Lucia Strini scored her first three-day event victory at the Morven Park CCI* in Leesburg, Va., on Oct. 3. She rode Addis Abba, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, to faultless cross-country and show jumping rounds to grab first place in division I by 7 points. Darren Chiacchia, who rode in the Athens Olympics with Strini’s coach, Kim Severson, took second on Huronia (47.07), while James Allison rode St. Gabriel (52.83) into third.
Strini, a high school junior, and Addis Abba won the award for the lowest score of the two CCI divisions and won the young rider award. “The [cross country] walked difficult, but it rode well. The number of ‘skinnies’ out there was surprising, that was something new for us,” said Strini, of Scottsville, Va.
“[Addis Abba] has always been a good jumper. In the past, he’s had trouble with dressage and lacked focused in the jumper ring. This weekend all of our hard work and patience has paid off,” she added.
In division II, Virginia Jenkins rode King Chester, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding, to first place in dressage and finished on that score (43.04) to defeat In The Loop (Beale Morris, 46.95) and Kopeck de Gamet (Darrah Alexander 50.66). Those two also added nothing to their scores.
Beaming after the awards ceremony, Jenkins, of Lebanon, N.J., said, “I thought that I would be competing for first with [Lady’s Pride, her mount in division 1]. I had no idea that this would happen. This weekend, [King Chester] really matured.”
She added, “This is only our first season together. He’s always been really easy through the cross-country; he has such a terrific gallop and is so bold. Since I’ve been with him, he has always been high-strung when confronted with a new atmosphere. At Morven, he settled down and put it together in the ring too.”
Phillip Dutton won two of the three advanced divisions–division I with Amazing Odyssey (34.95) and division III with Cayman Went (33.32). In fact, he also finished second and third in division III on I’m So Brite and The Foreman and fifth in division I on Connaught. Holly Hepp rode Damien ( 37.04) to the victory in division II, their first advanced victory together.