Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2024

I’m Sew Ready Steps Up At Carolina International CIC***

Raeford, N.C. – March 21

It takes a special kind of horse to tackle the cross-country course at the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC***—one that can gallop on the open stretches, but listen to his rider as he gallops on tracks through the pine trees of the Carolina Horse Park, waiting for the next fence around the bend.

And today, I’m Sew Ready became that horse for Phillip Dutton as he came home clean and inside the time over Hugh Lochore’s track to take the win—one of 13 combinations to do so out of 46 pairs to start.

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Raeford, N.C. – March 21

It takes a special kind of horse to tackle the cross-country course at the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC***—one that can gallop on the open stretches, but listen to his rider as he gallops on tracks through the pine trees of the Carolina Horse Park, waiting for the next fence around the bend.

And today, I’m Sew Ready became that horse for Phillip Dutton as he came home clean and inside the time over Hugh Lochore’s track to take the win—one of 13 combinations to do so out of 46 pairs to start.

Each pair had a different plan heading out on course—some wanted a piece of the $35,000 in prize money, while others wanted a fitness run and some ran slow to have a good school. Dutton wanted to test “Jackson’s” fitness since he’d missed a run last month due to a cough, so he put the pedal to the medal.

“He was good. I don’t think he’s probably been that fast before in his life, so there was no question it was a little bit of an eye-opener for him,” he said. “But I believe it’ll be a good experience for him. The horses have got to think quick and they’ve got to look for the flags, and the jump needs to become like a magnet to them. And he was starting to figure that out. It’s a little bit of a unique kind of cross-country riding here, where there’s a lot of jumping and turning and you have to be able to look for the jump through a bending line or through the woods where the jump is coming at you. I think they’ve done a good job of trying to open the track up but at the end of the day it’s still a forest kind of thing.”

Dutton’s been riding Jackson, who’s owned by Kristine and John Norton, since last summer for his regular rider, Kristen Bond. She’s since given birth to her first child and is planning on taking the ride back soon, but Dutton will try for the Pan American Games (Toronto) with him first. He also has several other of Bond’s horses in training.

“Overall I thought it was a good education for him and I’m very pleased for the Bonds and the Nortons,” he said. “It’s a pretty green horse and a new horse for them and he’s got a great future.

“The plan would be for him to run again at the Fork (N.C) and then [the Jersey Fresh CIC*** (N.J.)] and we’ll see what happens with the Pan Am Games, whether he gets to run there and then he’s Kristen’s horse. They’ve been good enough to say that if I can get one of these horses to the Pan Ams, then they’ll support that. Kristen’s back ready to ride; as soon as the weather improves in New Jersey she’ll be back ready to take—I think I’ve got six of her horses. We might stagger them a little bit so she starts to introduce herself to it over time. But hopefully I’ll still have the horse in July or August when the Games are.”

Boyd Martin stayed in second place with a double clear ride on Stephen Blauner’s Master Frisky, who’s headed to the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** if all goes to plan.

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“He’s a class horse. He’s been a little bit under the radar and I rate him highly,” he said. “I think the exciting thing is that his dressage is world class, he’s a great cross-country horse and the show jumping’s really improved this year. I’m thrilled with him and very thankful my longterm owner Stephen Blauner’s owned him. He purchased him when he hadn’t even seen him and backed me and believed in me and he’s turned out to be a superstar.

“He’ll be green at Kentucky, but he’s gutsy and he’s a trier,” he added. “He’s a bit awkward in his jump, but he’ll bust himself to get between the flags and that counts for a lot when you’re going around a big course.”

Lochore’s course rode well overall with just two pairs picking up stops. Liz Halliday-Sharp, who was in third on Fernhill By Night, picked up 20 penalties at fence 21b, a corner coming out of the water, and Kate Chadderton and Buckharo had a stop at fence 8abc, Zoe’s Bank.

Taryn Nolte and Cleverly retired at fence 16, the SPEA War Horse Complex, and there were three rider falls in the division, none of which resulted in serious injury.

Allison Springer had an unlucky day as she fell from Mr. Sydney Rocks at fence 8 and fell from her longtime partner Arthur after fence 8 when he spooked at a spectator near the ropes.

Kevin Keane fell from Fernhill Flutter at fence 11, Stonehenge, and Waylon Roberts fell from Kelecyn Cognac at the corner out of the water at 21b.

CIC** Marks A Milestone For Scandalous

When Marilyn Little pulled RF Scandalous up after a clean and clear CIC*** cross-country round, the mare still had more gas in the tank—in a good way.

“She was a ball of energy today,” said Little, of Frederick, Md. “I was actually really happy to see that because she was genuinely excited to do it and she’s a green horse—was a green horse last year—and she is now becoming a very confirmed horse. So she wasn’t nervous but she was excited. It’s a really wonderful corner to feel them turn, when they suddenly become not just athletes but competitors. There is definitely a moment, and it happens with all horses as they’re becoming high performance horses, that you realize they know they’re playing the game now. Today was that day for her.”

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Leading the division from beginning to end, Scandalous didn’t miss a beat all weekend, a difficult feat considering Lochore’s course featured technical questions in forested areas after stretches of open galloping, calling for extreme adjustability from both horse and rider. Fence 11AB, the combination at Stonehenge, saw the most difficulties, with 11 refusals, including a rider fall (Lillian Heard on Arundel). Elena Hengel took a fall off Zipp at fence 12, the Carolina Horse Park table, as well.

“This is a great preparatory run in terms of fitness and mentally, in terms of their educational development,” said Little of the challenging track. “There were plenty of technical questions and it challenged their fitness, so this will do a lot for the horses in terms of moving toward their spring CCI goals.”

Ryan Wood rode his homebred Powell to second place in the CIC** and you wouldn’t guess it was the gelding’s debut at the level by his confident approach to each element. They finished well under the time with no jumping faults.

“Knowing that he’s got the ability in the jumping and the dressage, the question would be if he can gallop, because he’s an Oldenburg,” said Wood, of Unionville, Pa. “It was the first time I opened him up and he cooked along.

“His breeder [New Jersey-based Ilona English] sends [horses out of the dam Dinara] to me to ride and compete, and they turned out to be pretty trainable types that can move and jump, and they proved they can gallop today,” he continued, adding that he’s looking forward to competing at Plantation Field (Pa.) in April.

RF West Indie and RF Overdressed went one-two in the CIC* after the latter moved up over Doug Payne on Lysander, who ticked a rail in show jumping (CIC* cross-country was held yesterday, as opposed to the CIC** format) and fell from second to third overall.

Indie completed her first one- and two-stars last year with Little, but she explained that the mare is still a bit young and needed a confidence booster, hence the move back down.

“I come from a show jumping background, and we move horses up and down all the time,” she explained. “It doesn’t happen—I don’t see it as much—in eventing, probably because the events are further apart than show jumping. Indie is only 8 years old and she has stepped up to the plate in a major way. She didn’t go FEI until last fall. I think it’s very fair.”

Watch a live stream of the CIC*** competition all weekend on USEF Network.

Scores are available on EventEntries.com.

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