Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous produced a double clear round to keep a tight hold on their lead heading into the final phase of cross-country tomorrow in the Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the George Morris Arena at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. The pair made easy work of the track underneath the lights to remain on their score of 27.8 heading into the final phase of cross-country tomorrow, which will be a testing track.
“I’ve jumped a lot of classes in this ring, and it’s been a lucky ring for me so far,” said Little. “I hope it get luckier, but it’s been a great experience. It’s special to get to bring Scandalous in here to take center stage; she deserves this so it’s cool for me.”
In preparation for jumping under the lights, Little arranged for RF Scandalous, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe & Michael Manders, to travel with her show jumping string to Balmoral Park in Chicago, Ill., to contest an evening class.
“I actually drove her to Chicago so I could do a night class. I was really glad that I did because it also affected her quite seriously in the warm-up area. She’s just a smart horse and she was a little nervous in the ring under the lights last time, so I didn’t know if she was still going to be that way but, she’s such a smart horse and she’s a good partner, so she took what she learned and came out really solid tonight.”
Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Jennie Brannigan continues to hold firm to second place aboard her longtime and veteran mount Cambalda, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Balda Beau out of Cathys Lady and is owned by Nina Gardner. Brannigan, who managed an unusually sensitive “Ping” in the warm-up, encountered some trouble before heading into the ring, but produced a nearly foot perfect round to hold their placing on the leaderboard.
“I had an interesting warm-up. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped that horse under the lights before. He was quite fresh and I thought that was going to be a good thing. I warmed up with Phillip [Dutton] and he was building square oxers, I don’t know if it was the combination of the lights, but I crashed into a jump and hurt my hand,” she explained.
“I know that horse well and I haven’t had a bad warm-up like that ever, but he jumped well so that’s good. He’s consistent, so I was a little worried about what he was going to do, but he jumped great once we got out in the ring.”
Angela Bowles and Bliss III. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Angela Bowles traveled all of the way from Texas to contest the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® and was thrilled with her rise up the leaderboard on Bliss III, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Corland x Lenja) owned by Alyssa Phillips. The pair were sitting in fifth place following dressage, but a strong show jumping round propelled them up the leaderboard, where they now sit in third place.
"I've been helping Alyssa with Bliss since we imported the horse about three years ago, and I've ridden her on and off throughout that time as Alyssa has been transitioning from high school to college. I recently retired my upper level horse and Alyssa has been super busy with school, and she has two other horses to ride, so she was really gracious to let me have the ride on her,” explained Bowles. “We targeted this because we were qualified, so we came and I've show jumped the horse a lot. I like to do ‘A’ shows in Texas and I've done a couple of grand prix classes on the mare. I did the Wellington Eventing Showcase on the mare, so I know her very well and it's a big atmosphere.”
The pair’s last Advanced outing together was at The Colorado Horse Park earlier in the month, so Bowles is excited to test the track at TIEC to better gauge where their blossoming partnership stands. She added, “I'm going to go have another look around the course tomorrow. I don't know the mare as well at this level, so our first Advanced cross-country was a month ago in Colorado. I'm going to get out there in the morning and then make a plan from there."
The Advanced division riders are competing to be named the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion as well as the American combinations in the advanced division are competing for the USEF Open Horse Trials National Championship for the Jack LeGoff Trophy.
The rescheduled cross-country phase for the Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division will begin at 9:45 a.m. at the White Oak Complex at TIEC. Public parking will be available at 4099 Pea Ridge Road.
Didn't get to watch the show jumping live? Rewatch it online here.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
The 2017 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced horse trials and CIC3* levels. Qualifying began last fall and continues through August with the final taking place at the USEA American Eventing Championships, August 30 – September 3 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money and thousands of dollars in prizes in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.
The 2017 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nutrena, Merck Animal Health, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency and FITS.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, this event draws together the best competitors from across the country vying for national titles from the Beginner Novice through the Advanced level. This year's AEC is being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C. August 30-September 3, 2017.
The 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena would not be possible without our wonderful sponsors: Presenting Sponsors: Land Rover and Nutrena, Gold Cup Advanced Title Sponsor: Adequan, Intermediate Division Title Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim, Training Level Title Sponsor: Professional’s Choice Platinum Sponsor: Devoucoux Gold Level Sponsors: Charles Owen, Standlee Hay, Merck Animal Health, Noble Outfitters Silver Level Sponsors: VTO Saddlery, Point Two Air Jackets, Mountain Horse Bronze Level Sponsors: Back on Track, SmartPak, Chronicle of the Horse, Dubarry of Ireland, Stackhouse & Ellis, Auburn Laboratories, FITS, CWD, FLAIR. Contributing Level Sponsors: Eventing Training Online, The Jockey Club, Ovation, Nelson Manufacturing, and Prize Level Sponsors: I Love My Horse, GumBits, Exceptional Equestrian, The Scoring Chix, Horse Hydrator, C4 Belts, Ride Heels Down, Ride Safe, LM Custom Boots.
*Many of these sponsors are in attendance at the AEC with vendor spaces in the USEA Sponsor Village, located directly next to the George Morris Arena at TIEC. Get ready to shop!
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