Local rider Buck Davidson and Katherine O'Brien's 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding Carlevo (Caresino x Ramatuelle) prevailed to win the CCI4*-S at Plantation Field International Sunday after jumping clear around a heavily influential cross-country track designed by Derek di Grazia. Adding 6.0 time faults to his score put Davidson atop the leaderboard with 32.5 penalties, with Woods Baughman of Lexington, Kentucky placing second on 34.0 riding his 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding C’est La Vie 135 (Contendro I x Anette) after Liz Halliday-Sharp and The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal), second after yesterday’s show jumping, added 15 faults for missing a flag and dropped to 5th place.
Halliday-Sharp also finished fourth riding Ocala Horse Properties LLC's 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Deniro Z (Zapater VDL x Zonne-Trend). A clean and fast run with just 0.4 time launched Jennie Brannigan riding Nina and Tim Gardner's 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding FE Lifestyle (Leo von Faelz x Berina A) right up the leaderboard from eleventh into third place overall.
Out of 40 entries in the CCI4*-S, just 27 horse and rider combinations completed the event. Five withdrew before cross-country, three retired on course, two were eliminated, and three riders fell. Though the twisting and turning, technical course made sure cross-country was an influential phase, there were no significant injuries to horses or riders.
Brannigan, who rode three horses in the four-star, said that FE Lifestyle jumped great, but she ran slow with Nina Gardner's 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Twilightslastgleam (National Anthem x Royal Child), who claimed the top-placing Thoroughbred award. Both Brannigan and Davidson were held on course because a rail on a frangible fence fell just before Brannigan jumped it, and Davidson said that it was challenging getting Carlevo to be sharp on course after standing around during the hold.
“He’s a bit of a homebody, and going last of the day when there was a hold because of the fence that fell down, he was just hanging out, and everybody left. Getting him awake and ready to go is not always super easy, especially since he’s not the fastest horse in the world. He jumped off the little drop to the hedge thing and he wasn’t really with it so I fired him at the next fence and then he was awake. He was right on the markers at four and five minutes but he goes at one pace – he was the same way at Kentucky - he’s not the kind of horse you can make up time with.”
Davidson said he was really happy with his other mounts Erroll Gobey, whom he focused on keeping quiet and relaxed, and Sorocaima, who is heading to the Maryland 5 Star. Carlevo sustained a small puncture from a stud today, so he said his entry at Maryland depends on how that heals.
Baughman said he forgot to reset his watch when he was held on course, and time faults relegated him to second place. “You can’t argue with finishing second to Buck though,” he said. Overall he was pleased with the event, said the footing was very good, and felt that it was a good preparation to test C’est la Vie with the new bitting system before they head to the Maryland 5 Star next month.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.
Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.
Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.
Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.
Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.