Today’s show jumping course proved to be quite influential with all of the FEI divisions’ leaderboards shuffling around. When overnight leader Liz Halliday-Sharp dropped a rail with Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill by Night, the pressure was on Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda (Ping) to jump a clear round. Luckily Ping is known for his show jumping prowess and Nina Gardner’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse put in a nearly flawless round to take the lead in The Fork’s CIC3*.
“It is funny because he is so behind my leg, “ said Brannigan. “And I was laughing at him earlier because ‘you do two-time changes, why can’t you do a clean flying change in the show jumping?’ He has been the same way now for years.”
As Brannigan crossed the finish line she quickly turned back to see if the hard rub at the last would dash her hopes of moving into the lead. “He wants to jump clear which is great, but I was watching earlier rounds with David [O’Connor] and I wasn’t sure about the time, and if I should I go inside to that last jump. David said to make sure you turn quickly, and I think I just overdid it.”
Brannigan has been riding with Scott Keach for show jumping coaching and took three months off from competing last year in order to do his ‘eye training’ which she said she believed has made her more accurate as a rider. “When [Keach] is really invested in you he gives you 120%. I have always been a bit inaccurate on Ping – I remember winning this event and missing bad in the show jumping. You shouldn’t be going around upper levels missing so it is has really helped me a lot.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s cross-country Brannigan plans to go for time with Ping, as he only has two runs before Rolex Kentucky and went slower at Red Hills in early March. Brannigan did express her concern over the first water, which she says she thinks will be quite influential as it was last year.
With only five riders posting double clear rounds in the CIC3*, Buck Davidson and longtime partner, Ballynoecastle RM were able to move up two places to second despite adding a time penalty to their overnight score. Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse sits on a 45.7 heading into tomorrow’s cross-country.
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill by Night moved down to the third spot with their one rail, but still have a solid three point lead ahead of Mackenna Shea and Landiosa who moved up to fourth with a clean round and two time penalties.
Lauren Kieffer show jumped five horses today and didn’t lower a single rail, although she did earn one time penalty with Team Rebecca’s Veronica. The time penalty didn’t affect their placing, however, and the pair still lead the Advanced A division. Kieffer also moved up into the lead with Courtney and Kylie Ramsay’s Czechmate with a double clear round.
In the A division, Will Faudree and Andromaque moved up from fourth to second while Lillian Heard and Share Option round out the top three. In the B division, Boyd Martin and Pancho Villa settled into second, while Elinor MacPhail and RF Eloquence dropped a rail to go from first to third.
Last fall Sinead Halpin took over the ride on Nicole Carolan’s Topgun when she headed off to college, and Halpin has worked hard to develop a partnership with the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood/Irish Sport Horse Gelding. The hard work paid off today when the pair jumped a clean round to move up from fifth to first in the CIC2*.
“He is a character, but he is actually is a really, really talented horse,” said Halpin. “He is a super jumper, but is just a bit quirky. Last year he was super strong, and the more bit we put on him the stronger he got so we went back and just put a thin Myler snaffle in him. But, he is a really nice jumper and is really brave cross-country and is a really nice mover. It has just come together the last few events.”
Peter Barry and Long Island T sit in second with nothing added to their dressage score, and while the live scoring has Lillian Heard and Abbie Golden’s Arundel jumping a clean round, the pair actually dropped a rail to sit in third.
The cross-country starts at 8:30 AM with the CIC* followed by the CIC3* at 10:05 AM, the Advanced at 12:37 PM and the CIC2* at 2:56.
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.