When the overnight leaders, Kazuma Tomoto and Brookpark Vikenti, retired after two refusals it gave second-placed Tim Price (NZL) the opportunity to take over the lead, which they did by adding only two time faults to now sit on a score of 27.8. Ascona M flew with her New Zealand rider through the Longines CCI5*-L cross-country at Luhmühlen and showed during the course no uncertainties.
"The mare is a real fighter," said Price of Mrs. Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster, and Sir Peter Vela's 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Cassaro x Naomi). "Although she is still a little inexperienced at this level, she understood the tasks right away and enjoyed riding. She gave me a fantastic feeling and was fully focused in just the right moments. As complicated as she can sometimes be in everyday intercourse, she is so focused in the field when it matters. She was actually my wife's horse, but then grew more and more - and so I've been allowed to ride her since Jonelle's pregnancy. "
As the third starter of the day, Alexander Bragg (GBR) and Zagreb embarked on the technically demanding course and completed the course confidently within the allowed time. Bragg also benefited from his riding wife. The skilled blacksmith originally played rugby and started riding his wife's horses. The British rider was full of praise for his horse, the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Perion x Renera) owned by Philip and Sally Ellicott., who moved up from fourth to second with one of only four rounds inside the time and the fastest of the day.
"Zagreb is always one hundred percent and has become so constant, I just have to do everything right, then nothing can go wrong," said Bragg. "If you're one of the front runners on the track, you have to put a bit of pressure on the following starters and not make it look too easy. The ground was fantastic and only a bit deep in the woods. Big compliments to all diligent helpers behind the scenes, which allowed us riders despite the rain these great conditions. Unimaginable, what the organizers have done in the short time. "
The first clear round of the day was Sarah Bullimore (GBR) with her experienced Reve du Rouet, the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Balou de Rouet x Onassis Queen) and moved from 10th place after the dressage to third place after the cross-country.
"My horse felt very [good] the whole week probably here in Luhmühlen and has gone phenomenal today. With him, the cross-country felt very simple, he really deserves to be so high on the results list."
The U.S. had a mixed bag of results today with Frankie Thieriot Stutes completing her first ever five-star cross-country round with the Chatwin Group's Chatwin (Contendro I x Oktav), an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding and adding just 6.4 time penalties to sit in eighth place heading into show jumping.
Allie Knowles fell from Sound Prospect (Eastern Echo x Miners Girl), the Sound Prospect LLC's 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, after he tripped in the water after fence 8a.
Both U.S. riders are previous recipients of the USEA Foundation Rebecca Broussard Developing Rider Grants - Knowles received the $10,000 National Developing Rider Grant in 2011 and Thieriot Stutes received the $50,000 International Developing Rider Grant in 2018. To learn more about the USEA Foundation and the various grants it supports, visit www.useafoundation.org.
The final day starts tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with the horse inspection followed by show jumping at 11:45 a.m.
Pan Am Games team gold medalist Tamra Smith and Mai Baum and five-star pairs Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 and Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin headline a strong Advanced field when Twin Rivers begins an exciting season of eventing competition this weekend.
The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) programs have around 30 qualifying competitions each, and youngsters around the country are about to begin their seasons aimed at Championships.
As the season begins to turn, the temperature begins to drop, turnout time becomes more limited, schedules shift to accommodate the waning daylight and the possibility for a colicky horse increases. While the exact environmental causes of colic are not well understood, a commonly accepted theory is that any abrupt changes to a horse’s environment or schedule can increase the risk of colic.