There are new faces at the top of the leaderboard in the CIC3* at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event after the second day of dressage competition. Allison Springer and The Lord Willing Syndicate’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Lord Willing (Lord Z x Legende IX) snuck into the lead before the morning break, taking over from overnight leaders Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman, his own, Amanda Bernhard, and Diana J. Crawford’s 10-year-old Wurttemberger gelding of unknown breeding.
“Lord Willing is really fun to do a test on,” said Springer, who has been partnered with the gelding for the past two years. “I’ve been working really hard on my cross-country. He’s a careful horse and he’s pretty green at the level but it looks good out here so I’m excited for tomorrow.”
“I think it’s a good course,” Springer said, given that Lord Willing is still green at the level and quite careful. “It is a bit windy in areas but I think there are some good questions and it’ll be a good course for him and hopefully a good confidence boost. That’s what we’re hoping for. I think [Captain Mark Phillips] has done a good of trying to improve the course here with what he has. I’m very pleased with the improvements they’ve made.”
The second and third positions on the leaderboard saw quite the shuffle over the course of the day, but it was ultimately Phillip Dutton and Dr. Kevin Keane’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Sportsfield Candy (by Candios) who sit in second place heading into cross-country tomorrow morning. Dutton has temporarily taken over the rider from Dr. Keane, who injured his leg and has been unable to ride. However, Dutton said Dr. Keane should back in the saddle after Jersey Fresh. “[Sportsfield Candy] hasn’t been at this level very much, but he’s been very well-trained and prepared by Kevin Keane,” Dutton said.
“Every event you go to has got some uniqueness about it,” said Dutton on the twisting nature of the track at Jersey Fresh. “I think [Captain Mark Phillips] has tried to make it as testing but safe as he can."
Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Mexico M), her own and David and Mary Clark Regamey’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding, eased into third place on a score of 29.7, just .1 ahead of Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude and Boyd Martin and Kyra, who are tied for fourth place on 29.8.
DePuy explained that she’s been working with David O’Connor on her flatwork and has noticed a major improvement. “It’s been a work in progress,” she commented. “He’s a lovely horse that I’ve had for a while, but the flatwork has definitely been a weakness. I’m very good at helping everybody else and not as good at helping myself, so I got some help and it helped, a lot.”
DePuy has had the ride on Congo Brazzaville C since he was a 6-year-old. She explained that she brings a lot of young horses along hoping that she’ll find one for herself and Congo Brazzaville C was too special to let go. Imported from England, he came from the same person that found De Puy’s Olympic partner, Hopper. “I loved him the minute I saw him, I didn’t even have to sit on him, I knew I was going to love him. He’s just been a very kind, genuine young horse to produce. There’s such a partnership; we get each other. I thought I was done coming back to this top level and Congo’s brought me back because he’s such a special horse to ride.”
“[The course] looks good, they’ve done a lot of improvements here,” observed DePuy. “My horse moved up last year to this level and he’s very proud of himself this year so he’s been a little cocky . . . this is going to be a really good test for him and for me.”
Just six pairs were left to perform their dressage tests today in the CCI3* but they saved the best for last. Body Martin and Long Island T (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight), the Long Island T Syndicate’s 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding, were the last to canter down centerline in the CCI3* this morning and they laid down a 25.4, giving them just more than a three-point lead over the overnight leaders Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti.
“Ludwig was a star,” Martin stated happily. “He’s very good on the flat, a great mover, nice and relaxed in the ring, and I’m very pleased with the way he goes. Obviously it’s a three-day event, not a dressage show, so I’ve got a mission ahead of me tomorrow.”
“Walking the course, I think it’s all very doable,” Martin continued. “I’ve been training really hard at the cross-country. He’s new-ish to me, but we’ve built up a bit of a partnership. We’ve had some good runs and some scrappy runs but I think this course suits him well. I’ll probably ride him at a pace around the course where I feel like he’ll be able to cope with the fences.”
With Martin and Long Island T claiming the top spot today, Jessica Phoenix and Don Good’s 16-year-old Westfalian gelding Pavarotti (Pavarotti Van de Helle x Fidelia) now occupy the second spot on the leaderboard, while Martin and his second ride in the division, The Ray Price Syndicate’s 10-year-old Thoroughbred/Dutch gelding Ray Price (Raise a Stanza x Fair Fiona), round out the top three. Both of Martin’s horses are contesting the CCI3* level for the first time.
Two more of the six combinations that went this morning broke into the top ten. Elinor MacPhail O’Neal and RF Eloquence (Contender x D-Ginger), Sally Crane’s 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, scored a 30.6, which was good enough for fourth place overnight. Cornelia Dorr and her own a 13-year-old Rheinland Pfalz-Saar gelding Louis M (Lissabon x Angelique M), the champions of the 2017 Jersey Fresh International CCI2*, sit in 10th place going into tomorrow’s cross-country on a score of 32.4.
Cross-country will begin tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. with the CCI2*, followed by the CCI3*, CIC3*, and CIC2*. Click here to read the USEA’s course preview of the Jersey Fresh International CCI3* cross-country course.
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