Phillip Dutton was on the top of the standings heading into the jumping phases at the Stable View Oktoberfest CCI4*-S and while he went home as the winner it wasn’t on his overnight leader. Fernhill Singapore jumped clear in show jumping to keep his lead, but on the cross-country course he picked up 8.8 time penalties ultimately dropping to fifth place.
“I thought he show jumped beautifully, that was probably his best round,” said Dutton of the 10-year-old KWPN gelding (Singapore x Riedellia) owned by Ann Jones, Tom Tierney, and David Vos, Fernhill Singapore scored a 29.4 to lead the class. “It was certainly helpful watching Boyd [Martin] ride him last weekend and I think getting out two consecutive weekends has been good for.”
The time penalties that cost Fernhill Singapore the win came from trouble before Dutton even got out on course. “We misjudged our entrance into the cross-country start box, and I had a little trouble with him there so we wasted a bit of time there, but his cross country was good,” Dutton explained. “When I walked the second water I misjudged his stride length, so I added too much there but apart from that it felt like a perfect round. I could have gone a bit quicker I guess, but overall I was really pleased.”
While the penalties cost Fernhill Singapore from taking home the win, his stablemate Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Bellabouche) owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran was able to bring the glory for Dutton. “I thought Z show jumped really well. We know each other really well now so it’s pretty nice – I know how he’s going to think and I think he anticipates what I want as well,” said Dutton.
“Today was probably his best cross-country round ever, he was really good and it couldn’t be a better prep for him for Fair Hill,” added Dutton.
Dutton didn’t know that he was in first and second heading into cross-country, so that didn’t play a part in his decision to go for the time. “They’re both horses that galloping wouldn’t be their natural strength so getting them fit and learning to go fast is something that I have to work on [with them], so I wasn’t planning on just going really slowly, no matter where I was sitting. Plus the team here at Stable View have done such a great job on the footing with watering, spiking, and grass cover. Obviously, every time you go fast you run a slightly higher risk of injury, but today I felt that it was worth the effort.”
Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection, a 15-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender x Naomagic I) owned by Mary Ann Ghadban, missed their second CCI4*-S win in a row due to a handful of show jumping time penalties, so settled for second on a 32.00.
Sydney Elliott and Carol Stephens’ QC Diamantaire, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Diarado x Lantana) added one second of time in show jumping and 3.2 time penalties on cross-country to finish out the weekend in third place.
Following the popularity of Rules Open Forum held virtually during the 2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in December, the USEA Competitions, Calendar, and Rules Committee decided to host another Rules Webinar to share information about the extraordinary rule changes going into effect on April 1, 2021 and the rule change proposals being put forward to the USEF by March 1, 2021 for approval for the 2022 competition season.
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Chris Ryan’s initial assessment of this 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding is that he’s a “good quality sort. Brown is a great color – a strong color in ‘nature.’ One of the first questions I ask myself when evaluating a horse is if he has refinement. We know the breed type here is Thoroughbred but I still ask the question."
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