Boyd Martin made a triumphant comeback to the top level after having surgery on his ankle this spring, claiming the top spot in the CIC*** at Richland Park Horse Trials (Mich.) aboard Trading Aces. “I was elated with him to be honest. I definitely came here to try to have a crack at winning this thing, and in all three phases I wanted to go out and be competitive, which is not always the mindset. The footing was great, the horse was fit, and I’m really fired up to get him competitive for a full three-day,” Martin said. He’s aiming Trading Aces for the Boekelo CCI*** (the Netherlands) on Oct. 10-13.
Martin was in second after dressage, but then put in one of the fastest cross-country rounds to take the lead and relegate Michael Pollard into second on Mensa. Pollard was also sixth on Ballingowan Pizzazz. Sinead Halpin was also back in action after an injury and rode Manoir de Carneville to the top of the advanced division. Some notable names also placed in the open intermediate, with Jennie Brannigan winning with Cambalda and Hannah Sue Burnett taking fourth with her Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.) winner and Pan Am team gold mount Harbour Pilot. The Bromont CCI*** (Quebec) winner, Obos O’Reilly was 13th with Will Coleman. Lauren Kieffer won the CIC** with RF Cosima. (see full Richland results) (Read all about it in the USEA coverage.)
In Wayne, Ill., the country’s top young dressage horses went head-to-head in the Markel/USEF Developing and Young Horse Dressage National Finals. and WakeUp and Emily Wagner were all the rage. They scored a 75.29 percent overall to claim the Developing Prix St. Georges division. Read all about WakeUp here. (See Young Horse and Dressage at Lamplight results) Vitalis and Charlotte Jorst took over the 6-Year-Old Championship, earning a 10 for Vitalis’ expressive trot. Laura Wharton-Mero rode her own Zandor to the top of the Developng Horse Grand Prix. The 9-year-old has been participating in the Young Horse program since he was 4. Brandi Benedict rode Revelliene HVH to the 4-year-old title, while Nadine Burberl and Fashion Designer O.L.D. claimed the 5-year-old title.
In Europe, attention was centered on the ECCO FEI European Championships in Herning, Denmark. Though the Germans claimed team gold in the ECCO FEI European Championships dressage, British phenomenons Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro added two more individual gold medals to their names, taking the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix freestyle convincingly.
Dujardin had broken the Grand Prix world record in Olympia (England) last year, but bested her own mark by scoring a whopping 85.94 percent in the Grand Prix for the team competition. But the British team had to settle for bronze behind Germany and the Netherlands. (see results) Dujardin and Valegro then returned and scored 84.58 percent in a Special where, in a seeming comedy of errors, she, Adelinde Cornelissen, Helen Langenhanenberg and Patrick Kittel all had an error of course. (see results) The next day, Dujardin didn’t make any more mistakes, riding Valegro to an amazing 91.25 percent to take the freestyle title, too. (see results)
The British had more to celebrate as their show jumpers captured team gold over Germany and Sweden. It had been 24 years since the Brits had earned that honor. (see results) Michael Whitaker was on that winning side in Rotterdam in 1989 alongside his older brother John, Nick Skelton and the late Joe Turi. “Was it really that long ago?” asked Michael Whitaker when he was reminded of that achievement. In the individual competition, however, Brits Ben Maher and Scott Brash had to settle for silver and bronze behind France’s Roger Yves Bost on Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois. It was the charismatic “Bosty’s” first individual medal. (see results).
See the Sept. 9 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse for in-depth stories about all these competitions.
Will Simpson rode Acorina to the top of the $40,000 Summer Grand Prix at the Showpark Summer Classic (Calif.) (see results) Atlanta Summerfest III (see results); Oregon Summer (see results); Princeton Show Jumping (N.J.) (see results); Summer’s End (Ill.) (see results).
Other events over the weekend included: Caber Farm Horse Trials (Was.) (see results); Shepherd Ranch II (Calif.) (see results); Genesee Riding & Driving Club Horse Trials (N.Y.) (see results); Valinor Farm Horse Trials (Mass.) (see results).
Other dressage shows included: CDS Junior/Young Rider Championships North (Calif.) (see results); Valley Oaks Summer Festival (Calif.) (see results); White Fences Summer Fun (Fla.) (see Sat. results; Sun. results); Madison County Classic (Iowa) (see Sat. results; Sun. results); Indiana Dressage Festival (Ind.) (see Sat. results; Sun. results)