Oct. 21—Elkton, Md.
Hannah Burnett has been hard at work improving Harbour Pilot’s show jumping, and that practice paid off when she jumped a clear round to win the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI*** on her dressage score (43.0).
She came into show jumping with a rail in hand over Marilyn Little, and Little lowered the black-and-white vertical at fence 4 with RF Smoke On The Water.
But Burnett didn’t need the breathing room.
“I just wanted to give him a really good ride. I wanted to go out and go really forward and find a rhythm. Kind of like cross-country, only obviously not as fast,” said Burnett, 26. “I wanted to find good distances and help him out as much as I could. I was really impressed with how he jumped. Sometimes he can get inverted, and he was really round over his verticals. I was very happy with him.”
Burnett has been working with Scott Keach to improve “William’s” show jumping over the summer, as that was their weakest phase.
“He called me yesterday when he found out I was in the lead and gave me a pep talk,” she said. “He’s in Ocala, Fla., right now. I’m hoping to work with him more this winter. I did a lot more jumping than I usually do. My first big horse was really lame all the time, so I didn’t jump him very much. I had to protect him for the horse shows. William needs to jump a lot, and I need to practice on him.”
Watch a video of Burnett’s show jumping round.
While Little has plenty of show jumping experience, she said that “Smoke” still needs more time to develop that phase.
“Smoke is only 7, and he was quite tired today, so I was really pleased to see him put in such a great effort,” said Little, 30. “I can trust him more and more in the show jumping at each event.”
Phillip Dutton rounded out the top three aboard Fernhill Eagle, who started the event in 11th place and finished on his dressage score as well (53.2). Dutton, West Grove, Pa., said he was inspired by Buck Davidson to put the pedal to the metal in the show jumping.
“Buck was the first one in the ring, and I thought he went quite fast and still got time faults. That was good for me,” said Dutton, 49. “This horse is better when you ride him forward to the jumps. I didn’t have any choice or else I was going to get 10 time faults. I thought he jumped well. He tried very hard. He’s got a little bit of an unorthodox style but he wants to leave the jumps up.”
Dutton was abroad most of the summer in preparation for the Olympic Games, so he opted to route “Eagle” toward a three-star this fall, even though Team Rebecca’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Coronea Eagle—Tango Teela, Cornelscourt) has already completed two four-stars.
“I didn’t really feel like going over to [the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England). I thought I’d stay at home and work on his dressage,” said Dutton. “He probably wasn’t going to be competitive at Burghley with his dressage right now anyway. We get pretty good work at home. He gets a little tense around the arena, and in the arena, but the first step is to get it good at home. Eagle and I have a love-hate relationship. I’m trying to work him so we get along a little bit better on the flat. Michael Barisone and Linda Zang have been helping me there. I’m optimistic that we’ll be a fair bit more competitive next spring.”
Lainey Ashker was the only other rider to finish on her dressage score in the three-star. She vaulted up the leaderboard from 20th to fifth aboard Anthony Patch, and then she won the bareback jumper class during the lunch break to cap off her weekend.
Of the 22 pairs that show jumped today, seven jumped double clear over Sally Ike’s course.