Ryan Wood piloted CCI3* first-timer Powell to an impressive clear show jumping round today at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event to clinch a wire-to-wire victory on 46.0, adding just 2.4 total penalties to their dressage score.
It’s the first CCI3* win of Ryan’s career and also a meaningful result for local New Jersey breeder Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses, who owns the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
Powell tired a bit toward the end of the twisty, hilly cross country course yesterday to pick up 2.4 time penalties, but Ryan said the horse felt on his toes and ready to jump this morning.
“He was fresh as a daisy. He jogged up really well this morning, and I gave him a little ride after the jog, and he felt really soft and supple. I put him away and then he warmed up great, went in there and jumped his heart it out,” Ryan said. “It’s a special event to win. Ilona bred him and is local here and is a big supporter of Jersey Fresh, so it’s pretty awesome to take the title.”
At the same time, Boyd Martin, who jumped a clear round to finish second on 46.3 with Craig and Gloria Callen’s Welcome Shadow, said what we’re all feeling today: Our hearts are heavy with the weight of losing Philippa.
“For me it’s a very hard event to celebrate,” Boyd said. “Yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve ever experienced in eventing. For me I was thrilled with my horse, but it’s pretty hard to punch the air and yell and shout because it was an absolute miserable weekend. Everyone’s thoughts and feelings are with Philippa’s family at the moment.”
Welcome Shadow, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, made a case for Olympic consideration with her foot perfect performance this weekend. Boyd also said he believes the Australian selectors should take a hard look at Ryan and Powell for Rio.
“It’s been what I call a real gutsy effort. He won the dressage, was superb yesterday on the cross country and the horse jumped out of his skin today. Woodsy’s been slogging it out in America since he got here. To start with, nothing went to plan when he came over. Instead of going home with his tail between his legs, he worked away very hard. This year I think we’re just starting to see him back at his best,” Boyd said.
“In my opinion I think the Australians should look at him for the Olympic team. For that particular format, it’s going to be a softer cross country, and this horse has got the potential to get in the 30s in the dressage, and it’s obviously a great cross country horse and a great jumper … From my personal experience, it’s hard being an Australian in America. You’re a bit off the beaten path. But an FEI result like this speaks for itself.”
Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best jumped one of the seven clear rounds in the division to move up from fourth to finish in third place on their dressage score of 49.2. That’s the first CCI3* completion of his career for “Benny,” a 9-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Don Good.
“I’m really, really proud of that horse. He’s a green horse, and this weekend I feel like he really came into his own. He put in three solid phases and really he couldn’t have picked a better to weekend to do that,” Jessica said. “He was amazing (on cross country). It was really kind of his breakthrough weekend. He went out there and felt like he just played out there.”
Bentley’s Best earned his qualifier for Rio this weekend and will now go on to the final Canadian Olympic selection trial at Bromont to compete in the CIC3* alongside his stablemates Pavarotti, A Little Romance and Abbey GS. As for which horse would be Jessica’s top pick for Rio if she makes the team: “I would be happy to take any of them.”
Phillip Dutton jumped a clear round with Z in the horse’s first CCI3* to finish fourth on their dressage score of 52.4. The 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran moved all the way up from 20th after dressage.
Phillip also finished a second horse in the top five in David Garrett’s Indian Mill. The 11-year-old English Thoroughbred gelding had two rails down to finish fifth on 54.3. Both Z and Indian Mill are now also qualified for Rio.
In addition to the pairs already named, the following horses and riders jumped clear show jumping rounds: Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti (11th), Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna (13th in their CCI3* debut — congrats!), and Justine Dutton and Huck Finn (23rd).
If you missed the CCI2* report, Phillip Dutton and Sportsfield Candy jumped clear to move up from fifth after cross country to take the win on their dressage score of 48.8, the only finishing score in the 40s.
Dave and Patricia Vos, who own the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, donated the $2,500 in prize money to a college fund that has been set up for Millie Humphreys, Philippa’s 6-month-old daughter. More than $20,000 has been raised for the fund since last night, with a total goal of $125,000 to help Millie receive the best education possible. Click here if you would like to donate.