Marilyn Little and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Scandalous (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, Phoebe Manders and Michael Manders are hard to beat. In 25 starts together they have won 12 of those outings. In CIC and CCI competitions they have been victorious in eight out of 13 tries. While Little has not followed the pack with "Kitty’s" competition schedule, she has a plan which Jersey Fresh International fits well.
“She was a little fresh this morning” said Little. “She’s been in Wellington all winter. So this is the coldest weather she has seen since last Fall. She’s getting fitter now. She’s looking towards Luhmühlen [Horse Trials] next month, so she’s getting quite fit and she was telling me all about it this morning! She was very professional. She was wonderful to ride in there, as she usually is, and I am looking at the course tomorrow. It seems like I’ll be glad she is getting fitter. The last time I was competing here it was in the other ring so it was nice to be up here. I thought it was a nice to be up here. It was a lovely presentation and lots of fun.”
Little noted that Kitty has had a light Spring competition schedule, but she also said that the pair has had several runs outside of the competitive arena.
“When I went to the Fork I didn’t start out very quickly on the course. I wasn’t sure coming from Wellington how her fitness was going to be. I was very pleasantly surprised so I thought I had a good start at it. But, I imagine she was probably where most horses are in the beginning of February or kind of later in February looking towards Rolex. Now since then we have kind of just been turning up the volume and adding the hills and terrain which obviously, we didn’t have access to in Wellington. She’s gotten to go to Stonehall to Ms. Mars' hill at High Acre and use that hill quite a bit. I took her cross-country schooling at MCTA. They had a lovely event there last weekend and let me go out on the cross-country course. So, she has actually had quite a number of outings. We got a lot of dressage and show jumping in over the winter so now it’s been all about the fitness since The Fork. We’ll have a better gauge tomorrow and then we’ve got quite a few more weeks still to build on this, but I am hoping the part of the reason we came here was because I thought it might give her another boost in her fitness given the terrain that they have here” stated Little.
“I think there is a lot of jumps which from a fitness standpoint is great” continued Little. “It’s not just terrain, there is also a whole lot of jumps! It is beautifully presented. Pretty nice flow in the beginning. I think it gets them going. I really like the first bit and then afterwards there’s some accuracy, real accuracy questions and some tighter roll backs which keeps you on your toes towards the end. I think the new water looks nice. I haven’t been here in a little while."
The light competition schedule and the cold temperatures didn’t disrupt RF Scandalous as she was able to earn the score of the day with a 37.7 in the CIC3* division.
Everyone in attendance at Jersey Fresh has been keeping a close watch on the weather radar. There is rain in the forecast for the cross-country on Saturday. By most accounts the footing at Jersey Fresh International can handle the rain. When asked if she had any concerns about the weather Little stated that “I’ll let you know tomorrow!”
Kieffer is Preparing for Cross-Country and Cross-Atlantic Trips
Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras photo by Stacy Lynne Wendkos.
The co-owner of D.A. Duras (Numero Uno x Medoc) Debbie Adams and her husband Tony Rosati seemed practically giddy when the USEA checked in with them after the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding earned a dressage score of 46.9 in the CIC2* division. However, their excitement might have been related to the future plans for Duras with Lauren Kieffer in the tack. Along with co-owner Jacqueline Mars, they are planning to send the gelding to England with Kieffer after the Jersey Fresh International.
Kieffer remarked that “I am very fortunate, my owners, Ms. Mars and Debbie and Tony [Rosati], Marie Le Menestrel (who owns Meadowbrook's Scarlett), Team Rebecca have supported the idea of spending the summer over there in England to just try to be more competitive and to run those big events with those horses. So I am really fortunate to have that group of horses to take over there. Scarlett and Duras actually fly out on Wednesday from JFK. So then I’ll head over there and meet them there and go from there.”
When asked if she had any concerns about the new Jersey Fresh cross-country track Kieffer seemed calm and collected.
“It’s probably not as stiff as it has been in years past. I’m also sitting on an Advanced horse in the CIC2*, so you know, it should be well within his [scope]” stated Kieffer.
Cross-country is scheduled to run all morning on Saturday with the action getting underway at 8:00 am Eastern time.
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend on www.useventing.com and follow the USEA event coverage on social media!
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This has been a difficult decision, but with the current pandemic situation at hand, we feel that this is the correct and ‘common sense’ direction to take. We are developing a plan to host a shorter, smaller, and more focused competition. We will be using state and local protocols to help guide us through this. Safety is paramount at Rebecca Farm, for both equine and human participants.