In a dramatic cross-country finale, Buck Davidson cemented himself a double CIC3* winner at Plantation Field International Horse Trials, leaping from 14th straight to the top with Maya Simmons’ Archie Rocks. Davidson won this event last year with Sherrie Martin and Carl and Cassie Segal's Copper Beach. "Now I just have to win three times in a row, right?" he joked.
A hometown rider, Davidson buckled down against rain and mud to add 8.4 time penalties — the second quickest trip of the day — with the 10-year-old Thoroughbred (Le Monde x Unbridled Diva, by Unbridled Jet) to finish on a score of 46.1.
"I was first to go (with Erroll Gobey) in the class, and it felt very good. But Archie's a little Thoroughbred. I had to pick and choose different tracks and give him the best line,” he said. “I was a bit mad when I finished because he went too quick the first couple, then kind of stumbled, and I had to add a couple strides here and there. I thought, 'If I lose this thing because of that, I'm going to be really mad.' I didn't think I would win but I knew I would be up with a chance."
Ariel Grald moved into second with Anne W. Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan. She and the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Master Imp IHR x Ardragh Bash, by Cavalier Royale) picked up 14.4 time penalties for a final result of 48.5.
"I'm lucky that my horse is a good Irish boy and the mud doesn't bother him. He's a very strong cross-country horse and I have to just let him settle into it. He fought for everything and really took care of himself, and took care of me,” Grald said.
Fylicia Barr made the incredible jump from 27th to finish third after producing the fastest round of the day aboard Galloway Sunrise, a horse who she found on Craigslist and has brought up the levels herself. She and the 10-year-old American Warmblood (Duty Officer x Coco Chanel) came through the finish 16 seconds over the time for a three-phase score of 49.9.
“When I saw the rain I wasn’t that worried — she’s a horse that’s very naturally balanced and the footing doesn’t really bother her,” she said. “Cross-country has always been her favorite. Her ears are pricked the whole time, and she’s just hunting the flags, so that’s a really great feeling as a rider to sit on a horse with that much heart and that much competitive drive.”
Mike Pendelton earned the first international win of his career Sunday at Plantation Field aboard Carlsburg in the CIC* A division. Stephen Blauner and Boyd Martin’s 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Puissance x Flame and Passion, by Cruising) jumped clear across Chris Barnard’s show jumping to finish on his dressage score of 28.2.
“It’s really awesome that Boyd is letting me kind of take him through the levels the last two years that he’s been competing,” Pendelton said. “He’s willing. He wants to please. He’s a careful horse, and he always wants to show jump clean even if I make a mistake, so he’ll be an exciting horse for the future.”
Ryan Wood was second with Ruby, a 9-year-old Oldenburg (Royal Price x Dinara, by Donnerwerth) owned by Summit Sporthorses, on a score of 29.4, and Boyd Martin finished third on a score of 30.2 aboard Barry, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred owned by the rider and Windurra USA.
Caroline Martin topped the CIC* B with her Cristano Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide (Chippendale Z x Nalan VH Schoterhof, by Omar). The two had a clear show jump round to finish on a score of 26.8.
Janelle Phaneuf was second on 29.5 points with Strattonstown Lewis, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Wivollet Vanbeek x Leinsters Rose, by Ghareeb) owned by Christa Schmidt. Third place went to Lindsay Beer and El Paso, a 16-year-old Trakehner owned by Penny Beer, on 30.7.
To learn more about Plantation Field, please visit www.plantationfieldinternational.com.
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The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.
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While Great Britain has a strong lead in the team competition at Tokyo 2020 after the second session of dressage, the USA has climbed up two places to ninth courtesy of Phillip Dutton’s score of 30.5 on Z.
The world number one Oliver Townend has put Great Britain in gold medal position after the first of three sessions of dressage at the Tokyo Olympics.
Second into the arena, Townend delivered an extremely accurate performance and did not waste a mark on the flea-bitten grey 14-year-old Ballaghmor Class to score 23.6 - the fifth-best mark by a British rider at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings.