Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Caroline Moran's Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
Knowles said that Ms. Poppins, a 10-year-old Westphalian mare (Congress x Copa Cabana), with who she currently has the lead, has been a bit stronger and a bit better with each outing this competition season.
“She’s always been such a trier – she was born a trier – and now she’s starting to get the strength to show off her movements and have a bigger presence in the dressage,” she said. “I felt like that was the next step, and there’s more in there.”
In today’s show jumping, Knowles said, “All three horses that I’m riding here are super jumpers, but all three have a very different way of going. I’m trying to find a warm-up that works for each of them; I worked on a lot of counter-canter with her. She’s not hot, she’s very literal, so if I say go she goes, and if I say stop she stops, so I need to be sensitive. She’s also as honest as the day is long, so as long as I point her in the right direction, she’s definitely going to try.”
Looking forward to tomorrow’s cross-country phase she said, “I’m not the fastest cross-country rider, so I just need to be efficient. I have my eye on the bigger prize this fall, taking her and Business Class to Morven Park and Morswood to the Maryland 5 Star.
“He’s my little pony,” she said of Morswood, the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Princess In Arms) who currently sits in third. “He’s just a little chestnut cross-country machine; he’s struggled with the show jumping and today we had it, and that was a big deal, to jump a clean round. All three of them have been ticking away and getting better at each event, so I’m just trying to take it one ride at a time, one phase at a time, and just stay focused.”
Kurt Martin Claims CCI3*-S Win
With just one horse to ride this weekend, Kurt Martin was able to put all of his focus on Debbie Adam's 9-year-old Holsteiner mare, D.A. Lifetime (Flemmingh x Timeless) to bring home the win in the CCI3*-S on a score of 26.9. Caroline Martin and her own 8-year-old gelding HSH Vamonos (Adiamo VH Kapelhof Z x Quasimodelle Kapekhof Z) placed second on 28.2, and Mia Farley rounded out the top three with Phelps, David O'Connor's 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding on a 29.3.
“I’ve never had a horse go better on the flat in my entire life,” Martin said. “We got here on the hilltop and she was just lit, so we had to take her for a little trot to settle down but when we went in the ring she just came right. She went in the ring and did a great test; at Great Meadow she did a great test also, so she’s showing some consistency. Honestly, we’ve been working a lot with my good friend Tom Bebb in the show jumping and he’s been helping me a lot. We had a real plan for the warm-up; he wasn’t here, but we had a plan for what we wanted to do with the horse. She jumped a good round and we were really happy with her. I think she just tries so hard. Sometimes you have to wrangle a very big, excited horse and get her to go the right direction, and that went well.”
Martin said that because the mare gets excitable he didn’t bring her to the cross-country warm-up area.
“I just brought her straight out of the barn,” he said. “She has a new bit, it’s a rubber bit so it’s not too severe, but it has a port and a control strap and it helps her hold her head up. I’m able to go a bit quicker with it. The owners, Debbie Adams and Tony Risotti, have really let me spend a lot of time on the horse, and we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t put that time into her. We bought the horse in Germany a few years ago and Debbie had her for a year and then I got her two years ago. She’s about 17.2, she’s a big horse, and we’ve really taken our time and developed consistency. If the horse is on your side and trying then you have a really good chance. She really tried in the show jumping and on cross-country she was just ready to roll.”
The competition continues tomorrow with the CCI4*-S cross-country and CCI2*-S show jumping.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Strzegom Horse Trials (Poland) from June 21-25, 2023. The team will be under the direction of USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is excited to announce the launch of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) New Judge Education Program. Qualifying candidates, who are no longer required to hold a USEF judge’s license, will be encouraged to sign up to participate in the YEH New Judge Education Program to receive certification to judge the Jumping and Galloping phases of Young Event Horse competitions.
USEA podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by Dr. Barry Miller of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe for an important, informative, and engaging discussion about helmet safety. For more than a decade, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab has investigated helmets in football, cycling, equestrian sports, and more, collecting more than 2 million data points related to injury and biomechanics research.
If a horse doesn’t have a proven eventing record, those interested in finding their next eventing partner must use other criteria to evaluate a horse’s potential in the sport. Understanding and appraising a horse’s conformation can be a way to look into a crystal ball for that horse’s future suitability for eventing.