Sharon White and Claus 63 Take Advanced Lead at Millbrook Horse Trials

Advanced cross country leader at the Millbrook Horse Trials, Sharon White riding Claus 63. Photo by Amber Heintzberger.

Sharon White and her 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Claus 63 (Catoo – Tina II, by Levisto) took the lead after cross country at the 2023 The Millbrook Horse Trials, held July 27-30 in Dutchess County, NY. She’s also standing in fifth place with the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Shirsheen Ice (Beowulf – Candy Copper, by Regal Sting xx).

“This is ‘Wolfie’s’ – that’s Shirsheen Ice’s – first Advanced ever, and he was so good, but it was a lot of work for his first time at the level. The course was wonderful, but the speed is different and the jumps are bigger and it can be a big thing for them, so I was really thrilled with him. Claus is very experienced, and I pulled my groin a couple of weeks ago and I’m so exhausted but I thought, ‘Claus will take care of mama’, and he was better than he has ever been before, which is saying something, because he’s a very good cross country horse. But I’ve always struggled a bit with him pulling down, and while I’ve never liked a Waterford bit, I went ahead and tried one on him today…he was just magical, it was easy, and just so satisfying.”

Heavy rains the evening before cross-country kept the footing soft but not overly muddy and sticky, and White said that course designer Morgan Rowsell’s course was very bold and that the horses could read it easily. “The horses had really good experiences, and the ones that had more experience just clocked around. It was nice that there’s been rain and for once the ground wasn’t hard, and I didn’t have to worry about pounding them on the hard ground.”

White is also in the lead in Preliminary Division A riding Jaguars Duende (Jaguar Mail – Latina, by Lancaster).

Lea Adams-Blackmore, who is White’s current assistant trainer, is competing at the Advanced level for the first time and is currently placed 18th riding her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Frostbite (VDL Zirocco Blue – Zanna, by Corland). White’s former assistant trainer Tim Bourke (Ireland) is ranked eighth aboard Lisa Takada’s Monbeg Libertine, and her other former assistant trainer, Woods Baughman, led the competition after dressage and jumped clear around cross country to stand second overall before he withdrew from the competition.

Baughman said that C’est La Vie 135 (Contendro I – Anette, by Aarking), who he has struggled to contain on the cross country phase, had his best round yet today and felt much more rideable, but the gelding pulled a shoe and so he will save him for another day. He is also competing Kamara CFF (Negro – Damara, by Vivaldi) in Intermediate Division A and is currently ranked sixth after cross country.

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Photo by Amber Heintzberger.

Will Faudree, who is one of Baughman’s current coaches, moved up to second overall with Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic – Straightaway, by Star Regent xx) when Baughman withdrew, and Faudree is also in fourth place riding Pfun (Tadmus – Celerina, by Cento).

He said, “Pfun and I have a great partnership; he was so excited to be out, he was really taking me to the fences, but I think after the water the heat and humidity were getting to him so I backed off on the pace a little bit and he jumped amazing all the way to the end. He was very proud of himself. ‘Mason’ was the polar opposite, he was so excited to be out and going cross country and not a lot backed him off, so I had to spend a lot of time getting him set up. He’s not a strong horse, I ride him in a French link snaffle bit, but he was eating the distances up pretty easily so I toned it down on him and he was dragging me all the way to the finish.”

Faudree commented of his student, “I’m so proud of [Woods]…when I started helping him, he was telling me the different bits he’s tried and I said, you can put whatever you want in this horse’s mouth and he would just be stronger — you have to change your position. You don’t ever want to take his exuberance away. When I teach, I teach balance, rhythm, speed, direction, in that order; if they can pull you forward, they’ve affected your balance, so therefore they’re in control. He’s a great student and the horse really listened to him today. His mare was also great this morning.”

Young Rider Cassie Sanger, who was fourth after dressage with Fernhill Zoro, also withdrew her top horse from the competition, but is currently ranked 19th with Redfield Fyre.

Out of 26 starters in the Advanced division, 21 jumped clear and only one horse and rider combination, Arden Wildasin and Sunday Times (Cult Hero – Lackaghbeg Crest, by Sea Crest), now ranked third overall with a score of 41.0, finished within the optimum time.

Beginner Novice through Training level wrapped up the competition with show jumping today, while Preliminary through Advanced levels will show jump tomorrow. Patrons will enjoy a Sunday luncheon in private tents overlooking the show jumping arena. Both the Trade Fair and the Millbrook Market will be open tomorrow, and food vendors will be available on-site. General admission and parking is free of charge.

Millbrook H.T. (Millbrook, NY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments