California rider Tamra Smith holds the lead and second position in the CCI4*-L at the Jersey Fresh International (JFI) CCI at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown. Smith scored 23.9 today with Danito, Ruth Bley’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik), to take the lead from her other mount, the 16-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl x Laurena) En Vogue, also owned by Bley, who was the overnight leader after scoring 24.3 yesterday. Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa. holds third place with Luke 140, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Landos x Omega VI) owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, on a score of 25.6.
The CCI4*-L is the final selection trial for the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this summer. With numerous events canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including Jersey Fresh, this year’s event boasts a large number of entries, with 162 horses competing in four divisions. There are 55 entries in the CCI4*-L, the biggest field since the level was introduced at Jersey Fresh in 2005.
Smith also leads the CCI3*-L with Solaguayre California, a 10-year-old Argentine Sporthorse/Holsteiner owned by Julianne Guariglia (Casparo x Solaguayre Calandria). The pair earned a 26.7, followed by Phillip Dutton and Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) in second (27.4), and Caitlin Silliman and Ally KGO, a 10-year-old Trakehner mare by Hirtentanz *E* owned by Q-Brook Stables, (27.5) in third.
Smith said, “They were awesome, I worked on some stuff on our Kentucky test with En Vogue and she was awesome. Danito was just super feral in Kentucky, and now he’s back on track and ready to go. I had a couple of minor mistakes in their tests but overall I’m thrilled.
Of her three-star partner, she said, “California is a really beautiful horse, I’ve been riding almost her for a year and a half and she’s a super classy mare. She came East with me with a group of horses and won Red Hills in Florida and has been consistent. We’re developing a partnership; she has a little quirkiness, but I think any great athlete does. I was really pleased with her today.”
Looking forward to tomorrow she said, “I think cross-country will be a fitness test, it’s a long format, and you can never underestimate a long format anything! But I feel like all the horses are prepared, and schooled, and ready for the challenge; I think it’s a course that suits all of them. I plan to go for it – I’m trying to finish on my dressage score with all of them.”
As far as the selection trials go, Smith said, “I think you always feel pressure with selection trials, but for me winning is winning, I don’t feel like the selection trials are added pressure because I always put pressure on myself to win, so it’s not more than normal.”
It was recently announced that a limited number of spectators would be allowed, and all of the owners of Smith’s horses came to Jersey Fresh to watch. “California’s owner and her parents, who live in New Jersey, are here, and Julie flew out from California. Ruth Bley is here, and some good friends of ours, Nicky and Sue are here to watch. It’s a great group and we’re all staying at Julie’s parents’ home on the Jersey Shore and having a really good time.”
Martin leads the CCI4*-S with Long Island T, owned by the Long Island T Syndicate, snapping the lead away from Liz Halliday-Sharp on 25.6 with The Monster Partnership’s 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Cobra x Kilpatrick Duchess) Cooley Moonshine. New mom Holly Payne-Caravella, a New Jersey native, rounds out the top three on this Mother’s Day weekend riding CharmKing, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x O-Heraldika) owned by CharmKing LLC.
Martin rerouted Long Island T to JFI after he fell off after the Head of the Lake on cross country at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*, and said, “Luke 140 did a ripper yesterday in the CCI4*-L, and Ludwig [Long Island T] was good in the CCI4*-S today. I’ve got three other horses in the CCI3*-L, so I’ve been pretty busy. I heard it’s supposed to rain tomorrow; the cross-country course looks twisty and turning, which is not my favorite type of course, but it seems like it’s the type of course we have to learn to ride at the moment. I feel like all of the horses are in good shape, so I’m going to crack on with all of them tomorrow.”
The leader of the CCI3*-S is Dan Kreitl and Kay Dixon's Carmango, an 8-year-old Westphalian gelding (Chirivell x Taramanga) who scored a 26.7.
Cross-country begins tomorrow with the CCI3*-L at 8:00 a.m. The CCI4*-L begins at 11:15 a.m. Show jumping for both short-format divisions will also take place tomorrow, with show jumping for the long-format divisions taking place on Sunday.
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Plenty of event riders have chosen to cross oceans and base themselves thousands of miles away from “home” in pursuit of their career dreams - look at the likes of New Zealanders Sir Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson, and now Tim and Jonelle Price, while Andrew Hoy, Clayton Fredericks and of course Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton have set sail from Australian shores. Not many American riders do it, though, probably because the sport is big enough and competitive enough in the U.S. not to make it necessary.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
Strides for Equality Equestrians and the United States Eventing Association Foundation are proud to announce the first recipient of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with upper-level professionals. Helen Casteel of Maryland is the first recipient of the bi-annual scholarship.
Tomorrow is Juneteenth, which marks the day in 1865 when the federal order was read in Galveston, Texas stating that all enslaved people in Texas were free. This federal order was critical because it represented the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederate States. Although Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed all people enslaved in the Confederacy almost two and a half years earlier, Union enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent, especially in Texas. Slavery would continue in two states that had remained in the Union— Kentucky and Delaware — until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.