Tuesday #AEC2019 Quotes from the Top: Trailblazers Up the Centerline

Intermediate and Prelim competitors have been our trailblazers here at the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships, knocking out dressage on Tuesday and heading out on cross country today — best of luck to all!

Here’s what the dressage leaders had to say after their tests:

Open Intermediate: Tamie Smith & En Vogue ⁣⁣

Tamie leads the division with En Vogue, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl x Laurena) owned by Ruth Bley, on a 26.0. Tamie is also third with Danito, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik) also owned by Ruth.

On their test: “She actually was quite good. I had a few bobbles in the test, but she’s such an incredible mover and correct, that a couple of fours aren’t going to do too much when you are also getting eights. I was really happy with her.”

Looking ahead to cross country: “The course looks beautiful. Obviously, it’s great to be on the Lexington track and on the turf, with the rolling hills, it’s beautiful. The designer has done a phenomenal job, it’s a championship course. The questions are difficult but readable and it’ll really test the horses, which is what you want.

“She’s a really great cross-country horse, and she’s fun to ride on the flat. It’s big and technical out there. She can be a bit of a spooky horse, and it’s probably the biggest track that will have seen, she’s a green horse, but I feel like she’s ready to move up from Intermediate to Advanced now, but this will be a true test.”

On riding two horses for the same owner: “Ruth is amazing. She trusts me 100% and I feel like I can really put a plan together for the horses and she’s supportive. They’re both such quality horses that even with mistakes they’re scoring well. Their movement and rideability is so good.”

Boyd Martin is second with Luke 140 (Landos x Omega VI), an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by The Luke 140 Syndicate, on 27.4.

Bates Prelim Amateur: Katherine Nolan & Prince of Power⁣⁣

Katherine Nolan and her own Prince of Power, a 9-year-old OTTB (Prince Joseph x Lady Power), took the dressage lead in the Bates Preliminary Amateur division on a score of 28.2.

On their test: “It was great. He was fabulous – he stayed really focused and supple and soft. We had a plan and we went into the warm-up and we stuck to our plan, which sometimes we don’t do, and he was really good. I was a little worried about the atmosphere and him leaving all the horses and going down the ramp but he was just like, ‘sure, whatever,’ he’s really matured a lot since he was a baby – we’ve come a long way since he was six and bucking in the dressage ring. He’s grown up and it’s been really fun to see it happen.”

On their partnership: “I got him when he just turned four and he’s nine now – I got him off the track. I got him to go two-star, but he didn’t steer or canter so I was like, ‘maybe we’ll do Novice,’ and he just kept going. He only raced twice too – he was so slow, he was last both time. But his race trainers were so great, they brought him back to the barn and put him out in a field with some mares in foal and sold him, they’re really great. It’s nice, I still stay in touch with them.”

Looking ahead to cross country: “I’ve walked the course twice. It’s beautiful, they’ve done a really lovely job. I’m looking forward to running it. We’ll see, there’s a lot to do and it’s big so hopefully he’s ready to go and on his game and ready to gallop. I’m excited because there’s lots of galloping, lots of room, and the footing looks great. We’ve come a long way so hopefully that thoroughbred will kick in tomorrow and we’ll make time.”

Bates Prelim Horse: Bobby Meyerhof & Lumumba⁣⁣

Bobby Meyerhoff and his own and The Donavan Group’s Lumumba,an 8-year-old Mecklenburg mare (Levisonn x Lamara), took the early lead on a score of 26.9.

On coming back after a break: “She’s coming off a win at Bromont in the 2* long, and I gave her a nice break and brought her back to work; this is her first show back. Her test today was good. I’ve been working on some different things, and pushing her a little bit, and it’s really coming together. Her body came back very strong after the break which I was really happy about, and I think just her overall strength is coming along. We’re making it nice and easy for her.”

On their partnership: “I found her in the middle of nowhere in Germany. I brought her over as a seven year old, she’d never evented before, she’d done some small jumper shows. It took the first year to teach her about eventing and get her through the lower levels, and then she started Preliminary and has been successful.

“I’m just producing her very slowly. I think she’s going to move up the levels pretty quickly, because of all of the work she’s doing. I did one Intermediate with her at Virginia Horse Center before Bromont, and she had a great run there. It was great preparation. I felt after jumping that, that she was ready.”

Looking ahead to cross country: “I just finished walking the course. It looks great, with little twists and turns which is good- it’ll slow people down. It’s a big open field so there are lots of opportunities to gallop. There are some technical questions so you’ve got to balance and make sure that your horse is listening. Where she’s at, I think it’s just right for her and I can’t wait to run her on it. She’s a great jumper. Her personality is one where she just wants to attack it, she’s a bit overzealous, but I’m going to need that when we get to the bigger jumps.”

Bates Prelim Junior/ Young Rider: Elizabeth Henry & Charlotte La Bouff

Elizabeth Henry and Charlotte La Bouff, her own 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, scored a 24.6 to take the early lead.

On their test: “It was awesome. She went in there so happy and so willing to work with me. It was a beautiful test. She’s been so happy [since she got back] – she got two week’s break and went right back into work and she felt like she was the queen of the world when she got back.”

On their partnership: “I got her about 2.5 years and she was my move up to Training horse. She had done a few Preliminaries, but not very successfully so she just needed another year at Training and I was moving up so it was the perfect mesh. We just bonded right when I started riding her and I just love her to death. We have a great bond – I trust her, she trusts me, she puts her best foot forward, I do my best – it’s a great partnership we have.”

What’s next: “She’s going to get a little break and then we’re probably going to do some I/Ps and hopefully move up to Intermediate this winter down in Ocala. I’m super excited about it.”

Looking ahead to cross country: “It looks like so much fun, I can’t wait. I feel like Rebecca was more decorated and dressed up, but the questions and the rideability here is a lot tougher. It’s going to be a lot of fun. She loves it – it’s probably her best phase, honestly. She loves it and I love it so it’s perfect.”

Bates Prelim Rider: Isabel Holden & Rebel Soul ⁣

Isabel Holden and Rebel Soul, her 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Rebel Soul (Bernstein x Bronze Abe), have the lead on a score of 26.1.

On their partnership: “He is an off the track Thoroughbred. I got him as a 4-year-old and he had only raced up until that point. We gave him a different career and he has excelled in that. He likes to please and he is very workmanlike.”

On their test: “Our ride went really well. I was glad that I did the pre-ride. He was a bit tense yesterday going into the big ring for the first time ever. He is nice and relaxed and did his job for me. It was pretty surreal riding in there. I was here a couple of months ago with Leslie Law and his horse splash and I got them all dolled up and sent down the shoot so to be riding myself is fancy.”

Looking ahead to cross country: “It looks really fun. Knock on wood he has been a machine these last few shows. Fingers crossed everything goes really well. It looks like a Championship course. There are some parts when I walked with Leslie [Law, her coach] he was even like, ‘oh that was nice of Derek or oh that was brave of Derek.’ The rider has to take a lot of responsibility at certain points so I am excited to see how it goes.”

Much more to come! The EN crew (one reporter + one baby + one stuffed animal) is en route to Lexington and will be bringing you all the latest for the rest of the week. Be sure also to keep an eye on the USEA website for even more comprehensive coverage. Go Eventing.

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