March 18—Raeford, North Carolina
Phillip Dutton dominated both the CCI4*-S and the CCI3*-S to lead both divisions after dressage, while his daughter, Olivia Dutton, took the lead in the CCI2*-S Thursday at the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial.
Phillip sits in the top spot in both divisions with Caroline Moran’s Carlchen leading the CCI4*-S and Moran’s Quasi Cool holding the top spot in the CCI3*-S.
Carlchen, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, is fresh off producing a record-breaking advanced test at Pine Top Horse Trials (Georgia) last month, and was fantastic once again to lead the class on a score of 22.6 in their first four-star together.
“I’ve had Carlchen for a year and a half,” said Dutton. “This is our third or fourth competition together, and he is a very special horse. I think he has some big things ahead of him in the next three or four years. He went well, and the exciting thing is there are some more points to get. He is really fun to ride so you get in the test and really enjoy it.”
Not to be outdone by his stablemate, Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, nearly matched his score, earning a 23.9 in the CCI3*-S. This is the horse’s first CCI3*-S and his first international event with Phillip in the irons having been produced up through the CCI2* level in Germany by Dirk Schrade.
“Quasi Cool is an up and coming horse that I am really excited about,” he said. “I think in a year’s time he will be at the 4* level. While it is his first 3*, he has been at this level for 8 months, and he is ready for this.”
Olivia was thrilled with Kevin Keane, Susie Sutch, and Stephanie Speakman’s Iniesta.
“He was really good today. There is always room for a bit of improvement but it’s just a matter of me warming him up correctly. I was really happy with him,” she said.
The second place rider in the CCI4*-S is no stranger to sitting near the top of the leaderboard. Liz Halliday-Sharp returns to the event as the defending champion having finished in first and second in 2019. She started her title defense strong with Fernhill By Night, an 18-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Deborah Halliday. They are sitting in second after the first phase on a 23.0
“He was a good boy, and he knows his job by now. He tried really hard and did probably the best changes he has ever done. I am thrilled he got the score he did, and it’s great he still enjoys being at the party. He loves going to the shows. and I was really pleased with him today,” she said.
All three FEI divisions will show jump tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. with the CCI3*-S. The CCI4*-S will show jump at 12 p.m with the CCI2*-S wrapping up the day at 2:20 p.m. The exciting cross-country finale will conclude the international competition on Saturday.
Click here for live scoring.
Carolina International is also hosting training through advanced level horse trial divisions which get underway Friday with dressage.
After the cancellation of last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carolina Horse Park has rolled out even more improvements to the cross-country track and is debuting new complexes including Normandy Banks for all FEI levels in 2021. All competitors and officials have sung praises for both the footing and courses. Knowlbrook Farms has been crucial in land management developing the galloping lanes and providing extensive tree removal to ensure each and every course at the Carolina International has world-class ground.
Horse & Country TV is the official live streaming partner of Carolina International. In addition to providing wall-to-wall live streaming of all of the CCI4*-S, Horse & Country is also offering live and on demand coverage of the CCI3*-S show jumping and cross-country phases. Visit https://horseandcountry.tv/en-us/ for more information.