The first 21 horses competing in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced division at Millbrook Horse Trials performed their dressage tests this afternoon. Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate LLC's 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Rubens D’Ysieux (Balougran x Orenda D'ysieux), were just the third pair in the ring but they ran away with the early lead, scoring a 29.7.
“The nice thing is that I get nervous thinking, ‘Is it going to be a good test or a great test?’ versus, ‘Is it going to be awful?’ because it’s just never awful. He’s such a cool horse that way,” said Kozumplik Murphy of her test with Rubens this afternoon. “I think to myself, let me just try to do the right warm-up and do the best job I can riding him, because he shows up every single day.”
“To be fair, I made a lot of mistakes, and I was really kicking myself afterwards,” admits Kozumplik Murphy. “I got lost at the end of test, I almost went down the centerline [early]. I was also a little late on the change, and my turn on the haunches, I was trying to get them smaller and one of them wasn’t quite as good as it should have been, but it’s really fun to be able to worry about stuff like that than just worry about the quality.”
The partnership between Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens is barely a year old, and she praises the work that his previous rider, Michele Kuchta, did producing him. “He’s a hell of a horse, and Mikki knew that. She produced him beautifully, and I’ve just listened to her advice along the way. He’s not the world’s biggest mover, but he’s just so workmanlike and so correct.”
“I love Millbrook, I love coming here, I have some really good friends here too so that makes it even nicer. It’s honestly my favorite place to come every year because I love the courses, and I love the event.”
Just a point behind Rubens and Kozumplik Murphy are Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready (Lupicor x Jarda), Kristine Norton’s 13-year-old KWPN gelding, on a score of 30.7.
Phillip Dutton and I'm Sew Ready. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.
Buck Davidson and Carlevo LLC’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Carlevo (Caresino x Ramatuelle) round out the top three on a score of 32.2.
Buck Davidson and Carlevo. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.
Fifteen more pairs are set to complete their dressage tests tomorrow morning beginning at 10:20 a.m.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
The 2017 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series 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.