Though you compete on an individual basis, eventing, at its core, is much more of a team effort. It takes a village, as they say. Behind each great horse and rider combination is an army of supporters who made it all possible. No one appreciates this fact more than Will Coleman who credits todays Stable View Spring CCI4*-S win to his team.
“Success for our program — the rider is just the cover. It is as much about everybody else: my coaches, my wife, my family, our girls home at the barn, the team behind us, vets, farriers. It’s really a victory for all of them, I’m just the cover of the book, but they’re the ones making up the full story,” he said.
Will and Hyperion Stud’s Chin Tonic HS topped the division from the start — a 22.4 on the flat gave them a healthy advantage and a clear show jumping effort only extended their lead. Their clear cross country phase Saturday afternoon sealed the deal as 5.6 time penalties had them finishing on a score of 28. This is Will’s second four-star win this spring.
“I thought he did everything very well. I wanted to go kind of quick without being silly. He’s still pretty inexperienced at this level so I wanted to give him a good go more than anything. He was really worked up in the warmup, so I came out a little steady in the beginning but he ran super and answered the questions really well,” Will said. “I thought the corners at the end were a pretty stiff question. It felt great when you did it. The horses really read it, I’ve got to give a credit to Mark (Phillips) for laying it out, but I definitely thought about it quite a bit. Everything rode how I planned and that isn’t always the case, so it’s nice when it goes like that.”
As for what’s next for the 10-year-old Holsteiner (Chin Champ x Wildera), Will isn’t ready to show his hand, but hinted that a trip across the pond may be in the works. “We’ve got a plan but you take it one day at a time and hopefully you also have a bit of luck,” he said. “We’ve talked about wanting to take him overseas and maybe take him to Aachen or another big event. I love Aachen.” We think Aachen loves you back, Will.
It was a great day at the office for Jennie Brannigan who won the CCI3*-S as well as finishing second and third in the four-star.
Three-star winner Connory, a 10-year-old Holsteiner (Conrato x Hocaponta) started the weekend tied for fourth with a 27.5 on the flat, and added only 2.8 time penalties to that result as the second-fastest horse in the division.
“I know you’re not supposed to have favorites but that horse is so my type. He’s a beautiful talented horse with three good phases and I’m just so lucky to get to ride him. I’ve had him since picking him out at Clayton (Frederick’s), and Clayton was really kind and let me buy him in parts and honestly it’s just a very special horse,” Jennie said.
Though he had most of 2021 off due to a minor injury sustained while kicking in his stall, this is a fourth consecutive win for “Sean,” who is owned by Jennie in partnership with Tim and Nina Gardner. “I loved him from the beginning and put myself on the line when I was pretty poor to buy him, and it’s knock on wood turned out pretty good so far.”
Nina and Tim have been longtime owners and supporters of Jennie, and they were right against the ropes today to watch two of her other rides, Twilightslastgleam and FE Lifestyle, take second and third place in the CCI4*-S, respectively.
“Comic,” a 12-year-old Thoroughbred (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred by Nina, kept the pressure on Will by producing the fastest round of the division just one second over optimum time to finish on a result of 32.5.
“He’s just been getting stronger and stronger which is great because I think he really gives it 100%, but it’s not easy for him and he tries his heart out,” she said. “He’s fast because he’s a Thoroughbred. I was three seconds over on Foxy, so I went pretty fast (with Comic) The beginning is so gallopy that I really went for it in the beginning and just tried to keep that going.”
While Comic is all heart, Jennie calls stablemate “Foxy” the “best cross country course I’ve ever ridden.” Their 1.2 time penalties brought the pair to a final score of 35.8 in third place. “He makes everything feel easy to be honest. He’s such a lovely horse and his step is so big he looks like he’s going slow, and it helps me because I can tend to get too quick and aggressive in my mind and do stupid things, so he’s been really good for me because you can go fast on him but it feels slow so you can really ride,” Jennie said.
Isabelle Bosley and Night Quality, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality 004 x Night Fly) owned by the rider, finished fourth, picking up 11.6 time penalties on cross country (45.1).
14.4 time penalties dropped Allie Knowles and Ms. Poppins, an 11-year-old Westphalian (Congress x Copa Cabana) owned by Katherine O’Brien, from second to fifth place on a result of 45.4.
The stunning Corvett, a 15-year-old Holsteiner (Corrido x Tina XII), showed off his athleticism around Capt. Mark Phillips’ track, giving rider Emily Hamel a clear round with 10 time penalties. Their sixth place finish serves as a stepping stone on their path to Badminton Horse Trials in five weeks time.
Cosby Green and Copper Beach were seventh (49.6). Buck Davidson was eighth and ninth with Erroll Gobey (51.4) and Sorocaima (54.6), respectively. Hannah Sue Burnett and Captiol HIM close out the top ten on a result of 55.6.
Issues remained well spread around the course. Of the 24, who started 18 finished. Three pairs retired on course and three others were eliminated, but there were no falls in the division. Of those who completed, only two earned any jump penalties, leaving the 16 clear rounds to battle it out against the clock.
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