Prelim and Training AEC Riders Take Charge of Challenging Cross Country Day

Emerson Gotcher and Kurious in the Junior Training division at AECs. Photo by Sally Spickard. Emerson Gotcher and Kurious in the Junior Training division at AECs. Photo by Sally Spickard.

I spent a bit of time out on the course today watching the Training riders. The courses seemed to be riding fairly well, while still holding true to their championship status. The rides I saw in the Junior Training division looked solid, although the technicality of some of the combinations definitely made some riders really earn their keep.

In the Junior Training, Natasha Erschen and Magic Drummer were able to move from second into first after overnight leader Kelsey Holmes decided to retire after picking up two refusals. Tashi Brundige and Ringo Star (one of my favorite names, behind Fernhill Patronus Charm #potterheadsunite) moved up from fourth to second, and Emerson Gotcher with Kurious also moved up, from fifth to third.

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In the Senior Training, Anne Kornak and Double Rivers Really Cool have taken command after a clear and fast round. Unfortunately, leaders Carrie Meehan and Cavalier retired on course, saying on Facebook that it just wasn’t their day. We know Carrie will be back to her winning ways in no time at all!

The remainder of the top three remains unchanged, with the third and fourth placed riders after dressage moving up into second and third: Pamela Kimmel and Special Performance and Brittany Vinson with Falcon Dusky Tiger.


Beau Gimmond took sole possession of the Training Horse division aboard Filibuster ST after a double clear run across country today. Heather Morris and Russell jumped from a tie for fifth to second after today, and Elliot Blackmon and W.H. Topgun retained their third place position.


In the Training Adult Team Challenge, the division is down to just two riders after Jean Fowler and NZ Bay of Islands retired on course. Aside from that, the standings remain unchanged with Carrie Polson and High Maintenance holding onto the lead and Cindy De Porter with Drop the Buck holding second place.


The Preliminary riders also had a great day out on cross country today. In the Jr/YR division, Megan Noelle Wilson and Mia Farley are still battling for the top placings, remaining in first and second, respectively, after double clear runs. I had a chance to speak with Mia about her leased ride, The Good Witch, so keep an eye out for another story forthcoming.

Impressively, the majority of these young riders went double clear around a very challenging track. Five pairs came home with time, and there was one rider fall on the scores. What a successful day for these next-gen eventers!


Heather Morris holds onto the lead in the Preliminary Horse division with Charlie Tango, sitting on a 25.4 after a double clear round today. Erin Kellerhouse positively rocked her way around the course with Rafaella to remain in second. A tie for fourth place was broken when Leslie Law came home closer to the optimum time with Unborn de Lelo, followed by Tamie Smith on Dempsey.


In the Senior division, overnight leaders Christina Henriksen and Princess Paven came home with just 1.2 time penalties, which was unfortunately enough to drop them into second. Christina will likely be thrilled with her talented mare, who she has produced herself, and heads into show jumping less than a rail behind new leaders Darlene McInnes and Warlord.

Kentucky’s Pamela Kimmel and Midnight Special moved up from fifth to third after another clear and fast round.


In the Adult Team Challenge, the standings remain relatively unchanged, with just second and third swapping spots after today. Catie Cejka and Light in the Dark remain in the lead with a double clear round, one of two in the division.


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