Today saw the exciting conclusion of the 4*-S, 2*-S, and 2*-YH-S at Morven Park. The unseasonably warm weather continued throughout the morning, while the afternoon brought in cloudy skies and a new leader in the 4*-L division.
Phillip Dutton moved into first place in the 4*-L competition with a score of 33.8 on Quasi Cool. “He’s definitely proven himself today,” said Caroline Moran, owner of Quasi Cool. “We’ve only had him two years and we’re just blown away by how fast he’s grown up.” Dutton added, “Today was far and away his biggest test to date and he stepped up and showed the potential we knew he had.” When asked what is next for the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Dutton said he was going to rest the horse and continue building his confidence for the future.
With Dutton in first, yesterday’s leader Buck Davidson dropped to second after scoring 34.8 on Cooley Candyman. The big shakeup was at third, where Caitlin Silliman who was tied for 20th place yesterday scored 37.8 and was able to move up thanks to her clear round on Ally KGO. Hers was the only double clear round of the day in the 4*-L division! Ally KGO is owned by Ally KGO Syndicate, LLC and the rider.
On the running of today’s cross-country course, designer Derek di Grazia said “Morven Park is a very good site for running cross-country at this level. The terrain varies and allows for different cross-country questions to be asked. This was a galloping course with plenty for the riders to do and [it] gave the riders a true 4* test.” And indeed, it did prove to be a good proving ground, as only one competitor finished inside the time.
All 4*-L competitors are vying for $20,000 in prize money and will begin tomorrow with the horse inspection at 8:00 a.m. Show jumping starts at 10:30 a.m.
Will Coleman maintained leader status and won the 4*-S with a score of 35.3. He was riding Hyperion Stud’s 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Chin Tonic HS. “It was a great track and a great test for my horse,” Coleman stated. “This was his second Advanced competition and it went like a dream.”
The 3* competition concluded show jumping today and will continue tomorrow with cross-country at 9:00 a.m. Matthew Brown and Lillian Heard, yesterday’s top scorers with 26.4 and 27.4 respectively, went double clear in show jumping and maintained their lead. Brown is riding Super Socks BCF, owned by Blossom Creek Foundation, and Heard is on Absolut Cooley Quality owned by Jessica Ebzery.
Caroline Martin, riding Galwaybay Blake, won the $1,240 in prize money sponsored by Anita Antenucci’s Arden for the 2*-YH-S with a score of 25.1. Arden Wildasin maintained her lead to win the CCI 2*-S divisions “A” and “B”. On maintaining first place throughout the competition she said, “I am usually the one that comes from the back, so being in first and staying there felt great.” Wildasin scored 27.7 riding Southern Sun in “A” and scored 27.2 on Tokyo Drift in “B”.
In addition to the 4* jog and 3* international competition, national competition continues with Training and Novice divisions tomorrow. The tentative schedule, ride times, show program, and live results are available at MorvenPark.org/HORSETRIALS. Spectators are welcome to attend and admission is free.
The Morven Park Fall International Horse Trials & CCI are made possible by many generous sponsors. This year’s Official Sponsor is SmartPak, a popular equine supplement and supply company. The 2021 Gold Sponsor is Taylor Harris Insurance Services; Silver Sponsors are Adequan and CWD; and Bronze Sponsors are Coat Defense, Total Equine Veterinary Associates, and Arden.