Tiana Coudray rode into show jumping at the Jersey Fresh CCI*** today, May 9, with four rails in hand over Colin Davidson and Draco. She only used one as Ringwood Magister, Coudray’s 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse, put in a four-fault jumping effort for first in the division on 45.6 penalties.
It was “Finian” and Coudray’s third attempt at a CCI***—they withdrew from the Bromont International (Que.) last spring and the Dansko Fair Hill International (Md.) last fall—and Coudray, 21, was ecstatic about finishing one with such good results.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I think it’s a little bit of everything we were working towards last year coming together. It’s a bit of reaffirming that taking my time last year and not running him at all those events was the right decision to make. Sometimes I wondered if I was being too protective of him. It was worth it. It did save the horse and gave him the education he needed.”
Coudray, who rides with Bea and Derek di Grazia, and Finian will begin the long journey back to Ojai, Calif., tonight or tomorrow morning. For Coudray, the trip was well worth it for the result.
“We don’t have a spring CCI*** on the West Coast,” Coudray said. “He was ready, and this was the one to do.”
After two rails, Colin Davidson and Draco dropped from second to third, and Phillip Dutton moved up to second with a fault-free round on Jan Byyny’s Inmidair. Sharon White and Rafferty’s Rules also pulled two rails and finished fourth.
Despite ending up third, Davidson, who rides with Gerd Reuter in Charlottesville, Va., still called the weekend a very positive experience.
“I had a great day today and a great day yesterday,” Davidson said. “It was fantastic. I’m really happy with my horse. It makes my spring feel very accomplished. I’ve never been as competitive as I have been this year, and it’s 100 percent due to Gerd and his mentorship.”
Dutton wasn’t surprised his catch-ride jumped around clean.
“He’s a very careful horse,” he said. “I don’t train the horse very much; Lizzie [Williams] and Jan have been doing the work. I just try and ride him really forward. He’s got the heart of a lion—on the cross-country, whatever you point him at he’s going to jump.”
Truluck Doesn’t Need Luck To Win CIC***
Dutton and Truluck led the CIC*** from start to finish, and though their show jumping round didn’t go perfectly, the team got the job done. One rail and 3 time faults put their final score at 65.4 over Dutton’s student Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott.
“I didn’t do a great job in show jumping,” Dutton admitted. “I had a miss at the vertical [fence 2]. I tried to give him a little bit of a gap, and he thought that was too much of a gap. He jumped well. I was pleased with him. There’s lots of room for improvement.”
Barry and “Eddie” maintained their standing even with one rail and 6 time faults.
“Eddie was good,” said second-placed Barry. “I had one silly rail, but I’m happy with him. In recent history, I haven’t done any three-stars. I’m happy to have done it and done well. It was a real pleasure being here.”
Only one pair in the CIC***, 13th-placed Hannah Sue Burnett and St. Barths, jumped a clean round. All four of the top finishers had one rail and at least 1 time fault. Callie Judy and Call On Me, who headed into show jumping in third, had two rails and finished fifth. Ashley Kehoe and Mazetto jumped one placing to end the event in third.
Cambalda Wins CCI** On His Dressage Score
Jennie Brannigan didn’t quite have the margin of error Tiana Coudray did, but she still had a rail in hand when she went in the show jumping ring on Cambalda. It turned out that she didn’t need it.
The pair put in a clear round and went home with the CCI** win over Doug Payne and Happy Valley. It was the 8-year-old horse’s fourth win in a row, and Brannigan, West Grove, Pa., who lost her advanced partner Cooper at the end of 2009, is looking forward to his future.
“I think Cambalda’s really come into his own,” she said. “He was living under a bit of a shadow because of how talented Cooper was, and I blame myself for that, but this last fall and spring have shown he’s pretty talented.”
Brannigan, 23, is planning to do the CIC** at the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials (N.Y.) in July and then move “Ping” up to advanced at Millbrook Horse Trials (N.Y.) in August. Right before Jersey Fresh, Nina Gardner purchased Ping from Brannigan. Brannigan will continue competing the horse while Gardner, a long-time owner for Brannigan’s trainer Dutton, provides support.
“Obviously I miss Cooper a lot, and that’s hard for me, so I’m really happy that I have Ping,” Brannigan said. “Now he’s going to have a vacation and hang out in Nina Gardner’s field for awhile.”
There were six clear rounds out of the 11 CCI** horses who show jumped today. The top three placings stayed the same, with Joelle Baskerville and Malibu finishing their first two-star in third, but Buck Davidson and Mastercraft pulled one rail to drop to fifth. Carroll Courtenay and Windswept were fourth in the final standings.