Severson Comes Close, But Little Still Leads At The Fork CIC***

Apr 6, 2018 - 4:20 PM

Mill Spring, N.C.—April 6

No one could catch overnight dressage leader Marilyn Little today at The Fork CIC*** and FEI World Equestrian Games test event, so she’ll remain in the lead with RF Scandalous on a 24.2.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border came closest to challenging Little’s lead, scoring a 24.5 to slot into second, while Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready, who rode their test yesterday, remain in third place on 26.4.

Read on for quotes from the top three.

Click here to watch the full group of rides.

Click here for full results.

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Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

Marilyn Little

On her test yesterday:

“I think RF Scandalous is much more mature than she was a year ago. She went in there and had some of the best canter work she’s ever done. I was really pleased with her changes. She was perfect. She’s a dream!

“This is her final competitive run before Kentucky. I was really thrilled with her today, given that she is incredibly fit right now. My plan was to get her as fit as I could by this time, and then be able to back off a little bit in April and fine-tune some things, so she’s coming into this event right where I’d like her to be.”

On the cross-country course:

“Last year we had a mixed bag of success. The Fork was wonderful for us, that was a great event. I came back in the fall for [USEA American Eventing Championships], and that didn’t go so well for me, so there are some things that I would like to accomplish out there.

“I got to see the course yesterday, and I think there’s just so many fly fences. I’m sure plenty will make the time, but I’m not sure this is the event to push her. We’ve been working on rideability and control. I’ll just see how she feels in the warm up.”

On the test event:

“The management and the staff are really allowing the riders to train for WEG here. Not only do we get to keep an eye on things and see where things are going, but everyone has been very sensitive to the horses and the fact that the next time they come in this ring, it will be for that. You saw that today in the amount of time they gave us around the arena before we started the test. I thought that was very kind, and I thought the horses were able to truly settle.”

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Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Kim Severson

On her ride:

“He was really good in his rhythm and his frame for the most part. I missed both my flying changes, which has been quite a thing with me and him, but he’s a really good boy, and he does a good job, and he tries really hard. I’m most happy with his rhythm and his frame, but we still have some little things to fix of course, like everybody.

“It’s certainly been a progression [bringing him along,] but not always an upward one! We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. He’s a good boy, and he tries really hard, and if he can at least halfway do the job he does.”

On the advantages of riding at the WEG site:

“I went around the outside of the ring and up against the side near the restaurants, and it actually feels a lot roomier than it has in a number of other [championship] places. I think every time you go out is a different competition.”

On rebounding from a cross-country fall at the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International:

“I think he’s good. I did two water schools with him these past weeks, and I think he’s good. He’ll either be really good for it, or worse for it, but I think he’ll be good for it. That’s a little bit what Richard [Sheane] did with him this summer—he fell in a few ditches, just making a mistake. I think he’ll be better for it. That’s how I’m going to plan to ride the whole thing, not just the water part!”

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Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Phillip Dutton

On I’m Sew Ready’s test yesterday:

“He wouldn’t be the easiest horse I’ve ever had, but we’re just trying to get him reaching in his neck and not being tight in his back. You’ve got to be patient in the warm up because he doesn’t give you the greatest feel in the beginning. Sometimes in the past I’ve been reactive to that and tried to fix it. A long warm up is quite good for him. He’s a very quiet horse. I had him more forward than I’ve had him.”

On the cross-country course:

“I haven’t run them a lot, so it’s good to see where your training is at. The course I think is nice and not overly taxing, which I like at this time of the year. The ground is a bit firm, but I think they’re holding off watering because of the rain, so I think ultimately the footing is going to be really good.”

On the advantages of riding at the WEG site:

“I think the truth is in the way the horses go. They all settled. There’s not a big crowd here, but I think they get in there and have enough space to concentrate on their job.

“I feel that horses go better once they’ve been to an event. You see that a lot at the championships where there’s a brand new course, which has quite a lot of trouble, and then the next year it rides better. There’s definitely an advantage to being here.”

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