Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

Leatherman Accelerates To The Lead In Jersey Fresh CCI***

Allentown, N.J.—May 14

Andrea Leatherman always knew Mensa had another gear she hadn’t experienced yet, and on her way into the lead of the Jersey Fresh CCI***, she found that gear and floored it.



Allentown, N.J.—May 14

Andrea Leatherman always knew Mensa had another gear she hadn’t experienced yet, and on her way into the lead of the Jersey Fresh CCI***, she found that gear and floored it.

“I started out on course a little but quiet, but I knew that at the end I could kick on and make sure I made the time,” Leatherman said. “At the 6-minute mark [of the 10:00-minute course], I was still 20 seconds down on the time, but I wasn’t worried. He’s a really fast horse, and on those last two galloping stretches, I just kicked him and went on. I’ve never really kicked him on like that, and when he accelerated, I just said ‘Whoa! There’s that gear!’”

Leatherman came in 4 seconds under the time, one of only three clear rounds in the time in the CCI*** division, to move from fifth after dressage to first. Her ascent was  helped when leader Allie Slusher picked up 11.2 time penalties to drop to fourth, and second-placed Doug Payne and Running Order added 10 time faults to drop to sixth. Carl Bouckaert on Cyrano Z—third after the dressage—had a run-out at an arrowhead coming out of the first water and is now in 11th.

Clean rounds were hard to come by in the CCI*** division, and in all the divisions today. Cross-country really shuffled the pack as announcer Brian O’Connor kept tallying the run-outs and stops on course. Shannon Baker had the only serious fall of the day in the CIC** division, when Cordonelli hung a leg on an oxer and had a rotational fall. The horse walked away from the fall and Baker was reported to be fine after receiving medical attention at the jump.

Mensa wasn’t the only one to make a dramatic move up the ranks by virtue of a clean and fast go. Nina Ligon picked up just 0.4 time to move into second behind Leatherman by just 0.6 points. And 3 points behind her is Erin Sylvester on No Boundaries, who made the time on their way around a clean round.

For the CCI*** division, the first water, at the Jersey Shore complex for 8AB and 9, was the trouble spot. Six horses ran out at 8B, the brush arrow head coming out of the water, and another horse had problems at the skinny arrowhead in the water. The other combination that caused issues was 17AB, a double of corners. Danica Moore and Dunlavin’s Token had two run-outs there, and Mara DePuy retired Fun Maker after a run-out at the first water and then again at the corner combination.

Of 19 horses in the CCI*** division, nine jumped clean, four had one stop, one had two stops, three retired on course, and two withdrew before cross-country.

A Real Race

One division didn’t see a change at the top, however, as Tiana Coudray narrowly held onto her lead in the CIC*** division over Jennie Brannigan. Coudray picked up 4.4. time penalties as Master Hill jumped clean over the course, while Brannigan added 6.0 time faults to her dressage score to keep second place. “I was watching Jennie go and thinking ‘Go slower, I want a rail in hand for show jumping!’ but no such luck,” Coudray said.

No one made the time in the CIC*** division—in fact, Coudray’s was the fastest round of the division. “He was very good today; he’s a very bold horse and he’s great at the galloping fences. He’s a little bit more of a challenge at the accuracy questions, and he’s very green at [the advanced] level, but he was very honest and good today,” Coudray said.

After the dressage yesterday, Brannigan said she was going to go slow since she’s saving Cambalda for the Luhmuhlen CCI**** (Germany) in June. She said not to let the fact that hers was the second-fastest round of the day mislead anyone. “I definitely did go slow!” she insisted. “I literally loped around the back half of the course. But he’s really easy to make the time on; it’s actually harder for me to go slower on him. He’s naturally very behind my leg, so I have to find a way to ride him in front of my leg without really sending him on faster; that’s something I’ve been working on. I could have easily pressed him on and made the time, but I have my eye on Luhmuhlen, and I needed to save his legs. I’m a very competitive person, so that’s not easy for me, but it’s in the best interest of this horse right now.”

Phillip Dutton moved from third after dressage to fifth with a slow clear round of his own on Mighty Nice. Will Faudree moved up from fifth to third with the third-fastest round of the division on Pawlow, who is also aimed for the Luhmuhlen CCI****.


The CIC*** division had its fair share of problems—out of 19 starters, 12 jumped without penalty. Three riders had just one stop on course, while one—Lucia Strini—fell at the Jersey Shore water complex. Two riders retired on course—Sara Kozumplik pulled Manolo Blahnik after a few stops, and Lauren Lambert pulled up Baba Creek before the 18th fence, though they hadn’t had any jumping penalties to that point. The bogey fence of that division was 5B, a brush arrowhead that riders had to jump after descending a steep hill out of the woods. Another fence was five or six strides up the hill before the B element.

Shaking Things Up
For a while, it seemed like chaos reigned in the CCI** division. Dressage leader Ben, with Phillip Dutton aboard, was one of the first horses out on course, and things got interesting right away when they fell at the first water jump. Then, Kim Severson—who was third after dressage—ran into trouble with Wiley Post and retired on course after a few stops.

It looked like it would be up to Jessica Phoenix on Pavarotti to inherit the lead, since she’d been second in the dressage and jumped the first half of the CCI** course with no penalties. But Pavarotti had been squeaking by over quite a few of the fences, benefiting from Phoenix’s expert guidance, and the ground jury didn’t like what they were seeing. After Pavarotti hung a leg dramatically over the coffin at 11ABC, the ground jury stopped them on course before the 13th jump and eliminated them.

The shuffling cleared the way for Canadian Lisa Marie Ferguson to take over the lead on Smart Move with a double clean round. “He’s a young horse that’s relatively new to this level, so my plan was to just get around as close to the time as I could,” said Fergusson. Smart Move is a 7-year-old warmblood gelding Fergusson started as a 4-year-old.

“I’m happy to be in first, and it’s unfortunate other people didn’t have as good a day,” she said. “[The results] surprised me at the end of the day, but during it you have to have your focus on your horse and your ride.”

Fergusson will have to focus tomorrow in the show jumping, too, since fellow Canadian Hawley Bennett-Awad is just half a point behind her on the adorable Five O’Clock Somewhere. “He was amazing, and this was just his fourth intermediate event,” Bennett-Awad said. “He didn’t miss a beat. There were a lot of big questions out there. At the first water [which caused quite a few problems], I was lucky to see a good distance to the boathouse and then he locked onto the chevron skinny fence out [of the water].”

The Jersey Shore water complex was the site of many problems in the CCI** division, including leader Phillip Dutton’s fall with Ben. CCI** riders had to gallop into the water, jump a boathouse table in the water, then gallop up the slope out of the water and jump a skinny brush fence. Out of 33 starters, there were three rider falls, four retirements on course, and two eliminations. Two riders had just one stop each.

Roquefort Rocks
Rebecca Howard held onto her lead in the CIC** division on Roquefort after she jumped a clean round with just 8.8 time penalties added. Howard had to deal with a 6-minute hold last on the course after Baker fell, but she regrouped and got Roquefort going again before jumping the big oxer before the last water and galloping for home.

“I actually have never been held on course before,” Howard said. “I wasn’t too worried about it; I was just thinking about the logistics of how to get going again. My horse jumped great. He sometimes gets wound up in the schooling area, but today he stayed really relaxed, and I could go straight out of the box and attack the first few fences.”

Howard definitely had her eye on her watch, though. “He’s not a full Thoroughbred,” she said of Roquefort, a Dutch Warmblood-Thoroughbred cross. “I have to really stay on a good rhythm. He’s a good galloper, but it’s not as easy for him. He has to really keep on it, which he did today.”

She’s been riding Roquefort for three years now, but the horse’s schedule has been complicated. First, an injury to the horse put him out of action. Then, once he recovered, he and Howard had a rotational fall on Feb. 28, 2010 at the Pine Top Horse Trials (Ga.). Howard had to take months off to heal her fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and two broken collarbones. “I haven’t really put together a whole season on him, yet, so I’m really looking forward to doing that this year,” she said. “I’ve had him for a long time, but I’m still learning a lot about him.”

Howard is aiming Roquefort for the CCI** at Bromont (Canada), and considers him a possibility for the 2011 Pan American Games team for Canada.

Stephen Bradley, who had been in second place after dressage with In The Fog, picked up 13.2 time penalties to drop to seventh. Australian rider Kadi Eykamp—third after dressage—moved up to second with Double Rivers Really Cool.


Double Rivers Really Cool has won at Jersey Fresh before—Eykamp rode him to the top of the 4-year-old Young Event Horse class there in 2009. “He’s moved up the levels very quickly, but he’s a very mature horse and very confident,” Eykamp said. She bought Really Cool sight unseen off an internet ad because his sire is closely related to the sire of Boyd Martin’s Remington.

Eykamp moved to the U.S. in 2007 when her husband started an MBA program in New York City, and she evented on the East Coast for years. But in October, the Eykamps moved to Keller, Texas, so Eykamp will be checking out the Western eventing scene this year.

In the CIC** division, just one rider was eliminated on course—Lucia Stini’s ride Ideal Contiki had problems at both the water jumps on course. Two riders retired on course after having stops, and two riders fell. Of the falls, Shannon Baker’s was the only serious one, as Cordonelli had a rotational fall over the log oxer before the Jersey Fresh water complex. The pin at the fence was damaged, but Cordonelli walked away fine and Baker was reported to be well after medical attention. Four riders had stops but completed the course.


• None of the four divisions—the CCI***, CCI**, CIC*** and CIC**—has Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin or Buck Davidson in the top three. 

• Young rider David Koss made a big impression in the CCI*** division. He was the fifth rider out on course, and the the three riders before him had all run into problems and retired, while Pam Fisher and Sea Lion had picked up a stop. Koss, 23, who is the son of former four-star rider Vicky Koss and trains with Bruce Davidson, didn’t look at all concerned as he blazed the trail on Look Sweet. They jumped clean and made the time—one of just four double-clean performances in the division—to move up from 13th to seventh.

• The youngest rider of the weekend, Arden Wildasin, is just 17 and turned in two double-clean performances today. She sits in third in the CIC** on Powderhound, and in fourth in the CCI** on Totally Awesome Bosco.

• Katie Ruppel bounced back from a disappointing Rolex Kentucky**** debut, where she was eliminated in dressage when Sir Donovan refused to go forward. After tying for 10th in dressage in the CCI***, they had a great ride over the cross-country. Their clean round in the time—one of just three in the division—moved them up to fifth.

Click here for full results of Jersey Fresh.

Read about Friday’s CIC*** dressage.

Read about Thursday’s CCI*** dressage.






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