Myakka City, Fla.—Nov. 17—Lucienne Bellissimo (GBR) took the lead as the dressage phase wrapped up Friday in the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-L at The Event at TerraNova. With a score of 31.5 on Tremanton, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare (Graffentolz x Trevia) owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC, she blazed past Will Coleman (USA) of Ocala, Florida. He had held the lead since his ride on Thursday when he scored 34.0 with Diabolo, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Diarado x Roulett M) owned by the Diabolo Group.
Tied for third with 34.9 were Buck Davidson (USA) on Natalie Sandler, Cassie Seagal, and Lisa Darden's 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini x Ulla II) Erroll Gobey and Jenny Caras (USA) of Cartersville, Georgia, on Elise Eisenberg's 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (ARS Vivendi x Cruisings Girl) Trendy Fernhill.
This was Tremantons’s first CCI4*-L. “She seems to like this venue. She performs well and actually breathes in the ring,” said Bellissimo, of Campobello, South Carolina. The horse is “quite high in Thoroughbred blood on the dam side. Although she’s a naturally moving nice horse, she can almost become a little too tense in her test.” Bellissimo said she plans to do another CCI4*-L in the spring and “would like to have a crack at a five-star later in the season.”
Coleman, who partnered with Diabolo earlier this year, said his horse feels good going into Saturday’s cross-country. “He’s up to it. Some people think it’s easier on a flat course like we have here, but for the horse, it can actually be more tiring.”
After walking the cross-country course several times, Coleman said he’s confident about it but noted that there are “some sneaky places where you could get caught with runouts.”
Davidson said he was very happy with his ride, adding that his horse “doesn’t always find dressage that easy.” He described him as complicated. “There are never two days that are the same. This is the first time in my career that I’ve felt confident of him in all three phases.” Davidson said the pair always crave the win, a trait that can be an advantage and a disadvantage. “One of us has to chill out and not want the win so intensely," he said.
Caras said that she can always count on Trendy Fernhill. “He’s a good boy, but he can be spooky and reactive,” she said. She has had the horse since he was 4 years old. “He can be a little sharp, but we know each other so well that we can anticipate each other.” She is looking forward to cross-country, which she feels presents some good course questions.
The Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-L, presented by Insurance Office of America, and all the FEI divisions move to the cross-country phase on Saturday. The course was designed by Capt. Mark Phillips and includes many obstacles inspired by area wildlife and landmarks.
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