It was another great day of competition with even better weather here at the Woodside International Horse Trials, with the CCI3*-S through Introductory levels finishing up their dressage followed by some late afternoon show jumping for all FEI levels as well as Advanced and Intermediate.
Chris Barnard's course with assistance from Kelly James was a flowing course that required a forward stride with adjustability in the combinations. With only seven clear in the CCI4*-S, there was a lot of movement happening in the placings. While the top three remain unchanged, Lauren Billys and Emilee Libby shot up the leaderboard with efficient clear rounds.
The CCI4*-S riders can look forward to some new combinations out on course tomorrow from course designer Ian Stark and course builders Bert Wood, Louis Blankenship, Adri Doyle, and Timothy Ringhoffer. "The riders will have to think and ride their lines, but I think it’s probably moved it on a fraction we’re a little more technical, a little bolder. We’re asking a little more of the riders and I think we need to for the riders to go on to the top level,” Stark stated.
In the CCI3*-S, Tamie Smith and Solaguaryre California (Casparo x Solaguaryre Calandria), David and Julianne Guariglia's 9-year-old Holsteiner mare, continue getting better each outing with this being the pairs sixth event together and second FEI. This mare has yet to have any jump faults on cross-country and Smith definitely isn’t looking to change that. Smith is one-two in this division so it will be hers to lose.
In the CCI2*-S, Lauren Billys and Can Be Sweet, her own and the Can Be Sweet Syndicate's 8-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Candyman x Tres Belle), shot up to first place after a double clear show jumping round. Sophie Click unfortunately had a rail that was not originally recorded that knocked her down to third. The division is separated by only a couple of points so there will be no room for error out on course tomorrow. The pressure is on for Ian Stark's cross-country course.
Down in the dressage courts, Hawley Bennett-Awad showed that she spent her quarantine drilling the flat and it paid off today with her own and the Jollybo Syndicate's Jollybo (Jumbo x Polly Coldunnell), a 16-year-old British Sport Horse mare, scoring a 26.30 in the Open Intermediate. Hawley had an unfortunate rail in show jumping this afternoon to put David Koss and Anna Parson's 8-year-old Oldenburg mare Crescendo (Corcovado x Can't You See) into the lead, but they remain neck and neck.
In the Open Preliminary, Amber Levine wowed everyone scoring a 17.80 giving her a 5.90 lead over Rebecca Braitling in second place. Both Preliminary divisions will tackle the cross-country tomorrow.
It’s time to meet the teams of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships! A total of 92 competitors, 12 schools, and 23 teams will be competing at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships on May 21-22 at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. in Fairburn, Georgia.
Entries are strong leading up to the exciting return of the MARS Bromont CCI that is taking place June 8-12 in rural Bromont, Quebec. Bromont is a popular destination for North American competitors who are eager to return to this 1976 Olympic Games venue just 90 minutes from Burlington, Vermont.
Five-star season is well underway and four U.S.-based pairs have turned their focus toward the CCI5*-L at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials which takes place June 16-19 in Salzhausen, Germany. We caught up with each rider to get their thoughts on their decision to make the trek overseas and what they hope their horses glean from the experience.