The boys are back in town and making a splash in Aiken as Stable View Farm successfully completed its first inaugural Advanced event to rave reviews. The crew really went for it when they opted to run all three phases on Saturday, but the show went on without a hitch, and Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin laid claim to many of the top slots.
As he did in the three-star at Plantation Field two weeks ago, Phillip nabbed first and third, this time with Z claiming the top spot over barnmate and Plantation Field winner Mr Candyman. Once again, Boyd Martin managed to split up the hat trick to claim second place on Welcome Shadow and fourth place aboard Steady Eddie.
“Z is only 8, and all credit really has to go to the horse. I didn’t feel like I was going that fast, but he’s extremely quick off the ground and a fantastic jumper,” Phillip told EN. “His run at Plantation Field two weeks ago set him up perfectly for today, so that definitely helped him take the win.”
Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow managed to lay down a new personal best in dressage at this level this morning, scoring a 29.70 and adding just 2.40 time penalties to that score over the jumping phases.
“Captain Mark Phillips built a pretty tough track. It was a little bit twisty, but then it opened right up and had some good gallops. There were some tough turning questions with the mounds, and it was a great preparation for Shadow (heading to Pau) and for the other competitors heading to Fair Hill. It had terrain so the horses got a fitness run out of it, and I think the horses will come out of it well because the footing was so good. It was well worth the 12-hour drive here. All three phases were world class.”
Boyd’s fourth place ride, Steady Eddie, was the only cross country ride to make the optimum time today.
Doug Payne and Vandiver were able to rise from 11th after dressage to finish in fifth by adding no faults in show jumping and just four time penalties in cross country, finishing on a final score of 39.30.
Also showing their strength in the jumping phases were Joe Meyer and Clip Clop who moved up the board from 21st to sixth when they added just 3.60 time faults in the final phase.
Allison Springer and her longtime veteran partner Arthur lead the day to begin with a dressage test that earned a 27.7, but they encountered some trouble in show jumping and ultimately finished their day just outside the top ten.
“Big Things to Come in Aiken”
The general consensus among the riders was that Stable View’s inaugural advanced test was a huge success, and a big step for the eventing community in Aiken.
Boyd mentioned how nice it was to have so much of the footing be a prepared synthetic — including in the warmup areas — and he never had to worry about the impact of the event on his horses in any phase. “The cross country course was great, and with perfect footing,” he added. “The whole course is fully irrigated with sprinklers the whole way around.”
Phillip echoed Boyd’s sentiments, adding there’s not much more you could want from a new event.
“The organizers did a fantastic job at this inaugural Advanced horse trials. The footing on cross country was excellent, and Mark Phillips’ course was challenging enough with good questions. Richard Jeffery’s show jumping course also proved to be influential, so it was definitely an exciting day for the sport.
“Stable View has put itself on the map as a top-notch venue, and this new Advanced course opens the door for even bigger things to come in the future in Aiken.”
Stable View Inaugural Advanced Division Top 15: