It was all about the Broadstone Beginner Novice and Novice Amateurs on cross-country this morning and the day was capped off with the Merial Intermediate division. Double clear rounds abounded as all of the overnight leaders maintained their spots heading into show jumping on their final day of competition of the 2016 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover (AEC) at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C.
Beginner Novice Amateur
Eleanor Lawson had enough fun for everyone on Captain Mark Phillips’ cross-country track today. She and her own 17-year-old Thoroughbred, Matapeake, came through the finish flags under the time and with no jump penalties, which lets them keep their lead of the Broadstone Beginner Novice Amateur division on a score of 25.5.
“It was so much fun. I was very nervous about the turns, and it’s just so much different than what I’m used to. Everything was amazing,” she said.
Tomorrow she and Matapeake will work against a potentially exciting atmosphere, similar to what she worked through in dressage. “Peety is an odd horse. We’ve never been in this kind of ring before, so it will be about keeping him calm in there. And just like in dressage, keeping it together enough, but not getting gin his way because that messes me up,” she explained.
Shea Foley and Erin Bottner’s Captain My Captain, a 14-year-old stock horse, also had a double clear cross-country run today for second place on a score of 27. Invictus (Ibisco x Viness SH) follows in third with Krissy Smith Shellenberger in the tack. They show jump tomorrow with 27.5 penalty points.
Broadstone Master Beginner Novice Amateur
Letha Calvin and Look Cody Look, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Code Word R x Look N Good Darling), maintained their lead in the Broadstone Masters Beginner Novice division adding nothing to their original score of 27.5 heading into show jumping tomorrow. Calvin and Look Cody Look made easy work of the course, while William Barclay and Stormn Hudson KD, a 7-year-old Trakehner gelding (Blitz und Donner x Stormn Doreen KD), moved into second place with a 28.3, while Erin Wiel and Boomtown II, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred, sit in third place with a score of 28.8.
“I was very pleased because we had a double clear ride on both horses in the division. They both looked at a lot of things out there and if I hadn’t ridden with my pants on fire today, they both would have had stops,” she laughed. “I thought it would be challenging and it was even a little bit more challenging than I thought it would be.”
“I was concerned about the purple jump after the water and it rode a lot better than I thought it was going to ride. What I’ve figured out over the years is that I like to overthink things and I have learned that whether I’m first or last or anywhere in between the goal in each of the jumping phases is a clear round,” she added.
Calvin will head into the final phase of the division tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. as she will pilot Look Cody Look and Quigley O’Higgins, who is sitting in 10th, around the course in the George H. Morris Arena.
Sarah Fishetto and Sin Fallo kept a hold on their lead after the cross-country portion of the Novice Amateur division on their strong starting score of 24.3 The duo, who have had some difficulty with the phase in the past, felt they gained an immense amount of confidence after their completion of the track today. Alison Wilably and her own Mr. Mile High are currently seated in second place with a 26.3, while Cecelia Bette piloted her own Mystery K hold third place with a score of 27.5.
“We came out and she was super bold and ready to go. We’ve had some issues in the past so we decided to roll out with a little bit of a more bold take on the course,” she explained. “The footing held up really well and it all fell into place.”
“A lot of our practice has been keeping her from rushing. She’s a horse that really fakes the confidence. She will rush at things and then stop or run out because she gets nervous. We’ve been working on keeping her up and the backend going,” noted Fischetto.
The Novice Amateur division will conclude tomorrow in the George H. Morris Arena, as horse and rider combinations will take to their final phase of show jumping at 8:00 a.m.
Master Novice Amateur
Anne Wilson had nerves of steel as she headed out of the start box today aboard her 9-year-old Holsteiner Call me Waylon. Fortunately for her she had luck and a bit of Waylon’s boldness on her side, and she added nothing to her dressage score of 24.8.
“My horse was very bold in warm up. He was jumping around and rearing and carrying on,” she explained. “I was actually glad about that because I was worried about making the time, so then all I had to worry about was keeping him focused and straight.”
“It was a challenging course, which it should be for a championship. If you go clean you come off feeling like you’ve accomplished something,” she said.
For Wilson, preparing for her show jumping tomorrow is all about staying calm, cool and collected. “My plan is to keep calm and not get nervous because when you’re going into stadium in first place the pressure is on,” she said.
Time proved to be a test on the Merial Intermediate cross-country course for sure as only two of the 45 pairs who finished the course came in under the 6 minutes, 11 seconds allowed. While Marilyn Little’s overnight leader, RF Scandalous added .4 time penalties to her dressage score she still sits seven points in the lead over Doug Payne and Lysander. Little’s other mount, RF Overdressed, moved up from fifth to third with no time added.
“I wanted to start pretty strong, and I’m not sure it’s possible to leave the first field on your minutes, but I wanted to get as close as I could,” explained Little. “They were both very, very focused.”
Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, Phoebe & Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous, the 11-year-old Oldenburg (Carry Gold x Richardia), was Little’s double gold medal Pan Am Games partner, but this is only her second event of 2016. “I was very grateful there was a lot of turns in the beginning because she was quite amped going in,” said Little. “There was a hold, and I ended up getting there quite early and that is not ideal for her because the warm-up areas are right next to the ring she was watching them all go and it was her second event back so she’s very excited.”
RF Overdressed, the Hanoverian gelding (Countdown x Delia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Raylyn Farms was the first horse to prove time was possible on the course today. “Overdressed went really beautifully today,” continued Little. “He’s really coming into his own, he’s 9 years old and he processed everything really well and literally looked at the flags and it’s great when they start to show you that they are ready for more. He got better and better as he went; he’s a big going horse, so that’s not the easiest start of a course for him, he’s certainly not a Thoroughbred.”
Dana Cooke and Kingfisher Park's FE Ophelia, a 9-year-old Zweibrucker mare, suffered a fall on the cross-country at fence 12. USEA CEO Rob Burk was available for comment, "Dana Cooke and FE Ophelia suffered a fall on course. Dana was transported off site for further observation, but it appears that both are doing well." We will update this article with any further updates.
Heading into show jumping tomorrow afternoon Little hopes to keep the pair calm and rideable to earn her chunk of the prize money up for grabs.
About the AEC
The Nutrena® USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover (AEC) is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, this event draws together the best competitors from across the country vying for national titles from the Beginner Novice through the Advanced level. This year's AEC is being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. August 31-September 4, 2016.
The 2016 Nutrena® USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover would not be possible without our wonderful sponsors: Nutrena, Land Rover, Adequan, Merial, Broadstone Equine Insurance Company, Professional's Choice, Devoucoux,Merck Animal Health, Standlee Hay, Charles Owen, Fleeceworks, CWD, The Chronicle of the Horse, Noble Outfitters, Auburn Laboratories Inc., Smartpak, Stackhouse Saddles, Point Two, VTO Saddlery, FLAIR, Dubarry of Ireland, FITS Riding, Equine Art by Julie, Ride Safe, The Jockey Club, Ovation, Eventing Training Online, Kastel Denmark, Happy Saddle Treats, I Love My Horse, GumBits, Horse Hydrator, Phoenix Bodyworks, C4 Belts, The Scoring Chix, and more.
*Many of these sponsors are in attendance at the AEC with vendor spaces in the USEA Sponsor Village, located directly next to the George Morris Arena at TIEC. Get ready to shop!