It’s been a very exciting weekend at Copper Meadows, with all the divisions ending up incredibly close. It certainly served to remind me why I love eventing so much — it’s not just being a jack of all trades, it’s about being competitive in all three phases.
It seemed personal bests and smiles abounded in all the divisions. That’s the kind of weekend we love to have!
Less than a rail separated the top three in the Advanced division. Keeping in the theme of this weekend, the top three went double clear.
It was Tamie Smith and Mai Baum who led after dressage and never looked back. Lexus indeed didn’t look or act like his move up to Advanced was anything to worry about — if you didn’t know it was his first time out, you’d swear he’d been doing it forever.
Tamie also has another new Advanced horse with Twizted Syster, who also went clear in both her jumping phases, only adding time on cross country to her dressage score. “They were both incredible!” Tamie exclaimed. “Rideable and careful. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
As both get in the trailer to show off on the opposite coast, Copper Meadows seems to have given them the confidence Tamie was looking for in their move-up, and Team Next Level Eventing is firing on all cylinders and has everyone excited for the future.
In second, Jennifer McFall and High Times, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding she purchased as a five-year-old, certainly had a weekend to remember. Having started together at Novice, they have steadily moved up the levels together.
Last year they completed their first Rolex — quite an accomplishment. This year Billy is really stepping up his game, ending the weekend with only 1.2 time added to their personal best dressage score. This consistency is something that Jen always knew Billy was capable of, but of which Billy sometimes wasn’t too sure.
“Billy has matured in all three phases and has really come into his own. He is confident, willing and capable, and seriously fun to ride!” We can’t wait to see how this new confidence in their partnership will pay off at Galway in two weeks, and then it’s on to Rolex.
Mackenna Shea and Landioso didn’t leave any breathing room for the top two when they also put down a perfect round. As she leaves the West Coast for her final prep at The Fork before heading to Kentucky, her weekend here at Copper certainly reinforced the fact that they are ready for the challenges ahead.
In other words: East Coast beware, the West is coming, and they are prepared!
Going into stadium for Intermediate, the top three had a score of 30 – mere tenths of a point separated them.
Elizabeth New and Fleeceworks Mystere du Val moved into first yesterday with a quick cross country round. Tamie Smith and Fleur de Lis, aka Milton, sat happily in second.
“Milton was foot perfect,” Tamie reported. “I just worked on all the horses staying the same in their rhythm.” Her plan seems to have worked quite well, since all four of Tamie’s horses went clear.
Canadian Nikki Ayers, riding Andee Stowe’s Rubicon, second after dressage, said, “I had a big wake up at the second water at the corner out where I missed and Rubix absolutely saved my bacon. The course was challenging and time was tough to make.”
Margaret Stocker and Second Hand Rose were the only double clear cross country round, which moved them up 5 places into the top four.
This morning, it was all about leaving the rails up. Elizabeth New cemented her win, going double clear with a gorgeous round on her Selle Francaise chestnut gelding. This was their best outing at Intermediate also.
Tamie Smith and Milton also left everything up, leaving them in second by only .3 point. It’s hard to be disappointed when the competition is that close!
Nikki Ayers and Rubicon had an unusual two rails to move them into fourth, and Dani Sussman and her own Kaptain America took over third with a double clear round.
We’re positive Nikki’s sentiment is being echoed by all the competitors: “A huge thank you to Taren, her family and everyone who made this an amazing event!”
Go reaching new highs, Go eventing, and Go Copper Meadows!
Copper Meadows HT: [Scores]