Half of the field had rails down in Chris Barnard’s CCI4*-S show jumping course today at the MARS Great Meadow International in The Plains, Va. The overnight scores were tight in top 10 after dressage, but clear jumping rounds won the day, and the leaderboard was loosened.
The top four scores in the CCI4*-S remain sub-30, and the overnight leader and reserves held onto their standings. Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous entered and left the arena on their overnight dressage score of 23.4. “Kitty felt like she jumped a lovely round, she was confident and rideable,” said Little of the 16-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders.
“There was one somewhat exciting moment when she jumped the Salamander Farms oxer, fence number eight, and eyed-in on the Mars double. She was trying to assure me she understood the plan and had it covered, so was understandably miffed when I kept insisting we turn right to jump fence number nine. Fortunately, she brought her sense of humor to the ring today and let me smooth things over. She always tries so hard and just seems to get better with age, but she absolutely jumps better when she’s in front of a crowd,” explained Little.
“She loves an audience. It’s fun to see her celebrate her clear rounds when she goes through the timers. She’s a very proud horse and totally deserves those moments,” said Little, who sits in a 4.6 lead over second place heading into tomorrow’s cross-country phase.
Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore were the overnight reserves, and also jumped double clear to remain on their dressage score of 28.0 in second place. The 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by David Vos, Ann Jones and Tim Tierney was in the last group to jump, and will be putting the pressure on Little to complete tomorrow’s cross-country course without fault.
William Coleman and Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera) swapped places with Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus (Serazim x Wake Me Gently) after Jacqueline Mars’ Anglo-Arabian had one rail down. With Hyperion Stud’s 9-year-old Chin Tonic HS jumping clean, Coleman moved into third place, pushing Nicolson and the 14-year-old “Bug” into fifth. Coleman also earned a clear round aboard his 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Off The Record (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay), maintaining their overnight fourth place position.
While the top five after dressage remained rather consistent, the remaining scores in the top 10 rattled significantly, as clear rounds helped the combinations move up numerous places. Kevin Keane and his own Sportsfield Candy put in a double clear round, moving up from 16th place to sixth, and the trend continued for those who could best Chris Barnard’s CCI4*-S course. Phillip Dutton and Sea of Clouds (Malibu Moon x Winner’s Ticket) moved up from 17th to seventh, Kimmy Cecere and Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco moved up from 19th to 8th, Lillian Heard and her own LCC Barnaby moved up from 22nd to 9th, and William Coleman and The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines climbed from 23rd to 10th, all by putting in foot perfect rounds under the optimum time.
Horses and riders will tackle David O’Connor’s CCI4*-S cross-country course tomorrow beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
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Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.
The 2021 Plantation Field International Three-Day Event kicked off yesterday with the CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S dressage, and culminated with the CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S dressage today.