The FEI competition at Rebecca Farm continued today with CCI2*-Long, CCI3*-Long, CCI4*- Short and CCI4*- Long dressage.
An overcast, cool morning kicked off with the CCI2*-L division. Grace Walker Alonzi and her self-owned horse, Frantz, a 16-year-old Westphalian, scored a 29.9 to lead the division. Grace said her horse was a bit spooky with the cool morning weather, but that he settled into his job and “going up centerline, I felt like he was with me.”
Helen Alliston and Alliston Equestrian’s Flinterro Z stand in second place with a score of 30.3. Helen started riding the 7-year-old Zangersheide in June after her husband, James Alliston, produced him as a youngster. “He’s a lovely horse. He’s young. But his temperament is amazing. He’s very quiet in dressage and quite hot to jump, which I like. He’s got a lot of energy. Normally, my goal for the jumping is just to not get bucked off because he’s … pretty playful. But yeah, I love him … especially for such a young horse. He’s just all business went in there, like a pro.”
Currently standing in third place with a score of 30.5 are Taren Hoffos and Regalla, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Carolyn Hoffos. “The Queen” aka Luna is a homebread for Taren, who said it is “pretty special to have ridden her throughout her whole life and produced her up to the level and she’s just wonderful. She’s the nicest horse I’ve ever sat on. She’s lovely. She was a bit tense at the beginning, but she got better and better as we went along and relaxed into it. And I’m really proud of her.”
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The CCI3*-Short competitors completed dressage on Thursday. Lucienne Bellissimo holds the lead in the division with a score of 32.3 on Tremanton, a 10-year-old Trakehner owned by Horse Scout Eventing, LLC. Sitting in second with a score of 33.7 is Cinzano, an 11-year-old Holsteiner owned by Cellar Farm Corp and ridden by Amber Birtcil. Amber has been coming to Rebecca Farm for over 10 years and commented that “it’s such a destination event. And it’s always stunning … they always do such an amazing job here.”
Kaylawna Smith-Cook and AEV Above Authority follow in third on a score of 35.4. The 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse is owned by Marcella Ashton. Kaylawna said “it’s amazing here. I love the event.” She also praised her horse, saying “he’s done a couple of Intermediates so he’s new to the level and he really stepped up and just tried really hard for me so I’m super proud of him. I’m excited to get out there tomorrow.”
The scores in the 3*-Long division are very close. Liz Halliday-Sharp leads the group with a score of 29.4. Cooley Nutcracker is an Irish Sport Horse owned by Deborah Halliday, Renee Lane, Ocala Horse Properties and the rider. Liz was very complimentary of him, saying “this still a relatively new partnership for me with this horse. But he’s one that I think is a real one for the future. I really think the world of him he’s only an eight-year-old this year, and he’s still getting a lot stronger.”
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Lucienne Bellissimo and Caitane Z, an 11-year-old Westphalian owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC, follow closely behind with a score of 30.8. Meg Pellegrini and her own RF Eloquence, a 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding, follow in third with a score of 31.9. Meg said this is her fourth season with the “old pro” and that she is “very lucky to get to sit on this horse, and to be able to be at this event is a huge honor … He knows what to do and he really gave it his all.”
The top three placings after the 4*-Short dressage are held by Liz Halliday-Sharp and Tamie Smith. Liz is standing in first place with a 26.3 on Miks Master C, the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood owned by Ocala Horse Properties and Deborah Palmer, and third place with a 29.1 on Deniro Z, the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Ocala Horse Properties, LLC. When reflecting on the horses’ performances today, Liz said, “It’s my first four star with the Miks Master C horse … I think he is totally world class. He’s an incredible horse. I’ve only been riding him for two months, just getting to know him.”
Liz was happy with Deniro’s test today, saying “You know, we’re very good friends me and Deniro. And we have a long history together … and I figured we’d have amazing grounds here at Rebecca Farm … he was very, very excited to be here.”
Tamie and Danito, a 13-year-old Hanoverian, sit in second with a score of 28.2 in the CCI4*-Short.
The FEI dressage concluded on Friday with the CCI4*-Long. 13 looks like a lucky number for this division, as the top three horses are all 13 years old! Helen Alliston sits in the top spot with her Oldenburg, Ebay, on a score of 28.9. Helen said “he was really wonderful” during his test and that Ebay always comes out as a professional.
Oskar, a Holsteiner owned and ridden by Alyssa Phillips, is currently in second with a 31.4. “He was really good” especially in the trot work and Alyssa said the canter work got a bit spicy, so she is excited for the cross country tomorrow. Tamie Smith and Dutch Warmblood Elliot V, owned by the Elliot V Partnership, sit in third place with a score of 32.7.
The sun came back out by the end of the day and the gorgeous Montana skies are looking clear for FEI cross country on Saturday. Best of luck to all the horses and riders!