Thanks to a fast and clear round on cross-country, Switzerland's Felix Vogg will go into Sunday's final phase of competition in the Longines Luhmühlen CCI5*-L aboard Vogg Jürgen's 14-year-old Westphalian gelding Colero (Captain Fire x Bonita) on their dressage score of 29.0 points. Their double-clear round moved them up from fourth place following dressage to the leading position going into show jumping. Vogg and Colero were one of nine pairs to cross the finish flags within the time allotted.
"He went really well," shared Vogg. "He’s not a thoroughbred so he sometimes needs to be reminded that we need to keep going. He listened to me all the way round and I couldn’t have asked for a better effort. My goal for the season was to be among the top five here in Luhmühlen – and now I’d obviously really like to win."
Hot on Vogg's heels after adding just 2.0 time faults to their dressage score for a cumulative score of 29.1 are Tim Price and his and Alexander and Joseph Ginnamore's 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Vitali (Contender x Noble Lady I). They are followed by Oliver Townend and the 12-year-old British Sport Horse gelding Dreamliner (Jumbo x Doff Gudanov), owned by Mark and Angela Chamberlayne, with 29.6 points.
Price was full of praise for his horse's round. “Vitali was super. He’s so talented and even though he does notice the crowd and can be a little impressed by the atmosphere, he’s still focused on the questions and always alert and attentive, which is exactly what I’m looking for in a horse.”
The 12-year-old Holsteiner is competing at five-star level for the first time, so Price didn’t rush him: “He’s a first-timer so that’s where the time faults come because it’s my policy to start them in a way that they can find themselves at the bigger fences and questions. At this stage of the career, I’ll happily accept a few seconds over the maximum time. He’s highly strung but he settled really well when we started and tried really hard all the way around.”
Townend and Dreamliner had the fastest cross-country round of the day at 10 minutes and 48 seconds. "Dreamliner is maybe not the most athletic horse, but has a really great attitude," Townend said. "He’s so genuine and always wants to stay inside the flags. I’m so fortunate to be riding him.”
Adding 5.2 penalties to their dressage score was U.S. pair Lauren Nicholson and Jacqueline Mars’s 15-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Vermiculus (Sazeram x Wake Me Gently). They now sit in seventh on a total score of 31.9. Fellow U.S. rider Liz Halliday-Sharp also added a bit of time to her and The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cooley Quicksilver's (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) score to move down to tenth place.
U.S.-based Canadian rider Karl Slezak may have acquired 19.6 time penalties in cross-country, but he and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway bay), who he co-owns with Kirk Hoppner, moved up from 24th to 17th following the second phase of competition.
The final U.S. pair in the CCI5*-L, Matthew Flynn and A. Patrick and Kathleen Flynn with Merry Go Round Farm's 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wizzerd x Amai) Wizzerd, added a 20 to their score for a refusal as well as 19.6 time penalties to now sit in 20th.
One pair withdrew prior to cross-country, three pairs elected to retire on course, and eight pairs were eliminated during their gallop across the grounds including former leading pair Bobby Upton and Rachel Upton’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Cannavaro (Oklund x Domina).
In the CCI4*-S, overnight leader and U.S. rider Will Coleman added 11.6 time penalties to his and Hyperion Stud LLC's 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic's (Chin Champ x Wildera) dressage score to bump them down to 11th. The new leader going into the last phase of competition is Michael Jung and the 11-year-old European Sporthorse Highlighter (Natal x ARD Silhouette) owned by himself and Brigitte, Joachim, Philip Jung, and Annette Schmid. Only three pairs made the time in the four-star at Luhmühlen.
In the final USEA Classic Series event of 2022, three horse and rider pairs rode their way to the top of the podium in the Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice 3-Day divisions offered during the Ram Tap Horse Park Horse Trials which took place November 18-20 in Fresno, California.
US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.
Concluding the 2022 Area Championships season was the Area X Championships held during the SAzEA H.T. which took place November 19-20 in Tucson, Arizona. Three Championship divisions were offered, allowing three horse and rider pairs the opportunity to conclude their 2022 eventing season by being crowned champion!
“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels