Tyler, Texas – Friday’s cross country at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by VTO Saddlery proved extremely influential as the leaderboard of 2014 USEF National Open Horse Trial Championship experienced a great shake-up. With the quickest trip of the day over Capt. Mark Phillips’ impressive track, Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch flew to the head of the field.
Ashker (Richmond, Va.) and her own 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding traveled to the Texas Rose Horse Park looking to retain the National Title they earned in 2013. The CCI4* veterans demonstrated their vast experience at the Advanced level to jump clear over the 26 obstacle course and collect 3.2 time faults. They will head into the show jumping in the pole position on a score of 36.6.
“I couldn’t have asked him to be any more on his A-game. Having ridden this course last year I knew that time was a factor. Having said that, I threw my watch out the window and rode the horse I had underneath my saddle,” said Ashker. “Al answered every question with ease and came home full of running and I couldn’t be any happier with today’s performance.”
Matthew Brown (Sebastopol, Calif.) and Blossom Creek Foundation’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Super Socks BCF, maintained their second place position from the dressage as they too jumped faultlessly. The 2014 winners of The Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3* head into the final phase less than a point behind the leaders on a score of 37.3 after collecting 4.8 time penalties on the cross country.
Jonathan Holling (Ocala, Fla.) and Team Rebecca, LLC’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding Zatopek B stand third, after picking up 4.8 time penalties in a clear jumping round on Friday, on a two-day total of 39.1
By Helen Murray
To learn more about the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by VTO Saddlery, visit: http://useventing.com/aec.