Raeford, N.C. - March 25, 2022 – The sun shone on day two of the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International presented by Lumbee River EMC setting the stage for an exciting show jumping phase. While clean rounds were hard to come by, the leaderboards look relatively similar once the dust settled with three of the four division leaders keeping their top positions heading into cross-country.
While the show jumping proved difficult for the rest of the Setters’ Run Farm CCI4*-S field, the top three maintained their positions at the top of the standings. Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira), Eric Markell and Ellen and Alex Ahearn's 16-year-old German Sport Horse gelding sailed above the fences to maintain their overnight lead. The combination added just .8 to their record-breaking 20.7 dressage score to sit handily ahead of their next challenger.
“He was super today and I am so happy with him. It was great to zip around, and he felt really good,” Smith commented about her round on “Lexus”. “I walked around the course and I think I might decide to have a go at it tomorrow. The plan was to take him to The Fork but I saw the course and thought why wouldn’t you run. It’s an open, galloping track and asks all the questions. It has a stiff coffin and the last water is intense but it looks like a really good prep for Badminton so we shall see,” she added.
If Smith does run tomorrow, she will have two riders hot on her heels, both who had a fantastic day of show jumping in the Derby Field. All four double clear rounds in the 30 horse CCI4*-S field belonged to Will Coleman and Doug Payne. With two clears apiece, including on their second and third place mounts, not much will separate them going into cross-country. Coleman rode Team Rebecca and the Four Star Eventing Group’s Dondante, the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Pachio while Payne’s third-place mount is Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter’s Starr Witness (Chello III x Carmen), an 11-year-old KWPN mare.
“Al jumped well today. We were trying a little bit of a different setup and we are sort of still playing around with it getting ready for the Kentucky CCI5* but he is a real trier,” Coleman said of Dondante. “Tomorrow is a big test and Ian Stark has laid out a different test this year. It's big and it is a real five-star prep but that’s why we come here. I am looking forward to having a crack at it,” he added about tomorrow’s cross-country.
Payne echoed Coleman’s sentiments about his day and tomorrow’s cross-country tracks.
“Today I thought the course was really well designed and built. I was certainly appreciative that the ground jury stuck to the snug time allowed as it’s good preparation for other events this spring. The horses jumped well and I was really happy with all of them. It was a big atmosphere for them to jump in but that is why we are here,” he said. Adding, “I think tomorrow’s course looks great. Ian Stark has changed up the track and it’s nice to have something a bit different. He does a good job preparing them for the bigger three days to come. The ground is excellent and I am looking forward to it.”
The top 10 in The Cordelia Family Foundation CCI3*-S remain unchanged after show jumping with everyone jumping clear including overnight leaders Caroline Martin on her own and Sherrie Martin’s 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Diarado x Calinka) Redfield Champion. They will leave the startbox last tomorrow on their dressage score of 27 but are followed closely by Holly Payne Caravella and CharmKing LLC’s CharmKing on their score of 28.8. The top 10 are separated by less than 15 seconds of cross-country time to make for an exciting finale.
“I was really pleased with all of my horses today and their efforts in the show jumping phase. I have been taking lessons with my longtime show jumping coaches, Anne Kursinski, Kim Perlman, and Erik Duvander, who have really helped me develop the horses and get them stronger at the level. It was great to be able to carry everything we have been working on at home to the warm-up and then into the ring,” Martin explained about her rides today. “I think the cross-country courses look strong yet fair. The ground is perfect, and the team here has done an incredible job so I am looking forward to having a crack at it tomorrow.”
The Breezeway Sporthorse and Diagnostic Clinic and Friendship Mobile Veterinary Imaging and Sports Medicine CCI2*-S also saw little change at the top of the leaderboard with Dom Schramm and the Quadrocana Syndicate’s Quadrocana a 9-year-old German Sport Horse mare (Quadrofino x Rocana II) continuing to lead on their 25.2 dressage score.
“Quodrocana was incredible today and I think she is the best horse in the United States with really great owners as well,” Schramm gushed about his horse. “The course for tomorrow looks good and educational. I like them to be able to answer these questions in preparation for long formats later in the season and I think the way they have changed the flow of the course really encourages them to get in a good rhythm. I was looking for something that was going to really boost her confidence and it is very much true to the level,” he added about tomorrow’s cross-country test.
Looking to the remainder of the top three in the CCI2*-S, Elinor O’Neal and Sally Cox’s Koraline and Martin and her own Galwaybay Redfield HSH Connor swapped places after Koraline had an unfortunate rail to leave Martin sitting in second overnight and O’Neal third heading into cross-country.
The show jumping in the CCI1*-S proved most influential with Olivia Coolidge taking over the lead with her own Bold Impression, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Bolductiv x Good Impressions) after posting a double clear round.
“This is our first FEI, and my horse was amazing today. It was super fun and a big atmosphere, but my horse really showed up. He jumped the moon for me, and it was such a good feeling.
Andrew McConnon has been helping us and his guidance has been so helpful,” Coolidge detailed about her round. “Tomorrow’s course is pretty open and there are a lot of good questions and lots of galloping so it should be fun,” she added.
The CCI3*-S competitors head out on cross country at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, and the CCI4*-S is set to begin at 11:20 a.m. The CCI2*-S will set out at 2:10 p.m. with the CCI1*-S wrapping up the day at 3:25 p.m.
The divisions will run in reverse order of standing guaranteeing a thrilling finale. Carolina International is also hosting Training through Advanced level horse trial divisions, which got underway Friday with dressage and continue the competition Saturday over fences.
For more information about the event, visit https://carolinainternationalcci.com/.
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.