PM: Boyd and Fernhill Prezley have a drive-by at the skinny B element in the MARS Sustainability Bay. It’s this horses first 4*, so Boyd is making sure this is a nice educational round.

12:44 PM: Our gal Ema Klugman and Bendigo are on course and they are wasting no time! They’re clear through the first water.

12:42 PM: The cross country today will be run in reverse order of standing, but Boyd has three rides in the division so he’s acting as path finder with Fernhill Prezley who sits in 23rd.

12:39 PM: Our first rider in the CCI4* is out of the box and it’s Boyd Martin and Fernhill Prezley.

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