Cross-country proved ever-influential today as we saw even more shake-ups in the top finishers of the CIC3* Division at the Cloud Eleven/Gavilan North Carolina International CIC & H.T. This event was the second leg of the 2016 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, of which the finale is the championship at this year’s Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships in Tryon, N.C.
In his first year designing at the Carolina Horse Park, Ian Stark laid out a challenging and thoughtful track for these riders, many of whom are using this event as preparation for the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* next month. Combinations were plentiful, beautifully built and set on forward strides, forcing riders and horses alike to think quickly on their feet.
Allison Springer and 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Arthur, were definitely a crowd favorite to win coming off of a year-long hiatus after falling last year in the galloping lanes. The top ten pairs ran in reverse order of go, leaving Springer and Arthur (Brandenburg’s Windstar x Kelly), to be the last ones out of the start box. Springer and the Arthur Syndicate gelding kept their cool zipping around the many challenging complexes and coming home with only 3.20 time penalties to secure their win.
“I’m thrilled with him. I certainly had to work for it, but I always do with him,” Springer smiled. In the past few years, she has worked to build up a string of horses, three of which she had entered in the three-star this weekend. “[Having more horses to ride] gives you such experience. More experience for me as a rider is what I need to make him a winning horse because he’s fully capable of winning,” she said. “You want plan A to work, but the best riders in the world recover and get it done, and I perhaps haven’t been great at that in the past.” The past certainly seemed behind this pair as their win today definitely sets them on the right track as they head to Kentucky next.
Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair (Camiros x Oncoeur), as predicted, came out with their game face on after two rails in yesterday’s show jumping and were one of only three pairs to finish within the time. Dawn and Jonathan Dofelmier’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding seemed very keen, and didn’t back off in the slightest to many eye-opening questions. “There’s not a lot to lose when you have two rails,” Black laughed about going for the time. “I don’t have a lot of upper level horses, so I needed to practice galloping and jumping out of speed.”
Washington-native Black felt right at home running around this west coaster designer’s track. “It was interesting coming back to an Ian Stark course, because when I was brining Cody along he designed at Galway where we did our first one and two-star. I’ve brought Cody along with this kind of course in mind, so he does well with it,” she explained.
Lynn Symansky and Donner, a 13-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred (Gorky Park x Smart Jane), continued their steady ascend up the leaderboard adding only 4.80 time and no jump penalties to their dressage score to round out the top three. The Donner Syndicate owned gelding is well known as a cross-country machine and today was no exception as the pair jumped from sixth to third. “[In] the beginning he was a little bit sticky and surprised,” Symansky said. “I haven’t done that much with him this year. I did Wellington and an Intermediate at Rocking horse, so this was his first real proper run. He needed it, I needed it too.”
This pair is kicking off their FEI spring season as preparation for either another drive to Rolex Kentucky or a flight to the Badminton Horse Trials. “I have two great four-stars to choose from, so if I get a grant that would be awesome, and if not then I’d be happy to go back to Kentucky,” Symansky elaborated. “It’s a lot easier [for the Donner Sydicate] to go to Kentucky and cheer him on and there’s something to be said for that as well. It’s kind of a win-win on wherever we end up going this spring.”
Will Faudree and Caeleste.
Comeback kid Will Faudree was back in his element this weekend winning the CIC2* division on Caeleste after breaking his neck in a fall here at the horse park last autumn at the Five Points H.T. Jennifer Mosing’s 10-year-old German Sport Horse mare was Faudree’s third ride in the two-star, and the pair finished double clear to edge just ahead of Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill by night, the leaders going into the cross-country.
Faudree, who is also on the event's organizing committee, had a fall on his first ride of the day, Socialite, but fortunately was unharmed and managed to push through for the win. “It was nice to be back riding. It was nice to fall and get up. That’s the first time I’ve fallen since the accident,” he said. Everyone at the event was thrilled to see Faudree not only competing, but winning. Halliday-Sharp was even a bit pleased to come second to him. “If anyone was going to win, I’m glad it was Will.”
Advanced Adequan USEA Gold Cup Division
Kylie Lyman and Lup the Loop.
The time was hard to come by for the Advanced division, but Kylie Lyman-Dermondy and Lup the Loop (Lupicor x Hogans Lass) stole the lead after cross-country with the third fastest ride of the group. The 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Joan Nichols shaved 1.90 points off their dressage score since the gelding’s move up last month. They will continue to ride for the win in the show jumping phase tomorrow morning. Advanced show jumping starts at 8:00 a.m. and runs in reverse order of placings. You can follow the live scores here.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series
Qualifying for the 2016 Adequan USEA Gold Cup began last fall with the Richland Park Advanced & CIC3* (MI), Aspen Farms Advanced (WA), Plantation Field Advanced & CIC3* (PA) and the Woodside International Advanced & 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 1-4 in Tryon, North Carolina. 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 2016 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Merck, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Pyranha 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 2016 PRO Tour Series: KER Optimum Time, Tex Sutton, Triple Crown Nutrition, and SSG Riding Gloves.