This will be the seventh year that the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina has hosted the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials - it has been held every year since 2014, except for 2020, due to COVID-19. This is the first FEI event of the season in Area II and in addition to hosting CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S FEI divisions, the event will offer horse trials at the Advanced, Intermediate, Preliminary, Modified, and Training levels.
Total entry numbers at Carolina International are down 133 from 2019. There are 37 entries in the CCI4*-S, down from 46 entries in 2019. That's about half the size of the largest CCI4*-S field in the event's history - 75 entries in 2016.
There are two previous winners of the Carolina International CCI4*-S returning this year for a second shot at the title - Fernhill By Night, ridden by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, won the division in 2019 and Vandiver, ridden by Doug Payne, was the winner in 2018. Off The Record, who won the Advanced division with Will Coleman in 2018, will also contest the CCI4*-S this year.
Fernhill By Night's stablemate, Deniro Z, was a two-time CCI4*-S winner in 2020, taking home victories at Great Meadow International and Plantation Field, and was runner-up to Fernhill By Night in the CCI4*-S at Carolina International in 2019.
Sharon White and Cooley On Show were eighth in the CCI4*-S in 2019, placed first in their last two Advanced runs at the end of 2020 at Five Points and Morven Park, and were winners in the CCI4*-S at Red Hills last year. This is Cooley On Show's first start of the season, but they could be primed for a win given their strong performance last year.
Three additional horses in the CCI4*-S have won a CCI4* in the past. Cover Rights, ridden by Colleen Rutledge, won both the Morven Park and Plantation Field CCI4*-S divisions in 2019. Danito, ridden by West Coast rider Tamie Smith, is also a previous CCI4*-S winner - he won the CCI4*-S at Woodside International in October of last year. Galloway Sunrise and Fylicia Barr were winners of the CCI4*-L at Jersey Fresh two years ago in 2019.
Carlchen and Phillip Dutton, who recently broke the record for best dressage score at the Advanced level at the Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials, are entered in their first CCI4*-S as a combination this weekend. Carlchen has not been out at this level since he finished fifth with Michelle Kenny at Luhmühlen in 2018.
Just three horses in the field this weekend lack experience at the CCI4*-S level - Let It Be Lee and Riot Gear, both ridden by Elisa Wallace, will be making their first attempt at the level, as will Lumumba, ridden by Bobby Meyerhoff.
While Allison Springer and Will Faudree are tied for busiest rider of the weekend with five rides apiece, Will Coleman and Doug Payne are tied for busiest rider in the CCI4*-S, with three rides each in the division.
The record score to beat in the CCI4*-S is a 27.9, earned by Fernhill By Night in 2019 - they led the division wire-to-wire on that score.
Riders in the CCI4*-S will be representing the following countries: the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.
The FEI divisions will run Thursday, Friday, Saturday, with dressage taking place on Thursday, show jumping on Friday, and cross-country on Saturday.
Andrew Bowles (NZL) will serve as the Technical Delegate for the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S, assisted by Cindy Deporter (USA). Tim Murray is the Technical Delegate for the CCI2*-S.
The ground jury for the CCI4*-S includes Mark Weissbecker (USA) andValerie Vizcarrondo Pride (USA). Peter Gray (CAN) and Amanda Miller (USA) are the ground jury for the CCI3*-S, andGretchen Butts (USA) andWayne Quarles (USA) are the ground jury for the CCI2*-S.
Ian Stark is back for the fifth year as the course designer for the CCI levels and the Advanced and Intermediate horse trials. Beth Perkins is designing the Preliminary, Modified, and Training level courses.
Marc Donovan, who also sits on the Organizing Committee for Carolina International, will design the show jumping courses for all levels. (For top tips on show jumping from Donovan, check out the USEA's most recent podcast episode.)
During the week of competition, attendees can use the smartphone app "Event Center" for all information including quick access to ride times, schedule, stabling chart, orders of go, course maps, food, hotels, weather, and live scoring.
No spectators will be allowed this year at Carolina International and the event will be observing the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan guidelines and procedures. All those present on-site are asked to wear a mask at all times.
Due to the recently reported cases of EHV-1, the Carolina Horse Park is requiring all horses entering the Park to provide a 72-hour veterinary certificate and perform twice-daily temperature checks.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.
Kurt Martin maintains his lead in the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship with a score of 23.5. He piloted D.A. Lifetime, Debbie Adams’ 9-year-old mare, through a fault-free cross-country round over the new Ian Stark-designed course.
The forecasted downpours held off until the last horse and rider crossed the finish flags during the CCI5*-L cross-country at the Maryland 5 Star today, confirming the event’s decision to move up the start. The majority of riders had sunny skies and a cool breeze as backdrop to tackle Ian Stark’s five-star course across the sprawling grounds at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. Before cross-country there was much chatter about the testing terrain, but 11 pairs managed to make the time despite the hills. At the end of the day, the top three riders held onto their podium positions going into show jumping tomorrow with overnight leader Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B x The Swallow) impressing all who watched at each and every question.
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