With a new course designer at the helm and divisions that spanned from Intro through the CCI4*-S level, it was an action-packed weekend at the Twin Rivers Fall Horse Trials.
In the CCI4*-S, Tamra Smith of Murrieta, Calif. led the way in the top three spots from start to finish with an impressive string of horses. Smith’s Pan American Games team gold medal partner, Mai Baum, impressed in his first event since competing in Peru, scoring a 24.4 in dressage and adding just a hand full of time penalties throughout the jumping portions of the competition. Smith was happy with Alex Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell’s 13-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano x Ramira), saying, “We’ve been doing quite a bit of homework since the Pan American Games and I was thrilled with the result this weekend. We were fortunate to have training sessions earlier this week here at Twin Rivers with U.S. Team Coach Erik Duvander and he was able to help me polish some final details before we head abroad again to contest Boekelo at the Nation’s Cup in just a few weeks.”
In addition to her seasoned partner Mai Baum bringing home the win, Smith also had a notable weekend with En Vogue and Danito, both owned by Ruth Bley. After taking them to the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, where they finished first and second, Smith used Hugh Lochore’s new courses to move the duo up to the Advanced level, earning herself second and third place respectively. Smith praised both horses saying, “These are such special horses and I am very excited to have them both be at the Advanced level now. Twin Rivers is a venue we are very fortunate to have on the West Coast and it served as the perfect place to move these horses up with a great first experience.”
The leaderboard shook up significantly after the final phase of competition in the CCI3-*S division and it was Canadian James Atkinson and his own Fleur de Lis who came out on top after starting out the weekend in sixth place and steadily climbing their way up in the jumping phases.
Rebecca Braitling and Arnell Sport Horse’s Caravaggio II followed by Asia Vedder and her own Isi rounded out the top three spots in a competitive CCI3*-S.
Just like the level above it, the CCI2*-S saw significant changes and placing shifts following the jumping portions of the competition. Ultimately, Holly Jones, and her own Speed Bonnie Boat, climbed the ranks after starting their weekend off in 7th place to bring home the blue ribbon, less than a point ahead of second-placed Caroline Dein with Tropic Star and Travis Atkinson piloting Don Darco.
In his first time designing at Twin Rivers Ranch, newly appointed course designer Hugh Lochore got to know the venue and showed his enthusiasm for what is to come, saying, “I have really enjoyed being here for the first time. After getting to know the terrain and team behind the event a bit better, I very much look forward to putting forth a plan for the future.”
Full results are available here.
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