No one managed to overtake Becky Douglas and Courageous Comet’s lead on Friday morning, April 25, but Heidi White and Northern Spy moved into a close second with a 40.6, and Corinne Ashton and Dobbin moved into third with 43.5.
White earned solid 7s and 8s for their elegant trotwork and had higher scores on their canter work, including 8s on serpentines both times, the canter half passes and extended canter, all spots where other riders tended to lose points. She even received a 9 from head of the ground jury, Martin Plewa of Germany, for the collected canter, along with two 8s from the other judges, Nick Burton and Jo Young.
Dobbin and Corinne Ashton went just before the lunch break and barely warranted a single score below a 7. Some of their highlights included the lateral work at the trot, the flying changes, and an obedient halt and reinback.
Kim Severson took to the arena first with Tipperary Liadhnan, and he seemed a bit spooky in the atmosphere of his first four-star, amid the high morning winds. He spooked at the entrance of the arena and as he came up the centerline the first time. She had some low scores in the serpentine and flying changes, but she had nice half passes and the first part of the collected canter work was strong, to finish with a 54.6.
Tangleman and Polly Stockton of Great Britain scored a 52.2 in their fourth appearance in the arena at Rolex Kentucky. He lost a few points by moving off from the first half prematurely, then breaking into the canter just as he approached C on his way up the centerline. He broke in the walk before the canter, but he had nice canter half passes, flying changes, and extended canter.
Allison Springer also managed to score in the low 50s (53.5) in Arthur’s first four-star. She would have scored much better except for a rough walk before halting and reining back. She also earned 4s on the resistant reinback, and a mixture of 3s, 4s, and 5s for the rest of the walk, where he anticipated the canter departure. But once in the canter, she earned solid 7s and 8s for the difficult serpentines, the half passes, changes and extended canter.
Lynn Symansky tactfully handled an over-exuberant No It Tissant, who broke to the canter in the 10-meter trot circles and shoulder-in left. He spun around at the walk as Symansky tried to set him up for the walk and reinback, which earned them 2s. But she rallied for the canterwork, even earning some 7s, although he was still quite tense and tossing his head at times. But Symansky showed good sportsmanship, smiling and patting her horse as she left the arena, no doubt waiting until she could switch saddles and get jumping.