There’s a new leader holding the top spot after the final day of dressage in the CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS equestrian. The remaining 24 CCI4*-S competitors competed in front of judges Peter Gray and Bea di Grazia. The 11-year-old KWPN mare, Starr Witness (Chello III VDL x Carmen) owned by Doug Payne, Catherine Winter, and Laurie McRee scored an impressive 23.2 to take the lead going into tomorrow’s cross-country.
“We spent a lot of time last year doing flatwork and jumping a bit and I think that’s paying off now. She’s getting stronger and more confident. She’s a pleasure to ride and I’m very lucky to have her,” said Payne after his test.
“I thought it was phenomenal,” added Payne’s mother, Marilyn Payne who is an Olympic level dressage judge. “I was delighted with the horse. That’s the best, most consistent I’ve ever seen her go – and she can get better, which is really exciting.”
Starr Witness and Payne represented the U.S. at the 2019 Pan American Games and helped the U.S. team secure team gold. The pair also competed in the CCI4*-S last year at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day event and placed fifth. They recently finished second in the CCI4*-S at Carolina International and second in the Advanced division at The Fork at TIEC.
Colleen Loach and Peter Barry's 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Vermont (Van Helsing x Hauptstutbuch Hollywood) put in a lovely test to score a 24.5 which puts them in second place going into cross-country. There were no other pairs that scored lower than a 25.7 so yesterday’s leaders Liz Halliday-Sharp and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) owned by The Monster Partnership sit in third going into tomorrow’s cross-country.
Tomorrow will be influential as there is less than a one-tenth of a point difference in the dressage scores between the pairs sitting in fourth, fifth, and sixth. The 10-year-old Brandenburg mare FE Coldplay, owned by Clayton Fredericks, Hugh Wrigley, and Diana Crawford, is ranked fourth following dressage on Friday morning after scoring a 26.7. Cooley Moonshine (Cobra x Kilpatrick Duchess) a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership is settled into fifth place with a score of 26.8 and Cooley Be Cool (Heritage Fortunus x HHS Carlota) a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership scored a 26.9 to sit in sixth.
Cross-country for the CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will kick off on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. EST.
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The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.
USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.
When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.
It has been three years since Auburn University has clinched the title of USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Champions, but the team aimed to rectify that at the 2022 Championships by sending six teams to compete, one of which, the Auburn War Eagles, sits in the pole position following the first day of competition.