It’s been a blustery day here at Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials in Fairburn, Ga. resulting in some fresh horses in the dressage arena this morning. Of the 19 pairs in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* and only Buck Davidson on Copper Beach were able to break into the 30s. Davidson and "Sean" (Radolin X Cloverballen), an 11-year-old Irish gelding, earned a 38.7 the gelding’s best score to date at the CIC3* level.
“He knows the job now, he’s maybe not the biggest mover and I’ve been really trying to get him longer in the neck and get his nose out more and I felt like I did that today. I couldn’t be happier with him. He was fantastic,” said Davidson of the gelding owned by Carl and Cassie Segal and Sherrie Martin.
Davidson also lies in second with Carlevo (Caresino X Ramatuelle), a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Carlevo LLC. Carlevo laid down a respectable test in the windy weather for a 41.5. “I was really happy, Carlevo is a beautiful mover, he’s very wise, he’s very reliable, he did what I expected of him,” Davidson said.
Clayton Fredericks and Houdini (Hot Rock X Nancy’s Star), a 13-year-old thoroughbred gelding owned by Katie Ruppel, put in a lovely test for a 42.8 to take third after the first phase. “He was great today, he’s a horse that takes a lot of work to produce a test. He’s a very sort of upbeat horse and I was trying to not overdo it, since we had had show jumping afterwards. I was really pleased I feel like we got the balance really right today,” Fredericks commented.
Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.
Show jumping proved influential this afternoon as rails came down easily and clear rounds were few and far between over Marc Donovan’s International course. The top six remained unchanged after the second phase, but the bottom of the leaderboard saw a big shakeup. Davidson and Copper Beach were the last to go in the showjumping for the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3*. They held up to the pressure to leave all the rails up and be one of five pairs to make the time. Davidson also produced a clear round with a single time fault to add to their dressage score to sit on a 42.5 for second place overnight with his second ride, Carlevo.
“The ring is so big and the distances didn’t walk like they were going to be short but they really, especially the distances in the triple, rode short. I thought my horses really tried hard,” Davidson said. “He’s [Copper Beach] still much better to show jump after cross-country, he was a bit excited. I’m very happy, the big thing is to get everybody out of here sound and have a fitness work.” He heads into tomorrow’s cross country with all three of his horses in the top five.
Fredericks and Houdini also had one of the five double clear show jump rounds to stay on their dressage score heading into the final phase tomorrow. “I was so pleased with his show jumping. I thought the show jump course was great, the three star course really flowed, it was fun to ride.,” he said.
Everyone is looking forward to Hugh Lochore’s CIC3* and Advanced cross-country courses tomorrow. Riders to wait till this afternoon to walk the course as the recent storms meant some of the jumps went for a swim and had to be reset. The strong winds in Fairburn, Ga. the past two days however have done wonders to dry up the tracks and prepare the footing for tomorrow.
The Advanced division kicks off tomorrow and also serves as a Adequan USEA Gold Cup Qualifiying division. There are currently 18 horses entered, Hannah Sue Burnett starts us off at 8:00 a.m. with the first of her four rides in the Advanced.
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About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
The 2017 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Championship features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. Qualifying began last fall and continues through August with the final taking place at the USEA American Eventing Championships, August 30 – September 3 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money and thousands of dollars in prizes in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.
The 2017 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nutrena, Merck Animal Health, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency and FITS.