By the time Katherine Coleman cantered into the show jumping arena aboard Monte Classico she knew that she had a few penalties in hand to take the win, so she took her time to ensure a clean round. The 9-year-old German Sport Horse (Monte-Bellini x W-Sally) hasn’t had a rail down all season and he kept his record intact and clinched Coleman’s first CCI3* win at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event despite adding five time penalties in show jumping.
“He is a pleasure to ride, and he just really jumps,” said Coleman about Monte Classico. “He moved up to three-star this year and hasn’t had a pole down all season. That is a really nice feeling going into a phase like this when you don’t really have a rail in hand to be sat on something like this.”
Coleman’s win was extra special as she is the first rider to be able to claim the title of CCI3* champion at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event. While Coleman was excited to have won and thrilled for her horse she said, “I think it is a small class. We are missing some heavy hitters. I feel really disappointed for Tamie [Smith who had to withdraw before dressage], she has such an amazing horse. The leaderboard might have looked a little different, but I couldn’t be happier with this horse. He showed up in every phase and just season this season he has really grown up and is consistently showing up in every phase. I think he is a horse of a lifetime and I am grateful I have the ride on him.”
Erin Sylvester and Frank McEntee’s 11-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, Paddy the Caddy (Azamore x Slamy) moved up two spots from overnight to finish in second with just one time penalty added today. He also won the prestigious Thoroughbred award offered every year by the Ocala Jockey Club.
Lauren Kieffer and Paramount Importance, Jacqueline Mars’ 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Paramount Importance, (Pasco x Gesche II), lowered two rails to drop from second to third place.
A familiar name was also at the top of the CCI2* leaderboard with Alexander O’Neal and Fury H, Elinor MacPhail O’Neal’s 8-year-old KWPN gelding (San Remo x Miss Marple) jumping clear to win.
“He jumped a great round,” said O’Neal. “I wouldn’t say he was tired at all from yesterday – he felt really fresh. He gave the jumps a few taps, but he really tried in there.”
Fury H is a really good show jumper, so O’Neal said that he wasn’t too nervous because he was confident in the horse’s abilities. “He is a really good show jumper,” continued O’Neal. “He can get quite excited, but he is pretty calm after cross-country and actually jumps his best. I thought that might be the case after a 10 minute course and he was ready to go in there and do the job – I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The CCI2* was a sizable division packed with some of the top riders from around the country so the win meant a lot to O’Neal. “It is huge. It definitely is the biggest win I have had and to do at home – five minutes from my house with my wife here who picked the horse and produced him.”
Doug Payne was hot on O’Neal’s heels all weekend – sitting just .1 behind the leaders, but despite jumping a double clear with Starr Witness, he couldn’t quite catch the win. The 7-year-old KWPN mare (Chello III x Carmen) is owned by Payne, Laurie H. McRee, and Catherine Winter.
Third place went to Alexandra Knowles and Madeline O’Brien’s Casarino, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassaro x Rosy M) who moved up from fourth with a double clear show jumping round.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.