Matt Flynn secured the first International win of his career Saturday at Fair Hill International, taking top honors in the CIC3* with Flynn Sport Horses' Get Lucky.
After producing a faultless trip around Marc Donovan’s new show jumping track, Flynn and the three-star debutant navigated boldly around Derek di Grazia's cross-country course, adding only 5.2 time penalties for a finishing result of 36.5.
“He was great. I really went for it on him timewise. The corners on the way home (18ab) were pretty tough out there. He jumped straight through it and was really honest all the way around,” Flynn said of the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Van Gogh x Ranna).
“He’s a bit of a spooky horse so it takes a few runs in the spring to get out and going,” he continued. "This is a good place for him because it has open tracks that are great galloping. It was nice to really let him gallop. This is an awesome venue for cross-country riding.”
A clear round boosted Will Coleman and Off The Record, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay) owned by the Off The Record Syndicate, into second place. The 2017 USEF CCI2* Eventing Reserve Champions added 7.2 time penalties for a three-phase score of 39.8.
Kristen Bond piloted Liz Bond’s Enough Already to a top three finish—a career best at this level for Bond. This CIC3* was a first for the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Winningmood van de Arenburg x Zandora), and he added just one time penalty in the show jumping and 9.2 across the country to finish on 43.4 points.
"The last time I did a three-star was in 2011. It has taken a super long time for me to get back to where I felt like myself. I can definitely say it felt normal to me today," Bond said. "My horse is a freak of an athlete. He’s incredible. It’s been a long time since I finished a course and thought, 'that was fun!'"
Of the 14 cross-country starters in this group, nine avoided jump penalties, with the fastest ride of the day going to sixth-placed Kaitlin Clasing on her own Cartender de Nyze. They finished eight seconds above optimum time for a final score of 46.8.
Will Fuadree was the big winner in the CIC2* aboard Jennifer Mosing & Sterling Silver Stables’ Hans Dampf. Coming home one second above the time, this pair picked up 0.4 penalties for a winning result of 27.7.
"He felt great. He hadn't been out in a year, but I think he was pretty happy to be back. He felt like his old self,” Faudree remarked of the The 12-year-old Oldenburg (Heraldik xx x Look CR). “Because he hasn’t been out I thought he might back off the fences, but he was foot perfect the whole way around."
Ryan Keefe and Rumsey Keefe’s Flintstar moved into second place after securing one of only four double clear rounds in the 19-entry division. The 18-year-old Thoroughbred (Zabalu x Croftlea Firequeen) finished on his dressage score of 31.3. Lindsay Kelley also climbed the leaderboard Saturday, ending in third on 35.4 points with Cooley Cruise Control, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Chacoa x Castlequarter Royale) owned by the Cooley Cruise Control Syndicate.
Kara Angula’s Metallica continued her reign over the CIC* after the jumping phases with Kelli Temple in the tack. The 8-year-old Holsteiner (Cancara x Ulysses) sailed smoothly to the win in this division on a score of 28.5 with one rail down and no penalties added on cross-country.
The top three remained the same after Saturday's jumping phases with Mike Pendleton and Olivia Dutton finishing second and third, respectively. Pendleton and The Fonz Himself, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Vincenzo Vant Merelsnest x Jadore Chanel) owned by Bonnie Stedt, had one pole down and three seconds extra on cross-country for finishing score of 29.5. Dutton also had one rail with Mr. Medicott, a 19-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by the Mr. Medicott Syndicate, to close the weekend out on 31.6 points.
Fair Hill International was also pleased to host riders preparing for the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, held April 26-29. These pairs performed a a four-star dressage test Friday, and jumped around Donovan’s advanced show jumping track Saturday.
About Fair Hill International
For the last three decades Fair Hill International (FHI) has stood as one of North America’s most prestigious eventing venues. FHI welcomes beginner through Olympic level riders with both recognized horse trials and unrecognized starter trials. The crown jewel of the U.S. eventing season is The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, held each October, which also hosts USEF CCI3*/CCI2* Eventing National Championship divisions.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
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.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.