A brilliant dressage test put British rider Bubby Upton with Rachel Uptont’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Cannavaro (Oklund x Domina) in the lead in the five-star at Luhmulen on a score of 24.9. The value of Bubby Upton's dressage score became apparent at the end of the second dressage day. None of the other competitors were able to overtrump yesterday's performance. U.S. rider Lauren Nicholson is currently paving the way for the rest of the U.S. field sitting in second on a score of 26.7 with Jacqueline Mars’s 15-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Vermiculus (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently) while New Zealand’s Tim Price rounds out the leaderboard in third aboard the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Vitali (Contender x Noble Lady I) who he co-owns with Alexander and Joseph Giannamore.
The 23-year-old Upton was over the moon with Cannavaro’s performance: “I’m so proud of him, he has struggled so much with the dressage but he has the biggest heart and tries ever so hard. He is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Price was pleased with Vitali’s performance, sharing, “I’m happy with our test. He was a bit of a juvenile last year and it’s been all about building him to a five-star horse that knows the job. He’s very special and he’s in good shape. He can be a little neurotic and over the top, so it’s important to keep him relaxed and with me, then he’s a super cool horse, so talented.”
Fellow U.S. rider Liz Halliday-Sharp sits in the top-five riding The Monster Partnership’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) on a sub-30 score of 29.1. Matthew Flynn and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wizzerd x Amai) Wizzerd, owned by A. Patrick and Kathleen Flynn with Merry Go Round Farm, are seated in 16th with a 33.4 dressage score. U.S.-based Canadian rider Karl Slezak and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway bay) who he co-owns with Kirk Hoppner are currently ranked 24th with a score of 37.9.
In the CCI4*-S, the U.S.’ Will Coleman leads the way aboard the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding and USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) graduate Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. Coleman sits just one point ahead of the second-place pair, Germany’s Michael Jung and the 11-year-old European Sporthorse Highlighter (Natal x ARD Silhouette) owned by himself and Brigitte, Joachim, and Philip Jung and Annette Schmid, with a score of 24.6. Coleman is the lone U.S. rider in the German four-star.
Going into Mike Etherington-Smith’s five-star cross-country course tomorrow, riders shared the following thoughts.
Tom McEwen: “I think the course is pretty intense but all the questions are more than jumpable. It’s not just the fences, you’ve got to look for the smoothest line. I really like to be a pathfinder”
Tim Price (GBR) in ninth place on a 30.9 with Bob Chaplin: “I really like the course. The questions are obvious. The waters always require good intuitive and reactive riding. And it’s a five-star so you’ve got to focus all the way around and make sure your horse is with you all the way.”
Bubby Upton (GBR) current leader with Cannavaro: “It looks like a really good track. It’s my first time here so it’s really exciting. Everything looks beautiful. I’m really excited to go out there and give it a crack.”
Sophie Leube (GER) in 7th place on a 30.6 riding Jadore Moi: "The tasks are all clear to see and we have a plan. I have to pay particular attention to the first water. That comes relatively early and I have to make sure I have her well with me beforehand because she's often a bit more brisk at the start."
Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) in 5th place aboard Cooley Quicksilver: “I think the course will suit my horse well, that's why I brought him here to Luhmühlen. I always thought this horse is a Luhmühlen horse. It is a challenging course, a true five-star with challenging questions right until the end. But this is his third fiver star and I’m hoping for a good round.”
Temecula, Calif.—March 31—Sunshine was Friday's first star at Galway Downs International after Thursday's long afternoon of heavy rain, and Tamie Smith ended the day in her same starring role with the first, second, and third spots in the CCI4*-S after show jumping.
Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—At the end of the second dressage session in The Estates at TerraNova CCI4*-S, Will Coleman (USA) took the morning lead with a whopping 19.6 with the stunning Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera/Quinar Z). Coleman and the Hyperion Stud LLC-owned Holsteiner gelding won the Carolina International CCI4*-S two weeks ago.
Temecula, Calif.—March 30— "World class." That's what Galway Downs Spring International dressage judges Helen Brettell and Robyn Fisher said in unison of the two rides that put Tamie Smith in the one and two spots in the CCI4*-S after dressage.
Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—In the third year of hosting FEI three-day events and recognized horse trials, TerraNova Equestrian Center welcomes an eventing date to their busy spring competition schedule. Riders from all walks of life, Olympians to young eventers, flocked to TerraNova to experience the previous two fall three-day events. The addition of the spring date gives riders an opportunity to run an FEI event and horse trials before heading home after the winter season.