April 10, Norwood, N.C.
Jennie Brannigan added yet another blue ribbon to Cambalda’s impressive résumé today by riding a double-clear show jumping round to win The Fork CIC***. The pair seems almost unbeatable, as this is their fifth CIC triumph at the two- and three-star level in less than a year.
Brannigan, 23, captured the lead from Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen on cross-country day by jumping around penalty-free and finished the competition on her dressage score of 45.9.
Montgomery dropped down to third place after having a rail in show jumping, which gave Brannigan some breathing room. She almost needed it coming into the third-to-last fence.
“I planned to move forward and take that on, and then I knew I wouldn’t get there, but he jumped the crap out of it,” said Brannigan with a laugh about the bobble. “I still feel a little rusty, but he’s such a talented horse, and he really wants to keep the rails up. At the end of the day, really good ones do that no matter where you put them.”
Video courtesy of EventingNation.com.
Brannigan said that after breaking her collarbone a month ago, The Fork was a big goal for her and “Ping,” Nina Gardner’s 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Balda Beau—Cathy’s Lady). “I wanted to throw myself into the first one. I have complete confidence in my horse. He’s a wonderful athlete,” she said.
Canada’s Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch moved up from fourth into second place with her double-clear round on Port Authority. She also finished on her dressage score of 49.9, which should serve as a good confidence-builder before she heads to England to contest the Badminton CCI**** in two weeks.
Clear rounds weren’t too hard to come by—11 of the 44 starters finished double-clear over Sally Ike’s circular track. Two riders, Amy Ruth Borun on Santa’s Playboy and Alexa Perkiel on Cover Charge, had stops at the first fence, but both horses recovered to jump around after the initial trouble. Martha McDowell fell off Gaelic Marriage at 5B in the first in-and-out.
In the advanced division, it was Boyd Martin’s double-clear round that moved him into first with Remington XXV. Cross-country leader Will Faudree had one down with Andromaque to drop to third place (36.7) behind Heather Morris and Slate River, who also jumped a double clear (35.9).
“I thought the course was a fantastic prep for Rolex [Kentucky],” said Martin, who entered the advanced instead of the CIC because the dressage test is more technical and the division a bit cheaper.
“He’s quite a puzzle to get the best jump out of him,” said Martin of Densey Juvonen’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “He’s put in disastrous rounds, and he’s put in tremendous rounds. I’ve learned not to be too hard on him. I probably jump some of the smallest jumps in the warm-up of all the horses at this level. The secret is making him feel like Superman.”
Seven riders in the advanced division went double clear of 32 starters. Allison Springer fell from third place to 15th when Arthur had a hard spook and spin in the corner before the in-and-out at 5ab. She incurred 4 penalties for the spin, another 4 for a rail down and 15 time penalties. Rebecca Howard withdrew Riddle Master in the CIC*** before show jumping, and Laine Ashker withdrew Anthony Patch in the advanced.
For full results, visit www.evententries.com.