Phillip Dutton had to sit out last weekend’s Plantation Field Horse Trials due to an injury he picked up playing polo in a charity match on September 11. The time out of the saddle didn’t seem to affect his riding, however, as Dutton trotted into the lead today with Fernhill Singapore in the Stable View Oktoberfest CCI4*-S.
There is a field of 22 in the CCI4*-S and Dutton and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding (Singapore x Riedellia) were the only pair to break into the 20s. Owned by Ann Jones, Tom Tierney, and David Vos, Fernhill Singapore scored a 29.4 to lead the class.
“His tests are getting better every week, and I am really pleased with him,” said Dutton. “I definitely thought it was his best test to date.”
Boyd Martin rode both Fernhill Singapore and Z last weekend at Plantation but withdrew before the cross-country. Dutton said that he actually quite enjoyed watching Martin ride them. “Plantation has a good atmosphere and Boyd gave me good feedback,” explained Dutton. Dutton said that Martin had both his horses more forward in the canter than he might normally does which was interesting to see.
Dutton said that this will probably be Fernhill Singapore’s last run before the Fair Hill CCI4*-L, so is looking for a nice confidence-building exercise in all three phases.
Tied for second on a 30.4 is Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Diarado x Lantana) owned by Carol Stephens, and Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection, the 15-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender x Naomagic I) owned by Mary Ann Ghadban.
Dutton’s World Equestrian Games partner, Z, sits in fourth on a 30.6. Owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran – Z is an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca z Bellabouche).
Stable View has been putting a tremendous effort into preparing the footing for the cross-country course with constant watering and spiking and Dutton said he “is very appreciative of all the work that’s been done on the ground.”
The top seven riders are all within a rail of each other so there is a lot to play for tomorrow. The CCI4*-S show jumping begins tomorrow at 1:17 p.m. followed by cross-country at 2:47 p.m. Full ride times are here.
It’s the turn of the world’s best eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.
And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.
There were a few last-minute dramas at the first horse inspection for the Tokyo Olympics which took place in the main equestrian park at Baji Koen Equestrian Centre at 9:30 a.m. JST today.