Kurt Martin finished the CCI3*-L on his dressage score of 23.5 after a fault-free show jumping round on Sunday with D.A. Lifetime, a 9-year-old mare (Lingh x Timeless) owned by Debbie Adams. The pair maintained their spot on the top of the leaderboard throughout all four days of competition to earn the USEF Eventing National Championship and a $7,500 portion of the $25,000 purse. Although 35 horses returned to the Main Arena for their final show jumping test after Sunday’s second horse inspection, Martin was one of only eight riders who put in clear rounds over the 14-effort, 1.20m course designed by Ken Krome.
“It sounds amazing,” Martin said of his 2021 National Championship title. “I wanted this so bad, and I’m glad that everything came together this weekend for all involved.
“Competing here has been amazing,” he added. “I’ve been to the old Fair Hill, but coming here, I didn’t know what the course would be like. I didn’t run the test event. I heard that it was going to be a difficult cross-country course regarding the terrain, but I didn’t know how things were like everybody else. I feel like this went pretty easily, quite honestly. The horse went well, and everyone was so kind.”
Martin has been developing “Clarence” carefully over the last year, learning what he could do with her and when. “I know when to get on that horse; I know when to ask that horse to stand and when I can’t,” he said. “I don’t force that horse to do anything. When I went into the showjumping, I just looked up and took a deep breath at every single fence. What was going to be was going to be, and she did that for me. She really worked hard, and that’s what a partnership is.”
Fellow American Hannah Sue Burnett, who sat in fourth place after Saturday’s cross-country Driven by Land Rover, jumped to a second-place finish with 0.4 time faults in the show jumping. She and Carsonstown, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lougherne Cappuchino x Nonavic Spyridonna) owned by Christa Schmidt, earned a final score of 28.1. “We’ve had Carson for a couple of years, and he’s a really special horse,” Burnett said. “He’s grown a lot physically and mentally since we’ve gotten him. He’s quite a big horse, and he’s a very big mover. It’s taken a bit of time to produce him, but he was really wonderful and performed great under pressure. I was really happy with him.”
Oliver Townend piloted Juliana Hutchings Sebring’s Ulises, a 14-year-old Spanish Sport Horse gelding (Fines x Emeraude Du Ponet), into third place after clear rounds Saturday and Sunday in the CCI3*-L. The pair finished on their dressage score of 29.4. Two of Great Britain’s riders won the Shapley’s Best Turned-Out Horse and Rider Awards after Sunday’s horse inspection. Townend and Ulises were the Best Turned-Out CCI3*-L Horse and Rider, while Zara Tindall and Class Affair, Gleadhill House Stud Ltd.’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, were the Best Turned-Out CCI5*-L Horse and Rider.
Rounding out the Top 3 in the USEF Eventing National Championships was Meg Pellegrini, who finished fourth in the overall CCI3*-L with RF Eloquence and was named the USEF Top Young Rider. She and her 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Contender x D-Ginger) earned a total score of 29.5 after adding 0.8 time faults in Sunday’s showjumping phase.
Additional awards included the Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Award, given to Ellen Doughty-Hume and Breakin’ All the Rules for being the highest-placed American Thoroughbred. The Retired Racehorse Project Trophy went to Phillip Dutton and Sea of Clouds as the highest-placed retired American racehorse.
Final results can be found here.
After several continuous days of rain, the skies cleared over Leesburg, Virginia today as the Morven Park Fall International CCI4*-L got under way with the first horse inspection. Warm weather, bright sunshine, and fall decorations set the stage for 25 horses to present before the ground jury. All 25 horses passed on first inspection. The ground jury consisted of Wayne Quarles (USA), Robert Stevenson (USA), and Sue Baxter (GBR).
While a total of 95 4- and 5-year-old horses will be vying for top-finishes in The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships next weekend, a select group of YEH graduates are entered in the CCI5*-L division at the second annual MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Presented by Brown Advisory. The USEA YEH program has run successfully for over 15 years, and many graduates of the program have gone onto compete at the pinnacle of the sport, the FEI 5-Star level of eventing, including the four horses entered in the 2022 Maryland 5 Star.
Founded in 2019, the MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program was initially created to assist up-and-coming riders under the age of 25 in North America who had not yet competed in a destination event, such as the program’s namesake the MARS Bromont CCI in Lac Brume, Quebec, Canada, or been recognized by the USEF programs intended for emerging athletes.. Spearheaded by the late Steve Blauner and Sue Ockendon, the program sought to give back to the sport by helping the next generation of riders get more experience under their belt with the help of the financial assistance provided by the program, and the two days of included instruction from leading coaches around the world.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is excited to kick off a two-year anniversary celebration, happening all throughout the month of October in the form of “SEE Month”. SEE’s goal during October is to raise awareness about our mission of opening doors for equestrians from diverse backgrounds while also fundraising to continue our work and future projects.