Yesterday’s three-way tie was broken today in the CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian. Tamra Smith, Doug Payne, and Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp were joint leaders on a score of 28.1 in yesterday’s portion of the dressage, but 25 horses completed the CCI4*-S division today, and two pairs bested the three-way tie to take over.
Judges Mark Weissbecker and Helen Brettell saw some lovely tests today, but it wasn’t until Canada's Colleen Loach and Vermont entered the arena in the second to last group, when they gave out a new leading score. “I knew he could do it if he was calm, but sometimes tension gets the best of him,” Loach explained of Peter Barry’s 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Van Helsing x Hauptstutbuch Hollywood) who stands at a very tall 18.2 hands. The pair earned a score of 27.0, besting yesterday’s leading scores by 1.1 points. “Monty was great today. I couldn’t have asked for more today, so I’m thrilled with him.”
Four rides later, Tamra Smith entered the arena on Ruth Bley’s mare, En Vogue (Earl x Laurena). “She was quite scared of the cameras, so I wasn’t sure what she’d do when she got in there,” Smith said of the 16-year-old Hanoverian mare. “But, she’s a professional now, and she knows how to dance. I’m really proud of her,” she exclaimed after scoring a 25.4 to move into the lead. “We have a great partnership and she tried really hard in there.”
“The cross-country is pretty serious but we’re at Kentucky. It looks really challenging really but I think all the horses are up for it,” Smith said of Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course. Smith explained that she entered this competition to be competitive, but she says she has to wait and see how the horses come out of the start box to finalize her game plan. “En Vogue I think is ready to be competitive and go fast. Danito, I won’t know until I get out there – he’s quite green and young and I’ll see how it goes when I go out there. I’m going to go take another look at the course this afternoon, but I’m excited.”
Only two other pairs broke the sub-30 mark. Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play, the Donner Syndicate's 13-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Condors Champion x Roxana) scored a 28.7 to slot into seventh. The final ride of the day, Jessica Phoenix and her own 19-year-old Westphalian gelding, Pavarotti (Pavarotti Van De Helle x Fidelia) earned a 29.8 for eighth.
The CCI5*-L dressage will continue today at 12:15 p.m. with Boyd Martin first to enter the arena on the Turner family’s On Cue. Buck Davidson and Katherine O’Brien’s Carlevo will wrap-up the division today when they ride at 5:27 p.m. and then both divisions will tackle Derek di Grazia’s cross-country courses tomorrow.
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US Equestrian is pleased to announce the dates and location for the 2022 USEF Young Rider Eventing Championship. This championship will take place at the Tryon International Three-Day Event November 10-13 in Mill Spring, N.C.
Sidnee Milner and My Valentine did not become partners out of sheer coincidence. The pony and rider combination that took home the 2021 SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year award were a product of the thoughtfulness and generosity of family friend and trainer Tawn Edwards. Milner was, at the time, a young and inexperienced child rider looking for a partner to teach her the ropes of eventing; My Valentine was a well-seasoned eventing pony who knew the job of advancing young riders well and was looking for her next partner. Over their three-year relationship, the duo have accumulated various ribbons and accolades together with 2021 being the most impressive of their seasons thus far.
Updated January 18, 2022: The 2023 Eventing Calendar webinar, originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. EST, has been postponed and will be rescheduled with an additional commmunication in the coming weeks.