We’re gearing up to get underway here in Aiken, SC with the $60,000 Stable View FEI & H.T., where a strong field of 4*-S contenders comprised of multiple Kentucky-bound pairs are set to duke it out for $30,000 in prize money. We’ll have much more coming your way all weekend from Stable View, but for now you can take a few minutes to get familiar with the pairings we’ll see over the next two days.
Action gets underway with dressage and show jumping on Friday, followed by cross country on Saturday. There is no live stream this weekend, but you can find the latest info here on EN or using the links below.
If you’re here on site, be sure to join us at the start box by the Hunt Box lodging at 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon for a preview of the course with designer Capt. Mark Phillips and Boyd Martin.
Woods Baughman and C’est la Vie 135
15-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I – Anette, by Aarking xx). Owned by Kim, James, and Woods Baughman.
Woods Baughman and C’est la Vie 135 are longtime partners that have come up through the upper levels together. They’ve got a couple of 5* starts under their belt, but have been chipping away at the rideability factor in their practice at home. “Contendro” is a horse that carries a high level of motivation, which can sometimes turn into a lack of listening on cross country. This offseason, Woods has gotten some help from Liz Halliday-Sharp, and he turned in a lovely and balanced cross country run around the 3*-S at Carolina last month, which has to have him feeling like he’s close to cracking the code with his big gelding.
This is a pair that’s got all the chops to lay down a solid, if not winning, performance this weekend, but they’ll have their sights set on the upcoming Kentucky 5* as their big goal this spring. This weekend will be primarily focused on making sure they have the right pieces in place to thrown down in a few weeks’ time in Woods’ hometown of Lexington.
Tracey Bienemann and Reg the Ledge
11-year-old KWPN gelding (Coniona – Aomia, by Oklund). Owned by Lucia Casale.
We’re big fans of any uniquely colored horse, and the splashy Reg the Ledge is one horse you’ll want to earmark to watch this weekend. This is a newly-minted Advanced pair, with Tracey and Reg stepping up to the level last month at Carolina International. Reg the Ledge originally made his way stateside via Kate Tarrant and Justine Dutton’s bustling import business, making his U.S. eventing debut with Justine and then Clark Montgomery before joining Tracey’s string in 2020. This weekend will be a building one, as they’ve entered and are on the wait list for the upcoming Lexington CCI4*-S at Kentucky.
Will Coleman and Off The Record
14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (VDL Arkansas – Drumagoland Bay). Owned by the Off The Record Syndicate.
“Timmy” came to Will via Cooley Farm’s Richard Sheane as a four-year-old, with the ‘given’ name Cooley Stateside – talk about destiny! Though the gelding’s beginnings were pretty humble, like many gangly Irish horses, he’s since matured into a serious athlete, finishing third in the Tattersalls CCI4*-L in Ireland in 2019, 15th at the Kentucky CCI5* in 2021, 12th at the same event in 2022, and, of course, finishing seventh overall at the FEI World Eventing Championships in Pratoni last year as a part of the silver medal-winning Team USA.
After a very surprising parting of ways in the show jumping at Carolina, Will will have his sights set on getting in a solid prep run for the Kentucky 5*. The blip at Carolina was, hopefully, just that, as Will rubbed his chin and mused at what could have caused the issue. For all intents and purposes, this is a stalwart part that can be relied upon for three solidly competitive phases, and they’ll be looking to put those tools to final practice this weekend.
Dana Cooke and FE Glamour
12-year-old KWPN mare (Vigo d’Arsouilles STX – Princess Roos, by Karlstad). Owned by Kingfisher Park.
Canada’s Dana Cooke has been partnered with with KWPN mare “Roo” since 2018. Sourced by her longtime coach Clayton Fredericks, Roo continues to step forward as major International contender for Dana and team Canada.
Her rider describes her as “sensitive and spicy,” but Dana has a special knack for forging partnerships with her horses, and she’s thoughtfully produced this one with big ambitions in mind.
The mare stepped up to the Advanced level last spring. Dressage remains a phase where a few more points could be chipped away, and Dana will be aiming to shoot below their usual high 30s mark at this level. The show jumping may be the pair’s most challenging phase, as they usually find at least a pole or two on the ground once all is said and done. But this weekend will be another educational outing for the promising partnership.
Sally Cousins and Wizard
15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. Owned by the OTTB Syndicate.
This will be a first run at the 4*-S level for Sally Cousins and Wizard, an off-track Thoroughbred produced by Sally herself since he began his eventing career as a five-year-old. Sally is an experienced 5* rider with a knack for the Thoroughbreds, and she’s taken her time gaining the mileage and confidence in her chestnut gelding over the past seasons. That attention to patience has paid off well, as the pair have an excellent cross country jumping record. Dressage remains the biggest factor that holds this pair back from competitive placings after dressage, but they’ll be looking to gain more of that oh so valuable experience and strength this weekend as they look ahead to bigger things.
Zoe Crawford and K.E.C. Zara
17-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Visa Aldatus Z – Puissance Flight, by Puissance)
Zoe and Zara have made their way up the levels of eventing together — in fact, Zara was the first eventing horse Zoe partnered with. Over the last near-decade, the pair have ticked off milestones together, gaining more experience and confidence with each go. They’re aiming for the Kentucky 5* later this month, and they kicked off their 2023 campaign with an easy Prelim run followed by a 3*-S leg-stretch at Carolina in March. These gals won’t be threatening the Miks Master C’s of the world in the dressage, but boy do they love to jump. Look for them to do some moving and shaking up the leaderboard if going fast is the name of the game for Zoe’s final Kentucky prep.
Buck Davidson and Carlevo
16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Eurocommerce Caresino – Ramatuelle, by Levernois). Owned by Katherine O’Brien.
Carlevo is another horse on the entry list sourced through Germany’s Dirk Schrade, coming to Buck Davidson in time for the 2015 season having done some 2* and 3*-level eventing. Since then, he’s become a stalwart campaigner for Buck, and the pair most recently finished 12th at the 2022 Maryland 5 Star. They were also fifth at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2022. This is a pair who are well capable of putting down a competitive dressage mark, and if they can get up on the time come Saturday they could be one to threaten the top of the leaderboard and take home a chunk of the prize money.
Phillip Dutton and Z
15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca Z – Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z). Owned by Evie Dutton, Ann Jones, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran, Tom Tierney, Patricia Vos and David Vos.
Z came to Phillip Dutton having formerly been partnered with Portuguese rider Duarte Seabra, who rode the gelding in honor of his brother, Francisco, who passed away in a riding accident in 2015. Duarte made the difficult decision to sell Z as a future top event horse, wanting to focus on show jumping in his own career. Through Fernhill Sport Horses’ Carol Gee, the gelding found his way to Phillip and would go on to be his partner in the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (finishing 13th individually) as well as the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (finishing 21st individually). This pair knows each other quite well, now in their eighth season together. Most recently, Z was fourth in the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October of 2022. This is a horse we could expect Phillip to go for the gold on, though it may well come down to how quickly he can get around Saturday’s cross country. This weekend will serve as a final prep for Kentucky for this experienced pair.
Clayton Fredericks and Quidproquo
12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quidado – Waleila, by Limbus). Owned by Amy, Peter, and Sophie Click.
Australia’s Clayton Fredericks takes the reins on West coast-based Sophie Click’s Quidproquo this weekend, aiming the Holsteiner gelding known as “Rocky” at home for the upcoming Lexington CCI4*-S. Rocky has been in the Click family since his six-year-old year, first taking on the eventing ropes with Sophie’s sister, Harper, before eventually moving on to become Sophie’s partner. The pair have spent many seasons steadily progressing up the levels, and while the transition from Sophie to Clayton is a big change, there’s no doubt Clayton will be well-sat on a special and athletic horse to make a bid for some competitive results this spring.
Hayley Frielick and Dunedin Black Watch
13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Dylan Thomas – Love First, by Lonhro). Owned by Katheryn Robertson.
New Zealand’s Hayley Frielick burst onto the U.S. eventing scene last fall after buying a one-way ticket over for herself, two horses and her Labrador. She landed with Dom and Jimmie Schramm with plans for the Maryland CCI5*, where she and “Nelson” finished 21st.
Hayley has enjoyed a rather worldwide life — born to South African parents in the United States and raised in Australia before living for a few years in Scotland. She ultimately chose to ride under the kiwi flag.
She found Nelson in the Australian outback. They actually had come looking for another horse, but Nelson came home with them as part of a 2–for-1 deal.
Hayley rerouted here after an unfortunate parting of ways at the first water on cross country at Carolina. They’re a solid cross country pair that should rebound nicely here over Capt. Mark Phillips’ track on Saturday as they aim for the Lexington 4*-S later this month.
Ariel Grald and Diara
9-year-old Hanoverian mare (Diacontinus – Lady Revens, by Colon xx). Owned by Annie Eldridge.
Ariel’s German-bred mare stepped up to the Advanced level this spring, and Stable View will be her first official four-star. “Dani” has been brought up the levels by Ariel, and most recently was the best of sixteen entries in the Carolina International Advanced. At the Intermediate level, the mare has waffling dressage scores ranging from 25 to 32, so we can expect her form this weekend to sit somewhere in that space. This is a promising new face at the upper levels for Ariel and we’re looking forward to seeing their result this weekend and beyond.
You’ll notice Dani as a cute little grey on course, but be sure to keep an eye out for her floppy ears that will adorably plop around every step of the way.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C
11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Mighty Magic – Qui Luma CBF, by Flyinge Quite Easy 958). Owned by Debbie Palmer and Ocala Horse Properties.
We saw Carolina 4*-S runners-up Liz Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C make their international debut together a winning one at Bromont last year in the CCI2*-L, and they stepped up to CCI4*-S on their next outing – again winning, this time at Rebecca. In October, they headed across the pond to compete for Team USA at the Nation’s Cup finale at Boekelo CCIO4*-L, and though Liz still felt she and the gelding were in the getting-to-know-you stages, they still look hugely classy throughout to take a final fifth place, adding just 3.2 time penalties across the country to their first-phase score of 26.2.
This year, they’ve hit the ground running and are in top form to secure a solid placing at the gelding’s upcoming 5* debut in Kentucky. After a competitive run at Carolina, Liz told us she plans for a steadier, fine-tuning competition here this weekend — but if we know Liz, that won’t necessarily keep her from going for a win if she’s well-placed come Saturday.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z
15-year-old KWPN gelding (Zapatero – Zonne-Trend, by French Buffet xx). Owned by Ocala Horse Properties.
The stalwart Deniro Z has been with Liz since the beginning of his FEI career in 2015 and has been a real competitor for the former racecar driver/current adrenaline junkie. After rehabbing from a hoof injury that kept him out of the Tokyo Olympics, Deniro Z returned to competition in the spring of last year, finishing the year with a second place in the 4*-L National Championship at Tryon. Deniro has had a light spring, only running so far at the Grand-Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field. He’s an experienced horse that won’t need a ton of mileage for a spring three-day, and Liz will be looking to make sure she’s got her ducks in a row on her old friend ahead of Kentucky later this month.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver
12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Womanizer – Kylemore Crystal, by Creggan Diamond). Owned by The Monster Partnership.
Cooley Quicksilver, or “Monster”, earned his nickname because he was a ‘weird’ youngster, in Liz’s words (and a bit like an overcooked spaghetti noodle to ride – also in her words!), and he remains a cheeky character who rules the roost at her base. Anyone who pops in to visit him needs to watch out for one of his little love bites, but it’s hard to hold that against him when he’s so good at delivering the kind of performances that win classes like these.
This year, Liz and Monster have had a lighter go of things, opting not to run cross country at Carolina due to a skin allergy flare-up. Liz is aiming the gelding at Luhmühlen this June and will be looking to make sure she’s got what she needs to go full steam ahead to the next stop.
Emily Hamel and Corvett
16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Corrido – Tina XII, by Clearway). Owned by Black Flag Option LLC.
It’s everyone’s favorite jumping bean, “Barry”! Corvett is one of the most exuberant jumpers you’ll see in this sport, always making sure to clear even the biggest 5* fences by a healthy margin. Despite this, he’s quite nimble and light on his feet, though the hang time does add a bit of time on the clock come cross country day. This has been Emily’s first 5* horse, and they’ve done quite well to see the sights together: they’ve competed at Kentucky, Maryland, Badminton, and Burghley. She’ll be aiming to add another one to her impressive CV with a run at Kentucky later this month.
Lillian Heard Wood and Dassett Olympus
10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lancelot – Cushlamochree, by Cruising). Owned by rider.
Dassett Olympus is entering his 10-year-old season ready to compete, having already picked up several top results in 2022. He represented the U.S. at Bromont last summer, finishing fourth individually, and was in the top 10 at the Morven Park 4*-L later in the year. This is an exciting rising star for Lillian, who knows a thing or two about producing a 5* horse (she brought two to her own debut at the level, for starters!). She’s also got her more seasoned horse, LCC Barnaby, with her this weekend, giving her double the chances to put those quick-riding cross country skills to the test for a strong finish.
Lillian Heard Wood and LCC Barnaby
17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Guy Cavalier – Lady Tanjour, by Rafael). Owned by rider.
LCC Barnaby brings seven 5* completions to the table this weekend, having traveled the world with longtime rider Lillian. They were most recently 11th at Maryland last fall, where Lillian told us he’s felt better and better as he’s gotten older, allowing her to ride him more efficiently and lower his dressage marks in the process. He’s historically not been the most rideable horse across the country but once more, Lillian credits time and experience with him understanding the task at hand better each year. At 17, Barnaby is an older guy, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him — he’s still got energy and spring to spare! Barnaby is cross entered in both Kentucky and Badminton this year — we will see which option Lillian chooses!
Christina Henricksen and JTH Zest
12-year-old British Sport Horse mare (Zamboucca – Maybee Baybee, by Mayhill). Owned by Rider.
Another 4*-S debut is on the books, this time for Christina Henricksen and her own JTH Zest. Christina has brought JTH Zest along from her very first USEA events on, stepping up to the Advanced level for the first time last year. They’ve ramped up steadily so far this season, starting with a Prelim followed by an Intermediate and, finally, an Advanced run at Carolina in preparation for this weekend. Look for this pair to be out for education and experience this weekend; Capt. Mark Phillips’ beefy track should be just the thing to get those 4* feet wet!
Allie Knowles and Morswood
15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Princess In Arms). Owned by Katherine O’Brien.
Allie Knowles brings forward one of her top horses, “Ginge” to this year’s competition. Aptly named due to her vibrant copper coat, Ginge was first competed by Great Britain’s Piggy March and her then-stable Jockey Susie Berry before landing in Midway, Ky. with Allie.
The pair know each other well at this top level having finished 11th and then more recently 8th in the last two runnings of the CCI5* at Maryland. They’re coming off an 11th place finish at Carolina last month and are entered in the Kentucky 5* in a few weeks’ time.
Sarah Kuhn and Mr. Cash van de Start
11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Deauville Van T L – Ishtar Van de Start, by Toulon). Owned by Deborah Kuhn.
Aiken-based event rider Sarah Kuhn has produced “Mr. Cash” since he was 5, bringing him up the ranks of eventing to the Advanced level. He is her first four-star horse, and the two have settled in after two seasons at the level.
She originally bought Mr. Cash from a dealer in the Czech Republic with plans to resell him, but his quirky personality made that difficult for Sarah. Once he reached the Preliminary level, their partnership had officially meshed and Sarah decided to keep climbing with him.
They’ve scored anywhere from 31 to 39 at this level on the flat. At this event last year, a 38.1 was where they landed, but with a year’s worth of education under their belts, Sarah will be aiming for a lower mark. They proved their mettle on the 2022 cross country, and she’ll be pleased with a repeat effort this time around.
Based at Fair Oak Farm, Sarah operates a busy teaching and training operation. While she’s spent the better part of the last decade as a horse professional, Sarah previously worked a 9-5 in the field of environmental marketing and renewable energy.
Boyd Martin and Contessa
14-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Contender – Veritas, by Esteban). Owned by Club Contessa.
Boyd’s second entry comes in the form of the German-bred mare Contessa. The Olympic veteran has had the ride on the Holsteiner mare since she was five, having found her in Germany thanks to Philipp Kolossa.
Under Boyd’s tutelage, Contessa made the leap up to the four-star level after many educational seasons at the Intermediate level, a training principle that Boyd believes is essential in a top horse’s development.
This duo will likely land in the low 30s to start. A talented jumper, Contessa rarely has a rail, and this will keep them competitive. Contessa really stepped up to the plate in her first 4*-S cross country at Carolina, really showing her grit and determination to get the job done, especially through a tricky and busy top water complex. We’ll look for Boyd to fine tune that raw talent this weekend as he puts the finishing touches on the mare for her upcoming 5* debut in Kentucky.
Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg
16-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall II – Thabana, by Buddenbrock). Owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner.
Boyd’s Tokyo and FEI World Championships partner is back in action this year and stands as a positive threat to take the win from stablemate Fedarman B. “Thomas” is the little horse that could, one of those horses that might be unassuming at first but seems to grow a few inches taller when faced with a beefy cross country track. He and Boyd know each other quite well at this point in their lengthy tenure together, and this partnership has served them well with countless top finishes in both National and FEI competition. Show jumping would be the only “weak” link in the 16-year-old U.S.-bred’s repertoire, but Boyd works diligently with coach Peter Wylde to coax the best possible results out of Thomas.
Caroline Martin and HSH Double Sixteen
8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Robin Des Pres – Azaria). Owned by Caroline and Sherrie Martin and the Baltodano family.
Fresh off a second-place finish in the 3*-S at Carolina last month are Carolina Martin and HSH Double Sixteen, making the step up the 4*-S level this weekend. Formerly campaigned by Ireland’s Leila Barker, HSH Double Sixteen joined Caroline’s string in time for this season. Longtime business partner and friend Kelly Hutchinson helped Caroline find “Six” on a trip to Ireland, and he’s one Caroline’s got high hopes for as he continues his eventing education. That full Thoroughbred blood certainly doesn’t hurt!
Caroline Martin and She’s The One
8-year-old Anglo-European Sport Horse mare (Jaguar Mail – One to Watch, Condios). Owned by Mollie Hoff and Sherrie Martin.
We love a Jaguar Mail offspring, and the 8-year-old She’s the One – formerly ridden by French World Championships rider Gaspard Maksud – is one who we’d bet would live up to that precocious name. This will also be a 4* debut for this young mare, so don’t expect Caroline to be pushing too hard for a big result here. Bigger things are in store, and these talented young horses will gain a world of experience here at Stable View this weekend.
Andrew McConnon and Ferrie’s Cello
11-year-old KWPN gelding (Chello III VDL – Karelza, by Wolfgang). Owned by Jeanne Shigo.
Andrew McConnon is entered in his first 5* event later this month at Kentucky with the 11-year-old Ferrie’s Cello (“Eddy”), with whom Southern Pines-based Andrew has been partnered since 2019. The gelding was first campaigned in the U.S. by Caroline Martin before joining Andrew’s program. Since then, it’s been steady as she goes, with Andrew slowly making his way toward that pie in the sky goal of the 5* level, picking up recognition along the way including a spot on the 2023 USEF Eventing Development Program squad. He’s got a world of education in his hands after spending a year abroad working with William Fox-Pitt, and that wisdom now comes across in his quiet riding style. This is a stylish pair who could put a competitive stamp on the weekend if that’s their plan — just as easily, this could be a straightforward run aimed at helping the horse peak just at the right time in a few weeks.
Andrew McConnon and Wakita 54
10-year-old KWPN mare (Pilot Blue – Werusa, by Padinus). Owned by Rider.
Hoping to make the Lexington 4*-S their next stop as second on the waitlist currently are Andrew and his second ride, Wakita 54. This quirky mare, known as “Kiki”, is also newer to the Advanced level, but she stands to be a competitive one once she can gain the strength and mileage needed to earn the top results at this next step. Kiki has a stellar cross country record — one pesky parting of ways kept her and Andrew’s 2022 season from being flawless across the country. Andrew will be testing the buttons this weekend, wanting to see progression and understanding of questions as he works toward the next goal with this mare.
Doug Payne and Camarillo
9-year-old DSP gelding (Chicardo – Rehobeth, by Riverman). Owned by Patrice Jennings-Rado and the rider.
Camarillo or “Carl” is another one of the youngest entries for this four-star class. He was bred right here in the USA by Elizabeth “Didi” Callahan at her and her husband’s Cool Na Grena Sporthorses in Oxford, Md.
In his second season at the level, Carl has already shown leaps and bounds in his education. Most recently, he finished 16th at Carolina International after one of his best dressage scores at the level, a 32.5. Doug historically hasn’t raced the clock on cross country, but rather chosen to build a successful foundation for the future.
Doug Payne and Quantum Leap
12-year-old DSP gelding (Quite Capitol – Report to Sloopy, by Corporate Report)
We’re well past the time it’s acceptable to keep calling Quantum Leap “Baby Quantum”, as he was nicknamed early on in his career. This tall gelding, who was bred by well-respected U.S. breeder Elizabeth “Didi” Callahan, is the reigning USEF National 5* Champion, having come in third overall in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event last spring. He wrapped up his 2022 campaign with a top-10 finish at the Maryland 5 Star and this year will look to build on that success with two full seasons at the 5* level on his resume.
Doug Payne and Starr Witness
12-year-old KWPN mare (Chello III VDL – Carmen, by Veneur). Owned by Laurie McRee, Catherine Winter and the rider.
What’s not to love about the little powerhouse Starr Witness? This lady will certainly be a first phase threat as her average dressage marks sneak lower and lower with each passing event. Earlier this spring she pumped out a 19.9 at the Grand-Prix Eventing Showcase with a remarkable perfect 10 for one of her flying changes.
Jennie Saville and FE Connory
11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Conrato — Hocaponta, by Laurie’s Crusader xx). Owned by Nina and Tim Gardner and Jennie Saville.
Jennie Saville will be a busy lady this weekend with four entries in the marquee class. First up is one of her greenest horses at the level. Sourced from Clayton Fredericks, Connory had his first crack at the Advanced level in 2022 with two starts at four-star level in a short fall season. Cross country jump penalties marred both of his starts at the level, blemishing his otherwise sparkling resume, but he has come out this season with two confidence-inspiring runs at the Intermediate and three-star level coming into this weekend’s competition.
She describes Connory as very much “her type” and believed in him enough to buy him herself before her longtime owners Nina and Tim Gardner stepped in on the partnership. While back in the barn, Connory is never alone thanks to his roommate, a mini pony named Hank with whom he shares a stall.
Jennie Saville and FE Lifestyle
13-year-old DSP gelding (Leo von Faelz — Berina A, by Bradenburger). Owned by Nina and Tim Gardner.
Another entry with the Fredericks Equestrian moniker, “Foxy” is seasoned campaigner for Jennie, but he’s known to make her work hard for a good result. Jennie chalks it up to his red-headed coloring, but her gutsy riding often makes all the difference. Last fall this pair had their best five-star result at Maryland where they finished fifth.
This pair was third in this very event last year after having the second quickest cross country performance, so they’ll be a pair to keep on your radar come Saturday.
Jennie Saville and Stella Artois
15-year-old Hanoverian mare (Satisfaction FRH — Comtessa, by Contender). Owned by the Stella Artois Syndicate.
It’s an absolute pleasure to see “Toddy” back on the eventing scene this spring after an injury set her on the sidelines all of last year. She spent 2022 rehabbing and relaxing at Nina and Tim’s farm in Pennsylvania, and came out in good form at Carolina International in the three-star last month.
Jennie has had the ride on this mare since the Novice level, and they’ve had successful finishes including a fourth place at the 2021 Maryland CCI5*. Jennie says this mare feels ready and excited to be out again, and will aim to keep everything relaxed on the flat to achieve some of their best work, which historically has been as low as a 25. She rarely breathes on a pole in the show jumping and shows her athleticism across the country, so we eagerly await her cross country performance.
While successful in her own right, Toddy also has a string of foals coming along via embryo transfer. Stella Royale is one of them, and she’s competed through the Preliminary level.
Jennie Saville and Twilightslastgleam
13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem — Royal Child). Owned by Nina and Tim Gardner.
While Foxy was fast here last year, “Comic” was even faster, coming home the closest to optimum time out of the entire division (just one second over!). Bred right here in the United States by owner Nina Gardner, Comic has been in Jennie’s program from the beginning. He’s now had nearly five seasons at the four-star level, and made the step up to five-star last fall where he finished 16th.
We can expect a dressage score in the low 30s, and with show jumping preceding the endurance phase, it’s likely he’ll leave all the rails up there. Full Thoroughbred, Comic has plenty of blood to rocket him around the cross country if the Pennsylvania-based rider chooses to let him go.
Sydney Solomon and Early Review C
14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl — Lois Lane CBF, by Le Primeur). Owned and bred by Laurie Cameron.
Sydney has been partnered with “Coco” for nearly a decade, and the pair will rely on their intimate partnership as they use this run at Stable View to prepare for their five-star debut at Kentucky later this month. Sydney started her career working for Phillip Dutton at his True Prospect Farm before striking out on her own, and she’s used that base of knowledge to produce this special mare through the levels including three CCI4*-L completions, the best of which was a sixth place at Morven Park last autumn.
As gearing up for a big event goes, Sydney says her goal is to have a steady, confident run here at Stable View, so you likely won’t see this pair running against the clock, but rather laying the groundwork for bigger things to come.
Jill Thomas and Obos Darko
15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Obos Quality 004 — Angie Van Paemel). Owned by Jill Thomas.
Riding under the Canadian Flag, Jill brings forward her own Obos Darko. Jill and the Irish gelding have forged a very deep partnership, having done all of their first two-, three-, and four-star longs together. He debuted at the four-star level two seasons ago and finished 11th at the Tryon CCI4*-L last fall. In addition to eventing, “Obie” has also moonlighted in the straight show jumping and dressage worlds, and his favorite snack after an event is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Jill operates a teaching and training facility in Northern Virginia where she elected to stay this winter.