Twenty-five horses in the 48-horse field competing the 2018 Millbrook Horse Trials Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced division took their turn in the sandbox this afternoon at Coole Park Farm in Millbrook, N.Y. Boyd Martin and Long Island T (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight), the Long Island T Syndicate’s 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding, scored a 22.9, their career best at the level, to sit in first place after the first day of dressage. Martin and “Ludwig” are hot off a win in the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh International in May and Millbrook is their first stop on their way to compete in the Fair Hill International CCI3* this fall.
Boyd Martin and Long Island T. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.
"I love riding this horse in the dressage,” said Martin. “He’s just one of these horses that lifts up and finds another gear when there is atmosphere and excitement. He makes you feel like you know what you’re doing. He gives you such a nice feel in the ring, so you can concentrate on the tiny details."
Last year’s Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced division winners, Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding Rubens D’Ysieux (Balougran x Orenda D'ysieux), sit poised for a repeat performance this year after scoring 23.4 in dressage, good enough for second place overnight.
Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.
“He’s such a professional,” commented Kozumplik Murphy. “I pushed him a little bit – I was trying to get a little bit more excitement and be a little braver. At Bromont I did a little too much, so I was trying to tone it down a tiny bit. The only thing I would say [about today’s test] is that I should have [added] a little bit more fire back into it . . . I can’t actually describe how nice it is to go around the arena knowing that you have a horse that’s going to actually try to do a good job.”
Rounding out the top three are Doug Payne and Getaway, Lisa Wall’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Contendro, on a score of 25.4. Payne has had the ride on Getaway since spring of 2016 and has produced the horse from the Preliminary level on up. The pair most recently finished sixth in the CCI3* at Bromont and just received a Land Rover/USEF Eventing Competition Grant to represent the United States in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Boekelo CCIO3* in October.
Doug Payne and Getaway. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.
“This was his first test back after Bromont and this was a great start as we are ramping up for Boekelo,” said Payne. “His dressage is a continuous progression. Given a little bit of time, he’s going to be pretty difficult to beat [in dressage]. He’s an incredibly special horse. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to ride him.”
The remaining 23 combinations will complete their dressage tests in front of judge Robert Stevenson tomorrow morning beginning at 10:34 a.m. Click here to see the scores so far.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
The 2018 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced horse trials and CIC3* levels. The qualifying period begins August 2017 and continues through August 2018 with the final taking place at the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, August 29 – September 2, 2018. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money and thousands of dollars in prizes and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final Advanced Division. Click here to learn more about the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.
Pan Am Games team gold medalist Tamra Smith and Mai Baum and five-star pairs Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 and Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin headline a strong Advanced field when Twin Rivers begins an exciting season of eventing competition this weekend.
The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) programs have around 30 qualifying competitions each, and youngsters around the country are about to begin their seasons aimed at Championships.
As the season begins to turn, the temperature begins to drop, turnout time becomes more limited, schedules shift to accommodate the waning daylight and the possibility for a colicky horse increases. While the exact environmental causes of colic are not well understood, a commonly accepted theory is that any abrupt changes to a horse’s environment or schedule can increase the risk of colic.