Inavale Farm came alive this past weekend with its annual SmartPak Equine USEA Training Three-Day. Philomath, Oregon buzzed with action as riders and horses from 24 different divisions rolled into Inavale Farm to compete.
Though Inavale Farm hosted a multitude of divisions, the SmartPak Equine USEA Training Three-Day stood out as the only classic format challenge. Unfortunately only six riders chose to take on the T3D and out of those only three completed the event. Coming out on top of the division was 16-year-old Aimee Allen and her 25-year-old Oldenburg gelding Balou III (Beach Boy x Ballerina). Though Aimee and Balou were in third place after dressage with a score of 38.2, the team added no jumping or time penalties to their score to climb the ranks into first.
According to Aimee, Balou III was the oldest horse at the competition. However, Balou’s performance in all phases showed that age does not stop a determined horse with proper fitness.
“I thought that overall, Balou and I had a fabulous weekend, and we both performed our best,” Aimee said. “[Balou’s] recovery rate after all phases was remarkable considering his age, and he was the second fittest horse competing in the half star.”
Typical of the Northwest a constant downpour of rain accompanied every day of the event, which complicated course footing and roads. Riders had to be careful about where they rode on roads and tracks, and all attendants had to walk on certain areas to avoid dicey terrain. However, Aimee loved the steeplechase phase the most, despite the muddy tracks.
“The best part about the weekend would have to be steeplechase,” Aimee said. “Although Balou and I practiced galloping at 520mpm at home it is completely different when you are doing it for real. After the first brush jump Balou seemed to know what to do and really kicked into gear.”
Aimee and the other T3D competitors enjoyed educational elements in addition to the three days of riding. The Thursday and Friday night competitor dinners allowed riders to talk to the vet and dressage judges and ask them questions.
“Overall, this has been one of my favorite eventing experiences,” Aimee said. “And I look forward to doing many more in the future.”
In addition to their blue ribbon, Aimee and Balou also were awarded the “best turned out” at the two veterinary inspections. For her win in the SmartPak Equine USEA Training Three-Day, Aimee won a Five Star Tack Bridle, a SmartPak Wellfleet Halter and engraved lead, a pair of FITS Breeches, and a $200 Point Two Gift Certificate. She was also entered in a drawing to win a Stackhouse Saddle, a year’s supply of SmartPaks, and a Fleeceworks Saddle Pad Set.
Olivia Chandler and the 10-year-old Percheron gelding, TGIF, were the leaders after dressage and held onto that lead after Endurance day as well despite 2.4 time penalties on Phase D. The pair had to settle for second at the end of the weekend, however, after they accrued four jump and four time penalties in the show jumping phase.
Cricket Dixon and the six-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Fog Catcher, finished on their dressage score of 46.4 to round out the three competitors who completed the weekend successfully.
This Series would not be possible without the support of: Title Sponsor: SmartPak Equine; Presenting Sponsor:Stackhouse Saddles; Silver Level Sponsor: Fleeceworks; Legacy Sponsor: Five Star Tack; Platinum Sponsor: Point Two; Elite Sponsor: FITS
It’s been 13 years since an American has stood atop the podium at a five-star event, but Boyd Martin broke the dry spell today with the Turner Family’s 15-year-old Anglo European mare On Cue (Cabri D’Elle x On High) as the winners of the first-ever Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. It was a thrilling down-to-the-wire finish where Martin and On Cue climbed from third to first to take home champion honors with just .01 points between him and second-place finisher and weekend-long leader Oliver Townend.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.