Boyd Martin emerged as the leader of the competitive CIC3* division Friday after dressage at Fair Hill International with the Long Island T Syndicate’s Long Island T, earning a score of 26.3 in the 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred's (Ludwig Von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight) second start at this level.
“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. We had the three-star at [Cloud 11~Gavilan North Carolina International], then [The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center] then this one, and they’ve each had a slightly difference atmosphere,” the two-time Olympian said. “The horses all seem to light up in this ring. It suited Long Island T. He’s a quiet horse, and it spiced him up just enough.”
Canada’s Waylon Roberts is in second with Michelle and John Koppin’s Lancaster, an 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood with unrecorded breeding, on a personal best score of 29.7.
“He went in and was right on his job today. He felt really comfortable in this arena. Sometimes he can be a little nervous in his surroundings, so I was pleased that he went in and stayed really confident. That was my goal today: be smooth, keep him in the corners and be really relaxed,” Roberts commented.
Matt Flynn piloted three-star debutant Get Lucky to third place after the first day of competition. Flynn Sport Horse’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Van Gogh x Ranna) earned a score of 30.9.
In the CIC2* division, Will Faudree found himself on the top of the leaderboard with Jennifer Mosing & Sterling Silver Stables’ Hans Dampf. The 12-year-old Oldenburg (Heraldik xx x Look CR) carries 27.3 points into Saturday’s jumping phases.
“I was very happy with how he was in the test today. He’s had a year off due to injury, so it's really exciting for him to be back competing,” Faudree explained. “I’ve waited to start the season until I really felt he was ready and fit and strong, and he feels that. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s a proper track. It asks all the great questions, and Derek always designs phenomenal courses.”
Allison Springer takes up second place on 29.1 points with Business Ben, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred (Artie Schiller x Min Elreeh) owned by The Business Ben Partnership. Third place in this 30-entry division belongs to Will Coleman and TKS Cooley, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Vivaldo Van Het Costersveld x Badgerhill Cruise) owned by the TKS Cooley Syndicate, who earned a dressage result of 29.4.
Kara Angula’s Metallica leads the CIC* after dressage with Kelli Temple in the tack. The 8-year-old Holsteiner (Cancara x Ulysses) starts the weekend on a score of 24.5.
Mike Pendleton and The Fonz Himself, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Vincenzo Vant Merelsnest x Jadore Chanel) owned by Bonnie Stedt, give the leaders little breathing room as they follow in second place on a 24.7. Olivia Dutton picks up third in the one-star with her father, Phillip Dutton’s former four-star partner, Mr. Medicott. She and the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s 19-year-old Irish Sport Horse earned a 27.6.
New this year, two- and three-star combinations show jump in the main arena on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m., where Fair Hill International welcomes new show jumping course designer Marc Donovan. Riders can then look forward to a challenging cross country course laid out by Derek di Grazia where the best three-star combinations are gunning for the $2,500 purse.
“Fair Hill always an event that I like to come to,” Martin remarked. “It’s got a real three-day event feel. The course isn’t overly big, but it’s nice inviting fences, and all the questions are there: coffins, waters, corners, narrows. I think this a great preparation for any horse going to [Jersey Fresh International Three-Day] or [Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event].”
The one-star competitors will show jump in the Foxcatcher arena Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. followed by cross country in the Saw Mill field at 3:02 p.m.
Fair Hill International is also pleased to host riders preparing for the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, the only CCI4* in the Western Hemisphere, held April 26-29. These pairs performed a a four-star dressage test Friday, and will show jump around Donovan’s advanced track Saturday.
Admission is free, and spectators are welcome to watch the thrilling competition and enjoy the natural beauty of the of the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area.
About Fair Hill International
For the last three decades Fair Hill International (FHI) has stood as one of North America’s most prestigious eventing venues. FHI welcomes beginner through Olympic level riders with both recognized horse trials and unrecognized starter trials. The crown jewel of the U.S. eventing season is The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, held each October, which also hosts USEF CCI3*/CCI2* Eventing National Championship divisions.
The first CCI4*-L of 2020 officially got underway this week at Galway Downs International in Temecula, California. It is Boyd Martin and Luke 140, who topped the 12-pair field with a 29.40 from FEI ground jury members Sandy Phillips, Wayne Quarles, and Valerie Vizcarando-Pride.
For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors.
2020 has been a rollercoaster of the year and unfortunately, it didn’t stop with The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championships as the jumping/gallop portion of the competition had to be halted today after the first 25 horses due to deteriorating footing and challenging weather conditions.
Many of the country’s best eventing athletes are at the Galway Downs International Event in Southern California this week to compete for the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship. This is the first time this championship has been held on the West Coast, and several horse-and-athlete pairs have made the trip across the country to participate.