The Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina will once again host the Setters' Run Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials this weekend for its ninth year (the event has run every year since 2014 aside from a cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19). As the first international event in Area II this year and the first CCI4*-S, the field is loaded with top competitors itching to get out and get their FEI season underway. In addition to the main attraction, the CCI4*-S, the Carolina International also features a CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI1*-S, as well as Advanced, Intermediate, Preliminary, Modified, and Training national divisions.
The CCI4*-S Field
In 2022 there were 30 entries in the CCI4*-S, 22 of whom finished the event. This year there are 27 horse and rider pairs slated to compete in the CCI4*-S division.
Looking back at entries over the last five years, there has been a decline in four-star entries. In 2021 there were 37 pairs, the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 featured 46 pairs, and 62 starters made up the competition in 2018.
The most popular division is the CCI2*-S which features 39 pairs. Total entries come to 238 across all national and international divisions.
While last year’s winner, Team Rebecca, LLC’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding Dondante (Pacino x Muckno Clover) is not slated to return, his rider Will Coleman has two entries in the CCI4*-S:
and the 2021 Carolina International CCI4*-S victor Off the Record (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay), a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off the Record Syndicate.
In 2019, Liz Halliday-Sharp brought home the win in the CCI4*-S with Deborah Halliday’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill By Night (Radolin x Argentina XII) and the pair also came in second in 2021, but this year Halliday-Sharp is bringing two entries:
The Monster Partnership’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal)
and the 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding Miks Master C (Mighty Magic x Qui Luma CBF) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and Deborah Palmer. This pair recently won the $50,000 Grand-Prix Eventing class at Bruce's Field (Aiken, South Carolina).
Other returning competitors from the 2022 Carolina CCI4*-S lineup include:
Doug Payne riding his own 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Starr Witness (Chello III VDL x Carmen) who added just 3.2 time penalties to their score to finish in second on a score of 31.9.
Local rider Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Pfun (Tadmus x Celerina) who added just one rail to their score in 2022 to finish in third with a score of 32.8.
The 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding QC Diamantaire (Diarado x Latana), owned by Carol Stephens, finished in fourth on a score of 35.2 and is slated to return again with rider Sydney Elliot.
Fylicia Barr, Shannon Barr, and Daniel Barr’s 15-year-old American Warmblood gelding Galloway Sunrise (Duty Officer x Coco Chanel) wrapped up the event in 2022 with a score of 39.3 to finish in 7th with Fylicia in the tack. The pair aim to make their return to Carolina this week.
Lastly, Mr. Cash Van de Start (Deauville de la Vie x Ishtar van de Start), Deborah Kuhn’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, ridden by Sarah Kuhn, is on the docket to compete after finishing in 14th place last year.
Only two countries have their hat in contention for the big win: the U.S. and Canada.
The oldest horse in the CCI4*-S field is Meghan O’Donoghue’s 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Palm Crescent (Quiet American x Edey’s Village) who O’Donoghue co-owns with Will Duhring.
Coming into Carolina off a win is Will Faudree’s ride Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic x Hauptstutbuch Straightaway), the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, LLC. Faudree and “Mason” recently topped the field in the Advanced at Pine Top (Thomson, Georgia) at the end of February.
The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding SSH Playboy (Cit Cat x Stomeyford Black Pearl), who rider Julie Wolfert co-owns with Sheri Gurske and Renee Senter, had a second-place finish in the CCI4*-S at Morven Park (Leesburg, Virginia) in October of 2022, followed by a win at the level at Tryon (Mill Spring, North Carolina) in November. Since then, SSH Playboy has been prepping for the four-star at Carolina by earning a fourth in the Intermediate at Rocking Horse (Altoona, Florida) at the start of February and a third in the Advanced at Pine Top later on in the month.
There are a few four-star first-timers whose names are on the roster:
Boyd Martin has a new ride on DSN Equestrian Venture’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Commando 3 (Connor 48 x R-Adelgunde) and the horse is slated to give his first four-star a go at Carolina this week.
Martin is also aiming for Bonnie Stedt’s 10-year-old Hanoverian mare Miss Lulu Herself (Stolzenfels x Noisette) to get her first four-star under her belt.
After bringing home the title of USEF CCI3*-L National Champion at the Maryland 5 Star last fall, Elisa Wallace is prepping the Corsair Syndicate’s 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding Renkum Corsair (Renkum Chapot x Renkum Colitas) for his four-star debut at Carolina.
Doug Payne’s Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) hasn’t been out since the 12-year-old had a top-ten finish in the CCI5*-L at the Maryland 5 Star (Elkton, Maryland) in October of 2022, but the horse had a slam-dunk 2022 season which is exciting as we look ahead to what is to come in 2023.
The FEI divisions will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with dressage taking place on Thursday, show jumping on Friday, and cross-country on Saturday.
Gretchen Butts (NZL) will serve as the Technical Delegate for the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S, assisted by Cindy Deporter (USA). Sue Ockendon (CAN) is the Technical Delegate for the CCI2*-S and CCI1*-S.
The president of the ground jury for the CCI4*-S is Robert Stevenson (USA) with Andrew Bennie (NZL) assisting.
Ian Stark is back again as the course designer for the FEI levels and the Advanced horse trials. Beth Perkins designed the CCI2*-S, CCI1*-S, and all other national divisions.
Marc Donovan, who also sits on the Organizing Committee for Carolina International, will design the show jumping courses for all levels.
From horse trials in her home state of California where she prepared herself and her horses to take on the best in the nation and around the world to five-star events overseas where she represented the United States on some of eventing’s biggest stages, Tamie Smith had a remarkable season and finished 2022 as the Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year for the second year in a row.
TerraNova Equestrian Center in Myakka City, Florida, held its first CCI4*-S competition in the fall of 2021 and is now gearing up for the location’s third-ever FEI event and inaugural spring event this weekend during The Event at TerraNova which takes place March 30-April 2.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
Many riders across all levels have found that working with young horses has provided them with the most valuable experiences in eventing. The opportunities for young event horses have never been more exciting. The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast and West Coast Championships continue to grow in profile as the culmination of a calendar of qualifying events is expanding to more areas of the country. More American riders and their young horses are aiming for the FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion D’Angers, France, particularly thanks to programs like the Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers Grant. That’s become one of the most attended sporting events in the entire country. It’s given young event horses from the United States a chance to represent the growth of the American eventing community’s dedication to properly developing talent in the sport.
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