Kalispell, Mont.—July 23—Watching the final show jumping phase at Rebecca Farm, it was hard to tell that Karma had just galloped around her first CCI4*-L the day before.
The 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Escudo II x Travita) pinged up over every fence with James Alliston to earn one of two double-clear rounds and finish on her dressage score of 32.6 for the win.
“She was sort of her normal self to be honest,” said Alliston. “You wouldn’t have known she had done what she did yesterday, really. She was full of energy and really jumping in the air, high and careful, and she just felt really good.”
Having not gone this far with her in competition until today, and being the only one to compete this horse, Alliston is now seeing her future take shape with clear vision. “I was sort of just doing this to see how we got on. She did the CCI4*-S at Kentucky this spring, and she did that very well, so I’d like to think that sort of sets her up hopefully, if everything goes well for the rest of the year, maybe for the five-star because I think her galloping is definitely her strong suit.”
Alliston will compete Karma at Galway Downs International Three-Day Event (Temecula, California) later this year. And as for Alliston and his winning reputation with Rebecca Farm on young hopefuls? He’s got his sights set on returning next year. “I always eye this one up as a big one with a lot of atmosphere, and now that I have a bit of a history with it, I kind of want to try to keep going.”
To top off his sweet win, Alliston was also awarded the Cynthia Jane Burge Trophy for being the highest placed trainer and rider in competition.
Taking the second-place win today and holding her overnight standing despite incurring four jump penalties in showjumping was Madison Temkin aboard her own 10-year-old Thoroughbred mare MVP Madbum (Papa Clem x Dancing Stripes) to claim a final score of 42.4.
When Temkin was 15 years old, her mom told her she could get a horse off the track, and that horse—MVP Madbum—has developed quite the impressive resume, competing in the USEA Future Event Horse Program, and the 4-year-old and 5-year-old championships through the USEA Young Event Horse Program.
“She’s come a long way, and she’s been quite a challenge, and I think she’s starting to work with me rather than against me,” she said. In addition to her second-place, Temkin also was awarded the Guinness Perpetual Trophy for being the highest-placed young rider in memory of Sarah Broussard’s horse Guinness.
Temkin has been part of the USEF Eventing Emerging Athlete Program and credits all of these resources—available to and utilized by her and her mount—for continuing her education in a structured but rhythmic way. She also credits her mother, Beth Temkin Brown, Emerging Athlete coach Leslie Law, and Under-18 coach David O’Connor for helping her think outside of the box with this particular mare.
“She’s very talented, and it’s all in there but she’s a bit of a fiery lady so it’s learning how to get everything out of her while keeping her happy and keeping her developing up through the sport,” said Temkin. And one more aid at her side for this particular trip was receiving a travel grant. “I think the opportunity they give all of us as U.S. athletes—developing and up-and-coming athletes—is absolutely incredible, and I think a lot of our top athletes are where they are today because of the Broussard family and their generosity. I know I’m very grateful, and everyone else can say the same.”
Alliston, who also owns his mount like Temkin, also was awarded a travel grant in addition to the National Grant, making it feasible to compete at this venue. Alliston added, “It’s expensive to campaign and produce the horses to this level.”
It was all smiles for third-placed Jessica Phoenix who rode Makayla Rydzik’s 15-year-old piebald Canadian Sport Horse mare Fluorescent Adolescent (Amelia II x Ali Baba), who was—undoubtedly—the talk of the town for her flashy color and loud personality. She held onto her overnight third place standing despite 8 jump penalties being added to make her final score 47.3.
Phoenix and Rydzik had a good laugh after the victory gallop when Rydzik told Phoenix that Fluorescent Adolescent seemed to scoff at the yellow ribbon. “She was like, ah, you’ve got the wrong one,” said Phoenix. “She thinks she’s won every day of her life.”
It’s obvious that this mare has captured the spirits of those around her, pulling them in with her intense work ethic and competitive personality, which happens to be one of the many reasons why Phoenix was so ecstatic over the chance to bring her up through the four-star level. But of course, developing a competitive, high-energy horse does have its challenges.
“She lacks a little bit of length to her step in showjumping, and so I just really need to make sure to get her in to the combinations and, because she is so new at the level, it sometimes results in a rail on day three,” said Phoenix. “But what a horse for the future. She went in there and did everything she could do today. It was just such a pleasure to ride her.”
Having just started at the four-star level this spring, and traveling over 40 hours to get to Rebecca Farm, Fluorescent Adolescent stayed true to her fiery can-do nature and tackled every question and challenge that was asked or presented to her.
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As Tropical Storm Ophelia brought soaking rains to the region today, the Plantation Field International continued its four days of competition with CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S show jumping and cross-country for CCI1*-S, CCII2*-S, and CCI3*-S divisions.
The USEA Area IX Championships took place during two different horse trials this summer, with the Modified Championships as part of the The Event at Archer (Cheyenne, Wymoming) in August and the Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice Championships taking place during The Event at Skyline (Mount Pleasant, Utah) in September. In addition, Area IX offered additional championship tests at the Starter and Tadpole levels at Skyline.
The CCI4*-S division at the 2023 Plantation Field International Horse Trials kicked off today with 39 horses headed down centerline. Local rider Boyd Martin of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, topped the leaderboard riding Luke 140, owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, and is also tied for third (28.8) with the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s Fedarman B. Martin is also placed 23rd with Contessa, owned by the Turner family.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is humbled to announce the return of long-time partner The Dutta Corporation as the “Title Sponsor of the 2023 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships,” which include the East Coast Championships at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, on Oct. 19-20 and the West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, on Oct. 27-28.