April 9, Norwood, N.C.
Jennie Brannigan didn’t let a newly healed collarbone slow her down one bit on cross-country in the CIC*** today. She turned in one of nine double-clear rounds aboard Cambalda in the 51-horse field to take the lead.
Dressage leaders Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen finished 13 seconds over the time allowed of 6:11, thus incurring 5.2 time penalties, which moved them to second place (47.3) in front of Sinead Halpin on Manoir De Carneville (47.9), who was tied with Karen O’Connor and Mandiba after dressage, but went ahead on a double-clean round. O’Connor finished just 3 seconds slow to take fourth place.
“I was nervous, and I felt rusty,” said Brannigan, who hasn’t evented since she fell off a young horse on March 1 and fractured her collarbone. “When I put my cross-country vest on, it pushed on [my shoulder], and I could feel it. It reminded me that I haven’t evented in six weeks.”
Brannigan didn’t set out to make time, but she said that Halpin’s double-clear round let her know it was possible. “I just rode the best course I could on the best step, and I think I barely made time,” she said. In fact, she was 1 second under the optimum.
“I was thrilled with how almost everything went,” said Brannigan. “I jumped across that first water. I should have made him wait and get seven [strides], instead of pushing him there in six and a half, but he was amazing and jumped out. Everywhere else I rode the plan, and he jumped around really confidently. Mark Phillips told me for the first time that I rode good today. I was pretty excited about that.”
Time was also of consequence in the advanced division, where Will Faudree moved up from eighth into first with Andromaque (32.7) after putting in one of only two double clears in the 38-horse field. The other was Kendal Lehari on Daily Edition, who moved up from 34th to a tie for 11th.
Dressage leader Heather Morris rode a lovely clear round with Slate River, but 7.6 time faults moved her down to fourth (35.9). Boyd Martin slotted into second place with Remington XXV (33.7) in front of Allison Springer on Arthur (34.9).
Kim Severson, who had been sitting second on Tipperary Liadhnan, fell off both of her intermediate horses, which caused her to withdraw from the advanced.
“I’m very sore,” said Severson. “The first one, [Fantasy Impromptu] hit his stifles on the trakehner [fence 9] and just knocked me out of the tack. The second one I got to a not good distance, and [Wiley Post] rotated over it. I landed pretty hard on the same side on both of them.
“It’s not in my best interest [to go advanced]. I don’t think the ground jury would let me. If I was the ground jury, I wouldn’t let me,” she continued with a laugh.
Although Severson wasn’t the only rider to part company with her horse, overall things went safely and smoothly.
In the three-star, Karl Slezak came off Kachemak Bay at the cheese wedge corner at fence 5, but he and the horse were unharmed, as he spent the next 15 minutes chasing his mount around the property. Melissa Miller popped out of the tack at the skinny brush after the sunken road, but she and Detail Specialist were OK. The same was true of Colin Fraser, who had the misfortune to fall off Griffin at the last fence on course in the advanced division.
Multiple riders pulled up after one or two stops, opting to try again another day. The ground jury actually removed the advanced trakehner (fence 9) from the course and had riders jump the intermediate one instead when the landing got chewed up beyond repair.
For full results visit EventEntries.com.