Though the bottom of the leaderboard shifted in the Jersey Fresh CCI*** after cross-country today, May 8, the top didn’t change—Ringwood Magister and Tiana Coudray kept their lead in the division by adding only 4.8 time penalties to their dressage score. Coudray, 22, will head into show jumping with 41.6 penalties.
“This is my third go at a three-star,” said Coudray, who withdrew from her first CCI*** as a precaution when her horse incurred a slight injury and scratched from her second due to weather. “I’m pretty happy. I would like things to have been perfect, and they never are. I just didn’t feel like I rode as well as I wanted to. I’m always after that perfect go.”
The CCI*** and CCI** horses had a long gallop up a steep hill about two-thirds of the way into the course, which designer John Williams included for the first time this year. Coudray, Carmel Valley, Calif., was pleased with Ringwood Magister’s fitness level and said though he felt a bit tired in the middle of the course, he bounced back to finish strongly.
“He handled it really well,” she said of her Irish Sport Horse. “He’s certainly not bred to go galloping up a hill like they put out there for us. But he found a second wind, and then a third, and then a fourth."
In second place after dressage, Alexandra Slusher opted to retire Last Call after two stops heading into the second water complex. Third-placed Kristi Nunnink also elected to pull up after a refusal at the fence 8, The Cannon. That left Colin Davidson, 28, sitting second after his double-clear cross-country round on 56.2 penalties. Davidson, Charlottesville, Va., and Draco started the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** two weeks ago but pulled up after a stop on course and re-routed to Jersey Fresh.
“I’m very happy with the decision I made at Rolex to come here and give it a good go,” he said. “I was also really happy with his conditioning. It was a long course, and it was the first time I made time on him at a three-star.”
Cambalda Comes Into The Lead In CCI**
Jennie Brannigan, 22, and Cambalda jumped up to first place after their double-clear cross-country round in the CCI**. Dressage leaders James Alliston and Jumbo’s Jake had a stop at fence 5, the Pheasant Feeders, and dropped down to 11th. Brannigan, West Grove, Pa., was prepared to go slowly on course if her horse needed.
“I tend to be a bit of competitive person, but I wasn’t necessarily going to go out and run for time,” Brannigan said. “He was really quite good, and I actually slowed up on some of those minute markers. He’s a really good galloping horse, and it’s quite easy for him to make the time; he’s very easy on himself across the ground.”
Doug Payne and Happy Valley moved from a tie for third into second in the CCI** after their double-clear cross-country go. Payne was pleased with this year’s revised course.
“It’s a lot less windy than it was in years past,” he said. “The horse was great today. I can’t really complain at all; he’s had a great spring.”
Jersey Fresh is 19-year-old Joelle Baskerville’s first CCI**, and her mare Malibu’s first as well. The pair picked up only 1.2 time penalties and jumped from fifth to third after cross-country. Baskerville moved from Alberta, Canada, in December of last year to work for Sharon White in Summit Point, W.V., and hopes to stay in the United States until the North American Junior And Young Rider Championships (Ky.) this summer.
“My horse ran awesome today,” Baskerville said. “Since this was my first two-star, I was looking for a good qualifying score to get to Young Riders.”
White also had a successful day at Jersey Fresh, moving up to third in the CCI*** division with Rafferty’s Rules.
“My horse was wonderful the whole way around,” White said. “It was more of an old-fashioned, go forward course, and it was great.”
Truluck Maintains His Lead In CIC***
With the fastest cross-country round of their division, Phillip Dutton and Truluck maintained their lead in the CIC***. They added 7.2 penalties and head into show jumping on 58.4. Truluck was Dutton’s individual silver medal partner at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished fourth at Burghley in 2009. Dutton, Unionville, Pa., is now preparing him as a potential partner for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games (Ky.) in the fall.
“I’ve still got work to do,” Dutton said. “He’s definitely fit enough. I was a little bit disappointed with the dressage, and I wanted a course that would make him think and let him come out of it feeling really confident and keen to go on.”
It was a good day for Dutton’s barn, as his student Peter Barry, Bromont, Que., moved up to second on Kildrodan Abbott with 8.4 time penalties. Barry, an adult amateur who runs Spencer Supports, Ltd., a lingerie company, was thrilled with how quickly “Eddie” ended up going.
“Eddie was really amazing!” Barry said. “I didn’t try to make the time, I just tried to ride forward. Actually, I let him trot the last few steps up the big hill. I didn’t know how he would handle it, and I thought I’d give him a breather.”
It was a largely problem-free day, with no serious accidents or injuries. Imtiaz Anees and Interwin fell heading into the first water complex in the CIC***, but both horse and rider were up immediately and were declared fine. In the CCI**, Lindsey Solorzano parted ways with Enchantez at Fence 21, the Palisade, but walked away without injury. Most riders with two stops, and some with just one, elected to retire. Only Gold Twist and Rebecca Lee, in the CIC*** division, were eliminated for three refusals.
“There’s definitely been a change in attitude, in feeling,” course designer John Williams said. “The attitude used to be, 'If you’re having trouble, you pull yourself together and kick on and get it done.' The new attitude is much more, ‘My day is obviously not going well, I’ll pull myself together, go home and try to figure out how to do better next time.’ ”
Full results here.