We’re blessed with a lovely first day of competition here at the 2023 Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International, with the FEI divisions getting underway with their first phase.
While the 2022 winning horse, Dondante, is not here to defend his title this weekend, Will Coleman nonetheless finds himself positioned well to take a third win and second consecutive trophy in the Yanmar America CCI4*-S division, taking the early lead with the Off the Record Syndicate’s Off the Record (VDL Arkansas – Drumagoland Bay). The pair earned a flashing 22.1 from the judging panel of Robert Stevenson and Andrew Bennie. Judging from B, Andrew Bennie awarded Will and “Timmy” two 9s: one for the final flying change and one for the collective mark for harmony. The score of 22.1 is just a tick off of this horse’s personal best at the level; he scored a 21.9 at Great Meadow’s 4*-S in 2020 previously.
Second in the morning session and initially taking charge of the 4*-S are Doug Payne and Starr Witness (Chello III VDL – Carmen), owned by Laurie McRee, Catherine Winter, and Doug and Jessica Payne. Despite being early on in the going and displaying some exuberance, Doug and the “Ginja Ninja” earned a 24.6 for their efforts and will be in second ahead of the afternoon’s rides.
Liz Halliday-Sharp delivered a stellar test aboard the Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer – Kylemore Crystal), earning a 26.1 from the judges to sit third ahead of the lunch break.
Looking to the 3*-S and 2*-S divisions, taking the early leads are Liz Halliday-Sharp aboard the Nutcracker Syndicate’s Cooley Nutcracker (Tolant R – Ballyshan Cleopatra), formerly ridden by French rider Astier Nicolas before joining her string after the 2021 season. This pair earned a 26.7 for the Cordelia Family Foundation CCI3*-S lead, starting their season with some leg-up events after finishing the 2022 season at the Advanced level.
In the Breezeway Sporthorse and Diagnostic Clinic and Friendship Mobile Veterinary Imaging and Sports Medicine CCI2*-S division, Australia’s Dom Schramm and the Quadrocana Syndicate’s Quadrocana (Quadrofino – Rocana II) earned a personal best of 22.7 to take the lead in the morning session. A fun fact, in case the name Quadrocana sounds somewhat familiar, the mare’s damsire, Ituango xx, is the sire of Michael Jung’s fischerRocana FST.
We’ll be back underway after lunch at 1:00 p.m. EST and as always you can follow along live with the action on Horse & Country’s live stream. You’ll need an H&C+ subscription (you can save 15% off an annual subscription here using code EVENTINGNATION15 – the code is case-sensitive – this weekend only!), or you can also purchase a one-time viewing pass for this event for $19.99. Click here to access the live stream.