Ten horses entered the Rolex arena after the lunch break at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, and only one was able to break into the top five - the final pair of the day Buck Davidson and Jak My Style - sliding into fifth place on a 34.1. The top four remain the same as this morning with Felix Vogg leading, followed by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, Buck Davidson, and then Hallie Coon.
The Olympic veteran who rides for Switzerland topped the leaderboard with a 28.0 on Jurgen Vogg’s Westphalian gelding, Colero (Captain Fire x Bonita). “I’m pretty happy, and [Colero] did a good test,” said Vogg. “There are probably rides coming up tomorrow that will get ahead of me, but I’m really pleased with his first test at this level.”
Watch Felix Vogg's test:
This was Vogg’s first time riding down the center line at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, and he chose the five-star for Colero because “after watching Kentucky on the live stream and television, it’s just something [I] wanted to do. It’s one of the biggest events in the world, and it’s good preparation for the future,” explained Vogg. “My friend and trainer Michael [Jung] always did really well here too,” Vogg said of the three-time Kentucky Three-Day champion who he trained with while living at home in Singen, Germany. “I’m moving back to Germany next week, and I’ll probably go train with Michael again since I live just an hour away from him.”
Deniro Z is a force to be reckoned with, as he has six international wins on his record, but this is his Kentucky debut. The 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties scored a 30.9 to hold onto second place after the first day of dressage.
Watch Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp's test:
“I was really, really pleased with Deniro and I really felt he gave me everything he had,” explained Halliday-Sharp. “I was a little bit disappointed with the score, I’m not going to lie. He struggles with lead changes a bit, and he got knocked there, but I’m thrilled with the horse. He gave me everything, and really pushed, and gave me phenomenal trot work. It’s the best he’s probably ever done in the trot work and he tried his guts out. Once he mechanically understands the changes, he’ll be at the top of the board.”
Buck Davidson is riding three horses this week at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and he completed two of his rides today aboard Park Trader and Jak My Style. Davidson’s experience and consistent riding allowed him to claim two top-five spots, taking third place on Park Trader with a 32.1 and fifth place on Jak My Style on a 34.1.
“Park Trader is maybe not fantastic at this phase, but he’s really maturing and getting better. But I have to say he really did as well as he could possibly do today. He did all four flying lead changes as well as he can,” said Davidson of Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Park Trader (Master Imp x Ballyhast Polly). “I’m very happy with that score, and happy heading into the next phase.”
“Jak My Style just did every movement better than he knows how to do,” Davidson said of the 14-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Kathleen and Roberto Cuca. “It’s his first time at this level, and he just went in and did everything better than he did in the warm-up and I couldn’t be more proud of him. When they come here and do the best they can do, that’s all you can ask. You just keep moving forward, and I’m very excited about my first two rides.”
Hallie Coon and the 12-year-old KWPN mare Celien (Tenerife VDL x R Quicksilver) are both Kentucky rookies, but they’ve left their mark after demanding a top-five leaderboard standing after the first day of dressage. Coon is the youngest rider in the field at just 24 years of age, and laid down an impressive 32.7 to sit in fourth place heading into the next phase of competition on Saturday.
There are still 22 pairs to come tomorrow, so all eyes will be on the leaderboard as the 21-point difference between first and last place leaves plenty of room for shake-ups on the second day of dressage. Lauren Kieffer will kick off the second day of dressage tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (ET) with Jacqueline Mars’ Holsteiner gelding, Paramount Importance.
Don't forget to follow the USEA event coverage on social media!
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
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).