Saturday, May. 18, 2024

The Price Is Right: World No. 1 Clinches Mars Maryland 5 Star On Five-Star Debutante



 Elkton, Md.—Oct. 16

Coup De Coeur Dudevin came into the Mars Maryland 5 Star with just one CCI4*-L on his resume; and until last year, he had never competed above the three-star level. On Sunday, the horse short on experience but long on talent jumped a clear round under the guidance of world No. 1 Tim Price to win his five-star debut.

“I came here with a hope for a top-five result with this horse, but understood there might be a couple of things that showed his lack of experience, and we were able to do that whilst keeping a nice, low score and finishing the week very well,” said Price, who rides for New Zealand but is based in England.

The pair started the weekend in second place after dressage with a score of 27.4, then jumped double-clear cross-country to move into the lead. On Sunday, they added 0.8 time penalties to their final tally over Ken Krome’s show jumping track to stay on top. Tamie Smith and Danito jumped clear with 0.4 time penalties to finish on 29.8 and take second place by the slimmest of margins over Great Britain’s Oliver Townend, who had to settle for third with As Is after finishing on his dressage score of 29.9. Townend was one of five competitors to jump double-clear over Krome’s course.


Tim Price and Coup De Coeur Dudevin won the Mars Maryland 5 Star. Lindsay Berreth Photos

All of the top three horses were five-star debutantes.

“I think all three of these horses, all on debut, to come out and perform like that is incredible,” Price said. “It’s exciting for the sport and exciting for us personally to have horses coming up through the wings. It’s unexpected to have a top result like that.”

Price just started riding “Joker” earlier this year. The 10-year-old Selle Français gelding (Top Gun Semilly—Tiebreak Combehory, Leprince Des Bois) was bred and owned by Jean-Louis Stauffer, who was in attendance to watch him in Maryland. Initially Price’s wife, Jonelle Price, rode the gelding, but he proved a bit too strong for her.


On Sunday, Tim had to tap into his experience to help his greener mount and contain the horse’s long stride a day after completing his first five-star cross-country track.

“To build up the rhythm before the start was the most important part, with any horse really. And then just try to give them a good ride—give them good distances, stick to a plan, if you’re going to execute Plan B, do it quickly and do it well,” said Tim, who just reached No. 1 in the FEI World Eventing Rankings this month. “I had to do that a couple of times. He has a really long stride; today [that] was more evident than in some other rounds I’ve had. Maybe it was just a carryover from the day before. I was dealing with his length of stride and trying to manage the fences, but he really turned himself inside out for me. He kept trying all the way home.”


Tamie Smith and Danito, owned by Ruth Bley, finished second in the CCI5*-L.

Tim admitted he hid behind his horse’s lack of experience a bit and went into the mode of educating him and giving him a good time all weekend.

“Of course when you get in the ring, and you know that a clear round inside the time is key, you go into performance mode,” he said. “I was just really happy he dug deep for me. It was a new depth of stamina requirement for him, and he really went into that ring and lit up and busted himself for the job. It was very exciting for him to show me what a horse he is and also for the future for him. To nail a victory like that, I’m just very proud of him.”

Smith’s second place finish comes in a string of successes after a rough start to her year. She earned a team silver medal at the FEI World Championship (Italy) this summer, then won the Morven Park CCI4*-L (Virginia) last weekend with Sologuayre California.


Tamie Smith was thrilled with her clear round.

But before those victories, her 2022 started with Danito breaking his withers and an EHV-1 outbreak near her southern California base. She got her horses to the East Coast just before things shut down, but then she broke her ankle and tore several ligaments in an accident on the ground. With horses qualified for spring five-stars, she pushed through. At the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, her mount Fleeceworks Royal suffered an injury that required the mare being vanned off course for emergency surgery.

“I could see my dreams just fading away and that I wasn’t going to be in contention for the world championships, and I just wouldn’t take no for an answer,” she said. “My horse [Danito] had broken his wither, so the first three months of 2022 was a disaster. To have the fall to end up the way it is, from Pratoni on, has been really special. I have a couple of promising four-star horses that [did well] at Morven last weekend. It’s an exciting time.


“As everybody knows, it’s very easy to be up at the top but so easy to fall,” she added. “You have to cherish the moments. I have a huge, wonderful support team, and I know that they’re all just ecstatic for this accomplishment.”


Tamie Smith and Danito.


Oliver Townend and As Is jumped clear to stay in third.


Phillip Dutton and Z finished fourth.


Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle were fifth in the CCI5*-L.


Will Coleman and Dondante were sixth.


Harry Meade and Superstition finished seventh.

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In the U.S. Equestrian Federation CCI3*-L National Championship, Elisa Wallace moved up from second place to take the win on the Corsair Syndicate LLC’s Renkum Corsair, a 12-year-old Anglo-European gelding (Renkum Chapot—Renkum Colitas, Renkum Valentino).

“I had a lot of confidence coming in,” she said. “He was a 1.40-meter horse as a 7-year-old, and he’s really helped my confidence in show jumping. I got nervous in my warm-up, and I had to just tell myself to, ‘Be quiet; he’s fine; stop being stupid,’ and just pretend it was a jumper round at [World Equestrian Center]. He felt fantastic—didn’t feel affected at all by the day before—and he jumped a beautiful round. It was quite fun to be in there.”


Elisa Wallace and Renkum Corsair won the USEF CCI3*-L National Championship.


Elisa Wallace and Renkum Corsair.



Jenny Caras and Sommersby moved up from 11th to finish second in the CCI3*-L.


Cassie Sanger and finished third in the CCI3*-L aboard Fernhill Zoro, and Sanger was the highest placed young rider in the division.


Boyd Martin and Miss LuLu Herself finished fourth in the CCI3*-L.


Amanda Beale and Carlson 119 finished fifth in the CCI3*-L.

COTH’s Coverage I Results I Schedule

We’re on site all week to bring you news, photos and interviews from the country’s second five-star event. Check back at all weekend and be sure to pick up the Nov. 7 print edition of The Chronicle of the Horse for more.




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