Nov 19, 2023

Bellissimo Stays on Top After Cross-Country at TerraNova CCI4*-L

Myakka City, Fla.—Nov. 18—Lucienne Bellissimo (GBR) blasted across the cross-country course in the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-L at The Event at TerraNova, maintaining her status as leader on Tremanton (Graffentoltz x Trevia), a Thoroughbred-cross mare. Bellissimo also took the lead in the CCI1*-L with Duke’s Jory (Duke of Heart x Zajora), a Holsteiner gelding. Both horses are owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC.

In the final analysis, it all came down to the clock on the cross-country course. Bellissimo completed the run with a razor-thin lead of two-tenths of a second over Jenny Caras (USA) on Trendy Fernhill (ARS Vivendi x Cruising Girl), an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elyse Eisenberg. Bellissimo scored 34.7 and Caras 34.9. Caras, the only rider to finish the course within the optimum time, also placed fourth on Sommersby (Sergeant Pepper x D’Mademoiselle), a Holsteiner gelding she co-owns with Jerry Hollis.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill. Shannon Brinkman Photography photo

Both riders cleared all 30 fences on Capt. Mark Phillips’ 5,710-meter course, which competitors said was fair and rode well. The twisty-turny track was built progressively. The first six obstacles were straightforward, and then the technicality of the fences came up quickly.

Bellissimo said her starting plan was to “just try and move a little bit on landing, and until I’ve got through the first couple of combinations, not try and get ahead of myself too much with her,” as it was Tremanton’s first CCI4*-L. Once the horse grew in confidence on the course and was “in a good head space,” Bellissimo said, “I started to put my foot down a little bit more and take a few more chances.” The mare stayed on task all the way through.

Will Coleman and Diabolo. Shannon Brinkman Photography photo

Caras called her two horses “complete opposites” and said they “couldn’t be more different.” While Trendy Fernhill has some mileage, this was only Sommersby’s third Advanced competition. “He tried really hard. He’s a little spooky, so you kind of have to keep him in front of you. I ended up being quick and efficient on him, which I was really pleased with," she said.

William Coleman, in second place going into cross-country, is now in third with Diabolo.

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