On a picture perfect day in beautiful Philomath Oregon, amongst numerous venders with a backdrop of green grass and Christmas tree farms, riders at the Inavale Farm Horse Trials began competition.
Spectators enjoyed a large turnout of riders for this weekend’s event, particularly in the upper level divisions, which have been split into two segments due to the significant number of entries.
This weekend’s highlighted Gallops Saddlery Training Three-Day Event, part of the SmartPak Equine USEA Classic Series, had some lovely tests in the long court, which ran on grass.
Brooke Boyley stands atop the class after day one, following a foot perfect dressage test aboard her 17-year-old dark bay gelding, My Kona Boy. She was thrilled with her ride saying, “He was phenomenal today and very obedient. He has come a very long way in the four years I have had him.”
With scores very tight following this afternoon’s dressage, tomorrow’s competition is sure to be exciting. Marissa Marcotte sits close behind the leader on her Hanovarian/Thoroughbred cross. This isn't the pair's first T3D, and Marcotte says fitness should play a role for all horses and riders with the longer components they will see tomorrow morning.
Boyley, Marcotte, and the other competitors are looking forward to the excitement of tomorrow’s long-format endurance day, which will include roads and tracks, steeplechase, a ten minute box, and a beefed up Training level cross-country course, as they wind through the trees of this lovely facility.
With 15 SmartPak USEA Classic Series Three-Day Events now on the eventing circuit, riders are being given an opportunity to experience the unique feel and various components the long format offered years ago. You can learn more about the long-format and the Classic Series at the USEA’s website, or visit the Long-Format Club’s site.
The SmartPak Equine/USEA Classic Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors: Title Sponsor: SmartPak Equine; Presenting Sponsor: Stackhouse Saddles; Silver Level Sponsor: Fleeceworks; Legacy Sponsors: Five Star Tack and VitalWear; Elite Sponsors: FITS and Nunn Finer
It’s been 13 years since an American has stood atop the podium at a five-star event, but Boyd Martin broke the dry spell today with the Turner Family’s 15-year-old Anglo European mare On Cue (Cabri D’Elle x On High) as the winners of the first-ever Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. It was a thrilling down-to-the-wire finish where Martin and On Cue climbed from third to first to take home champion honors with just .01 points between him and second-place finisher and weekend-long leader Oliver Townend.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.