The first day of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials saw four U.S. riders take their turn in the main arena. Thirty-four riders came forward today in front of the ground jury of Nick Burton (GBR), Christina Klingspor (SWE), and Xavier Le Sauce(FRA), and it was Burghley debutant, Eliza Stoddart on Priorspark Opposition Free, Anne and Bruce Staley's 11-year-old British Sport Horse gelding (Fleetwater Opposition x Raunds Freeway) who took the overnight lead on a 28.7. Stoddart lives down the road from Burghley and with riding a British-bred horse it is a true hometown event for the pair. Only five riders managed to make it into the 20s today.
Doug Payne and Vandiver, the 15-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall II x Visions of Grandeur) owned by the rider, Jessica Payne, and Debi Crowley were the best of the Americans scoring a 32.1 for equal ninth.
“I think it was about as good as we can have for the moment and where he is at,” said Payne after his test. “I think there was a lot of opportunity in there – it is a charged environment. He would be one who is a bit of an internalizer and worrier, but he handled it really well and I was able to ride as aggressive as I can at the moment. I maybe ran out of gas a little bit at the end, but in general, I couldn’t be much happier.”
William Coleman and Tight Lines are hot on Payne and Vandiver’s heels as the 12-year-old Pur Sang gelding (Turgeon x Merindole) owned by the Conair Syndicate sits in 11th on a 32.4.
"I thought it went well. I am very pleased. Tight Lines was a good boy," said Coleman. "I have no complaints. I am happy to take that score into Saturday and see how we do."
"I would be lying if I didn't say he was my favorite horse, we have a very close relationship, and I thrilled to have him here and I am so lucky that I have such amazing supporters and owners that made it possible for me [to be here]. Above all else, I am thankful for them and for the horse," continued Coleman about Phish.
Andrea Baxter starts her week out with a 37.6 for 22nd position. Baxter is riding her longtime partner, Indy 500, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Cromwell x Tens of Thousands), and they put in a solid test despite only deciding to come to Burghley two weeks ago.
Rounding out the Americans is Ariel Grald with Annie Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash). They scored a 38.1 for 24th in their Burghley debut.
Seven more Americans will start tomorrow with the final 33 horses.
Friday Ride Times
How to follow along:
The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention came to a close on Sunday with the final USEA Board of Governors meeting. After the call to order, USEA Senior Director of Membership Services/Meeting Planner Jennifer Hardwick gave a brief overview of the annual meeting. There were 321 attendees and 220 who came to the awards dinner. Next year’s Annual Meeting & Convention will be held in Seattle, Washington, from Dec. 10-15 at the Westin Seattle.
Because every horse is different, caring for some senior equines is easy while caring for others can be a challenge. When does a horse become senior, how does the body change, which health conditions become more prevalent, and what can owners do to compensate for their horse’s aging body?
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members from all over the country gathered on Saturday night for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. The evening’s ceremony was led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Wolf and recognized riders, horses, and game-changers in the sport of eventing with multiple awards and grants.
Hosting the Annual Meeting of Members each December has been a requirement set forth by the United States Eventing Association (USEA) by-laws (then the United States Combined Training Association) since 1959. This year, USEA members are gathering in St. Louis, Missouri, for the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention from Dec. 7 - Dec. 10 for four jam-packed days of educational seminars and open forums full of conversation surrounding our sport. Lunch on Friday, however, served as an opportunity for attendees to gather together for the USEA Meeting of Members once again.