The second year of five-star competition returned to Cecil County today to commence the 2022 MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory, with 12 of 24 entries contesting dressage on day one. Woods Baughman (USA) and C'est la Vie 135 (Contendro I x Anette) topped the leaderboard in the final ride of the afternoon, heading into Saturday's cross-country test on 27.2 penalties.
Despite riding through a torrential downpour, Baughman credited the rain for the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding's suppleness throughout the test. "I kept having to remind myself to look up because I couldn't see across the ring with all of the rain in my eyes," he said. "It [the rain] did make the lateral work easier because he wanted to go sideways anyway to get away from the rain, so he was pretty supple because he was always trying to turn away from it."
The pair stepped up to the five-star level this year, and though Baughman admits the pressure got to him in Kentucky and Burghley, this week, he is trying to keep a cool head. "Kentucky was the first time I've ever really been nervous," he said. "I felt it a lot, and the result showed. Then I went to Burghley, and we felt better, but still, there was pressure because it was my first time flying over to compete. We've been laughing this weekend because I feel normal like I would at a regular horse trial; he's [C'est la Vie 135 ] definitely thankful for that because we haven't been in any fights, and he's relaxed."
With Baughman feeling relaxed on home turf, he is taking the time and focusing on his mount. "He is a bit quirky, so it's about keeping him relaxed. Yesterday in the arena familiarization, he stood up, so it's really about keeping him calm and focused on what I need him to do, and then he can be pretty good. He can also be strong and stiff, but if we give him enough time, he gets more relaxed."
France's Astier Nicolas is sitting in second place aboard his 11-year-old Selle Français gelding Babylon de Gamma (Mylord Carthago *HN x Sunshine Des KA), with 29.1. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) close out the top three on 29.3 penalties.
The second five-star dressage session will kick off tomorrow, Friday, October 14, at 2:05 p.m.
Don't forget to follow the USEA's event coverage on social media!
If you are on the fence about attending the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this December 7-11 in Savannah, GA, the schedule of thought-provoking and insightful educational sessions planned for the event is sure to convince you to register today! To learn more about the various sessions and their hosts, click here.
This summer, five USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) Clinics took place across the country giving young riders the opportunity to hone in on their horsemanship skills, improve their consistency in the saddle and show ring, and create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent. We caught up with many of the riders from the two West Coast sessions to hear their takes on the USEA’s newest program.
It’s about that time of year again when eventers across the country are packing their trunks and making arrangements to new locations for the winter months. While some owners might feel more comfortable transporting their own horses, time and resources make it more expedient for others to load their horses onto someone else’s rig for the potentially long journey to their winter quarters. For the safety and peace of mind of everyone involved – especially the equine passengers – two trusted shippers based on the east coast shared their tips for best practices when preparing horses for long trailer rides.
One of the most valuable awards at the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event on October 21-23, 2022, were the prizes for the Road to the Three-Day Challenge. The Challenge started in July and ended at the Waredaca Classic in October. Novice and Training level riders had to compete in at least three of the events in the Challenge and Beginner Novice riders had to compete in at least two of the events, in addition to completing the Waredaca Classic.