May 13, 2017

A Safe and Exhilarating Day of Cross-Country at Jersey Fresh International

By Rob Burk - USEA Staff
Phillip Dutton and Mr. Candyman photo by Stacy Lynne Wendkos

Allentown, New Jersey - To say that Morgan Rowsell, Jeff Kibbe, Craig Haynes, Rob Matthews and the rest of the Jersey Fresh International team needed to be on their game on a rainy cross-country day is an understatement! The ground jury of the event, in consultation with the riders, opted to run the CCI3* and CCI2* divisions first thing on Saturday morning. They then ran the CIC3* and CIC2* straight through with no breaks before the footing was completely saturated by an unwelcome nor’easter. Under the guidance of Captain Mark Phillips the crew placed tarps overnight on the takeoffs and landings of most of the pivotal obstacles on all four cross-country courses (CCI3*, CCI2*, CIC3* and CIC2*). They were constantly on the move with heavy equipment. They placed stone dust in soft spots. They raked out the uneven areas and they occasionally paused to watch the fruits of their labor come to fruition. In the end, all could say that it was a safe and exhilarating day of action at the Jersey Fresh International held at the New Jersey Horse Park.

Olympic bronze medalist Phillip Dutton made sure that the first words out of his mouth in the post cross-country press conference were complimentary.

“I really want to congratulate everybody, the organizers and everybody tried really, really hard to make this as good as we can with the conditions that happened. I think it stayed safe for the horses and riders.” said Dutton.

Dutton moved up two places since dressage day and sits in first place in the CCI3* following cross-country aboard the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Mr. Candyman (Canto x Montara) owned by Ann Jones, Bridget Colman, Caroline Moran and Tom Tierney.

CIC3* leader Marilyn Little, who retained her dressage day dominance aboard the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Scandalous (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, Phoebe Manders and Michael Manders, was also quick to compliment all of the people that worked so hard to make the cross-country a success despite the downpour.

“Volunteers everywhere trying to do everything they could to make it everything that it was. As safe as it could be” said Little.

The Captain Phillips designed courses were roundly complimented for their flow and friendliness for the horses.

Captain Phillips noted “We made quite a few changes to the course and tried to make it horse friendly, and thank god because when the weather turned we see it sort of needed to be. To be honest it is a good thing they decided to start early because we couldn’t have gone on much longer. The footing was really giving out in a few places and I was stressing a bit with the last few horses.”

Competing in Inclement Weather is a Must for Training American Eventers

In earlier eras of American eventing riders from the United States were often thought of as some of the hardiest competitors in the world. The likes of Bruce Davidson Sr., Lana Dupont Wright, Denny Emerson, Kevin Freeman, Karen O’Connor, Jim Wofford, David O’Connor and many others knew what it was like to face difficult weather such as a New Jersey nor’easter. The USEA recently reflected on “Wilbur Weather,” which was the type of weather that the immortal horse Wilton Fair would thrive under in competition with David O’Connor in the tack. By the sound of it, most of the professionals who found success at Jersey Fresh International feel that they all need a good dose of that toughness in order to bring back American eventing dominance on the international stage.

“It was a bit more challenging as it got wetter and wetter” said Dutton. “Part of becoming better on the cross-country in this country [is that] we have to learn to deal with adverse conditions. I kind of decided to take mine out and see how they go and handle the conditions, and I’m glad I did!”

The CIC2* leader Lauren Kieffer, riding the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding D.A. Duras (Numero Uno x Medoc) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Debbie Adams, noted that this was an excellent training opportunity for both her and her mount.

“I haven’t ridden him in mud like this before, so it’s good to do that on him. He didn’t seem to care. The nice thing is I wasn’t going too quick. I kind of figured someone else wouldn’t make time. He’s got a big stride and he is an efficient horse so it is kind of nice that he was that quick without trying. I think it was a good last run before we head to Bramham [Horse Trials in the United Kingdom]. We do as riders need to get used to riding in conditions like this. You can only teach people so much about riding cross-country and then you have to go out and do it. I think that’s the only way to do it. For the riders to go out and experience different stuff like that on their own and get it done” said Kieffer.

Like Little and Kieffer, Dorr Holds onto Dressage Lead

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M photo by Stacy Lynne Wendkos.

On day one of dressage in the CCI2* division the USEA recommended that the public get to know Cornelia Dorr quickly. The 19-year-old Massachusetts native continues to prove that the recommendation was well deserved. Cornelia Dorr posted two of the only four double clear rounds of the day on cross-country.

Her clean riding was rewarded not only by retaining the lead aboard her own 12-year-old Rhineland Pfalz-Saar gelding Louis M (Lissabon x Angelique M), but she also closes out the CCI2* cross-country phase standing in third place aboard her own 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding Sir Patico MH (Sempatico M x Queen’s Lite XX). Dorr noted that having an experienced horse like Louis M as her first ride of the day was an enormous benefit.

“He [Louis M] was fabulous! He is much more used to these conditions than my other horse is. So it was nice to go out on him first and get that confidence in myself about how it was riding. It makes the less experienced one [Sir Patico MH] confident in himself. So I was really happy with it and had a lot of fun” said Dorr.

Follow the exciting conclusion of the Jersey Fresh International tomorrow on www.useventing.com and through the USEA event coverage on social media!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

For more important information on the Jersey Fresh International you can also visit the following:

Jun 06, 2020 Education

Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your White Horse White with Rachael Livermore

We all work hard to get our horses shiny and clean for competition day, but it can sometimes take a bit of extra elbow grease to get those grey or white horses looking their best. Rachael Livermore, head groom for Sharon White at Last Frontier Farm, shares some of the tricks she uses to get Sharon's horses looking spick and span - and it starts with everyday care!

Jun 05, 2020 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: June 6-7, 2020

This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.

Jun 05, 2020 Association News

USEA Podcast #259: Sinead Maynard's Recipe for a Successful Return to Competition

The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.

Jun 05, 2020 Eventing News

Event Cancellations and Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA