Tamra Smith maintained her lead in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series CIC3* division at Plantation Field International in Unionville, Pennsylvania today. She and Alexandra and Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell’s Mai Baum show jumped carefully over Marc Donovan’s course to head into tomorrow’s cross-country on their initial score of 38.2.
“He was fantastic. He came in the ring and he jumped great,” said Smith, who rode a forward round to be sure they made time.
Smith, hailing from California, is competing for the first time at Plantation Field in preparation for the Fair Hill CCI3* next month. She’ll be looking to give the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding a confident fitness run tomorrow. “This is probably the most terrain I’ve ever seen on a course. It looks like a very good course and a good prep for Fair Hill.”
Marilyn Little and Raylyn Farms, Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous were also double-clear to maintain second place. Marilyn said she had to push for time but still wanted to give the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare a good round.
“I was thrilled with her performance today. Marc does such a wonderful job designing the courses. There’s so much to do out there. As we all know the time was very tight and was definitely a factor,” Little said.
Time was the ultimate tie-breaker for the three-way tie for third place between Selena O’Hanlon, Kim Severson and Buck Davidson. Four time penalties dropped O’Hanlon and Foxwood High to sixth while Severson and Cooley Cross Border picked up one time penalty to hold fourth place.
Davidson and Carl and Cassie Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM were double-clear, however to solidify the fourth place slot. “In my opinion, Marc is definitely the best [show jump] course designer we have. He used the ring great, including the little bit of a slope in the ring up and down and across. It was technical enough, and the time kept you honest. You really hard to keep your pace."
This will be 15-year-old “Reggie’s” final event of the year, and Davidson said he will “cruise like I always do” on cross country. Riders have commented that the ground is firm, and with many using Plantation as a prep for Fair Hill, we may see a significant shuffle in the leaderboard tomorrow due to those taking it easy.
Doug Payne and the 18.1-hand Lysander may not have too much trouble making time tomorrow due to the horse’s enormous stride. They were double-clear today to maintain first place in the CIC2*.
“This is now the second clear we’ve had in FEI competition in a row, and that’s a great trend to start. Show jumping is probably his greenest of the three phases. Things happen very quickly and being he is 18.1 and just eight now, it’s a work in progress,” Payne said.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Size there is a huge advantage and the course suits him really well.”
Cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith has utilized the terrain at Plantation to design a course with plenty of accuracy questions, one Little said will reward smooth riding and allowing the horse to focus and see the lines.
As usual, Sunday will be filled with exciting demonstrations and activities for riders and spectators alike to enjoy. There’s a kid’s corner, a beer garden, food court and vendor village under a big top tent.
The theme for 2015 is “Down Under in the Aussie Outback” and Cowboy Guy McLean will be doing a demo at lunchtime in the main arena. The popular PRO Bareback High Jump is back this year, presented by Kevin Keane, DVM and Ashley Taylor, DVM. The Sports Medicine Associates of Chester County will feature the return of jump jockey Jody Petty to compete alongside Waylon Roberts. The high jump will follow the three-star cross country.
“The event itself is great. Every year I come back and it’s better and better,” Payne said. “It’s a great standard to set for all other events throughout the year to aspire to. It’s nice that every time you come here they’re still innovating, still changing it, and that’s great for the sport.”
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, and SSG Riding Gloves.