For the third year in a row, Aspen Farms Horse Trials (AFHT) in Yelm, WA is hosting the only Advanced division in Washington state which serves as a qualifying event for the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series. This is the final qualifying event for the $40,000 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships later this month.
Mary Burke riding her own Thoroughbred gelding Prince William (Sand Tunnel x Shesapick) took the early lead with an impressive score of 35.2. A graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse Series, this season Prince William is fresh off a big win in the USEA Area VII Intermediate Championship division.
Of her ride today, Mary says, "For our first Advanced he was very rideable and relaxed which made for a smooth and accurate test. I was pleased the areas that I have been working with him in Dressage have improved. I am looking forward to doing the Advanced cross-country course tomorrow. I am also very excited to be participating in my first Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series event and want to thank all the sponsors that make it possible."
Karen O'Neal piloted Barbara Flynn's black Warmblood mare Hollywood Diva (Gregor x Wendy), to the second place position on a 39.7. The mare has a solid record at Intermediate level and is familiar with Aspen Farms’ cross-country courses. Karen will be looking to bring her home successfully in their first attempt at Advanced together.
Marc Grandia riding Team Rebecca LLC's Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Eagle (Coronea Eagle x Tango Teela), moved into the third place spot with a score of 41.3. Allison Sparks and Thoroughbred Mystic Mojo (Klinsman x Mystical) sit in fourth with a 44.7. They recently completed their first CIC3* at Rebecca Farms.
In the late afternoon on Saturday the competitors will take on Tremaine Cooper's cross-country track. The course consists of 23 numbered questions that capitalize on AFHT's natural terrain. The weather forecast is fair and the Aspen Farms crew has been taking care to prepare the footing to high standards, aerating galloping tracks and adding topsoil and sand in some places.
Over the course of this weekend over 300 horses and riders are competing at levels from Beginner Novice through Advanced. More than $24,000 of cash and prizes will be awarded on Sunday thanks the AFHT sponsors.
For full results, go here.
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, Broadstone Equine Insurance, FITS, Merck Animal Health, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Pyranha and Standlee Hay.
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 Leaderboard. 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, and SSG Riding Gloves.