It was a day filled with emotions as 31 pairs crossed the finish flags at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Allie Sacksen was the first to complete Derek di Grazia’s five-star course and the day wrapped up with Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Read top quotes from the action-packed day of cross-country.
“I like to call myself an average joe, I have one horse and I’m kind of a one-horse wonder at the moment but it’s one wonderful horse,” Sacksen said of her Connemara/Thoroughbred gelding, Sparrow’s Nio.
Hannah Sue Burnett jumped clear with Harbour Pilot and added only 8.8 time penalties which moved her up from 31st to 15th. “He was awesome. None of it rode exactly how I was hoping it to ride but I was just determined to get to the other fence. I rode with Lucinda Green a couple times this past year and she’s been good for me. I’ve been studying Ros Canter and it’s nice to be the same size as the world champion. So. I can kind of mimic her riding, I don’t know if I looked like that today, but we got it done and I’m really happy with it,” said Hannah Sue Burnett.
“He did a great job - he helped me, and I helped him, so it was teamwork.” Felix Vogg who currently sits in 6th place with his longtime partner, Colero the 2008 Westphalian Gelding owned by Jurgen Vogg.
“I brought him through the levels and taught him how to jump his first jump. He went out there today and trusted me with everything. He was spectacular” Chris Talley gushed about his 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Unmarked Bills as they jumped a clear cross-country with 16.4 time for their five-star debut.
Leslie Law who only added 11.2 time penalties to his dressage score with Voltaire De Tre’ the 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Tre’ Book. “I had a great ride. It was fantastic.” When asked if Law felt older and wiser now than when he won individual gold for Great Britain in the 2004 Athens Olympics he said, “well if I was wiser I would’ve probably retired by now, but I think in some respects it’s a little harder because I wear a few hats these days. I enjoy coaching the under 25, and I like to keep riding it makes me understand what they’re going through.”
Dom Schramm and Bolytair B finished their first five-star together and explained how the notorious Head of the Lake went, “he trotted going into the water. Unbelievable, I mean what a horse. I jumped into the Head of the Lake from a trot. The horse is incredible, I’ve had so many good cross-country rides on him. This was our first ever problem and I think I got in my head. I am proud that he forgave me and just kept going and went around.”
“She was fabulous out there,” Andrea Baxter said of her Thoroughbred mare, Indy 500 who only added 9.6 time penalties to their dressage score.
“It rode like it walked and it walked challenging. I’m really proud of him [and] he finished strong,” Waylon Roberts said of Lancaster, a 2007 Canadian Sport Horse gelding owned by Michelle and John Koppin. Roberts rode Lancaster as a 4-year-old before he was sold to Boyd Martin, “when Boyd bought him, he said ‘I’m sorry to be buying your five-star horse.” Roberts got the ride back in 2016 and this afternoon, Roberts piloted Lancaster through his first five-star cross-country course.
“I adjusted my plan a little this morning based on the early going, but within reason, yes [everything rode according to plan]. I was thrilled with him, he was super.” Matthew Flynn and Wizzerd jumped clear at their five-star debut together.
“He was awesome and I’m very lucky to have this horse. He was far fitter today than when he was here two years ago. [The] majority of the course I was up 10 seconds or so, and I did a little shortcut through the flower bushes.” Doug Payne said of Vandiver, the 2004 Trakhener gelding owned by Debi Crowley, Jessica Payne, and Doug Payne. Payne and Vandiver were only one second over the clock and they currently sit in seventh place overnight.
“When I walked the course, I thought it was a little soft, but it was far from soft. It was hard work all the way around.” Phillip Dutton said after he jumped a double clear on Z to move up to fourth place.
“He’s a good cross-country horse. He’s still improving, he’s a younger horse if you talk about a five-star horse. I think in years to come, he could win this thing.” Boyd Martin said of Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg, a 2007 Trakhener gelding. Martin and Tsetserleg jumped double clear and sit in second heading into Sunday show jumping.
Don't forget to follow the USEA event coverage on social media!
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds are the pinnacle of the season for many eventers – a goal that they strive towards year round, hoping for the chance to test their mettle against the best riders in the country.
If you’ve been to any of my recent clinics, you are probably familiar with the centerline exercise featured here. It is a staple to my program for several reasons, the main one being that it is suitable for horses and riders of all levels. While the exercise is fairly basic on paper, it is quite effective in teaching the rider about two important concepts: inside leg to outside rein and using your leg before your hand.
The USEA is sad to share that the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist, McKinlaigh, was laid to rest last Saturday, January 18 in Templeton, California at the age of 26.
Since the start of the USEA Classic Series in 2008, Classic Series competitors have had the chance to earn twice the amount of USEA leaderboard points than a recognized horse trial. The reason behind this is because a Classic Series event is considered “a more challenging competition than that of a horse trial."