It seemed almost too good to be true – 75 degrees and not raining? Not your typical Morven Park International Fall CIC3* cross-country day. Heading into the first phase of the competition in Leesburg, Va. there were 15 pairs entered in the CIC3*, 13 in the Advanced, and five in the Advanced Area II Championships. However with many horses having run last two weeks ago at Plantation Field CIC3* and many aiming for the Fair Hill International CCI3* in two weeks – withdrawals were the name of the final day.
Caroline Martin rode Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, The Apprentice, to the win in the CIC3*. They scored a 30.7 in the dressage for fourth place and moved up to third after a double clear show jumping round. Both first and second places withdrew, so Martin went into cross-country as the leader. She added 15.2 time penalties, but had enough in hand to keep her lead.
We may not have the palaces of Europe, but the mansion at Morven Park makes a nice backdrop for Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse! USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Martin showed her consistency by adding exactly 15.2 time penalties to her second ride, Danger Mouse’s score as well. She finished in third place with the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Colleen Rutledge and Confidence Game. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Colleen Rutledge and Confidence Game had the fastest round of all three divisions by a mile and moved up from 11th to take second. This was only the 8-year-old Thoroughbred stallion’s (Morluc x Pam's Ruckus) second attempt at the level.
Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
It was a wire-to-wire win for Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate’s RF Cool Play, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Condors Champion x Roxana) in the Area II Advanced Championships. They finished 37.2 points ahead of second place, Ema Klugman and Jeni Klugman’s 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Bendigo.
Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Kim Severson and the Cross Syndicate’s Cooley Cross Border had a great run across the country to hold on to their overnight lead in the Advanced division. Not only did the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz) win, they were also the only pair to complete all three phases in the class.