$500 Craigslist Mare Galloway Sunrise Leads The CCI4*-L Field at Jersey Fresh International

May 11, 2019 - 8:30 PM

Allentown, N.J.—May 11

In a CCI4*-L division stacked with five-star riders like Phillip Dutton, Allison Springer and Emily Beshear, it’s easy to expect one of them to come out on top after cross-country day.

But as the trouble started piling up over Mark Phillips’ course today at the Jersey Fresh International, it was Fylicia Barr and her $500 Craigslist mare Galloway Sunrise who bested them all.

Barr and “Sunny” were one of two pairs to make the 10 minute 17 second optimum time, and they jumped up from fourth after dressage to take the lead heading into tomorrow’s show jumping.

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Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise. Lindsay Berreth Photos

Another new pair to the top placings, Arden Wildasin in her first CCI4*-L aboard Il Vici, had the other clear round inside the time, and they rocketed up to second from 13th.

“She’s usually pretty fast and clear on cross-county—that’s usually where she shines, so I was hoping [to move up,]” said Barr. “I came in and looked at my watch and saw we were clear and was just really happy to finish on our dressage score for the day. She’s never really backed off anything, and today she came out a little too guns blazing, but by the middle of the course we found our rhythm, and she was really keen.”

Barr grew up in western New York and took her first horse, a kill pen rescue, to training level before it was time to look for one with more capability.

“My mom found this horse on Craigslist, and I thought she was crazy,” said Barr. “The first time we went up to see [Sunny] they had to corral her into the stall because she wasn’t even halter broke, and she kicked me as soon as I went into the stall. For some reason we decided to go forward! It took us three hours to put her on the trailer.

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Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise.

“I’ve always been a fan of horses with a little fire in them—and our budget was $1000!” she said with a laugh.

Sunny, a now 11-year-old American Warmblood mare (Duty Officer—Coco Chanel), had been bred by her owners, but was a bit much to handle, so she was put in a field in hopes she’d come around. She didn’t, and it took Barr some time treating her like a mustang and using natural horsemanship techniques to train her.

“She’s knocked us down a few times, but we’ve always come back stronger,” said Barr. “She’s just got the biggest heart in the world. She has so much fire inside of her. She’s an absolute competitor, and it’s really humbling to sit on a horse like that that loves their job that much. It definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning; she made us work pretty hard for it, but I’ve learned a lot from her, and here we are now.”

Barr, 23, most recently worked for dressage rider and former eventer Sally Lofting for two years, but she went out on her own last year and now has 18 horses, all but two of which are clients.

She spent the winter in Unionville, Pennsylvania, training when she could with Sally Cousins for jumping and recently started working with Pierre St. Jacques on the flat.

“[Winter] was a struggle,” she said. “We jogged a lot of roads, and we drove up to Maui Meadow [Farm in West Chester, Pennsylvania] to swim her. I was a little concerned, but the swimming made her more fit than any galloping had ever done. She’s very strong right now.”

The pair don’t have an impeccable show jumping record, but Barr’s confident in the work they’ve been doing over the summer and is ready for the predicted rain tomorrow after riding in a downpour at her last outing at Fair Hill (Maryland) in April.

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Arden Wildasin and Il Vici.

Wildasin, 25, was thrilled with her ride aboard “Vici,” a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Galileo—Ladyeri, Salieri) that she’s had since he was 7. He’d raced as a young horse, then was brought to the CCI4*-S level by Australian Olympic rider Shane Rose.

“He’s a fantastic horse,” said Wildasin. “Today was one of our days of just going out there and just jumping each jump and doing it smooth. He was listening—it was one of the best rides. It felt smooth, and he was listening to all the cues I was telling him to set up. We were collecting jumps around the course, and it was unbelievable. The focus for me today was going out there, enjoying each jump and getting more confidence.”

Wildasin rides as an amateur and has a lot of experience at the intermediate and three-star level, so to make it to this event was important to her.

“He and I have been clicking, and it’s been a great journey to this level,” she said. “I’m still an amateur, and each time it’s unbelievable. Each course I’ve done, just getting the feeling of, ‘Wow, we do belong at this level.’ I’ve been years at the [intermediate and three-star] level, and this year it’s like, ‘You know, I am ready.’ It’s being prepared physically and mentally, and for me it’s more the mental side. He’s great, I’m great, let’s hopefully put it together.”

Of 16 horses to start cross-country, 13 came home. Clayton Fredericks retired FE Stormtrooper after a refusal at 18b, Hannah Sue Burnett got a dunking in the Jersey Shore at 8b, a narrow in a line that caused the most trouble. Both she and Lukeswell walked home.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore both fell at 26b in the water, but were reported to be OK. Dutton posted on his Facebook page that the gelding may have a wind issue.

Dressage leaders Emily Beshear and Olney Uncle Sam picked up a run out at 18b, and Allison Springer picked up run outs with both Business Ben and Sapphire Blue B at 8b.

Boyd Martin and Contestor picked up 20 penalties at 11b, and Nilson Moreira da Silva missed a flag at 8b with Magnum’s Martini and had a refusal at 11a with Cash.

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Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play.

Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play made easy work of the CCI3*-L course today to maintain their dressage lead.

“He’s done this level before, and it felt easy today, as it should,” said Symansky, who’s hoping to get her Pan American Games qualification this weekend and give the 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Condors Champion—Roxana, Radscha) an easy run after a late start this spring. “I thought the courses were really good. It’s definitely a step up from last year. I thought last year was too soft for the level, and I thought Mark did a great job improving a lot of the technicality.”

“Coolio,” who’s owned by the Donner Syndicate LLC, can be a trier to the extreme.

“In the warm-up, in the beginning he’s going 27 different directions just because he’s so excited to be out there; the nerves are very different,” she said. “He’s an internalizer. He holds it all in, and he’ll be perfectly quiet, but he’ll be shaking because he’s looking off in the distance. He needs to be able to get out there and feel like he can relax and breathe. He’s very uncomplicated; he’s such an honest cross-country horse. He has a little bit of a unique style in the way that he goes, but I’ve learned you can’t really completely change a horse’s style of how they want to jump. He’s a careful horse, and he’s an honest horse, and he has a big gallop on him. He just made very easy work of the track today.”

Of 17 pairs to start today, 14 came home. Dutton picked up a mandatory retirement when he and Fernhill Pick Pocket both fell at 20b. Jacob Fletcher and 5o1 Mischief Managed incurred a technical elimination for jumping the wrong fence 13, and Alexandra Baugh fell from Mr. Candyman at 18. She went on to ride her second horse later in the day.

The final horse inspection will be held at 8 a.m. tomorrow. In an effort to beat the rain, show jumping has been moved up with the CCI3*-L at 9:30 a.m., and the CCI4*-L at 11 a.m.

Full Scores I COTH’s Coverage I Website

Want more from Jersey Fresh? We’re on site all weekend to bring you news and photos! We’ll have more in the June 3 print edition of the Chronicle.

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