On the final day of the Virginia Horse Trials, Colleen Rutledge and C Me Fly jumped a clear round in the third and final phase of the USEF CCI* Eventing National Championship to claim the title. In the USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship, it was Isabel Finemore and Rutherglen that emerged victorious, also jumping clear to become national champions.
In contention for the top spot throughout the entire competition, Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her 6-year-old Westphalian mare, entered the show jumping phase sitting in second place. C Me Fly put in a flawless jumping round, jumping clear and within the time allowed, to finish on their cross-country score of 30.30 and claim the national championship title, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete 22 years of age or older
“[C Me Fly] is a fantastic little creature,” gushed Rutledge. “She is a 6-year-old and her barn name is “Ci-me.” She is a recent import from Germany with some amazing bloodlines that I feel so fortunate to actually get ahold of. She has exceeded every expectation that I have had for her all year, hands down.”
“I couldn’t have asked for [C Me Fly] to be any better across this entire weekend,” continued Rutledge. “It was a completely different horse for me, and we were in completely unchartered territory for me. Even though we have show jumped after cross-country in some of the recent events, we’ve never show jumped after cross-country with that length and that amount of terrain…Historically, my weakness has been show jumping, and I have been working really hard to not only improve my eye, but to improve my horses’ elasticity and flexibility and their ability to stay on a 12-foot step. [C Me Fly] is naturally just an exceptional show jumper, and I am just so fortunate to be able to keep working on myself with something like her that is just starting her career. She just gives me so much more confidence; she helps me out. She has one of the most magnificent brains that you will ever meet. She reads questions; she is so smart and so brilliant at so many things.”
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Ringo Star, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Helle Goodrich, also jumped a clear round to finish on their cross-country score of 30.70 and second place in the national championship. Abby Maude (Colts Neck N.J.) and Stonehavens Dream, her 9-year-old Holsteiner mare, would come from the fifth place position to also jump clear and round out the podium, finishing in third place in the national championship with a score of 33.40.
Isabel Finemore and Rutherglen Capture USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship Title
A clear round in show jumping also earned Finemore (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) and Rutherglen the national championship title in the USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete between the ages of 14 and 21. Finemore and the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding finished on their cross-country score of 33.20, in their very first one-star event.
“It was great [from the] start,” said Finemore. “[Rutherglen] was fantastic in the dressage. Unfortunately, he had a coughing fit, so we were a little concerned that maybe this wasn’t his weekend, but he really pulled through. Cross-country was great; he flew, just a little bit of a miscalculation with me and some timing. And then show jumping, perfect. So, I am very happy.”
“[Virginia Horse Trials] was very fun, and it was really nice to be here,” continued Finemore. “I got a little bit more nervous as [the weekend] went on. Show jumping is always frightening, so that was a little bit nerve wracking, but everything else was great. I know that [Rutherglen] knows what he is doing.”
Finemore and Rutherglen’s partnership is fairly new, as the gelding was ridden with great success in numerous four-star events with British athlete, Andrew Hoy. Finishing 13th individually in the 2012 London Olympic Games, Rutherglen made the transition to schoolmaster earlier this year.
When asked about their relatively new partnership, Finemore said, “Originally, when I found out about [Rutherglen], I was ecstatic. He is a four-star horse, and I wasn’t sure if I would be big enough or strong enough, but he is so kind to me. He is very, very thoughtful and it was very easy to build a really great partnership with him.”
Kelsey Ann Quinn (Finksburg, Md.) and Dandy Longlegs, the 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Julie Quinn, were leaders through the dressage and cross-country phases. Eight faults in the show jumping round dropped the combination to second in the national championship, finishing on a score of 40.90. Close behind was Dylan Philipps (Pittsboro, N.C.) and Fernhill Fierce, a 10-year-old IrishSport Horse mare he owns with Meredith Philipps, finishing third with a score of 41.40.
My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.
Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.
Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.
Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).