Monday, May. 27, 2024

Dressage Deja Vu For Windfall And Chiacchia

Darren Chiacchia called Windfall “dependable” after dressage, and he did appear that way as he went straight into the lead in the Jersey Fresh CCI***, May 31-June 4, with a score of 39.3 points despite somewhat sloppy footing after a hard night’s rain.
   

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Darren Chiacchia called Windfall “dependable” after dressage, and he did appear that way as he went straight into the lead in the Jersey Fresh CCI***, May 31-June 4, with a score of 39.3 points despite somewhat sloppy footing after a hard night’s rain.
   
For most riders this would be an enviable, maybe even nerve-wracking position, but Chiacchia is used to the lead after dressage.  He took first place in dressage at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** just five weeks earlier with the Trakehner stallion, but three stops at separate fences on cross-country caused him to pull up a few jumps from home.
   
Chiacchia pinned their unlucky performance on a bad day.  He gave Windfall a rest after Kentucky and then ran him in the intermediate division at the Virginia Horse Trials, which they won, as a confidence booster.

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“When I got on him at Rolex he was very ho hum,” said Chiacchia.  “I thought, ‘Great he’s finally maturing.’  But then at [the Virginia Horse Trials] he reared up and smacked me in the face and I thought, ‘Good boy!  He’s back.’ ”
    
The top five spots after dressage were filled by riders who wished their Rolex Kentucky event had gone a bit differently.  Mara Dean took second place aboard Nicki Henley and Jan Byyny grabbed third with Task Force.  Buck Davidson and Idalgo landed in fourth place after dressage, while Mike Winter of Canada took fifth place aboard Kingpin.
   
Dean had a crash at a large ditch and wall at Kentucky.  Nicki Henley ended up in the ditch.  Although rumors flew that he’d been severely injured or even put down, in reality he was just body sore after the accident and was feeling fine a week later.
   
Byyny didn’t even get to start Kentucky.  “Jedi”  played up in their last jump school before the event and managed to slip and hyper-extend his shoulder.
   
“He was really close to being sound before Rolex, but he had a terrible shoulder injury to the other shoulder before, and I was afraid of ruining him,” said Byyny.  “He had a week of hand-grazing and went back to work.”
   
The riders agreed that John Williams’ cross-country course looked like a good track with some tricky elements.  But the weather may end up being more of a factor than the course itself as heavy rain fell Thursday night and is predicted for Friday night and all day Saturday.
   
Becky Holder rode into the top spot in the two-star with Glorious Joy, a horse she shares with owner Jill Gill.  Gill trained the off-the-track Thoroughbred through preliminary with Holder’s help, and then Holder moved the mare up to intermediate.
    
Kim Severson’s also riding a racing reject.  She found Tsunami at the Penn National racetrack two and a half years ago.  They placed second after dressage in the two-star (44.4).
   
Kate Ditchey, 23, grabbed third place with Belmont.  Wendy Bebie took fourth aboard Phoenix, and Phillip Dutton sits in fifth with Tru Luck.

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