Will Faudree hasn’t been to Millbrook Horse Trials since 2013, but that didn’t stop him from storming around the Advanced cross country this morning. At the end of the day, he leads the division on his seasoned partner, the 12-year old Irish Sport Horse called Pfun owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables.
And a fun time they had indeed: “It’s fun to be back and I was really happy with my horse today,” said Will. “He was great on cross country — it was a good course and he’s not the fastest horse in the world and I’ve changed a little bit how I’m training him to go. I went out and I wasn’t even kicking him and he was able to come in inside the time. So I was really happy.”
Having scored a personal best in the dressage yesterday, Will and Pfun moved up to the top spot from 6th. Will credits his and Pfun’s good showing in the first phase to having spent the last week in Aiken, South Carolina training with USEF Performance Director Erik Duvander as one of the reserves for the Pan American team. The pair will stay on their dressage score heading in to tomorrow’s show jumping.
Will is looking ahead to competing in Ireland for the first time this fall; he and Pfun are entered in the Millstreet Internationl CCI4*-L this fall.
A double clear round for Colleen Rutledge and her homebred Covert Rights, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding, sees them move up the leaderboard into second place just four-tenths of a penalty point behind Will. After an extended time off, Colleen is happy to have her longtime partner in such good form.
“I’m just incredibly pleased with how he has come back and how he’s feeling,” she said. “I’m just happy that he’s back feeling actually better than before.”
Rounding out the top three is Allison Springer and the Business Ben Partnership’s Business Ben, a young horse she believes was simply born to run cross country.
“I typically don’t go very fast on short courses because he curls and it’s kind of hard for me to get him up so it takes a longer time to set him up, even though he’s probably one of the fastest horses I’ve ever sat on,” Allison said of the nine-year-old Thoroughbred owned by the Business Ben Partnership.
“I wasn’t trying to make time today, but he’s just fast and he was really rideable so I’m psyched. He’s so brave and he loves it, so I’ve just been kind of still figuring out the pieces with him and how to make him totally rideable.”
The time has been historically tricky to make on this course, but today we saw a total of eight pairs come home inside the optimum time of 6 minutes, 15 seconds. Kimmy Cecere and Jaqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco made a big jump up the leaderboard from eleventh to fourth place. Their double clear round sees them stay on their score of 31.30.
Whitney Mahloch and her own Military Mind, a thirteen-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, also moved up seven spots, and now sit in sixth place with 31.80.
The biggest mover award after cross country may go to Kylie Lyman and Da Vinci Code. The pair were 22nd after dressage, but their double clear moved them into seventh place.
Despite the grounds crew’s best efforts, the earth remained very firm this morning and, even though there were more time fault-free rounds than usual, we still subsequently saw time faults create a big shift in the leaderboard. As expected and as he intended, Buck Davidson took it easy over the course, accruing time penalties with each of his five rides.
His highest placed horse, who sits in seventh place, is now the youngster: nine-year-old Erroll Gobey owned by Natalie Sander, Lisa Darden, and Carl and Cassie Segal. He’s closely followed by his stablemate, the Burghley-bound Jak My Style, owned by Kat Cuca.
Three riders picked up 20 penalties along the course. Alexandra Baugh and Mr Candyman, who were tied for equal third with Buck Davidson and Park Trader after dressage had a runout of the B element of fence 14, a left-handed corner. Both Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy along with Mallory Hogan and Clarissa Purisima ran in to trouble at fence 20, the first jump into water complex.
There was one rider fall in the division: Cornelia Dorr and her own Sir Patico MH were tied for equal eighth after dressage, but unfortunately parted ways in the fence 10abc complex. We’re very happy to report that Cornelia and “Hugo” are both fine.
Be sure to check out Marion de Vogel’s day three recap below and stay tuned for the conclusion of the event tomorrow. Less than a rail separates the top four places and two rails separate the top eight, so it’s possible that we could see another leaderboard shuffle again tomorrow.