American combinations Sharon White and Kelsey Ann Quinn masterfully tackled John Michael Durr’s cross-country course on Saturday at the Virginia Horse Trials. White and Masterel pulled ahead to capture the lead in the USEF CCI* Eventing National Championship, while Quinn and Dandy Longlegs maintained their lead in the USEF CCI* JR/YR Eventing National Championship.
White (Summit Point, W.V.) sat in fifth following Friday’s dressage phase with the 9-year-old Italian Thoroughbred gelding she owns with Denis Glaccum. However, she and Masterel conquered the course within the time and no penalties to stay on their dressage score of 28.80, earning them the top spot in the USEF CCI* Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete that is 22 years of age or older.
“[Masterel] is a fabulous horse,” said White. “This is the first time I have ever let him run because I basically have had 30 time penalties everywhere I’ve taken him. He is a real racehorse, and I have spent all of this time just trying to help him relax and really be with me; I rate [his speed]. He is an unbelievable horse. So it was really satisfying today to see if I could let him go and it was wonderful.”
Known as “Stallone” in the barn because of his Italian decent, White said that he cruised around the cross-country course, really owning his Thoroughbred breeding. “He could have gone around another 10 times and not thought twice about it. The course was lovely. There was a combination at the end that was a really decent question – it was an angle across a table, chevron to a skinny, up a hill - I thought that was a really well done, interesting question that the horses had to tackle.”
“He is a super jumper,” continued White. “But he gets a little over-stimulated and then gets a little tight in his back, so I don’t actually know what will happen tomorrow. I hope he is relaxed enough to do the best he can…I am going to go in and give him the best ride that I can and tell him that he is a fabulous creature because he is.”
Colleen Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and C Me Fly, her 6-year-old Westphalian mare, currently sit in second place in the USEF CCI* Eventing National Championship on a score of 30.30. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Ringo Star, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Helle Goodrich, hold the third-place position on a score of 30.70.
Kelsey Ann Quinn Maintains the Lead in the USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship
Meanwhile, Quinn (Finksburg, Md.) and the 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Julie Quinn, maintained their lead in the USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete between the ages of 14 and 21.
With just 5.20 zero in time penalties over the cross-country course, Quinn and Dandy Longlegs finished out the day on a score of 32.90.
“It couldn’t have been better,” said Quinn when asked about her ride over the course. “[Dandy Longlegs] was foot perfect. He just took me around like a pro. The 7a/b, the oxer to the corner, that was a little tricky – very skinny. And the a/b/c turning, the wedge, that was a little bit tricky, but overall, everything went well. [The plan for tomorrow] is to jump clear - he is always good and always tries his hardest.”
Isabel Finemore (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) and Ruthergin currently hold the second-place position in the USEF CCI*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship on a score of 33.20, while Dylan Philipps (Pittsboro, N.C.) and Fernhill Fierce, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare he owns with Meredith Philipps, sit in third with a score of 33.40.
CCI* and CCI*-JR/YR show jumping gets underway on Sunday, November 4 beginning at 11:05 a.m. ET.
Click here to find out more about the Virginia Horse Trials
If you were involved in equestrian sports at all last year, you probably noticed how COVID incentivized the industry to make a few changes in day-to-day business operations. The United States Eventing Association (USEA) caught up with the STRIDER leadership team to learn more about recent industry trends after their trip earlier this month to EQUITANA USA at the Kentucky Horse Park.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.
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Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.