Dressage took center stage on the blustery first day of The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day with both the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L kicking off. Will Coleman and Dondante owned by Team Rebecca LLC and The Four-Star Eventing Group sit atop the leaderboard in the CCI4*-L division after earning a 33.8.
"He's a greener horse. He's a 9-year-old and this is his first long [format]," said Coleman of the Irish Sport Horse gelding, sired by Pacino. "The [windy] conditions were kind of challenging this afternoon and he's a pretty spooky guy, so I'm proud of him. He's not going to be mistaken for a dressage horse, but he tried very hard and I'm pleased with his improvement."
"He's got a lot of personality; he's a hilarious horse," added Coleman, who bought Dondante from Richard Sheane of Cooley Farm as a youngster and has produced him up the levels. "He's huge, about 17.3! He wasn't that when I got him. He grew a whole hand in the first year. He's cool; he's an honest horse. I can't tell you how rewarding he's been to train."
Lauren Kieffer and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding D.A. Duras (Numero Uno x Medoc) owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars are close behind with a 35.4.
Alexandra Knowles and Katherine O'Brien's Morswood, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Princess in Arms), round out the top three with a 36.3.
By day's end, two riders shared the top of the CCI3*-L leaderboard. Both Caitlin Silliman on Ally KGO (owned by Q-Brook Stables) and Holly Payne Caravella on CharmKing (owned by CharmKing LLC) earned a 29.8. Payne Caravella was delighted with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x O-Heraldika), who performed well during the gusty conditions. "I was concerned because he is a little noise-sensitive, and with the wind today I had taken him out for a gallop to take the edge off and he was actually a little too quiet in the ring. But I would rather have that any day than have him be explosive."
Silliman was equally pleased with Ally KGO, an 8-year-old Trakehner mare by Hirtentanz *E* who competed in the YEH Championships at Fair Hill a few years ago. "She did both the 4- and 5-year-olds, so it gives you a bit of confidence when you go in the ring. She is quite a hot horse and with tough conditions today on a spooky, sharp one with the wind, the flags, the cross-country jumps, there was quite a bit of atmosphere in the ring. But she was a really good girl and was very focused and rideable today."
Dressage continues tomorrow with the rest of the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L competitors.
Waredaca first began offering a Classic Series Three-Day competition in 2004 and is one of the longest running Classic Series Three-Day Events on the calendar. The Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day allows horses and riders to experience the thrill of roads and tracks, steeplechase, and cross-country like the endurance days of old.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), Young Event Horse (YEH) Program, and Future Event Horse (YEH) Program are joining forces yet again to bring the ultimate educational opportunity this winter. The 2020 USEA Educational Symposium will be at Barnstaple South in Ocala, Florida on February 17-20, 2020.
It was only recently that John Bandrofchak became involved in the eventing community - seven years, in fact. It all began when he decided he wanted to begin working with animals. After finding his way to a local equine therapy farm, his passion for horses and volunteering grew.
There are a number of ways to incur penalties on cross-country, from refusals and run-outs to exceeding the optimum time, and they sometimes vary depending on the level of competition. Make sure you're up to date with all the different ways to earn penalties on cross-country before you next step out of the startbox.