Susprite Syrius cantered into the show jumping arena with two rails in hand, but he didn’t need them and jumped a flawless round to earn the 2017 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI2* title. The 9-year-old Trakehner gelding (Titulus x Slytely Cinnamon) owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods first partnered with Tamra Smith as a 5-year-old and she has brought him up the levels.
“I’m thrilled,” said Smith following her win. “He was perfect in every phase and I couldn’t have asked him to be any better. He show jumping like a million bucks.”
Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
While Pam Duffy and Don Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods couldn’t make the journey from California they were still supporting Smith from afar and she dedicated the win to them. “It is always good to be in the winner’s circle, but it is really special for this horse,” explained Smith. “The owners have a fairly small breeding farm in Southern California and Pam is very diligent about breeding the horses and what horses she is bringing into the sport. I am just really happy for them. It has been a long road to get here and I am just thrilled for them.”
“Don sent me some messages last night, ‘whatever happens tomorrow you are a champion.’ They are just so wonderful. They are big supporters of many riders in the sport. It is really cool for them,” continued Smith.
As for what’s next for Sunsprite Syrius? Smith hopes to move him up to Advanced in the spring, but she plans on listening to him on what to do next. “He has always been a very competitive horse since I started riding him as a 5-year-old. I am hoping that he just keeps climbing the ladder. He has all the right ingredients to be a top horse so I am keeping my fingers crossed,” concluded Smith.
William Coleman and Off the Record. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo
William Coleman and Off the Record, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay) owned by the Off the Record Syndicate made a steady climb up the leaderboard throughout the event. While he was sitting in third heading into show jumping, Cornelia Dorr had three rails down with Louis M and opened the door for Coleman to take the second place ribbon.
“Anytime you finish a three-day event on your dressage score I think it is a major accomplishment,” said Coleman. “This horse has done it twice this year, which I am really proud of. There are obviously some things I would want to improve on over the winter, but he has been consistent this year and that is something we can hang our hat on and we can just keep getting better.”
Matthew Flynn and Get Lucky. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Matthew Flynn and Flynn Sport Horse’s 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Get Lucky repeated their 2015 Fair Hill Two-Star third place finish – adding just .4 to their dressage score throughout the competition.
“I was really happy with him in all three phases,” said Flynn. “I was disappointed to be one second over, but such is life. I am thrilled that he has been third here before it is nice to repeat.”
There were several special awards given in the two-star which serves as the USEF National Eventing Championship.
Best Presented Award: Matthew Flynn
The Small But Might Award: Colleen Rutledge and UNO
Highest Placed Chester County Resident: Jennie Brannigan
Leading Foreign Rider: Lindsay Beer
Highest Placed American Thoroughbred: Alarmabull ridden by Nita Sanfilippo
USEF National Young Horse Champion for 6 and 7-year-olds:
Champion: Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle
Reserve Champion: Will Faudree and Michel 233
Young Rider Championship
Champion: Sophie Click and Fernhill Rising
Reserve Champion: Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH
Sportsmanship Award: Sarah Cousins
Volunteer of the Year: Denise Fuller Maillie
Full results are available here.
We all work hard to get our horses shiny and clean for competition day, but it can sometimes take a bit of extra elbow grease to get those grey or white horses looking their best. Rachael Livermore, head groom for Sharon White at Last Frontier Farm, shares some of the tricks she uses to get Sharon's horses looking spick and span - and it starts with everyday care!
This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.
The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).