While the CCI-S divisions were busy in the show jumping ring this morning, the CCI-L divisions were storming around Captain Mark Phillips and Morgan Rowsell’s cross-country tracks at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in Allentown, New Jersey. When the dust settled in the CCI4*-S, there were some new faces at the top of the leaderboard.
Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise (Duty Officer x Coco Chanel), her own and Shannon Barr’s 11-year-old American Warmblood mare, are poised for the greatest victory of their nine-year partnership. Barr acquired “Sunny” as a feral, unbroken 2-year-old off a Craigslist ad for $500. She may have gotten kicked the first time she met Sunny, but there was something about the mare’s fire that caught Barr’s eye. “I’ve always been a fan of horses with a little fire in them,” Barr admitted with a smile.
Now, Barr is reaping the benefits of the patience and hard work it initially took to gain Sunny’s trust and respect. “She’s knocked us down a few times, but we’ve always come back stronger,” Barr said. “She’s just got the biggest heart in the whole world. She has so much fire inside of her. She’s an absolute competitor and it’s really humbling to sit on a horse like that, that loves their job that much. It definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning, she made us work pretty hard for it, but I learned a lot from her and here we are now.”
“I knew I was sitting in fourth going into the day and she is usually pretty fast and clear across the cross-country – that’s usually where she shines – so I was hoping,” Barr said. “I came in, I looked at my watch, I saw we were clear and was just really happy to finish on our dressage score for the day.”
Arden Wildasin and Il Vici (Galileo x Ladyeri), her own and Sarah Wildasin’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were the fastest ride of the day around the CCI4*-L track, coming in 20 seconds under time.
“This was my first time ever doing a CCI4*-L,” Wildasin explained. “He’s a fantastic horse. We’ve throughout the years had great experiences and today was one of our days of just going out there and just jumping jump after jump and doing it smooth and he was listening. It was one of the best rides . . . it didn’t feel fast – it felt smooth. He was listening to all the cues I was telling him and we were just collecting jumps around the course. It was unbelievable. The focus for me today was going out there today and enjoying each jump and just getting more confidence.”
Doug Payne and his and Jessica Payne’s 8-year-old Zweibrucker gelding Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) jumped up from seventh place to sit in third overnight after adding 4.4 time faults to their dressage score.
Symansky and RF Cool Play Keep the Lead in the Jersey Fresh CCI3*-L
They saved the best for (second-to) last in the CCI3*-L this morning at Jersey Fresh. Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play (Condors Champion x Roxana), The Donner Syndicate’s 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, were one of ten double clear rounds, ensuring they would hold onto their first-place position for a second night.
Symansky has her eye on a trip to the Pan American Games with RF Cool Play, who ran the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh last year. “He’s done this level before, so today felt super easy for him, as it should,” Symansky stated. “[The qualifier] is something that you check off the list and then keep going with what your plans are because if your plans is just to try and make teams, at the end of the day you lose the big picture. I did it for the horse’s overall fitness and education as well because it was an easier run than he would normally do but he got a late start to the year so fitness-wise he wasn’t quite ready to go out and do the length of the four-star and I’d like to keep going with him for the rest of the year.”
“[Coolio] is a trier to the extreme sometimes, so like in the warmup in the beginning he’s going 27 different directions just because he’s so excited to be out there. The nerves are very different – he’s an internalizer, so he kind of holds it all in. He’ll stand there perfectly quiet but he’ll be shaking, so his muscles are shaking because he’s just looking off in the distance. He’s not like a typical thoroughbred that’s hot and just needs to go and go and go. He just needs to be able to get out there and feel like he can relax and breathe. He’s such an honest cross-country horse. He has a little bit of a unique style in the way that he goes but I’ve learned that you can’t really change completely a horse’s style of how they want to jump and he is a careful horse and a very honest horse and he has a big gallop on him. I didn’t have to push him at all out there.”
Doug Payne and Starr Witness (Chello III x Carmen), his own, Laurie McRee, and Catherine Winter’s 8-year-old KWPN mare, jumped a spot up the leaderboard from third to second after their double-clear round.
Will Faudree and Caeleste (Contender x HappyGoLucky), Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables’ 12-year-old Holsteiner mare, also climbed a few spots up the leaderboard with a double clear round. The pair moved up from a tie for fifth place to sit in third place going into the final phase of competition tomorrow.
With impending rain threatening a downpour tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow’s schedule has been shifted up to try and beat the storm. The final horse inspection will take place at 8:00 a.m. with the CCI3*-L show jumping at 9:30 a.m. followed by the CCI4*-L at 11:00 a.m.
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About the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final
In 2019, in partnership with Adequan, the USEA will host the first $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final at the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships, sending the Adequan Champion home with a whopping $30,000 personalized check. The other $30,000 will be distributed as purse money through at least eighth place.
The USEA has opened up the AEC Advanced qualifications to provide more opportunities nationwide to qualify to compete in the final. Instead of qualifying for the final at 11 designated Gold Cup events, riders will now have over 30 opportunities to qualify at Advanced level and CCI events.
To qualify for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final at the AEC in 2019, competitors will need to complete a minimum of two events without cross-country jump penalties at any USEA Advanced recognized horse trials, a CCI4*-S (2018 CIC3*), a CCI4*-L (2018 CCI3*), a CCI5*-L (2018 CCI4*), or the FEI World Equestrian Games. The qualifying period for the 2019 AEC is from May 28, 2018 through August 19, 2019. Click here to learn more about the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final.
The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.
Sired by Zabalu and out of Croftlea Firequeen (by the well-known Irish Sport Horse sire Kingcroft Wicklow), the New Zealand Thoroughbred Flintstar was bred by Raewyn Price at Croftlea Stud in North Canterbury, New Zealand and born in 2000.
The USEA is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Steve Blauner, a valued USET Foundation trustee and longtime owner for U.S. Eventing Team High Performance Athletes Boyd Martin and Doug Payne.
To all of the enthusiastic equestrians out there, five-star eventer Sara Gumbiner says, “dream even bigger.” Aboard her longtime partner Polaris (Brandenburg’s Windstar x North River Lady), Gumbiner has transitioned from daring young rider to bold international competitor. Fueled by hard work, a great support system, and a knack for ending up exactly where she should, Gumbiner went from competing in her first recognized event to her first Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* in just eight years.