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). Coleman and the Hyperion Stud LLC-owned Holsteiner gelding won the Carolina International CCI4*-S two weeks ago.
Coleman was the only rider in the CCI4*-S to break the 80% mark, receiving 81.67 and 79.17 from Judges Jane Hamlin (USA) and Debbie Adams (USA) for his elegant, flowing test.
“I thought he did a fine test today,” Coleman said. “He’s a very good horse on the flat. He’s been in a really good place this year, I’m pretty happy with him. He continues to get a little better each year, and that’s the idea with all these horses, you keep trying to strive for a little bit more. He’s normally quite a hot-blooded horse, so I thought he was very relaxed today and that was nice to see.”
Due to the number of entries in the CCI4*-S, the dressage was split into two sessions over Thursday and Friday and all competitors had show jumping on Friday afternoon.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), FEI Level 4 Course Designer, normally designs show jumping tracks and is now broadening his repertoire by building more eventing show jumping courses.
“This is a very big event, so the courses are very technical,” Vaillancourt said. “They’re at maximum height for every group. I don’t back off on them, I build as technical as I would for show jumping, I think that’s the future [of eventing]. The questions are a little bit of everything, short distances, long distances, as to test the rideability of the horses.”
Vaillancourt’s 1.25m course for the CCI4*-S consisted of 15 jumping efforts, including a triple bar at fence three, a triple combination with a two stride to a one stride, and a double combination on the rail in front of the packed competitor’s party in the VIP Pavilion. Optimum time was 77 seconds. Seven of the 52 riders crossed the timers over the optimum time and garnered time faults.
With a smooth round around Vaillancourt’s track, Coleman and Chin Tonic HS left the poles in the cups and head into cross-country on day three of competition on their 19.6 dressage score.
“I thought Chin jumped well, I was pretty pleased with how he read everything and I thought he tried really hard, he was really careful,” Coleman said. “I thought the course rode according to plan, it was a good course. It had some good technical questions. We all have a lot of respect [for Vaillancourt], it was great to see him here, making today an influential day.”
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Be Cool (Heritage Fortunus x HHS Carlotta), owned by Ocala Horse Properties LLC and The Monster Partnership, crossed the timers right on optimum time to hold their second-place spot with a 26.6. With clear rounds and coming in under the time allowed, Liz Halliday-Sharp with Shanroe Cooley and Caroline Martin on HSH Blake held their dressage tie to move from seventh to third. Halliday-Sharp and the Ocala Horse Properties-owned “Dave” (Dallas VDL x Shanroe Sapphire), a 2015 bay Irish Sport Horse gelding, will start cross-country on their 28.1.
Martin and the 8-year-old black Irish Sport Horse gelding HSH Blake (Tolan R. x Doughiska Lass), owned by Martin, Sherrie Martin and Mollie Hoff, will head out of the start box also on their 28.1.
Due to the predicted high temperatures for Saturday, CCI4*-S cross-country start times were moved to the top of the schedule. The first rider leaves the start box at 8:45 a.m. The CCI3*-S cross-country will start at 11:46 a.m.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Strzegom Horse Trials (Poland) from June 21-25, 2023. The team will be under the direction of USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law.