Saturday morning’s second phase of the SmartPak Equine USEA Training Three-Day competition at the Inavale Horse Trials in Philomath, Oregon, proved to be a challenge, as the placings shifted around quite a bit in the division sponsored by Gallops Saddlery. The overnight leader added penalties to her score in steeplechase, giving Maria Schatz an opportunity to snatch the lead, following clean trips from phase A through D, to move her up from the third position.
The 16-year-old had a great go aboard her attractive bay thoroughbred Joe, in their first T3D. In front of a large group of spectators, Schatz was very happy with how her 9-year-old horse performed, saying “he did all I asked of him today, and we had a really fun time. The cross-country course was great.”
The duo, who hails from Washington, had their work cut out for them on Sunday following the jog-up, with less than a rail separating them from Florence Miller, who moved up from 6th place into second aboard Tuscan Sun.
In a very decorated and elaborate stadium arena, standings shifted greatly. With numerous rails falling, and a tricky course, which even incorporated a liverpool, Camille Forstadt and her 14-year-old grey, Quinn, ultimately jumped clean and straight to the top.
After starting out the weekend in a tie for 10th place after dressage, the pair went double-clean both on endurance day and in the stadium, to earn themselves numerous prizes and secure a win atop the division, which was nearly 30 strong.
Forstadt, following her double-clean show jumping round, could only watch with bated breath as the final two riders ahead of her took their turns around the stadium. As a couple of rails dropped for the top two pairs, things fell into place for the 18-year-old from Napa, California.
In her first T3D, Forstadt could not have been more proud of her horse, saying with enthusiasm, “He was fantastic today! Last year did not go very well for us here, and this is our second clear round ever in stadium. He was great all weekend.”
The pair finished less than a four faults ahead of Miller and Tuscan Sun, who dropped just one rail to remain in second place.
With the two trot ups being a part of the long-format division, an award was given by judges for best turned out. McKena Knott set the bar high all weekend with her horse, Adler Whisper, and was rewarded with the honor. Additionally, the high point adult amateur award and prizes were given to Heidi West aboard Louise Leslie’s Jack O’Lantern, who finished in 4th place.
The SmartPak Equine/USEA Classic Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors: Title Sponsor: SmartPak Equine; Presenting Sponsor: Stackhouse Saddles; Silver Level Sponsor: Fleeceworks; Legacy Sponsors: Five Star Tack and VitalWear; Elite Sponsors: FITS and Nunn Finer
This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
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