A full day of show jumping at the MARS Great Meadow International got even fuller after an afternoon thunderstorm caused a two-hour weather delay. Show jumping began at 8:00 a.m. with the Preliminary followed by the CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI3*-L, and capping off with the CCI4*-S. The event ran short on daylight however and only 32 of the 68 CCI4*-S pairs were able to jump today – the remaining riders will show jump at 7:30 a.m. before cross-country starts at 9:00 a.m. for the CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S.
The CCI4*-S riders look to have spent their self-quarantines practicing show jumping as 24 of the 32 pairs jumped clear over Chris Barnard’s show jumping track. Although the division isn’t finished the overnight leaders Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous jumped clear and were inside the time so will hold onto their lead heading into tomorrow’s cross-country. The second-placed pair of Will Coleman and Off The Record will show jump tomorrow, but Phoebe and Michael Manders and Jacqueline Mars’ 15-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) currently don’t have a second to spare if they want to win.
The third-placed pair, Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, the Cross Syndicate’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz), jumped a lovely clear to continue to sit on a 22.1. A special bonus as it is Severson’s birthday!
At the three-star level clear rounds were a lot harder to come by with only three (out of nine entries) in the CCI3*-L and only 10 (out of 44) in the CCI3*-S. It was a wire-to-wire victory for Sharon White and her own Claus 63, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Tina II), in the inaugural CCI3*-L. The pair started their weekend on a 29.5 and added just 1.6 time penalties on the cross-country course yesterday to come out on top. Kimmy Cecere rode Jessica Bortner-Harris’ Bishop de Selah to second place. The 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Begat Pfaythe x Slew Dinkum) was the only horse to finish on his dressage score in the division. Rounding out the top three is Benjamin Noonan and his own Keep Kitty, a 9-year-old Hanoverian mare (King Julio x Hauptstutbuch Emelie) – they scored a 31.2 in dressage to sit second and maintained that after the cross-country, but a single rail down today dropped them to third.
CCI3*-S overnight leaders William Coleman and the Hyperion Stud’s Chin Tonic, an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Wildera) pulled a rail to drop to third. Phillip Dutton and Fernhill PickPocket, the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Chacco Blue x Bracklin Mystique), owned by Lee Lee Jones, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, moved up from third to second after leaving all the jumps up.
The CCI3*-S got the brunt of the rainstorm – the delay was called as Gabby Dickerson was beginning her round with Journeyman – and the horses in warm-up were all sent back to the stables for two hours. That included RF Cool Play, who with Lynn Symansky in the tack is now the overnight leader. The Donner Syndicate’s 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Condors Champion x Roxana) is sitting on his dressage score of 24.5 with just a few seconds to spare ahead of Dutton.
The CCI2*-S finished up their competition this morning with Kelly Prather and her own Catch Me Cooley taking the win on a score of 23.9 – a hefty five-point margin. It was the third win in a row for the 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) who just moved up to Preliminary this year. Michelle Chisholm’s 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Reloaded (Magna Graduate x Curious Cat) finished second with Kurt Martin while another Thoroughbred, Amazing Anthem (National Anthem x Amazing Truth) owned by Nina Gardner finished third with Jennie Brannigan.
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Jeffrey Lesitsky was always intrigued by horses, but growing up Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he didn’t have much access to them. “My only experience was what I saw on television,” he said. “I saw pictures of Secretariat when he won the Triple Crown, but I was only 10 years old and I didn't really understand what was going on. Secretariat was a beautiful horse and I wanted to learn more about them – later I learned Secretariat and I have the same birthday, but I'm seven years his senior!”
Lynn Klisavage got her start teaching riding lessons on Barber’s Point Naval Air Base on O’ahu, Hawaii in the 1960s. When she was in her early 20s, she and her family relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and it was there that Klisavage became the Director of the Air Force Academy Stables.
In 2008, the USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) had 20 competitions on the YEH calendar, 36 horses who qualified to compete in the championships, and 15 horses who competed in the 2008 USEA YEH Championships held in Wayne, Illinois at Lamplight Equestrian Center.