Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Fisher Wasn’t Fooling Around On Cross-Country Day

It may have been April Fool's Day, but Robyn Fisher was all concentration as she piloted Le Samurai to a clean, but slow, cross-country run in the Galway Downs CIC-W in Temecula, Calif.

The pair had a large margin after dressage, leading with 48.6 over Ildiko Hites on Ben Fox (65.2) and Anne Lindley on Merlin (65.3), but that gap narrowed considerably when Fisher racked up 24.0 time penalties for 72.6 points.

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It may have been April Fool’s Day, but Robyn Fisher was all concentration as she piloted Le Samurai to a clean, but slow, cross-country run in the Galway Downs CIC-W in Temecula, Calif.

The pair had a large margin after dressage, leading with 48.6 over Ildiko Hites on Ben Fox (65.2) and Anne Lindley on Merlin (65.3), but that gap narrowed considerably when Fisher racked up 24.0 time penalties for 72.6 points.

Unusually cold weather and rain may have played a part in the cross-country results. Only two other riders finished with clear rounds in the eight-horse field. Jennifer Wooten moved into second place with the fastest round of the division on The Good Witch (74.0), and Lauren Whitlock grabbed third aboard Kipling (74.7).

Only three riders completed the advanced division, and Jennifer Taxay and Indego were the only pair to do so without adding jump penalties. She leads the division (62.37) over Loreen Kay with Russian (87.10) and Jim Moore on Herzjuwel (148.80).

Fisher also looks good in the CIC** division with Lady Calido (53.8). She added no time penalties to her dressage score to retain the lead. But she can’t afford a rail here either, as Kelly Prather and Ballinakill Glory are sitting in second (57.5), and Lisa Marie Fergusson is close behind aboard Uni Griffon (62.6).

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The two-star division had better weather, but the technical challenges of the course claimed many victims. One of the most difficult fences was the “b” element of the Oak Tree Water. Riders jumped a large table, turned left and galloped up a steep hill to a log at the top before galloping down into the water, turning right and jumping a maximum corner. Many horses simply didn’t have enough impulsion at the top of the hill to make it over the log.

Three riders were eliminated at this jump, while six more had stops there. Other fences that caused problems included fence 4, The Sunken Road and fence 12, Lake Galway.

Barbara Crabo, last fall’s one-star winner, fell off Eveready at fence 9, the Ditch & Palisade, and elected to retire. Leigh Mesher took a nasty spill off of Smoke Signal at 15c, the last corner in the Corner Complex. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but wasn’t seriously injured.

The one-star had the most entries with 36 horses and riders. Fiona Dodson holds the lead aboard Happy Go Lucky III (43.2). Less than a rail separates her from Alexandra Casparay on Maletto V (44.3) and Debbie Davis on Cimarron (47.1).

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