Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous began their weekend in the CCI4*-S at the 2021 Red Hills International Horse Trials with a strong performance in dressage and added two clean jumping phases to finish on their dressage score of 22.4 and take home the blue ribbon.
“Kitty had a great run,” said Little who was extremely pleased with RF Scandalous, the 16-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders. “She was able to take the water jump in four strides, I thought she might when I walked it but wasn’t sure, and she did it.”
Little executed her strategy well, taking advantage of the long galloping tracks to make up some time from the combinations in the water jumps. Little has enjoyed previous success at Red Hills, winning the four-star in 2018 and the three-star in 2015, and now looks ahead to the goal of competing at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Colleen Loach on Peter Barry’s Qorry Blue D’Argouges, a 17-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Mr. Blue x Hardie Du Bourg) had a great cross-country run that moved her to second place from the overnight third-place position.
“Qorry was great,” Loach said. “I thought it was a good course for him because he is not a very fast horse, and it’s quite twisty in the woods. He is so ridable that I could make up a bit of time on the turns.”
Loach was especially pleased with how Qorry jumped overall. “I thought he did the coffin quite well because that was a bit tough and also the first water. He just jumped everything well.”
It has been more than five years since Loach has ridden at Red Hills and she said, “I had a good experience. It’s a greatly-run event.”
Leslie Law riding on Voltaire De Tre, Tre’ Book’s 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Gentleman IV x Jasmina Du Fresne) moved up to third place from 15th after dressage.
“He is a horse that is always going to move up,” Leslie Law said. “Although he was 15th he was in a very competitive place, and that’s the main thing, after dressage to have him in a competitive position, because then, if he’s only fractions of points behind the other horses, he’s going to get them in the next two phases.”
Law attributes Voltaire De Tre’s success to becoming a “real seasoned cross-country horse.”
“He’s an absolute joy to ride cross-country,” said Law. “Over the years I’ve ridden a lot of horses, in Olympic games, in world championships, in European championships, and I think he has to be one of the best cross-country horses I’ve ever ridden.”
The CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, and Advanced all saw wire-to-wire winners with Tamra Smith jumping clear across the country on David and Julianne Guariglia's Solaguayre California, a 10-year-old Argentinian mare (Casparo x Solaguayre Calandria) to take the CCI3*-S win. Alyssa Phillips jumped a clear round on her own Cornelius Bo, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Concours Complet x Charlotte) to win the CCI2*-S. In the Advanced division, Jennie Brannigan won with Tim and Nina Gardner's FE Lifestyle (Leo von Faelz x Berina A), an 11-year-old German Sport Horse, after picking up just 1.6 time penalties.
For the first time in its 23 years, Red Hills International Horse Trials ran cross-country on Sunday rather than Saturday. According to many riders, the course was beautiful, well dressed, and offered long galloping tracks. “The change to running the cross-country last for all classes will hopefully prove popular, there is no question that competitors prefer this for short format classes,” said Michael Etherington-Smith.
Etherington-Smith designed the CCI4*-S and Advanced courses and David O’Connor designed the CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, Intermediate, and Preliminary courses. The cross-country course builders were Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert. Etherington-Smith said of this year’s courses, “A few changes have been made but the course still runs right-handed as last year. This way round has a good feel to it and seems to flow better than going left-handed.”
Red Hills International Horse Trials built 18 frangible jumps for its six levels of cross-country courses, taking advantage of emerging technology to reduce risk for horse and rider.
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.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation announces the appointment of long-term US Equestrian employee Hallye Griffin as Director of FEI Sport. Griffin will assume the duties of former Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport, Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from his role to attend to personal matters.