We wrapped up the first day of competition here at Carolina International with a press conference with the top riders in the CIC3* and CIC2*. Jan Byyny was all smiles this afternoon, though still cautiously optimistic about the good luck she’s had in the past six months with Inmidair. After clinching the win in the Fair Hill CCI3* last fall, Jan and JR came out swinging this season, winning their first outing at Pine Top and sitting in 10th place after show jumping at Red Hills before falling victim to the bogey Arena Complex on cross country.
But you can’t deny Jan and JR have found their groove, and they looked fantastic once again today as they cruised to the lead in the CIC3* on a score of 40.5. “I think you have to live life one day at a time,” Jan said. “Any given day it can be your day, and the next day you’re on the floor. The horse is so capable, and you know I’m not always the luckiest person, but who is?” Jan wanted to give a big shout out to Jess Hampf, who helped her warm up in dressage today. Well done, Jess!
Like many of the riders have been commenting over the past two days, Jan praised the Carolina International organizing committee for putting on such a fantastic event so far. “These are great people who really care about the sport, and it shows in a big way. They really have gone above and beyond to get the prize money together and answer everything that the riders wanted. I think it says so much about the people who are putting it on.”
Will Coleman, who is sitting in second place in the CIC3* with Conair, agreed, saying the event is “a step beyond,” and he’s hoping Joey will rise to the occasion. “I’m still trying to get to know the horse,” Will said. “I finally had a whole season with him this spring. I always thought the dressage would be his strength. He’s not the scopiest or flashiest jumper. The show jumping is a bigger question mark on the horse, but it’s one of my strengths. We’ll see how it plays out.”
There’s no denying Joey looks like an entirely different horse this year. He looks fantastic through his body and seems to have really come into his own. But, like Jan, Will said he’s taking things one day at a time. “Tomorrow I’ll show jump here. Saturday I’ll go cross country here. I do plan on taking the horse to Kentucky. Beyond that, I haven’t really looked past the last weekend in April.”
Emily Beshear is leading the CIC2* after dressage with her new ride Shame on the Moon, a horse she just bought at the beginning of December. Amanda Wilson produced the horse through the two-star level, successfully piloting her around the mare’s first CCI2* at Fair Hill last fall. “She’s a fantastic mare with a good temperament,” Emily said. “She can be easily distracted, so I was pleased she stayed focused and listened. Our communication is better than it was even a few weeks ago.”
Leslie Law and Fernhill Whatever are in third place in the two-star on a score of 49.4. Like Shame on the Moon, Winston is also a brand new ride that came to Leslie in December, and he’s been working to build the partnership. “We’re still getting to know each other,” Leslie said. “The goal is to do the CCI2* at Ocala.” And if all goes well, Leslie is eyeing a move up to Advanced later this year.
Day 1 Reports:
Updated: Check out PRO’s awesome Day 1 recap: