Rolex Dressage Day Two Morning Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter. Photo by Jenni Autry. Marilyn Little and RF Demeter. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to day two of dressage here at Rolex Kentucky! We’ve already seen some downright incredible rides on the first day of competition, but there is plenty more to come yet today. Michael Jung currently holds a handy lead with last year’s winner fischerRocana FST after a dazzling performance yesterday.

We’ll be looking for several riders to come up to the challenge of Michael’s mid-30s score today, so it should be a battle right down to the very end, when dressage powerhouses Allison Springer and Arthur close out the day.

We’re bringing you the latest updates right here on our open thread this morning. Refresh this page to keep abreast of the action and also follow along with the USEF Network live stream here.

12:49 p.m. EST: Allie Knowles chats about her test:

12:18 p.m. EST: Here are your most recent standings:


12:17 p.m. EST: Kim Severson talks with the press after her test with Fernhill Fearless:

12:17 p.m. EST:

Big pats for Tate! #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

12:14 p.m. EST: Allie had a big smile on her face while recapping her test with coach Buck Davidson. A great way to close out the morning group! Michael Jung’s score remains the only in the 30s, and Marilyn Little is in second with RF Demeter. Stay tuned here for more videos and photos and also keep an eye out for Jenni’s lunchtime report! We’ll pick up with our final groups at 1:30 p.m. with Barb Crabo and Eveready.

Hang on, ma. Got an itch.

Hang on, ma. Got an itch.

12:14 p.m. EST:

12:06 p.m. EST:

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville score 47.6 for 12th place #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

12:05 p.m. EST: And the last before lunch will be hometown girl Allie Knowles with Sound Prospect.

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect in 2015. Photo by Rare Air Eventing Photography.

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect in 2015. Photo by Rare Air Eventing Photography.

12:02 p.m. EST: Sinead and Tate have earned a 47.6 for 12th place.


11:58 a.m. EST: A teeny bit up in some early trot work but he’s settling into his lateral work well.

11:56 a.m. EST:

11:56 a.m. EST: IT’S TATEY TIME!!

11:55 a.m. EST: Class act:

Here’s Kim Severson saying thank you to the wonderful Pony Clubbers who are volunteering as ring stewards at #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

11:54 a.m. EST: Liz Halliday-Sharp stops to chat about her test with HHS Cooley:

11:51 a.m. EST: Lisa Barry has withdrawn F.I.S Prince Charming – they were due to be next so now we’ll wait for Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville.


11:49 a.m. EST: A great test to watch from Kim Severson and Sparky. A bit of keenness broke through in the canter work, but they earned a respectable 51.6. Kim’s quiet mannerisms with her horses is really neat to watch. Look how she spends a quiet moment with him after the final salute:

Kim 2

11:44 a.m. EST: Very expressive medium trot from Fernhill Fearless, aka “Sparky”.


11:43 a.m. EST:

Shout out to @lizhallidaysharp’s super groom Gemma Jalinska for having HHS Cooley so beautifully turned out! #rk3de

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11:41 a.m. EST:

11:40 a.m. EST: And now we welcome back one of our leading ladies, Kim Severson with Fernhill Fearless. We spied Kim in line at Starbucks today, let’s hope it was some dancing fuel! #notlikesheneedsit #dressageskillz #gosparky

11:39 a.m. EST: Liz Halliday-Sharp and HHS Cooley finish their test which had a bit of tension in the changes. They’ll take a score of 54.8 into tomorrow.

11:39 a.m. EST:

11:38 a.m. EST:

Goooooo William! #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

11:34 a.m. EST:

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

11:34 a.m. EST: Catch up with kiwi Blyth Tait!

11:34 a.m. EST: Daniela Moguel shares her thoughts on her Rolex debut:

11:33 a.m. EST: Liz Halliday-Sharp is next in the ring with her second ride, HHS Cooley.

11:32 a.m. EST:

11:30 a.m. EST: Two textbook changes to finish out Hannah Sue’s test. A couple of little mistakes but she should be very pleased with this comeback test.

11:27 a.m. EST: This is a beautiful, accurate test so far. Harbour Pilot is a fantastic mover and Hannah is doing a great job of riding through some extra energy and making it look seamless.


11:26 a.m. EST:

Blyth Tait and Xanthus III score 54.1. It’s awesome to have Blyth back at #rk3de

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11:25 a.m. EST: Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot make their return to the four-star level. This horse is a great dressage horse, let’s see what you’ve got, William!

11:25 a.m. EST:

11:22 a.m. EST: Xanthus’ canter work is a bit more green than his lovely trot work but Blyth is putting in a very quiet ride. This reinback is probably the best so far:

Blyth 2

11:22 a.m. EST: 60ish tests in and I still don’t have the test memorized. #howdotheydoit

11:18 a.m. EST: Blyth Tait and Xanthus III are in the ring now. Blyth is a living legend, truly a great opportunity to see one of the greats here on U.S. soil!


11:16 a.m. EST: Daniela Moguel and Cecelia score a 57.8 in their debut. Big pats for the mare!

Daniela 2

11:14 a.m. EST:

11:13 a.m. EST: Daniela working through some tension with Cecelia, who is a lovely mover but just a bit tense.


11:13 a.m. EST:

11:10 a.m. EST: Lynn Symansky in the house!


11:09 a.m. EST: Welcome to Lynn Symansky in the commentator’s booth! We’re all set to go with another Rookie, Mexico’s Daniela Moeguel and Cecelia.

11:04 a.m. EST: Catching up with Leah on her test with A.P. Prime:

11:03 a.m. EST:

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF scored 46.5 for 7th place. A super performance for these Rolex Rookies! #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Holly Payne Caravella and Santino did a lovely test — 46.8 for 9th place #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Sydney Conley Elliott all smiles after her #rk3de debut with Cisko A

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

10:50 a.m. EST: Sally Cousins shares her thoughts on Tsunami:

10:48 a.m. EST:

The EN team hard at work… or hardly working? #chinstagram #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

10:46 a.m. EST: Into our second break of the day, we’ll pick back up at 11:10 a.m. with Daniela Moguel and Cecelia.

10:45 a.m. EST: Flaxen was super amped by the cheers from the crowd. Hi Ho .. Flaxen? Score of 46.3 for this pair for a solid debut.


10:40 a.m. EST: Flaxen is strutting his stuff out there. A few things that Gina has pointed out to improve, but overall this is a great debut. And it’s no surprise — this pair is used to being in a big atmosphere.


10:38 a.m. EST: Next up, Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF! He’s got superhero socks on under those boots, no doubt.

10:35 a.m. EST: Some tension for Tsunami towards the end but this is one you won’t want to miss on cross country. They score a 57.8.

Sally Cousins

10:35 a.m. EST:

10:30 a.m. EST: This is “Sue’s” fifth start here in Kentucky. #oldpro

10:29 a.m. EST: Now in the ring are Sally Cousins and her OTTB mare Tsunami.

10:29 a.m. EST:

10:28 a.m. EST: Check out Elisa Wallace and her mustangs showing off in the rain yesterday:

10:27 a.m. EST: Holly Payne Caravella tells Frankie Thieriot that mom Marilyn Payne gets nervous as a spectator when she has to watch both her and Doug at events! #showmomlove

10:26 a.m. EST: Honor Me saw the final short diagonal and tried to take off for home, but Lisa kept a lid on and they’ve officially made their Rolex debut!

10:22 a.m. EST: Here are Rookie rider Sydney Elliott’s thoughts on her test:

10:22 a.m. EST: Yet another Rolex Rookie pair in the ring now: Lisa Fergusson and Honor Me.

10:20 a.m. EST: Holly Payne Caravella looks elated with Santino after her test, and appropriately so as they’ve scored a 46.5 for seventh place! Look at that grin!

Holly 2

10:18 a.m. EST: And how about those Rolex Rookies! Here is Avery’s interview:

10:17 a.m. EST: Hear from Bunnie Sexton as she talks to the media after her test:

10:17 a.m. EST: Selena O’Hanlon rehashes her test with Foxwood High:

10:15 a.m. EST: Santino is a really nice mover. He commands a lot of attention in the ring.


10:13 a.m. EST: A 62.1 for Leah Lang-Gluscic and a 55.2 for Sydney Conley Elliott. Now in the ring is Holly Payne Caravella and her second ride, Santino.

10:09 a.m. EST: Sydney having a great go for her first four-star test. She’s been working with Will Faudree in the lead-up to this event, and she’s been trending around mid-60 percentage so far.


10:05 a.m. EST: In the ring next are another Rolex Rookie pair, Sydney Conley Elliott and Cisko A.

10:04 a.m. EST:

10:03 a.m. EST: Leah looks absolutely thrilled with A.P. after her final salute, to big cheers from her fan club. The scoring is down at the moment so we’ll have her score as soon as possible. In the meantime, look at this and try not to get emotional:

Leah salute

9:59 a.m. EST: A.P. has gotten much stronger in his flatwork and is looking fairly consistent and relaxed in his test.


9:58 a.m. EST:

9:56 a.m. EST: In next are Leah Lang-Gluscic and A.P. Prime. This pair withdrew after dressage last year and are looking for their first Rolex completion this weekend. Side note, AP is super fun to ride.

9:54 a.m. EST: Lovely test from these two. Selena has been around her fair share of four-stars and Woody has really stepped up to be a top horse for her. A 51.8 for this pair.

Selena 2

9:51 a.m. EST: Selena is focusing on accuracy here and “Woody” is obliging. A lovely picture.


9:50 a.m. EST: Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High, our first Canadians of the day in the ring now.

9:50 a.m. EST: We love our advertisers!


9:48 a.m. EST:

9:46 a.m. EST:

9:35 a.m. EST: Hear Marilyn’s thoughts on her test:

9:23 a.m. EST: Lots of love for a longtime love. Bunnie scores a 71.3. We now go to our first judge’s break of the day and will resume at 9:50 with Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High.


9:22 a.m. EST: Bunnie will likely be a bit disappointed but she rode so quietly and tactfully to get what she could out of “Ecko”. Class act right here, ladies and gents.

9:20 a.m. EST: Bunnie is doing her best to ride a very tense Rise Against. This is definitely his least favorite ride, she’s just trying to get on to cross country!

9:19 a.m. EST:

9:17 a.m. EST: Bunnie Sexton is back from the West Coast with her partner, Rise Against.

9:15 a.m. EST: Marilyn and Demi just #NAILEDIT – Karen O’Connor says this may be their best test ever. Absolutely stunning and a well-deserved 42.5 and second place.

Marilyn 2 9:14 a.m. EST:

9:12 a.m. EST: Lovely start so far for Marilyn and Demi. This pair has taken an different approach to Rolex this year.


9:08 a.m. EST: Marilyn Little and RF Demeter will take the floor now. Look for a solid test from these two.

9:07 a.m. EST:

9:06 a.m. EST: Avery did a superb job on her first four-star test! She scores a 60.5.

9:03 a.m. EST:


Doug Payne and Vandiver’s color coordination game is strong #rk3de


A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

9:02 a.m. EST: Avery is also the queen of great saves. Exhibit A

9:01 a.m. EST: This pair has done all of their firsts together, including a trip to Young Riders for both the one- and two-star level. Keep an eye out for her Rolex Rookie profile today!

9:00 a.m. EST: And another Rolex Rookie enters the ring: Avery Klunick and In It To Win It!

9:00 a.m. EST:

8:51 a.m. EST:

8:50 a.m. EST: Little Leo wasn’t a big fan of the sandbox today, lots of exuberance in the canter, but it’s on to the next phase for these two!

8:45 a.m. EST: Fun fact: Flower just knocked over 10 points off of her Rolex score from last year. She earned a 57.2 and a 54.2 in her other two CCI4* starts. We now welcome Great Britain’s Panda Christie to the ring – learn more about her here.

8:44 a.m. EST:

8:43 a.m. EST: Buck looks super pleased with little Flower after a lovely and harmonious test. This is definitely one pair to watch this weekend. 8:38 a.m. EST: Buck Davidson joins us again with Petite Flower. 8:38 a.m. EST:

8:35 a.m. EST And phase one down for LCC Barnaby, who really kept it together and had a few green moments but worked hard for Lillian.

8:32 a.m. EST: Streeeetch!


8:32 a.m. EST Karen O’Connor has joined the panel for commentary this morning, alongside John Kyle and Gina Miles. It’s like getting a free dressage lesson! Which is something I desperately need.

8:29 a.m. EST: And we’re underway! LCC Barnaby enters at A. Lillian was a Rolex Rookie not too long ago, and now she’s back with three horses this year.

8:25 p.m. EST: Lillian Heard will bring out the second of her three rides at 8:30 a.m. to kick us off with LCC Barnaby.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Jenni Autry.