Can Arrogate Defend His Breeders Cup Classic Crown for the Final Time?

Photo source: Clockers Corner via Twitter.

The Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate is one of the stars of thoroughbred racing and is aiming to clinch successive Breeders Cup Classics when he takes to the track at Del Mar on November 4. The lucrative race is set to be Arrogate’s final outing before heading to stud at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky. The multiple Grade 1 winner faces stiff competition from Steve Asmussen’s Gun Runner, who will be aiming to crash the party and steal the headlines.

Arrogate’s trainer enthused about his chances in the race and was left beaming following a successful workout at Santa Anita. “That went perfect,” he declared after watching his charge travel the six furlongs in 1:13.20, whilst rider Rafael Bejarano boldly declared, “He’s ready now.”

After clinching a track record during his first ever Stakes race appearance, Arrogate was always destined for the top and the Baffert-trained horse will be hoping to end on a high after a mixed 12 months. Success in the Dubai World Cup in Meydan was followed by two underwhelming performances (by his high standards) which both came here at Del Mar. Some are blaming the track for the fourth place in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap but the four-year-old must prove his credentials and ability to bounce back at this particular venue on November 4th.

Arrogate’s last competitive action came here at the end of August when finishing behind Collected in the Pacific Classic Stakes, going down by half a length.

Whilst all eyes will be on Arrogate, the Baffert stable comes into this race extremely strong-handed as they aim to land the $6million prize-pot on offer to winning connections. They are likely to pitch Collected, West Coast and Mubtaahij into the contest and all three thoroughbreds are likely to be in the top six of the betting. The latter is an Irish-bred five-year-old who will be aiming to make it back-to-back successes in Grade 1 company after taking the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita at the beginning of October.

Source: JSC Communications via Twitter

Gun Runner is the current favourite for the one and a quarter mile contest and is fancied by many punters to steal Arrogate’s thunder. He has also been working out at Santa Anita ahead of the Grade One contest completing five furlongs in 1:00.40 and reportedly looking “fantastic” according to XBTV reporter Camilla Yakteen. She later added that the horse has a “huge reach”.

Trainer Steve Asmussen was equally impressed by his charge, claiming, “Gun Runner looked great galloping out throughout the wire; he cooled out nicely.” He comes off the back of successive Grade One victories, including making all in the Whitney and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. The stable will be desperate to avenge the narrow defeat to Arrogate in the aforementioned Dubai World Cup back in March.

Another fascinating rematch arrives in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, where the Wesley Ward-trained Lady Aurelia comes up against Marsha once again, with just a nose separating the pair in the Nunthorpe at York racecourse earlier in 2017. It will be a debut Breeders’ Cup for both trainer Sir Mark Prescott and jockey Luke Morris and they’ll be hoping to make a winning start at the annual meeting.

No European representative has ever been successful in the Turf Sprint and the pair will be aiming to set records tumbling this year. Another British hope likely to be partaking in the Breeders Cup is Ribchester, although the Richard Fahey trained four year old also has an entry for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot’s Champions Day, a race in which the horse will be the 15/8 second favourite according to racing analytics site Timeform.

Arrogate is undoubtedly the star of the show once again and the Baffert stable appears to be pleased with his progress ahead of the showdown with Gun Runner. Despite a poor couple of runs here at the track, the four-year-old does have a victory to its name here at Del Mar but that success came back August 2016 when starting 1/10 favourite in an Allowance Optional Claimer, finishing narrowly ahead of Kristo. The Asmussen horse is the narrow favourite but Arrogate will be determined to add one final triumph to his already glittering racetrack record.

By James Hall

British Champions Day

British Champions Day is a thoroughbred horse race meeting held at Ascot Racecourse in October each year since 2011, which acts as the end of season highlight fixture of British flat racing. It is the culmination of the British Champions Series and features the finals of the five divisions of the series, together with a valuable one-mile handicap race. It’s the richest raceday in the British calendar and the chance to see the World’s finest horses and jockeys battle it out for their slice of history.

As the culmination of the QIPCO (Qatar Investment & Projects Development Holding Company) British Champions Series, this raceday features the end-of-season championship races for Ten-furlong horses (The Champion Stakes), Milers (The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes), Sprinters (six furlongs), Long distance horses (two miles) and Fillies and Mares (one mile and four furlongs).

It was created by drawing together a number of historic races which had been features of Ascot and Newmarket’s end of season meetings for many years. These were the Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes from Ascot, and the Champion Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes from Newmarket. In the new fixture, these became the finals of each of the divisions of the British Champions Series.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes retained their names and became the finals of the Mile and Middle Distance divisions, respectively. The Diadem Stakes became the British Champions Sprint, the Jockey Club Cup became the British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the Pride Stakes became the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is open to horses aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 meters). The Champion Stakes is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 meters).

For exciting non-racing horse activities, the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police are set to make a fiery return to Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017).

Over in the United States, you may want to check out the article about racing Quarter Horse Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff who romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I’m a dreamer. People say I look “dreamy,” but that’s not what I’m talking about. I dream about things. I imagine winning a gold medal in the Olympics. I dream about sugar cubes in my food every morning. I dream about being massaged by Jane after a long ride.

Okay… I realize I’m probably not going to the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do the very best I can, right now, where I am. I can decide to do whatever it takes to achieve the goals Jane sets for us. It doesn’t have to be the Olympics. It can be the next small schooling show. It only matters that I do my BEST. I dream about doing my best, and that puts me on the path of doing my best. It all starts in my mind!

What kinds of things are important to you? Do you do your best? Can you see yourself in your mind, achieving the things you dream about? Do you make that little bit of extra effort to be the very best you can be?

Think about it. Then pick one thing in your life that means a lot to you, and decide to give it your best. Visualize your best outcome. Hold that vision, and see what happens. You may be surprised at your success!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I found it! I found the ball I left in Florida last year! I had lost it in the deep grass right before we left for Vermont, and now I have it back! I’ve been worrying about it all summer long, wondering if another dog or an alligator found it and ate it. But no… it was right there, where I’d been visualizing myself finding it!

Do you ever worry about things? Do worries about money or a relationship or a health concerns keep you up at night? Did you ever stop and wonder if worrying actually helped?

I’ve discovered that you can only think one thought at a time. Because of this, you can replace worry with another thought.

So, the next time you find yourself worrying about something, create a story in your mind with the BEST possible outcome of the thing you’re worrying about. Or, if that’s too hard, replay a happy event in your life. Consciously distract yourself with something positive, and let the thing you’re worried about take care of itself for the moment. The issue will still be there when you’re ready to take action, so there’s no need to worry about it now.

I’m sorry I wasted so much energy worrying about that ball. But now I’ve learned to enjoy what I have in the moment.

What would you like to think about that would make you happy right now?

Let’s go play catch with my ball! That makes ME happy!

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Paulo Santana and Una Du Keske Z Ride to Victory in $10,000 TackNRider Stake

Paulo Santana and Una Du Keske Z. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography & PBIEC.

Wellington, FL – October 18, 2017 – Paulo Santana of Wellington, FL and Una Du Keske Z earned top honors in the $10,000 TackNRider Stake at ESP Fall I at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), topping the class with a time of 47.664 seconds in the jump-off and adding four faults to their score. Penny Brennen of Bruhl, AL and Beaujolais Du Ruet, owned by Santata Stables LLC, finished in second place with a time of 47.902, also adding four faults to in their jump-off round. Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL and Tuja 6 rounded out the top three with a time of 55.551 seconds and an additional ten faults.

Perla Boord of Key Biscayne, FL and her own Charlie XVIII topped the Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Classic with a time of 36.518 seconds in the jump-off round, while Mateo Coles of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and V.I.P., owned by Daniela Roy, stopped the timers in 33.729 seconds for second place. Moira Maclean of Key Biscayne, FL and her own Quinam Des Etisses earned the fastest four-fault trip in the first round after finishing in 72.453 seconds.

The Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Clara Vidal of South West Ranches, FL and Carneyhaugh Riddle, owned by Daniela Roy, finish atop the class as the only combination to contest the jump-off. Mariana Herrera of Loxahatchee, FL and Tango, owned by Laura Maria Herrera, collected second place after adding a single time fault to their first round score. Samantha Palermo of Merritt Island, FL and QRHF Elleana, owned by Kelly Simpson, finished in third place after dropping a rail for four faults in the first round and stopping the timers in 71.042 seconds.

Robyn Hannigan of Celebration, FL and her own Copacabana took top honors in the Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic after completing their short course trip in 47.775 seconds. Dolores Funes of Wellington, FL and Chantilly, owned by Samuel Parot, took second place honors with a time of 47.832, while Paige Coles of Boca Raton, FL and her own Chicago 88 rounded out the top three with a time of 48.206 seconds.

The Accuhorsemat Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Isabel Sanchez of West Palm Beach, FL and her own Chino rode to top honors in the class after finishing their jump-off track in 44.457 seconds. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. of Wellington, FL and Queretaro 2, owned by Gut Einhaus, LLC, finished in second place in the jump-off after dropping a single rail and stopping the timers in 42.679 seconds. Ashley Anzulewicz of Tampa, FL and her own Fleur Royale took third place as the quickest four fault combination in the first round with a time of 87.348 seconds.

The UHealth Children’s Hunter Division was topped by Isabella Watson of Lake Worth, FL and her own Worthington as the pair took divisional honors while Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and her own Alleala finished with reserve champion honors.

The Adult Amateur Hunter Division saw Eliza Eddy of Lighthouse Point, FL and Madewell, owned by Richard Cunkle, finish as the division champions, while Eddy also took reserve aboard Cussini, owned by Lili Halterman.

Ashley Briggs of Loxahatchee, FL and her own All Wrapped Up finished atop the #1 Education Place Junior A/O Hunter 3’3″ Division ahead of Madison Wanicka of Palm Beach, FL and her own Robin Hood, who finished a strong weekend with reserve champion honors.

Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Rose Gold, owned by Lisa Lesko, captured champion accolades in the Large Pony Hunter Division. Emma Vandenhouten of Plantation, FL and her own Spiderman finished in reserve.

The Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Isaac Leffkowitz of Ocala, FL and Cartington, owned by Edward O’Connor, finish atop the weekend’s division. Leffkowtiz guided Pianist, owned by Kat Chrysostom, to reserve champion.

The USHJA Hunter 2’3″ & 2’6″ was championed by Courtney O’Brian of Rineback, NY and Right On Q, owned by Karen Walcott. O’Brian also guided Charm City, owned by KEQ, LLC, to reserve champion.

For more information please visit www.pbiec.com.

The Magnificent Met Mounted Police Return to Olympia, the London International Horse Show

The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police are set to make a fiery return to Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017).

Adding to this year’s stellar line-up of entertainment, the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police will be returning with their breath-taking Activity Ride, a phenomenal demonstration of skill and bravery as they negotiate hazards, portraying complete trust between horse and Officer. Expect horses jumping through a solid paper wall, fire, and many more edge-of-the-seat moments as the horses boldly illustrate their nerves of steel, in perfect formation.

The historic act demonstrates the day-to-day training routine ahead of patrolling the busy streets of London, carrying on a proud tradition of service and duty which began in 1873, when horses were hired from a local livery stable for use in emergencies.

Inspector Simon Rooke from the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Activity Ride are extremely proud to be asked back to perform in front of the wonderful crowds at Olympia 2017. The show gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the extraordinary bravery of our horses and the unique bond of trust they have with our officers. The horses that will be performing at Olympia are all operational, and patrol the streets of London daily.’  

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: ‘We couldn’t be happier to see the return of the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police at Olympia this year. Their performance showcases great skill and courage and is such a unique act, making it a real crowd favourite.’  

The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police will be the second display at this year’s Show following the Chilean Huasos, a performance portraying the historical skills of Chilean cowboys and their trusted cattle horses. Crowds can also expect the Kennel Club Dog Agility, which will feature the world’s most talented dogs and their handlers, as well as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and the Christmas Finale, supported by The Hilton London Olympia and this year entitled – ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’.

Further to the spectacular entertainment performances will be three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event: the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound (Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13, respectively), FEI World Cup™ Driving leg presented by Dodson & Horrell (Friday 15 and Saturday 16) and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping Leg (Sunday 17).

For more information about Olympia, The London International Horse Show and how to purchase your tickets, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Bank of America Challenge Championships

The American Quarter Horse Association, October 17, 2017 – The 25th running of the Bank of America Challenge Championships took place at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on October 14 and saw a hometown hero conquer the biggest event of the night.

Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

This is the third time the championship event has been hosted at Prairie Meadows, and it featured horses from all over North America. The horses must earn invitations to the event by placings in regional race competition.

The Fiscal Cliff is a 4-year-old son of PYC Paint Your Wagon out of the Shazoom mare Signs Zoomer. He qualified for the race by winning the July 4 Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge. He cruised 440 yards in this race, over a sloppy track, to win in :21.297 for trainer Kasey Willis and jockey Benito Baca.

“Thank you so much, AQHA,” said Lepic after the race. “Thank you for being in Iowa; thank you so much for letting us run on our home turf.

“He’s going to California for the Champion of Champions (at Los Alamitos Race Course),” Lepic added. “To have an Iowa-bred do this, on his own turf in this kind of conditions, is unbelievable.”

Baca is the program’s year-end high-point jockey.

“It was a dream trip,” he said. “He stepped away and all I had to do was hold on the whole 440. He’s an awesome horse to ride.”

The Fiscal Cliff has earned $564,875 in his career, while winning 13 of 23 career starts.

Horses competing in the Challenge Championships underwent and passed hair testing.

“This is evidence that AQHA’s stance on integrity is effective, and a high percentage of horsemen wish to abide by our rules,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber.

Other winners on Challenge Championship night include:

  • Dauns First Desirio, winner of the $180,000 Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) for owner Rogelio Carbajal Santos of Thornton, Colorado; trainer Julio Corral and jockey Cesar Gomez. The gelding by Desirio is out of the First Down Express mare First Daun Express, and was bred by Dan and Jolene Urschel.
  • Jess Paint Your Lips, winner of the $105,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and breeder Michael Pohl of Colorado Springs, Colorado; trainer Stacy Charette-Hill and jockey Jorge Torres. The 4-year-old mare is by Jess Louisiana Blue and out of the Corona Cartel mare Paint Your Lips.
  • Carris Cartel, winner of the $131,300 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) for owner and breeder Nancy Carrizales of Harlingen, Texas; and trainer Edelmiro Carrizales and jockey Santos Carrizales. The filly is by The Louisiana Cartel and out of the Strawfly Special mare Shesa Wicked Gypsy.
  • Zoomin Racer, winner of the $105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and trainer Fernando Carrete of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and jockey Ricky Ramirez. The 4-year-old gelding was bred by AQHA Past President Jerry Windham and is by Jess Zoomin and out of the Runaway Winner mare Racing Winner.

For more information on American Quarter Horse Racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Celebrating the Stars of the Community at PBIEC during 2018 Great Charity Challenge

Photo Credit ©GreatCharityChallenge.

Wellington, FL – October 16, 2017 – Palm Beach County charities will get a chance to showcase what it truly means to be a star this coming February.

For the past eight years, equestrians and their dazzling mounts have been captivating the local community at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. These teams of riders have one goal in mind: to give Palm Beach County charities a chance to shine and win up to $150,000.

The Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) is inviting all Palm Beach County-based charities to apply to participate in the event’s ninth edition, a pro-amateur relay show jumping competition.

Thirty-four of these randomly drawn charities will meet their “lucky star” on Saturday, February 3, 2018, to receive a share of the $1.5 million dollar purse.

The application process opened on October 16, 2017 and will remain active through 5:00 PM on November 15, 2017 via www.greatcharitychallenge.com. All non-profit organizations in Palm Beach County are invited to apply and try their good fortune.

The GCC, founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions and their daughter Paige, has distributed more than $10.8 million from the equestrian community to 220 non-profits in Palm Beach County.  What sets this event apart is the fact that 100% of the money raised gets distributed to local non-profits. With 34 participants randomly selected each year, first place is guaranteed $150,000 with a sliding scale to the minimum amount of $15,000 for every participating charity.

Over the last three years, the GCC brought team spirit to a new level by incorporating themes. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center welcomed, “Superheroes”, “Fairy Tales Characters” and “Animated Characters”. The GCC is proud to reveal this year’s theme: “Hollywood Feature Film”, a tribute to “A Night When Everyone Is a Star”.

Mark Bellissimo commented, “This ninth year honors the local stars of our community.  We hope to give them an opportunity to shine and let them redefine what ‘stars’ are truly made of. This event is truly the legacy of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the sponsors involved. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Paige Bellissimo, who is actively involved in the community, added, “The GCC is a unique event that allows us to raise awareness of the diverse charitable organizations throughout the community. We hope that this year’s edition will help future generations see what stars are truly made of! We are very grateful for our rider teams, sponsors, and partners who support the effort.”

If you know of a deserving Palm Beach County-based charity, please have them visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com for full application details and information. Please note that the application process for the 2018 GCC is open from October 16, 2017 through November 15, 2017 (5:00 PM).

The random drawing to select the 34 charities from those that have applied to participate in the 2018 GCC will be held on December 2, 2017 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (Wellington).

For the latest event information and application guidelines, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

Coleman and Smith Earn USEF CCI3* and CCI2* Eventing National Championship Titles

Will Coleman and Tight Lines (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

O’Hanlon Claims CCI3* Victory at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Fair Hill, Md. – The show jumping phase proved influential for CCI3* competitors on Sunday at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, with Will Coleman and Tight Lines claiming the title of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Champions. Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius remained unaffected by the challenging show jumping phase to close out a start-to-finish win of the CCI2* division.

In the CCI3*, the leaderboard shuffled to put Canada’s Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High on top as the winning pair of the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event. It was a rollercoaster weekend for O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada), as she bounced from first to second and back on top again with Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding owned by John and Judy Rumble. Ultimately, the CCI3* win and a $15,000 prize were hers for the taking after she added three deliberate time penalties in Sunday’s show jumping to finish on a score of 44.0.

Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and Tight Lines were crowned The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* National Eventing Champions and second overall at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event after a faultless show jumping round left them on their dressage score (46.3) as the highest placed American pair. As the national champion, Coleman will also receive one free, round-trip flight to Europe, for one horse from The Dutta Corp.

“He was magic yesterday on the cross-country. I was thrilled with how he ran. He made it feel like it was well within his capabilities, and today he just tried his heart out,” Coleman said of The Conair Syndicate’s 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. “I think the horse’s biggest attribute is that he just gives 100% all of the time. He’s not the simplest, but he really tries. As long as you can harness that the right way, you can do some good things. We’ll just try to reproduce it now over and over again.”

A clear round catapulted Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Trakehner gelding Tsetserleg to third place in the CCI3* for The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* reserve champion title. A score of 46.1 in the dressage and 1.2 time penalties on cross-country gave them a final result of 47.3.

“He’s a newer horse for me,” Martin commented on his talented partner. “He just doesn’t wow you at home, but when you get to a competition, this horse all of the sudden grows to about 17.2, he jumps as high as you want to jump, and moves like Totilas. We saw that this weekend at Fair Hill.”

Smith’s (Murrietta, Calif.) show jumping trip proved successful on Sunday as she completed a wire-to-wire win in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding ended the weekend on his dressage score of 40.9.

“I’m thrilled. He was perfect in every phase, and I couldn’t have asked him to be better. He show jumped today like a million bucks,” Smith said proudly.

For Smith, a win like this means all the more for the horse’s owners, Pamela Duffy and Donald Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods. “The owners have a fairly small to medium breeding farm in southern California, and Pam [Duffy] is very diligent about breeding horses and what horses she acquires for the sport,” explained Smith.  “I’m just really happy for them. It’s been kind of a long road to get here, so I’m thrilled for them.”

Coleman and Off The Record moved nimbly around Sally Ike’s winding show jumping track to finish in second place in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship. The Off The Record Syndicate’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding avoided jump penalties throughout the weekend for a final result of 49.8.

“Anytime you finish a three-day event on your dressage score, I think it’s a major accomplishment,” Coleman said proudly. “This horse has done it twice this year, which I’m really proud of. There are some things we will try to improve on over the winter. He’s been consistent this year, and that’s something we can hang our hat on.”

Matthew Flynn (Reddick, Fla.) and Get Lucky, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Flynn Sporthorses, steadily climbed the leaderboard through all three phases, ending the competition in third. Only 0.4 cross-country time penalties marred their finishing result of 50.4. Get Lucky was also awarded the Best Presentation Award.

“I was really happy with him in all three phases,” said Flynn. “I was disappointed to be one second over [the time on cross-country], but such is life. For him, I’m thrilled. It’s his second two-star event and he’s been third here before, so it was nice to repeat it.”

The John H. Fritz Trophy was awarded to Sophia Click as the highest-placed Young Rider in the CCI2* division. Nina and Tim Gardner’s FE Lifestyle, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding, earned the USEF National Young Horse Championship title for six- and seven-year-old horses. The Small But Mighty Award was given to Colleen Rutledge’s (Frederick, Md.) 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Uno for being the smallest equine to complete the CCI2*.

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications

Deusser Wins Electrifying Opening Leg in Oslo

Photo: Daniel Deusser and Cornet. (FEI/Mette Sattrup)

Germany’s Daniel Deusser (36) and the unusually-coloured gelding Cornet produced a spectacular winning round at the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Oslo, Norway. Second-last to go in the seven-horse jump-off, the pair pinned Rio Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France (36) into runner-up spot with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC while Australian wonder-woman, Edwina Tops-Alexander (43), clinched third with the mare California, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Chloe.

Deusser was delighted with his new horse which was previously competed by America’s Lauren Hough.

“He’s very sensitive; you have to get to know him a little bit but he has great character – he wants to help you in the end; he wants to win and he has a great instinct in the ring!” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

The move from outdoor shows to the confinement of an indoor arena for the first time this season tested reflexes, control and accuracy, and even some of the biggest star partnerships of the past summer found it difficult to leave all the timber intact over the 13-fence first-round track designed by Britain’s Bob Ellis. It was Tops-Alexander who set the early target in the jump-off with her fiery 10-year-old mare that was formerly competed by Egypt’s Abdel Said when galloping through the timers in 38.22 seconds, and recently-crowned individual European champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, was just 0.2 seconds shy of that with H&M Christian K when fourth to go.

Staut blew the competition wide open with a breath-taking run from his 12-year-old gelding, putting his foot on the accelerator from the very start and racing through the finish in 36.96 seconds to really raise the bar. He thought he’d done a pretty good job.

“I had a plan, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to be faster!” — Kevin Staut (FRA)

But Deusser also had a strategy, and his worked out even better.

“I didn’t see Kevin go, but I did see the first two (Douglas Lindelow SWE and Mark McAuley IRL) and I realised it would be easy to get too deep to the second-last. I thought maybe if I just stayed in the same canter stride I might get a better jump there and then really go for it to the last.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

And that was exactly how he clinched it, with a flowing run and a super-fast finish in 36.83 seconds that couldn’t be bettered by last man in, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, who faulted at the penultimate oxer.

Deusser took the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title with his great Cornet d’Amour, also by the stallion Cornet Obolensky, back in 2014 in Lyon (FRA) and his victory has set him on the path to the 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) next April. This was his first indoor show with Cornet whose colour scheme seems to suggest he has splashes of black ink on his grey coat. And he’s excited about his future with the horse which came his way from Hough, who, as the tall German rider explained at the press conference, “is an American rider with an American way of riding – and she’s half my size so there’s been a period of adjustment! Lauren asked me to help her a little bit with him in July and it worked out good so my owners, Stephex Stables, bought him for me to ride and I’m really happy with him.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

Deusser is now targeting more qualifying points at the second leg of the Western European League in Helsinki (FIN).

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Rutledge Gallops to CCI3* Lead at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Smith’s Control of CCI2* Continues

Fair Hill, Md. – Spectators and competitors enjoyed a thrilling day of cross-country at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, where international pairs proved their mettle over Derek di Grazia’s challenging track. Colleen Rutledge held on to her lead in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship with Covert Rights, and Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius kept their lead in the The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship.

A fast cross-country round gave Maryland native Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her own Covert Rights the top position in the CCI3* division. The 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding remains on his dressage score (39.8) after a fault-free performance.

“He gets every gold star I could possibly give him. He saved my butt when I got us into trouble, and he was foot-perfect at 90% of the course,” Rutledge commented, noting that she had experience on her side with four-star partner Covert Rights. “Luckily, I know that he’s got the experience behind him. He’s already done two four-stars. He reads the fences. He’s so much more mature now, and he’s so much more experienced now, where I could just gallop down and see the stride from six strides away and attack the fences. That was probably one of the most fun cross-countries that I’ve had in a long time.”

Overnight leaders Selena O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada) and Foxwood High finished four seconds over optimum time to drop them into second place. John and Judy Rumble’s 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding picked up 1.6 time penalties to sit on a two-phase result of 41.

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines leapt from 13th to third after an incredible cross-country effort. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding continues on a score of 46.3.

“He never lacks run or gallop. He’s just an animal out there. It was a hard course, but I thought it was a proper test. I think it’s a testament for the cross-country riding in this country,” Coleman commented. “It was a difficult three-star, and I’ve ridden a lot of three-stars around the world, and I would put Fair Hill at the very top, in terms of difficulty.”

Smith (Murrietta, Calif.) and Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius were the first combination to come home clear within the time on Saturday’s cross-country. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding made quick work of di Grazia’s course to remain on his dressage score (40.9) going into Sunday’s show jumping finale.

“I didn’t know what to expect. He hasn’t been in an environment like this before. He was super. He didn’t question one thing. He was spot on. You bring them here to the two-star at Fair Hill and know if you definitely have a three-star horse and beyond, and I definitely feel that,” Smith said of the young horse’s promise.

Following Smith’s lead, Cornelia Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) also remained in second place with her own Louis M, a 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding. Dorr piloted both Louis M and her own fifth-placed Sir Patico MH, an 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, to double-clear cross-country results.

“My first one, ‘Hugo,’ was amazing. He and I have a wonderful relationship. I felt super-confident with him. It was nice to go out and do all that with him, then be able to make tighter lines on Louis. They were both great and super-fit. I’m happy with them,” Dorr smiled.

Again in the CCI2*, Coleman climbed the leaderboard, this time with Off The Record, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate. The duo completed the course penalty-free to move into third place on a score of 49.8.

“I was proud of him. He’s an eight-year-old horse, and he was second in [The Pedigree Bromont CCI2*] this year, and the last four to five times out he’s been in the top five. So he’s been consistent. That’s what we are going for, for all the horses this year, trying to build consistent performances throughout all three phases,” Coleman remarked. “I think it was a proper test with a pretty good group of horses here. [The Dutta Corp./Fair Hill International Three-Day Event] gets billed as a two-and-a-half-star, and I think people have a lot of respect for it and come ready.”

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications

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