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A Mutual Respect Puts O’Neal And Fury H On Top At Ocala Jockey Club CCI**

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Reddick, Fla.—Nov. 16

Fury H started his international career with Elinor O’Neal, but somewhere along the way her husband Alex O’Neal took on the ride, and he’s not giving it back.

Alex is leading the CCI** after dressage (29.5) at the Ocala Jockey Club International on “Marvin,” a horse he describes as the best he’s ever had.

“He’s a really, really amazing horse, so I just tried to go in there and be consistent. He was fantastic,” he said of his ride.

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Alex O’Neal and Fury H. Lindsay Berreth Photo

Elinor rode the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (San Remo—Miss Marple, Maurice) up until March this year, including winning the Ocala International spring CCI* (Florida) in 2017, but as Marvin developed he grew to nearly 18 hands and became a big tough for her to ride.

“Ellie did a great job with him, but he got to be quite big and not really her type, so she was very nice to let me have a shot at him,” said Alex. “We’re both a little arrogant and like to do things our own way, and we respect that about each other, so I think it works really well. We both kind of know what suits each other. I just kind of let him do his thing, and I don’t put too much pressure on him schooling. He always goes in the ring and does a really nice test for me. I’m really lucky to have a horse that can do that because I’m usually riding horses that don’t like to.”

Alex, 26, Ocala, Florida, is excited to tackle Clayton Fredericks’ cross-country tomorrow with Marvin, who will be doing his first CCI**.

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Yesterday’s leaders, Doug Payne and Starr Witness, slipped to second. Lindsay Berreth Photo

“I think it looks great,” he said. “Clayton’s done a great job designing it. I think it will be a long way around. Everybody has their own opinion about it, but I’m really excited to give it a shot. I think the terrain’s going to be really tough. You’ll see a lot of horses that maybe looked really good coming into this struggle toward the end, but I think Clayton’s done a good job putting jumps that suit that. They’re all a nice shape. I think if you can get to the back two minutes you can nurse your horse home if you have to.”

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While he’s a warmblood, Alex thinks Marvin is fit enough for the task. “He’s a machine,” he said. “He’s really warmblood bred, but he’s got a big stride, and he has a big engine. I’m excited to see what he’s got out there because I think this course is gonna eat some of the heavier horses up.”

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CCI** cross-country starts tomorrow at 2:10 p.m.

Full Results/COTH Coverage/Live Stream/Start Times

We’re on site at the Ocala Jockey Club all weekend to bring you news, photos and results from the final FEI event of the year in the U.S. Check back all weekend for more, and if you know of a good story, email lberreth@coth.com!

Check out the Dec. 10 print edition of The Chronicle for much more.

2018 Ocala Jockey Club CCI** Dressage

Lindsay Berreth / November 16, 2018 4:46 pm

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