Virginia Horse Trials: Lauren Kieffer Leads CCI3*-S + Cross Country Preview

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras hold the top of the standings after the first two phases of the CCI3*-S at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Va. It’s a packed weekend for the Virginia Horse Center crew with a record 440 entries across starter through CCI3*-S divisions.

Lauren and D.A. Duras, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Jacqueline Mars and Debbie Adams, were the winners of the first phase in the three-star on a score of 26, and they added nothing to it over Chris Barnard’s show jumping track Friday afternoon. The two are in fine form this spring, coming back from a minor injury in 2018, and they’re looking forward to the Bromont CCI4*-L next month.

“He’s come out at a different level than when he was last competing,” Lauren said. “Because he’s young, we took longer and erred on the side of caution [bringing him back]. I think in the long run it actually did the horse a lot of good. He’s come back really strong, really straight, and a lot more mature.”

“We’ll let him go his own pace tomorrow,” Kieffer said. “The course looks nice. It will be a good fitness run — it’s pretty much all uphill.”

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation are second. The Revelation Group’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse remains on his dressage score of 26.3. “Warren” is competing for the first time since 2017 after sustaining a minor injury. Dutton said he was thoughtful and methodical about bringing this horse back into competition.

“We were very cautious and gave him plenty of time to come back from injury, and he’s returned in fighting form,” he said.

Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco are third on a score of 29.9.

VHT is hosting a CCI2*-L for the very first time, and Will Faudree has become the division’s very first leader. Riding Mama’s Magic Way, an 8-year-old Hanoverian owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, Will sits on a score of 22. Originally ridden by Andreas Dibowski, this is an exciting new partnership, so keep an eye out for them on cross country Saturday.

Doug Payne is second with Baymax on a score of 25.5, and Arden Wildasin sits third with Southern Sun on a score of 26.4.

Phillip Dutton also tops the CCI2*-S with David Vos’ Get Ready Get Set in the 9-year-old KWPN’s third International start. After dressage and show jumping, they are on a score of 29.7 with one rail down.

Laura Welsh and Toute Va Bien are second on a score of 31.1 after a double clear show jumping, and Emily Beshear is third with Templewood (31.4).

The Virginia Horse Center has breathtaking views no matter which way you look and makes a picturesque backdrop for cross country. Take a look around the courses designed by Andy John Michael Durr, and David Taylor and built by Tyson Rementer and Tommy Neneman. #Views.

Many thanks to Leslie Threlkeld for the photos and to David Frechette for the videos. For full course walks, click here.

Go eventing.

Virginia Horse Trials International & H.T.: WebsiteRide TimesLive Scores