Mar 31, 2024

Phillips and Oskar Are Victorious in CCI4*-S at The Event at TerraNova

By TerraNova - Edited Press Release
Alyssa Phillips (USA) and Oskar took the win of the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-S. Shannon Brinkman Photography photos

Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—Alyssa Phillips (USA) of Fort Worth, Texas, won the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-S at The Event at TerraNova, presented by B&D Builders, at TerraNova Equestrian Center on Saturday aboard Oskar (Coriando x Nicole), a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding. She also won the Open Preliminary division with Keep Calm (Biscayo x Beauty), a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, and placed third in The Estates at TerraNova CCI3*-S with Cornelius Bo (Concours Complet x Charlotte), a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Phillips owns all three horses.

Jessica Phoenix (CAN) of Cannington, Ontario, finished second in the CCI4*-S with Freedom GS (Humble GS x Friedel GS), her 12-year-old Trakehner/Oldenburg gelding.

Lauren Nicholson (USA) of Ocala, Florida, placed third in the CCI4*-S with I'll Have Another (Gaultjers x Kameja), an 11-year-old Latvian Warmblood gelding owned by Brandye Randermann. Nicholson also won the CCI3*-S with Larcot Z (L'arc de Triomphe x Kocote de la Londe), an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars.

The course's 34 jumping efforts unrolled invitingly on the TerraNova terrain. Creative technical questions posed stiff challenges, but they offered options that some riders found saved the day.

FEI 3*/4* Course Designer Alec Lochore's goal was to create a "nice galloping open start to the course." He said he placed the first combination at fences five and six "so the course would begin with a test but on a really positive, forward stride."

Jessica Phoenix (CAN) and Freedom GS moved up to finish in second place from fifth after a successful cross-country round in the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-S.

Phillips said that before setting out on the course, some riders were questioning how to ride that combination. "It was designed to be ridden in three and four [strides]. We considered that, but most of us changed our minds and did five and four. It worked out really well."

The combination led to a big solid oxer constructed of thick logs. The route then required four committed strides on a straight line to a brush open ditch. Riders could tailor the distance by jumping to the left or the right side of a parallel there.

The middle of the course presented a brush oxer and two rails jumped on an angle. At the top of the slope, horses ran immediately down on two strides to the second element. "I wanted the slope to set the horses up so they would just pop over it, and then the riders would be able to sit up and go down to the angle. It's just about being controlled in this environment," said Lochore.

Lauren Nicholson (USA) and I'll Have Another, in 19th place after stadium jumping, finished in third place after cross-country in the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-S.

About the last portion of the course, he said, "They've really got to get going. They've had some technical jumps, and now comes the second last of the really technical jumps. They've got a big spread jump at the bottom of the slope, four strides up the slope to this pretty skinny little wedge at the top. Horses can't see where they're going to land. They can see that the ground is running away after them, and then they land, and then there are three quite gentle strides down to the frangible rails wedge at the bottom of the hill. This is about power over the first jump, accuracy and bravery over the top jump, and control down the slope."

Phillips called her experience at TerraNova "wonderful," adding, "It's always a treat to come here. Every time I've come, new improvements have been made, and they're all absolutely fantastic. The turf on the cross-country course is the best that I've ever seen it, and it made it really fun to run across.

"I appreciate all the effort that everybody involved put into the event – the organizers, the volunteers, the TerraNova staff, the owners – everybody's put a lot into this venue. People should make this a place they come to every year because it's a very spectacular venue. I'll definitely be back next year."

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