The first two riders on the inaugural CCI3* course at The Event at Rebecca Farm made it look like child’s play coming home clean and well inside the time. However, by the end of the division only three riders would finish without jumping or time penalties and only nine riders will move ahead to show jumping tomorrow.
James Alliston and his longtime partner, Parker, were the first to cross the finish line this morning and did so 38 seconds under time on Ian Stark’s 10 minute and 41 second course to eventually move into third. Buck Davidson was next out on course with Sherrie and Caroline Martin’s The Apprentice, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse who is tackling his seventh CCI3*.
“My horse went very well,” said Davidson. “He did it easier than I thought he would. It was quite long, but I found the time to be quite easy. The combinations were right up there and I was worried about the last water, but he dug in and tried there. I couldn’t be happier with him. I survived one moment at the corner [when The Apprentice got in deep at fence 14 and twisted badly] that sharpened him up for the rest of the way.” When overnight leader Jordan Linstedt fell from Revitavet Capato just five fences from home it opened the door for Davidson to take the lead.
Yesterday Davidson was a bit worried about the footing, but thought the Rebecca Farm crew made a huge improvement into the going. “Thanks to everyone who did all the work. They made huge improvements overnight. They certainly watered and spiked it, and as I was galloping out to fence 6 if you can’t hear The Apprentice going it must be alright. The ground was great.”
Davidson ended up retiring his second mount, Petite Flower after a runout at fence 9b (the corner after the ditch and brush). Flower didn’t travel well and has been struggling with bending left since she arrived. “Flower is fine,” said Davidson. “I made a mistake and should have never taken. I warmed her up in the morning and she was funny turning left, but I thought I could handle it. I never even got anywhere near the corner. Now she has a hematoma on her shoulder the size of softball – she is still sound but I have never seen anything like it. I am the first to admit I wish I hadn’t gone, but thankfully she is ok, and I just made a mistake.”
While The Apprentice has been running Advanced since 2012, Delux Z was just starting his Eventing career at the Novice and Training level that year and Rebecca Farm is his first attempt at the level with his rider Kurt Martin. “I thought my horse came out in a good rhythm,” said Martin. “He took a lot of fences out of stride and was focused – he went around very smoothly. He felt great, and I think it was the best he has ever gone. When I went to the last water I took a little more time, and he looked where he was going and he was always going. I never really had to ask him to go too fast, so he pulled up well. I am just really pleased.” Martin and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lux Z x Drumin Imp) currently sit in second on a 47.0.
The Apprentice does not have any rails in hand for tomorrow’s show jumping and while he typically has jumped clear at this level he recently had six rails down at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. Martin said that Delux Z is a good show jumper so it should make for an exciting finish for the inaugural CCI3* tomorrow.
Bella Mowbray who recently moved from Australia to California was the only other rider to jump clear and added just 18.8 time penalties with Star Vision to sit in fourth on a 72.5.
Tamra Smith Leads the CIC3* by a Mile
Tamra Smith and the Ahearn Family’s Mai Baum have a mile long lead in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and Pro Tour Series CIC3* following today’s cross-country round. Although no pairs made the time, Smith was the fastest aboard the 9-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano x Ramira) adding just 8.4 time penalties to sit on a 48.9. Second placed Barb Crabo and Eveready are on a 69.2 after incurring 16.4 time penalties across the country and Jennifer McFall and High Times also added time but were able to maintain their top three position.
“Wow” was the way that Smith described her round on the CIC3* course. “I haven’t really gotten to niche with him yet,” continued Smith. “So it is has been a little bit difficult getting him to trust me since I have only been riding him since February. We were a bit on the fast track trying to do the Pan Am stuff, so today I went strong out of the box – a different technique then I used in the past to get him in my hand. I didn’t know he could ever be like that. He can put three in a four and then put three in the two. He is so tidy, adjustable – he is just a freak really.”
Smith and her business partner, Heather Morris, brought a total of 19 horses to the Event so it has been quite a busy week for the pair. They have had some great results so far as Smith sits in first in the CIC3*, in the CCI2* Morris is first and Smith is second and third while in the CCI*, Smith sits second.
The top three placings in the CCI** remained unchanged with Kelly Pugh and Corazon in first, Smith in second and Auburn Excell Brady and Pinotage in third.
The FEI pairs will jog starting at 8:00 AM tomorrow and then three-stars show jump from 2:20 to 3:15 PM.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series
Qualifying for the 2015 Adequan USEA Gold Cup began last fall with the Plantation Field CIC3* (PA) and the Woodside CIC3* (CA) and features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. The final will take place at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships September 2015 in Tyler, Texas. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.
The 2015 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Point Two, Dubarry, and FITS.
The PRO Tour Series consists of 13 premier destination events in the United States and Canada, featuring the best riders and most entertainment. Riders and Horses are awarded points on the PRO Tour Rider Leader Board and PRO Tour Horse Leader Board.
The Professional Riders Organization would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2015 PRO Tour Series: KER Optimum Time, Tex Sutton, Triple Crown Nutrition, SSG Riding Gloves, and Midadlantic Ltd.