U.S. Olympic veteran Will Coleman rode his longtime partner, Obos O'Reilly, to the win in the Advanced division of the MARS Essex Horse Trials at historic Moorland Farm. Coleman finished cross-country with no jumping and 6.4 time penalties for a three-phase score of 42.10 penalties on the Four Star Eventing Group's 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality x Omard Clover Queen).
"My horse is like an old shoe. He just feels comfortable and familiar. He's been with me since he was 4 years old. He's been a wonderful horse for me and it's great for him to get the win," said Coleman. "It's my first time competing here. I thought the event was wonderful. It has everything you want in a marquee event. It's got atmosphere, a great cross-country course, a beautiful turf and great going. I think it's wonderful to go full circle back to this area and I hope it can continue for a long time to come. It's such a special event."
Following Thursday and Friday's heavy rains, course designer Morgan Rowsell shortened the cross-country course to 19 fences to ensure optimum conditions for the competitors. "The course rode great," said Coleman. "I think Morgan did an excellent job with the tracks and I think he deserves a lot of the credit."
Missy Miller and Quinn catapulted from 30th place in the Advanced division dressage to second with a final score of 59.80 penalties.
"It was such a great weekend. I love the horse trials here, they do such a great job," said Miller. "My horse tried really hard all weekend. He is amazing. The course rode really well, the striding was great along with the combinations. It such a beautiful venue. I love to compete here."
Local rider Megan Kepferle of Long Valley, NJ was third riding Anakin with an overall score of 61.50 penalties. Finishing fourth was Canadian Olympic veteran Jessica Phoenix with a score of 62.9 on Watson GS.
For a complete list of results, click here
About the MARS Essex Horse Trials
For three decades, the famed Essex Horse Trials was a major highlight on the equestrian calendar, attracting top American and international competitors as well as thousands of fans who enjoyed its social aspects as well. The event was originally conceived in 1968 by the Haller Family at Hoopstick Farm. Proceeds from the event benefit the Greater Newark LifeCamp in nearby Pottersville, which provides an enriching summer day camp experience for approximately 300 Newark-area youths for six weeks during July and August. Moorland Farm, a picturesque 230-acre property, provides the breathtaking setting for the event's current edition. It is the home of the annual Far Hills Race Meeting, a nationally prestigious steeplechase race meeting held each October. Mars, Inc., the original sponsor of the Essex Horse Trials, returned in 2017 and continues as the event's title sponsor. Presenting sponsors include Open Road Auto Group, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, RWJ Barnabas Health, Running 'S' Equine Veterinary Services, and AIG. For additional information, please visit www.essexhorsetrials.org.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.