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.
The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) has initiated a renewed focus on the diverse challenges coaches in various regions of the country may be facing. To this end, the program is in the process of enlisting representatives in each of the 10 USEA areas to help guide the program as warranted for the unique needs of each specific area.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has opened nominations for the annual appreciation awards through Oct. 29. This is an opportunity for the sport to recognize those horses and riders who excelled in eventing throughout the year. It is also an opportunity to recognize and honor the very important people who have served the sport tirelessly both in a non-riding capacity and riding capacity during their golden years.
Anticipation for the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship and inaugural USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Championship is growing, and the host venue, Stable View, is up for the task of making both events an unforgettable experience for all involved. For the first time, the Intercollegiate and IEL program championships will be hosted on the same weekend at the Stable View H.T. in Aiken, South Carolina, on May 4-5, 2024, creating greater unity between the programs and demonstrating a clear pipeline of participation in the sport from grade school through college and beyond.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has made five rule changes which will go into effect October 1, 2023. Familiarize yourself with these rule changes below to make sure you are in compliance before heading out for your next event.