Temecula, Calif.—April 2—Clayton Fredericks' April Fools Day international cross-country track left no place for foolin' around Saturday in the final phase of the Galway Downs International's FEI divisions.
Tamie Smith retained her two spots atop the leaderboard with the seasoned veteran Mai Baum (Loredano 2 x Ramira) edging Danito out of a lead he'd carried from dressage and after both show jumped double clear Friday night. While both horses made it look easy, it was not, Smith asserted. "The course rode very difficult and technical and very reactive. There wasn't any part where you could count on something riding like you'd planned it."
The Bank and Double Houses at 13ABC, the Land Rover Mission Viejo Water Complex at 18 ABCD, and the Brush Ditch-Pig Hut-Angle Brush at 21ABC were especially challenging.
Even with her "old, trusted partner," Tamie admitted she was a bit nervous because Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell's 17-year-old German Sport Horse had not run since their FEI Eventing World Championships team silver outing in September, and the course "was riding way harder than I anticipated."
Smith considered the 6 minutes 19 second optimum time "unmakeable" and, indeed, she and Mai Baum were the closest to it. Their 9.2 time penalties bumped up their 22.2 dressage score, and they won on a 31.4, ahead of Ruth Bley's 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danito's (Dancier x Wie Musik) score of 34.8, which included 14 time penalties.
"I went for it with both horses, and I really tried to go faster with Danito," Smith reported. "He's more of a long-format horse. I can ride Mai Baum a little faster because he sets himself up for the jumps so well. Danito is not quite as careful, and he's a bit strong, so that's part of it. But, both were awesome, and I'm thrilled."
Saturday's CCI4*-S cross-country was ideal prep for Mai Baum and Danito going into the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L later this month, Smith said.
Marc Grandia and Team Rebecca's 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Campari FFF (Camiros x Tanner), moved up into third with 19.2 time penalties to end on a 53.5. Katy Robinson and her own 11-year-old Thoroughbred Outrageous Dance (Outrageous Limit x I Wanna Dance) had the biggest jump up the standings, their 12.8 time penalties boosted them from ninth into fourth.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.