Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Winsome Adante and Severson Dominate The Fork CIC***W

Winsome Adante proved that he’s definitely ready to take on to the Badminton CCI**** (England), and Kim Severson couldn’t have been happier with his performance this weekend at The Fork in Norwood, N.C., April 6-8.
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Winsome Adante proved that he’s definitely ready to take on to the Badminton CCI**** (England), and Kim Severson couldn’t have been happier with his performance this weekend at The Fork in Norwood, N.C., April 6-8.

“The beginning of the year was really a wake-up call,” Severson said referring to “Dan’s” unfortunate run-outs at Pine Top (Ga.) earlier this year. Though she admitted the hiccups did spark some subtle second-guessing of the 14-year-old Thoroughbred cross, her 2004 Olympic silver-medal winner, “I didn’t really doubt him, I just didn’t take him for granted anymore. It’s just really good to have my friend back,” she said.

They let the 36-entry class know their charge from the start of dressage on Thursday and never let go of the top position despite the musical chairs in the standings after Sunday’s show jumping.

Cross-country only reaffirmed that Dan is still the man as he finished clear and well under the time, despite taking a few longer routes. “I did what I knew he could do and what he was comfortable with,” Severson said. She thought Capt. Mark Phillips’ course was a great test for the World Cup class and that good riding was definitely rewarded while any mistakes meant faults.

She also commended the crew at The Fork for their efforts in keeping the footing on both the cross-country course and in the stadium impeccable.

Severson went on, “There were a lot of clean rounds at the beginning [of show jumping], but then there were also a lot of rails.” She and Dan were one of the 14 clean rounds in the class and finished comfortably on their dressage score (40.3).

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Their closest competition was Will Faudree aboard his 18-year-old Rolex-bound Australian Thoroughbred, Antigua. The pair made a huge leap in the standings, from 10th after dressage to finishing second thanks to clean cross-country and show jumping trips.

He agreed with Severson about the challenging show jumping course, which seemed to be the weekend’s deciding factor.

“The course was definitely big,” he said. “If you made a mistake, rails came down. But good riding was rewarded.” He added of the cross-country course, “It was full of great questions to build confidence in horses and riders and great preparation for Rolex [Kentucky] in two weeks.”

Faudree and Antigua head to Rolex Kentucky with aspirations to lead the victory gallop of course. But he modestly added, “It’s just been an honor to be a part of ‘Brad’s’ career. We’ve had a lot of good rides together, and I’m just looking forward to another one in Kentucky.”

Jan Byyny and Waterfront matched Faudree’s 48.4-fault finish, but because he ran cross-country closest to the time, he kept reserve honors over Byyny.

Kristin Bachman and Gryffindor also left all rails in their cups on Sunday and jumped up the ranks to finish their weekend in fourth with the same score as Amy Tryon and Le Samurai (49.4), who had one rail in show jumping and 2 time faults on cross-country.

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Jonathan Holling and Lion King II, who approached show jumping in second place, caught two rails and ended up falling to sixth. Phillip Dutton took over seventh and eighth with Connaught and Truluck, respectively. Both horses jumped clear.

While Karen O’Connor and Upstage only lost one rail in show jumping to wind up ninth, Becky Holder and Courageous Comet dropped from third to round out the top 10 after adding 12 faults.

Severson sweetened her weekend honors with a red ribbon in the CIC*** division aboard Tipperary Liadhnan. But in the end, the famed duo of Karen O’Connor and Theodore O’Connor claimed the much-deserved blue.

When O’Connor rode Wynn Norman’s homebred 14.1-hand sport pony clear over the last fence in the show jumping ring, a healthy ovation ensued for the ever-popular “Teddy.”  Severson and Tipperary Liadhnan looked brilliant throughout their round, but dropping the last rail forfeited their victory.

“He’s still a work in progress,” O’Connor admitted, “But this has been his best yet.” She’s been working on improving Teddy’s, canter and the dressage judges rewarded him for his relaxation and collection in the ring. They incurred a few time faults on cross-country but the “little pony that could” cleared every jump as boldly as ever.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Norman. “He’s been knocking on the door for awhile now and this was his first big win since his first event. It just goes to show that sport ponies really can keep up with the big guys.”

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