The inaugural Event at TerraNova kicked off with dressage on Friday at Terranova Equestrian in Myakka City, Florida. In the CCI4*-S the first rider down the centerline Leslie Law (GBR) took the early lead riding the Irish Sport Horse Typically Fernhill (Dondoctro Ryal K x Castlefield Sarah), owned by Craig McCallum, on 27.2. He maintained the lead through the lunch break and then Sara Kozumplik Murphy and her syndicated Selle Francais gelding Rubens d’Ysieux (Balougran x Orenda d) took the top spot with 26.1.
Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis (SWE) was briefly in the top three with her Hanoverian mare Flower Girl (Futurist x Lucy) on 30.8 until Kyle Carter (CAN) and Christy Edwards’ Trakehner mare Reddy or Not (Oskar x Raven Riley/Windfall) moved into third place (30.1), only to be unseated from the top three by none other than Leslie Law, who was last to go on Lady Chatterly, a Canadian-bred Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Jucy) that he owns in partnership with Jackie and Steve Brown. This pair scored 29.5 to take third place behind Law’s first ride, Typically Fernhill.
An experienced five-star level competitor, Kozumplik-Murphy, based out of Overlook Farm in Berryville, Virginia and Mardanza Farm in Micanopy, Florida, has been involved from the outset in advising the team of owners of TerraNova Equestrian Center in creating an exceptional, world-class facility.
“I’m sort of a jack-of-all-trades with the event, I’m definitely here to help,” she said. “I’m lucky enough to have been a part of this event since its inception and I know the [property owners] Herrig and Ketelboeter families well. Hannah and Zach Ketelboeter are really a power couple and they’re off to a great start. I’ve been here since this was a field of cows, and the fun bit is that whatever we wanted to do, whether it was the arena footing or the cross country designers or builders or whatever it was, I was able to pick who I thought was the best in the world and bring it here.”
Murphy is also currently placed second in the CCI3* with Devil Munchkin, a KWPN gelding (Casiro 3 x Rhona) which she owns along with longtime horse owner Edith Rameika.
She said Rubens did one of the best tests of his life. “We call him ‘the Unicorn,’, he’s very reliable, he moves, he jumps, he’s smart, he loves his job but he’s a funny thing because he does get a sense of occasion. He’s very correct in his movements, but he can get tense. When that horse is ‘on’, you get a sense that he wants to do it right, and I felt that today.”
Though she is familiar with the facilities, Murphy said she walked the cross country course in full for the first time today, and thinks it will be a good, galloping test for the horses. “It’s friendly, it’s built beautifully, everything is laid out well for the horses. For the first time I think it’s important to be friendly for the horses and not be too tricky or trappy for the horses, and I think [course designer] Capt. Mark Phillips has struck a good note.”
Law, who is based in Ocala, Florida said that his two horses competed in their first four-star recently at Stable View, in Aiken, SC and he was pleased with their performances in the dressage today. He said for his second time doing this level, Typically Fernhill laid down a strong test. He said that the mare typically is good at dressage and felt good today, but he was late on the first canter change, which probably cost her points-wise, though overall he felt it was a good test.
“I think the cross-country looks really good. I think TerraNova has done a fantastic job of laying down a track, trying to give us the best footing possible. You have to give them full marks, what they’ve done here is incredible; cross-country is getting watered, the fences are beautiful, you can’t thank them enough really. As far as the four-star course goes it’s fairly straightforward except for two combinations. There’s the double corners four strides out back and about four from home you’ve got the open oxer to the open corner, and they’re strong. You’re going to have to really ride them. For my horses who are inexperienced at this level, those combinations are a strong test because you’ve got to really hold the line.”
Riders representing eight different countries competed in the four-star: Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, the United States, Sweden and New Zealand. Mexico and Ireland are also represented at the event.
The USEA is heartbroken to hear about the loss of James “Jimmy” C. Wofford. A lifelong lover and supporter of the sport, Wofford has had an astounding influence on where eventing is today and has tirelessly supported the goals of the United States Eventing Association. He served as president of the American Horse Show Association (now U.S. Equestrian (USEF)), was the first vice-president of the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET), and served as secretary of the USCTA (now USEA). He served two terms as a member of the FEI Eventing Committee, including two years as vice chairman. In addition, he has served on numerous committees during his career.
Experience the thrill of traditional long format three-day eventing by competing in a USEA Classic Series event in 2023! The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that the 2023 Classic Series calendar is now available.
Amanda Walker wasn’t sure what she’d gotten herself into when she went to try Runaway Romeo as a potential sales project in 2018. The gelding was a bit bigger than Walker was looking for and was quite pushy coming out of the stall. When she got on, it didn’t get much better.
For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.