Cross-country proved influential across all divisions once again at the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial, presented by Lumbee River EMC. All three winners added nothing to their overnight scores to take home the FEI wins with Will Coleman and his own Off The Record bringing home the Setters’ Run Farm CCI4*-S title, Phillip Dutton and Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool picking up the blue in the Attwood Equestrian Services CCI3*-S, and Andrew McConnon securing the Breezeway Sporthorse and Diagnostic Clinic and Friendship Mobile Veterinary Imaging and Sports Medicine CCI2*-S win with Jeanne Shigo’s D’Luxe Steel.
In the Setters’ Run Farm CCI4*-S, time proved the hardest to make of any division. Double clears were hard to come by with Coleman producing the only one of the day to take the win. He and they syndicate-owned Off The Record, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding ((VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay), came home well within the optimum and made Ian Stark’s course look easy en route to the win.
“It was a good weekend for us. I thought my horses ran really well. I was particularly happy with Off The Record. He was on fire out there and just lives for the cross-country. As soon as he left the start box, he was on a mission. I was really pleased and looking forward to the next event,” Coleman said of Off the Record.
“I love Carolina International. You get a real proper run and the ground was perfect. They have done such great work on the turf and a lot of credit goes to the organizing committee and their wonderful sponsors. They have answered the call for what we want in high profile events in the USA and they deserve to be applauded,” Coleman added about the event.
Falling just one spot on the leaderboard after cross country in the CCI4*-S to second place was Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night. The 18-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentina XII) who won the division in 2019, was clear but picked up 6.8 time faults after finishing 17 seconds over the optimum time.
“I am totally thrilled with both my horses, Fernhill By Night and Cooley Stormwater today. [Fernhill By Night] ran as fast as he could run. Everything ran pretty much to plan and the time was tough this year. He isn’t a racehorse but is such a good boy and really fights for me. He gave me a super round and he gave me everything he had,” Halliday-Sharp said of her round today.
Rounding out the top three in the CCI4*-S was Will Faudree and Sterling Silver Stables and Jennifer Mosing’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Pfun (Tadmus x Celerina). They nearly produced the second double clear of the day coming home just one second over to add .4 to their dressage score after jumping clear yesterday.
“My weekend was great and today was a really fun day. Pfun was amazing. He is really learning how to go quick and be as efficient as he can be. I was thrilled that I got as close to the time as I did. I am kicking myself for adding a stride at the corners otherwise he would have made it. I am so pleased with him and very excited for the future,” Faudree said of his weekend and his round today with Pfun.
The Attwood Equestrian Services CCI3*-S produced the only wire-to-wire victory of the event with Phillip Dutton and Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle), picking up the win.
“I was really pleased with Quasi Cool. You had to work to get the time and the jumps came up fast and quick. Because of the terrain, it always rides a little bit harder than it walks but it was pretty educational for horses. Quasi Cool was very mature and I was really pleased with the result,” Dutton said.
The top three in the CCI3* only slightly shuffled with Halliday-Sharp and The Stormwater Group’s Cooley Stormwater moving up one spot to finish in second and Sydney Elliot moving up from fourth after show jumping to finish in third with Carol Stephens’s Commando D’Osthuy.
In the Breezeway Sporthorse and Diagnostic Clinic and Friendship Mobile Veterinary Imaging and Sports Medicine CCI2*-S, Andrew McConnon defended his 2019 title adding nothing to his score today to top the division with D’Luxe Steel, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Up To Date x Nicola D) owned by Jeanne Shigo.
“I am really proud of D’Luxe Steel today. He made light work of his first two-star. My goal was to let him have a quick run today not only because he was in a competitive position, but also looking towards the future with a CCI2*L. I took some tighter lines more for practice and he is always looking for the jumps and the flags. He gave me a great feeling from start to finish,” McConnon said of D’Luxe Steel.
Following a fall at fence 10 on the CCI4*-S cross-country course, Fortuna ridden by Bobby Meyerhoff was treated on the scene and transported back to the stabling. As of Saturday evening, Fortuna is resting comfortably. Any further inquiries should be directed to Bobby Meyerhoff. Meyerhoff was uninjured.
Carolina International is also hosting Training through Advanced level horse trial divisions, which got underway Friday with dressage, and will conclude their competition Sunday with their final jumping phases.
Both the CCI4*-S and Advanced divisions are qualifiers for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final that will take place at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds in August.
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The last of the Area Championships took place this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona at the Southern Arizona Fall Horse Trials & Area X Championships. Riders from Area X came from all over in hopes of snagging the coveted champion title, but four riders rode to the top of their fields. The USEA caught up with each champion to relive their performances in Tucson.
“This week was just as much about Paige as it was Favian and I because, without her, we are nothing,” said Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride of Blue Clover Eventing in a social media post after her five-star completion at the Maryland 5 Star. Described as Favian’s hero, Paige Ansaldi is a five-star groom at Blue Clover Eventing, a full-time student at the University of Maryland, a team member of the University of Maryland eventing team, and an active competitor herself.
The USEA office will close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 26 and be closed Thursday, November 25, 2021 and Friday, November 26, 2021 for Thanksgiving weekend. The USEA staff will return emails and phone calls when the office re-opens on Monday, November 29, 2021 or at their earliest convenience.