Ian Stark’s cross-country course resulted in changes among the FEI divisions on Saturday
Cross-country day for the FEI competitors at Rebecca Farm resulted in big changes in the top three standings in the 4* divisions. The current top three riders in the CCI4*-Long all put in double-clear rounds to maintain their dressage scores from the first day of competition.
Moving up from fourth to take the lead in the CCI4*-Long, Jennie Brannigan and Twilightslastgleam stand on a score of 33.0 going into show jumping on Sunday. “Grandpa” is an 11-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Tim and Nina Gardner, who loves The Event at Rebecca Farm. Jennie said “Thoroughbreds try so hard, and that horse tries so hard for me. . . I’m shocked to be leading and I am so happy for today.” Regarding the difficulty of the course, she said “I really had to work today. . .more than I thought I would. But at the end of the day, that’s what a 4*L is all about.”
Hawley Bennett-Awad and her self-owned Jollybo moved from fifth after dressage into second place, maintaining their score of 34.5. Jolly, also known in the barn as “J-Bizzle,” is a 17-year-old British Sport Horse. “I’m super psyched. Thanks to the Broussards – this is a world-class event,” Hawley said. She has been coming to The Event for many years, usually with her husband in tow. When asked about her ride today, Hawley’s husband Jamal (aka SBM) said, “It couldn’t have gone better,” then added with a smile, “I mean it could have had more cowbell!”
Currently standing in third place with a score of 34.9 are Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack. The 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse who goes by “James” is owned by Caroline’s mom, Sherrie Martin. “He was quite good… from beginning to end he felt like a proper 4* star horse. It was nice and fast ground.” Caroline’s fiancé, Deniz, was also on hand providing some extra color to the commentary, sharing that “everything went great out there today” and he also wanted to pitch the idea to course designer Ian Stark to run the course through the VIP tent next year – for a little more excitement.
The CCI4*-Short didn’t result in as many changes in the standings, with the top two staying the same after cross-country. Maya Black maintains the lead with Miks Master C, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood owned by Laurie Cameron. Maya and Mickey added only four time penalties for a current score of 29.8. “He’s great – this is the second season at advanced with him. He went out and galloped around – it was a short course and I galloped where I could, but it was hard to make the time.”
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver added 10.8 time penalties to maintain second place with a score of 39.6. The Monster Partnership owns the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse. When reflecting on her ride, Liz said “The Monster was a good boy. I know him really well and he’s an extremely brave horse. All the jumps rode exactly how I’d planned. I was pleased with him – it was a good course. The Monster is excited to be back out running again.” Liz, who was slated to ride for Team USA in Tokyo, changed her plans two weeks ago when her Olympic-qualifying horse, Deniro Z, had to be withdrawn from Olympic competition due to injury. Despite the disappointment, Liz shared that The Event at Rebecca Farm “has been healing for the soul, for me, and for my owners and my family, and that was partly why we did it. Just plugging away at home… was not great. So it was sort of on a whim that we came here, and I’m really glad we did.” Liz also said she’s planning to make The Event at Rebecca Farm an annual destination. “If there was anywhere else in the world I’d rather be than Tokyo, it’s probably here.”
Rebecca Braitling and Caravaggio II, a 10-year-old British Sport Horse, jumped clear and added 16.4 time penalties, which moved them from seventh into third place. “Ernie” is owned by Arnell Sporthorses. “He was spooky and impressed with the waters – he’s pretty green still [at the level] but he’s a really good jumper,” said Bec about her ride. “For me, the two water complexes were the most surprising.” Bec, who has won the 2* a couple of times and coached the young rider teams in the past, is excited to be back at Rebecca Farm on a 4* horse.
James Alliston and Nemesis, a seven-year-old Canadian Warmblood owned by Alliston Equestrian maintained their lead in the CCI3*-Long. They added 2.8 time penalties for a score of 33.1. Lucienne Bellissimo and her self-owned Atlantic Vital Spark put in a double-clear round to move up from eighth place into second with a score of 34.1.
Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio added only 1.2 time penalties for a score of 34.2 and a move into third place. The 10-year-old Argentine Silla is “a little horse with a big heart.” Dani, who’s been coming to The Event for more than 18 years, said it went super well. “I had to keep my gas pedal on the whole time. The combinations rode fantastic… I had to add a couple of strides in two of the combinations, but he jumped so well and was so rideable.”
In the CCI2*-Long, Tommy Greengard and self-owned Joshuay MBF maintained their lead on their dressage score of 25.4. Josh is a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood who “was spectacular and gave me the best ride I’ve ever had on him. He really got into a rhythm and was able to gallop. The tables just came to him, and he pricked his ears at the corners.”
Maya Black and Laurie Cameron’s six-year-old Hanoverian, Double Diamond C, also put in a double-clear to stay in second place with a score 27.0. “He’s still green but we know each other so well. He galloped around and jumped everything as expected. By the end he was like… ok just keep jumping. It was nice to have a little bit longer course, to not have to rush between the jumps.”
After a double-clear round, Chloe Smyth and Flyin Huckleberry moved into third place with a score of 31.7. Michelle Cameron Donaldson owns the seven-year-old Thoroughbred. “This is his first 3*L and his first time running on grass. He was really good at all the options, but a little looky at the crowd.” Chloe said it was a very successful ride and she is happy to be here.
The FEI divisions begin show
jumping on Sunday at 10:30 am local time with the CC2*-L followed by the CCI3*-L. The CCI4*-S begins at 2:00 pm, followed by the CCI4*-L. For the complete schedule and results click here.
Admission for this family-friendly spectator event is free, with full concessions and a large multi-interest shopping fair, as well as a free Kid Zone that includes pony rides, PonyUp! (Horsemanship 101 classes for kids), face painting, arts and crafts, and more. A one-time recommended $10 parking donation per car supports Halt Cancer at X.
To access Rebecca Farm, from the junction of Highways 93 & 2, travel 2 miles north on Highway 93 to Reserve Loop and go west 2 miles, then south on W. Springcreek Rd. The entrance is 3/4 mile on the right.
ABOUT THE EVENT AT REBECCA FARM
The Event at Rebecca Farm presented by Montana Equestrian Events, is held every July in Kalispell, Montana. One of the largest equestrian triathlons in the United States, The Event is also considered to have some of the world's finest scenery. Each year it draws hundreds of riders of all levels, from amateur to Olympians. The 2021 Event celebrates the 20th anniversary of Rebecca Farm.
The Event at Rebecca Farm features
13 courses ranging from novice to Olympic qualifier, which were originally developed by world-renowned course designer, Captian Mark Phillips. In 2012, Scottish equestrian Ian Stark redesigned the Rebecca Farm courses. Known for his immense contributions to eventing,
Stark has won multiple Olympic medals and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation announces the appointment of long-term US Equestrian employee Hallye Griffin as Director of FEI Sport. Griffin will assume the duties of former Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport, Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from his role to attend to personal matters.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is thrilled to announce that Sidelines Magazine will not only be returning as a “Media Partner of U.S. Eventing,” but they will also be supporting the Association as a “Contributing Level Sponsor of the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 Program” and a “Prize Level Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships.” Sidelines Magazine will give the USEA additional promotion and exposure through their printed and digital media products, while also providing prizes for participants at the AEC and EA21 clinics.