The first of over 550 horse and rider combinations danced down centerline today in the Virginia CCI/CIC and HT at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. All FEI and Preliminary competitors posted their initial scores today in dressage. The CIC*, Intermediate, and non-Championship Preliminary divisions also negotiated Chris Barnard’s influential show jumping course.
Leading the CCI2* after dressage is Jessica Phoenix for Canada and the Bentley's Best Group's 10-year-old Trakehner, Bentley’s Best, on a 40.9. Jessica also sits in third on 43.1 riding Humble GS, an 11-year-old Trakehner/Canadian Sport Horse stallion owned by Charlotte Schickedanz. Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate's 9-year-old German Sport Horse, RF Cool Play, scored a 42.2 for second place in their first CCI2* as a pair. Ireland's Tim Bourke riding Tracy Zack's Astrana De La Galerna and Hannah Whalen and her own and Lauren Pollin's Didgeridoo round out the top five and the remaining sub-50 scores for the division.
There are a total of 54 horses split into two CCI* divisions. Ryan Keefe and Rumsey Keefe's 17-year-old Thoroughbred, Flintstar, lead division A on 48.1 followed closely by Andi Lawrence and her own 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Cooley Northern Mist, on 48.8. In division B, two combinations scored below 40 to take the top spots: Molly Kinnamon and her 8-year-old Thoroughbred, Concord Dawn, are first on 38.2 while Daniel Clasing and Galileo WP, a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, are second on 39.5.
Kelli Temple and Kara Angulo's 7-year-old Holsteiner, Metallica, held on to first in the mare's first CIC2* after two phases of competition. A dressage score of 41.6 gave them the lead, which they kept despite a rail in show jumping. Lying in second on their dressage score of 46.1 is Cindy Anderson Blank and Windchase Phoenix Star, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned and bred by Phyllis Dawson.
The top four placings in the Intermediate division remained unchanged after show jumping following double-clear rounds from the top contenders. Holly Payne Caravella and the elegant CharmKing, a 6-year-old Holsteiner owned by CharmKing LLC, lead the way on a 29.6 followed closely by Jennie Brannigan and her longtime partner and Nina Gardner's 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Cambalda, on 30.2.
Saturday will be lively as all Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training horse trials and Area II Championship divisions will begin their competition. Six dressage arenas, one show jumping ring, and both the Horse Center and Oak Hill cross-country courses will run simultaneously throughout the day.
The first winners of the 2017 October Virginia Horse Trials will be determined tomorrow as the CIC2*, Intermediate, and non-Championship Preliminary Horse Trials divisions will complete the final phase of cross-country.