The Plantation Field International Horse Trials wrapped up another banner year today. The CIC* competitors finished over poles in the show jumping arena while the Advanced, CIC3* and CIC2* divisions tackled Mike Etherington-Smith’s challenging track. In the end, Pennsylvania locals Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin dominated in the CIC3*, occupying the top three positions on the leaderboard.
Phillip Dutton finished with three horses in the top five after CIC3* cross country. Mr. Candyman added 2.8 time penalties to edge into the top spot ahead of his stablemate and the overnight leader I’m Sew Ready, who added 10.8 time faults to finish third. Z’s 6.8 time faults moved them up to the number five slot.
“Mr. Candyman went really well today. It was always my plan to go quick on him,” said Phillip of the gelding owned by Ann Jones, Bridget Colman, Caroline Moran and Tom Tierney. “I couldn’t be more pleased with what he did this weekend. It raises my hope for him. At the end of last year I was so excited about him. He’s quite quick to lose his confidence. I have to be sure I do a good job to keep him confident all the way.”
Boyd Martin and Lucy Boynton Lie’s Cracker Jack were held on course while a frangible pin was repaired. They didn’t miss a beat, however, and produced one of four double clear rounds in the division to move up to second, finishing on their dressage score of 51.5.
“He’s not the easiest horse to ride cross country. He’s very keen to get to the jump and often his idea of taking off and my idea of taking off are different,” Boyd said. “He’s better on the CCIs where you can get him settled on a longer course, but I’m very pleased with him.”
Sharon White and Cooley On Show have been steadily moving up in the standings throughout the competition. She and the scopey gray gelding started out in 17th place after dressage, but without adding a single jumping or time penalty to their initial score of 56.1, they finished in fourth place overall.
Boyd and Phillip both had high praise for Mike Etherington-Smith’s course, which caused few jumping problems, but time penalties weight heavily on the final results.
“The ground is definitely hard and Jamie Hicks did everything he possibly could to make it good going,” Phillip said. “I think each rider had to make a decision based on what they had done this summer. My guys hadn’t done much so I was prepared to put the foot down a bit. You can’t get a much better course than this to educate riders and horses. It’s not always about knocking the field out, it’s how they come away from it.”
“There’s no question he’s one of the best course designers in the world,” Boyd added. “You walk this course and it’s big, big hedges and corners and all the riders are pulling their hair out saying ‘how are we going to do this?’ and then all the horses jump it really good, which is a credit to Mike.”
If you missed any part of the CIC3* live stream or would like to watch the action all over again, replays of all phases are available on USEF Network. Dressage and show jumping are already up and the cross country will be available shortly.
Lauren Kieffer rode three of Jacqueline Mars’ homebreds in the CIC2* division (Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Landmark’s Ginger Rogers and Landmark’s Monaco). All three of them jumped double clear show jumping rounds and were clear on cross country. Landmark’s Monte Carlo, also known as “Patrick” finished on his dressage score (41.6) to top the 81-horse field.
“They all skipped around really good,” Lauren said. “It’s nice to ride such nice products of a breeding program in the States.”
Patrick completed Rolex Kentucky this April and also traveled to Aachen for Team USA in the Nations Cup CICO3*. Lauren said she likes to drop the 10-year-old down a level before three days, and with Fair Hill CCI3* on the horizon she wanted to give him a confident run at Plantation.
They scored two-star personal best in dressage to place fifth after the first phase. A double clear show jumping round moved them up to second, and a clear, fast ride on cross country gave them the ultimate win when the overnight leaders, Boyd and Kyra, parted ways in the final water.
“Patrick is one of my favorite horses in the dressage. He’s not a very flashy mover but he’s so accurate and he went in there and didn’t give any points away. Show jumping is his hardest phase because he can be spooky, but after getting in a lot of rings this year he’s getting more comfortable with it. He’s always been a quick cross country horse and he just cruised around and jumped out of stride.”
Woods Baughman and Maverick McNamara, owned by Woods and James and Kim Baughman, were knocking on the door all week, placing third after dressage, adding one rail in stadium, and moving up to second after a cracking cross country round, jumping clear and finishing bang on the optimum time.
Jan Byyny and her and Richard and Jo Ellen Byyny’s lovely gray mare Urrem made a big move up the leaderboard with two great jumping rounds. They were tied for 17th after dressage on 47.3. They were double clear in show jumping to move up to 8th and then the pair rocked around today’s cross country, adding zero penalties to move up and finish in third.
Sixty-two horses completed the CIC2* cross country course. There were eight rider falls in the division, but no serious injuries have been reported.
Erin Sylvester and Frank Macentee’s Paddy the Caddy have finished second in three different Intermediate and Advanced horse trials this year, but they finally got their moment in the sun. Leading from start to finish, Erin and Paddy topped the Advanced division with a final score of 36.9.
The pair added 7.2 time penalties on cross country today, which was enough to keep them ahead of second place Ryan Wood and McLovin and third place Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Both pairs finished on 37.8 but Ryan was closer to the optimum time. Erin said she was prepared for Paddy to be green on course, but he produced a quick, confident round.
“He’s at a good place mentally now. Usually out of the box he wants to pull on one rein or the other when he’s nervous, but he went out in a straight line and was much easier to ride than normal in the start of the course, so I thought I could push him on a bit,” Erin said.
“I felt like he gained confidence as he went around. He liked the questions being asked of him and was really locking on to stuff. It wasn’t the fastest round but that was definitely probably the fastest he could of gone at this stage.”
Allison Springer and The Lord Willing Syndicate’s 8-year-old Lord Willing had a rail in hand in show jumping, but it was unnecessary. They jumped double clear to clinch the CIC*-A division, leading from start to finish and completing on their dressage score of 41.6.
Haley Carspecken and True Grace finished on their dressage score of 41.6 to win the Jr./YR CIC*-B division. A double clear show jumping round from them put the pressure on overnight leaders Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle, who unfortunately pulled a single rail, knocking them down the standings to fifth.
We want to send a huge thank you to the organizers, staff, grounds crew, volunteers and everyone else behind the scenes at Plantation Field International Horse Trials. It’s an event with an incredible atmosphere, top quality competition, and sights and sounds to fill every minute of every day. Thank you for having EN be a part of the Best. Event. Ever.