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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Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation announces the appointment of long-term US Equestrian employee Hallye Griffin as Director of FEI Sport. Griffin will assume the duties of former Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport, Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from his role to attend to personal matters.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is thrilled to announce that Sidelines Magazine will not only be returning as a “Media Partner of U.S. Eventing,” but they will also be supporting the Association as a “Contributing Level Sponsor of the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 Program” and a “Prize Level Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships.” Sidelines Magazine will give the USEA additional promotion and exposure through their printed and digital media products, while also providing prizes for participants at the AEC and EA21 clinics.