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.
After several continuous days of rain, the skies cleared over Leesburg, Virginia today as the Morven Park Fall International CCI4*-L got under way with the first horse inspection. Warm weather, bright sunshine, and fall decorations set the stage for 25 horses to present before the ground jury. All 25 horses passed on first inspection. The ground jury consisted of Wayne Quarles (USA), Robert Stevenson (USA), and Sue Baxter (GBR).
While a total of 95 4- and 5-year-old horses will be vying for top-finishes in The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships next weekend, a select group of YEH graduates are entered in the CCI5*-L division at the second annual MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Presented by Brown Advisory. The USEA YEH program has run successfully for over 15 years, and many graduates of the program have gone onto compete at the pinnacle of the sport, the FEI 5-Star level of eventing, including the four horses entered in the 2022 Maryland 5 Star.
Founded in 2019, the MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program was initially created to assist up-and-coming riders under the age of 25 in North America who had not yet competed in a destination event, such as the program’s namesake the MARS Bromont CCI in Lac Brume, Quebec, Canada, or been recognized by the USEF programs intended for emerging athletes.. Spearheaded by the late Steve Blauner and Sue Ockendon, the program sought to give back to the sport by helping the next generation of riders get more experience under their belt with the help of the financial assistance provided by the program, and the two days of included instruction from leading coaches around the world.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is excited to kick off a two-year anniversary celebration, happening all throughout the month of October in the form of “SEE Month”. SEE’s goal during October is to raise awareness about our mission of opening doors for equestrians from diverse backgrounds while also fundraising to continue our work and future projects.