VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square Sunday Highlights

Tim Bourke (IRL) and Bon Vivant DSF, owned by Jill Smith win the CCI 2*L

Photo credits: Brant Gamma Photography

Tim Bourke (IRL) and Bon Vivant DSF, owned by Jill Smith won the CCI 2*L with a score of 28.6. Tim Bourke has been catch riding Bon Vivant DSF [V] who belongs to Jill Smith. “Since Jill is pregnant, the goal has been to put some mileage on V,” he said. According to Bourke, this is V’s second or third 2*L. “He is a Canadian bred horse and super-fast. I’m happy for the whole team behind him. Jill’s groom Sara Lujano did a fantastic job caring for him over the weekend and he’s not the easiest horse in the world. He is a little bit cold backed, and he needs to be lunged before we get on. The dedication she has is wonderful,” he added.

Bourke wanted to come out of dressage with a sub 30 score and accomplished that with their score of 28.6. “He was fast on cross country and is usually quite a show jumper, but I’ve never ridden him after the cross-country phase. I was just catch riding and we had only been doing the short format, but he was still full of energy. Sometimes you have a different horse on Sunday, but not this one. He was very good,” said Bourke.

“The VHC Eventing team did a fabulous job organizing this event. When there was a change in the leadership, we as professionals all got behind the new organizers to support this event. Joanie Morris, Roxanne Booth and the team were phenomenal. Going to the debriefing last night they were all there and asking us how they can do better. They want our opinion and our feedback and that’s a good thing. This venue is only about two hours away from us and we always want to support this event,” he added.

Rebecca Lee (CAN) and Elton B owned by Carol Richardson win the CCI1*L

Photo credits: Brant Gamma Photography

Rebecca Lee and Carol Richardson’s Elton B had a great weekend at VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square and won the CCI1*L with a score of 25.7. “Carol bought him two years ago and then broke her ankle so she couldn’t ride. She had me ride him and then we moved him up in May to Modified. We did a few and qualified for AEC in Kentucky and came in third! Carol was getting used to the idea of watching him go faster and jumping bigger jumps, so we thought we’d try an FEI. We did Plantation and although I had a rail in show jumping and the conditions there were really tough with the hurricane coming in, he was great despite the worse rain conditions I have ever ridden in. It ended up being a great experience and we ended up finishing in fourth. That’s when we decided to add VHC Eventing to our calendar,” said Lee.

“VHC Eventing was his first 1*L and Carol was here this weekend helping with him the whole time,” she said. The pair sat in second place after the dressage phase which according to Lee “was great because we’ve been working on that.”

“Sometimes Carol calls him a llama because he puts his head way up in the air. We’ve been working on more dressage and less llama,” she laughed.

The pair vied against Andrew McConnon (USA) and Connery Cooper Z, who had the lead after the dressage phase.

“I was surprised to see them get a rail in the show jumping because he is a lovely rider, and the horse has a great jump. We went clear, which was great. Michel [Vaillancourt] designed a very technical course for the 1* which I thought was a good test at this level and I thought it was great. His wife Deirdre bought a horse from me a couple of years ago in Aiken and I got to meet him then and Michel is a really nice guy as well as an excellent course designer,” she said.

“I thought the jumps were great and the courses rode really well. The jumps were beautiful, and we appreciate them aerating the footing. The barns were great with the new floors and doors, and we loved the rubber mats. It was so much nicer for us and our horses.”

As part of her win, Lee also received a Vespucci bridle from World Equestrian Brands. “It’s just beautiful,” said Lee. They also won a free picture from Brant Gamma Photography and prize money thanks to the support of the Virginia Horse Industry Board, “That was awesome,” said Lee. “I was excited and so was Carol. She loves her horses and takes great care of them, and we had her other horse in Novice, and they ended up in fourth. We got to show at a great facility and her horse won prizes and prize money which made it very exciting for us,” she added.

“I want to thank my barn students at Rebecca Lee Eventing. They have all been so helpful and supportive. Especially to Kate Geier who helped with all of the horses on Saturday and Sunday,” said Lee.

“I thought the VHC team did such a great job. There were so many horses this weekend and everything went smoothly. I also had two horses in Novice, and they were really good about fitting us in for show jumping and cross country. I was a little late because of ribbon presentations and the ring people were so friendly and really accommodating. The officials and stewards were friendly and open to our questions during the Rider Briefing. I had some questions, and they were helpful and very approachable. All the ring stewards were flexible and didn’t mind answering any of my questions either. I really appreciate that they put on this event, and we’ll be coming back.”

Kate Bearer Wins the Hyperion Stud Young Rider Award

Kate Bearer [USA] and Danielle Poulsen’s Capability Brown won the Hyperion Stud Leading Young Rider Award after placing fourth overall in the CCI 2*L.

Photo Courtesy of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation

According to Bearer, “I work with Danielle and Capability Brown [Bane] is her old 4* horse. I was thankful to have the ride on him.” Bearer has been riding him all season. “He has been invaluable in getting me this experience at this level and helping me to go out and be competitive.”

Bearer continued, “This was my first-time riding on the Oak Hill side. I didn’t ride at the May event, so it was awesome to see the new jumps and see what has changed over there. The footing was good and aerated, and the staff did all that they could, which we appreciated. The jumps were super and decorated amazingly. It was plenty hard enough and a really good course to run around.”

“The show jumping was awesome. It was a really good course with a lot of related distances which I really enjoy riding and it was a very fair course for a long format.”

“I really want to thank Danielle who has supported me through the levels and given me a lot of opportunities to grow as a rider and getting us here,” she added.

For more information on Hyperion Stud and the Award, please find them online.

Virginia Tech Wins the Intercollegiate Challenge

Congratulations to Virginia Tech for winning the Intercollegiate Challenge. They also tied for the Volunteer Competition with Randolph Macon College.

Pictured L-R: Jill Newman, Mark Combs (coach), Mandolin Whitten, Rose Schild. Not pictured is Emma Oldenburg. Photo Courtesy of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation.

President of Virginia Tech Eventing Mandolin Whitten said, “It was super exciting to have so many team challenges going on between eventing and volunteering. It really encourages people to come out and volunteer, participate and compete. We really appreciate Dover Saddlery for the great gift certificates they gave us and to World Equestrian Brands for the Equilibrium boots,” she added.

Whitten also won the Open Modified with Lee Byrd’s Bossanova and teammate Jill Newman won the Modified Rider.

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