Derek di Grazia’s CCI4*-S track proved that three-day events are not just a dressage show. A total of 47 competitors went out Saturday morning to tackle the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4*-S cross-country course and only one competitor put in a double clear round – Dan Kreitl and Carmango, a 9-year-old Westphalian gelding (Chirivell x Taramanga) owned by Kay Dixon.
Kreitl shot up the leaderboard as he was 11th after dressage and now, after cross-country he is the overnight leader going into tomorrow’s show jumping on a score of 29.0. “It was a super fun course. It was only his third four-star, and the same for me, as we just moved up to the level. He’s super honest and does his job the best he can. He was trying to read every question. It was super fun, probably the most fun cross-country course I’ve done,” said Kreitl.
“I went out of the start box with my foot on the gas, and that was my plan to try to get ahead as much as I can. I didn’t get ahead so, I just kept on kicking. He’s a fast horse. On the galloping fences I didn’t try to slow down too much, I tried to find them right out of stride and keep it efficient and smooth.” Kreitl was efficient as he was the only one to make time out of the 47 competitors in the CCI4*-S.”
The Indiana native moved up to the Advanced level this year. “Me being new to the level, I have a good coach, Sharon White coaches me. I always hope he’s fit enough but, he had plenty left in the tank so I feel really happy and confident about that. It was the first time at this level that I’ve come out trying to make the time, so it was really fun,” said Kreitl. “It was a hard course and we’re tired, but he felt like he could have definitely kept going.”
The first pair out of the start box was Liz Halliday-Sharp on Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Monster Partnership. The pair put in a clear round only adding four time penalties to sit in second on a score of 29.7. Rounding out the top three is Phillip Dutton on Quasi Cool (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle ) an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Caroline Moran.
The CCI4*-S will resume with the final horse inspection at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday where 30 pairs will present in front of the Ground Jury.
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Amanda Walker wasn’t sure what she’d gotten herself into when she went to try Runaway Romeo as a potential sales project in 2018. The gelding was a bit bigger than Walker was looking for and was quite pushy coming out of the stall. When she got on, it didn’t get much better.
For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.
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With the recent wrap-up of the 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium in Ocala, Florida, USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with ECP Faculty Members Jennifer Howlett Rousseau and Robin Walker about all things related to the ECP. From the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to the benefits of pursuing certification, selecting the best coach for you, recapping this year's Symposium, and more - this week's USEA podcast is the perfect educational tool for coaches and riders alike!