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.
There aren’t many riders who can say they competed at five of the world’s seven five-star events in 2023, but the 2023 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year Boyd Martin can. With nine starts across the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials (Germany), Defender Burghley Horse Trials (England), MARS Maryland 5 Star, and Pau (France), Martin earned five top-5 finishes.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the combinations selected to compete in the 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge at the Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials, from March 14-17 in Raeford, North Carolina. The Challenge is designed to replicate the experience of competing within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.
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 Colorado Horse Park (CHP) in Parker, Colorado, has deep roots in the sport of eventing. Originally known as High Prairie Farms, owner Helen Krieble purchased the property in the early 1990s with one dream: hosting horse trials. That dream took off and for many years High Prairie Farm was host to many eventing competitions. Krieble later donated the ground to Douglas County with the agreement that the land would be used for equestrian sport and the CHP was born.