Category Archives: Eventing/H.T.

Eventing: Professional Riders Are Coming Back to Strzegom

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

(Strzegom, April 14) Strzegom is opening the international eventing season in Poland. The first show will be Strzegom Spring Open, with over 250 horses competing.

Riders from 14 countries will compete in four international classes: CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI1*-INTRO, and CNC 100 class.

The arenas of Morawa hippodrome will welcome, among others, the Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa, gold medalist of the Asian Games; Merel Blom from the Netherlands, team bronze WEG medalist; or German rider Andreas Dibowski, team gold medalist of the Olympic Games.

Some of the best Polish eventers will also be present, such as Mateusz Kiempa, Joanna Pawlak, or Jan Kamiński.

The show starts on Thursday. The first two days are for dressage and jumping and cross-country trials will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

In accordance with the current pandemic restrictions, the show will be played out without audiences and following strict sanitary measures. The fans will have the chance to cheer on their favourites online – the show will be livestreamed at www.eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl and Facebook.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

FEI Eventing European Championships for 2021 and 2023 Allocated

Avenches in Switzerland will host this year’s FEI Eventing European Championship, and the 2023 edition allocated to Haras du Pin (FRA)

Host venues for these two important Championships and other key events were made by the FEI Board at its videoconference, with the full support of the FEI Eventing Committee and the European Equestrian Federation (EEF).

“We are pleased to have the Swiss venue of Avenches hosting the 2021 Championships,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Following last year’s postponement of the Tokyo Games, the FEI had originally cancelled European Championships in all three Olympic and Paralympic disciplines so that the focus could remain on the Games in 2021, but our community encouraged us to review that decision and we listened to those voices.

“After carefully reviewing three strong bids, which also included Boekelo in the Netherlands and Montelibretti in Italy, the FEI Board voted to allocate this year’s FEI Eventing European Championship to Avenches.

“We are happy to be able to give our community something to look forward to during these difficult days as we tackle the EHV-1 outbreak and work to put in place protocols to get our horses and athletes back to competing again.”

The 2021 edition of the FEI Eventing European Championship will run from 23-26 September.

Haras du Pin (FRA) was named as host for the FEI Eventing European Championship in 2023. The FEI Board had originally allocated the 2021 Championship to the French venue and, when there were discussions last year about the possibility of rescheduling the event away from the Olympic Games period, the Haras du Pin organisers were unfortunately unable to find an alternative date in 2021. However, they put forward a proposal to the FEI to host the Championships in 2023 and this was agreed by the FEI Board this week. Dates for the Championship in 2023 are yet be confirmed.

The FEI Board also allocated the FEI Jumping Ponies Trophy Final 2021 to Mechelen (BEL). An experienced Organiser of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League, the Belgian city will hold the Trophy Final from 26-30 December.

Kronenberg (NED) will host the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final 2021 from 23-26 September.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

A Prize Pool of Over 90,000 EUR during the Equestrian Festival Baborówko 2021

Baborówko, March 11th, 2021 — On the last weekend of May, Baborówko near Poznań will traditionally host Equestrian Festival Baborówko – an international eventing show. 6 international classes: CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCIYH2*-S for 6-year-old horses, and a CCI1* will be played out from the 27th until the 30th of May. The CCI4*-S will once again serve as the Polish Eventing Championships for senior riders.

Thanks to the support of the patron of the show, Mr Roman Roszkiewicz, Equestrian Festival Baborówko will once again present a remarkable prize pool in Polish eventing. The money in the CCI4*-S, the main class of the show, will reach over 70,000 EUR, and the winner will earn a cash prize of 22,000 EUR. “The cooperation with Mr Roman Roszkiewicz, the patron of Equestrian Festival Baborówko, has been our great honor for a few years now,” says Henryk Święcicki jr., the director of the show. “Especially now, in these unique times, the support for professional sport is extremely important. That is why we are very grateful that we can once again count on Mr Roman Roszkiewicz to help us create Equestrian Festival Baborówko.”

The CCI4*-S will be the playground of Polish Eventing Championships for seniors – for the third time in Baborówko. Poland’s most titled eventer – Paweł Spisak – will have the chance to defend his eight title. Less experienced riders or those with younger horses can compete in the national CNC 100 class.

Two driving classes for pairs are a novelty this year. Both L and N classes will be played out over two days: dressage on Saturday and combined marathon on Sunday. “The modernization of our infrastructure, which we finished last year, makes it possible for us to organize various types of shows. Baborówko now offers two new quartz arenas with drainage systems and a professional grass hippodrome,” says Henryk Święcicki jr.

The show in Baborówko is being organized during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but also during the Equine Herpes Virus epidemic. “Many years of experience in organizing equestrian competitions allow us to prepare the event with the highest safety standards. We are more than prepared to host Equestrian Festival Baborówko in a safe way for both people and horses,” Henryk Święcicki jr. summarizes.

Equestrian Festival Baborówko 2021 will take place at Baborówko Equestrian Centre, from the 27th until the 30th of May, 2021.

More information can be found at:
www.festiwal.baborowko.pl
www.sj.baborowko.pl

Strzegom Is Getting Ready for the Eventing Season

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

(Strzegom, February 25) 2021 season is getting closer and closer. According to Strzegom’s calendar, it will start in April and will traditionally last until the half of October. What awaits us in the upcoming season?

“The epidemiological situation in Poland and Europe still makes many matters uncertain,” says Marcin Konarski, the president of the Organising Committee. “At the moment, the organization of sport events in Poland is possible, both at indoor and outdoor arenas. There are no restrictions connected to organizing international events and the participation of foreign athletes. That is why we are getting ready for the 2021 in accordance to our calendar and epidemiological guidelines.”

The warm-up show is Strzegom Spring Open. If all goes according to plan, this will be the first of five international shows in 2021. In the light of the current situation, the beginning of the season will be played out in compliance with sanitary restrictions and with limited audiences.

Strzegom Spring Open will host the following classes: CCI1*-Intro, CCIP2*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, and CNC 100. For many riders this will be the first 4* performance. The cross-country tracks will be designed to help athletes and horses test their form and to start the season well. A national show with CNC 90, 100, 1*, and 2* classes is scheduled for mid-May.

Strzegom Horse Trials, the flagship event, including the Nations Cup, is scheduled for the last weekend of June. Strzegom Horse Trials will host ten international classes: CCI1*-Intro, CCIP2*-L, CCI2*-S, CCIJ2*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-S, CCIY3*-S, CCI-3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCIO4*-S-NC. Along with the international classes, we will also play out a national CNC 100 class. This event will also serve as the Polish Eventing Championships for juniors and young riders.

The summer at Morawa hippodrome will see an accumulation of sport emotions. In mid-August we will host the European Championships for Ponies in three disciplines: jumping, dressage, and eventing. Strzegom Summer Tour starts a few days later, with CCI1*- INTRO, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, and CNC 100 classes. This is a show dedicated especially for those moving up a level.

Strzegom October Festival will traditionally be the end of the season. The riders will compete in CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, CCIOY3*-L, CCI2*-L, CCIOJ2*-L, CCIOP2*-L, CCI1*-Intro, and CNC 100 classes. Along with them, we will once again play out the European Youth Eventing Masters – an individual and team competition for all youth categories in CCIOP2*-L (pony), CCIO2*-L (juniors), and CCIO3*-L (young riders). This show will take place in mid-October.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

LRK3DE 5*-L Canceled

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE) will not hold its famed Five Star three-day event this year, previously scheduled for April 22-25. The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and other events are being explored to be held over that weekend but without spectators.

“We have been working with US Equestrian, the Kentucky Horse Park, and state and local government on several different scenarios for April,” said Mike Cooper, president of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), which produces the world-class event. “With so many uncertainties still remaining regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is premature for US Equestrian to remove its restrictions on spectators. Given the importance of the health and well-being of our spectators and competitors, we feel the only option at this time is to cancel the Five Star Event and hopefully proceed with other events that our fans can enjoy via livestream and other outlets.”

Click here to learn more.

© 2021 Kentucky Three-Day Event

When You Get an Opportunity, Then Grab It with Both Hands: David O’Connor

David O’Connor (USA) with the brilliant Custom Made who claimed individual gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. (Photo credit: FEI)

It’s probably not that surprising that David O’Connor’s career thrived throughout the era of long-format Eventing, because if you’ve crossed the vast expanse of North America on horseback when you’re just 11 years old then going the distance is unlikely to be daunting at any stage of your life.

The 2000 Olympic Eventing champion retired from international competition in 2004, served as President of the United Stated Equestrian Federation (USEF) for the next eight years, and was inducted into the United States Eventing Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009. He now trains young horses, coaches riders, and designs courses, and he sees it all as a natural progression. “I’m in this game 45 years, and as time goes on you move on to the next level. For me that’s the training side of the sport, and I really enjoy it a lot,” says the man who became Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee three years ago.

He’s travelling to a show the day I call him up to ask him about his life and times. So how did he get started with horses? Did his family have a generational connection with them?

“No, my mum was brought up in suburban London (GBR) and she rode a bit, but it was only when she came to the US that she really got into it. My father wasn’t horsey at all; he worked in the Navy, but my brother Brian and I went to the local Pony Club when we were kids and that’s how it all began,” he explains. Mum, Sally O’Connor, would go on to become a Dressage rider, judge, and author while Brian’s voice is one of the most recognisable on the US equestrian commentary circuit. David, meanwhile, became a superstar Eventing athlete, greatly admired for the long and successful partnerships he established with a superb string of horses.

Ambitions

He says he didn’t have big ambitions as a child. “We weren’t wealthy so I never thought horses would be my life,” he explains. But when he was 17 years old, fate intervened. Spotted by legendary coach Jack Le Goff, he joined training sessions for development riders staged at the USEF Training Centre in Massachusetts (USA) and was invited to stay on.

“It was an amazing opportunity, a door that opened for me and I kinda ran through it as fast as I could! I was there for four-and-a-half years, and without that opportunity I’m really not sure where my life would have gone.”

His teenage heroes included Jimmy Wofford, Mike Plumb, “and Bruce (Davidson), who was dominating the sport across the world at the time.” David has maintained a lifetime connection with Jimmy, who he describes as a mentor and great friend. Like Jimmy, David’s career almost completely embraced the long-format era of Eventing which was very different to the scaled-back test horses and riders face today.

The old three-day formula consisted of Dressage on day 1 followed by Roads and Tracks, Steeplechase, more Roads and Tracks, and then Cross-Country on day 2, with showjumping on the third and final day.

“I was the last long-format winner at the Olympic Games (Sydney 2000) and World Championships (Jerez 2002), and I experienced the change to the modern-day sport,” he points out. “It’s certainly different doing a 13-minute course back then and an 11-minute course now. Today the intensity is higher, so horses can get out of breath quite quickly if you don’t manage your speed. Back then we managed galloping all the time, the horses were very fit, more thoroughbred types. There are horses that are not as thoroughbred that can do quite well in a 4-Star today, but they can’t manage a 5-Star. Now it’s all about turning and accuracy and having horses jump narrow fences… the rideability is more important than the athletic ability, whereas the athletic ability was more important back then. And there’s a huge difference between showjumping after cross-country and showjumping before,” he adds.

Brilliant horses

David had many brilliant horses, the best-remembered possibly his Olympic rides Giltedge and Custom Made. At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, he rode Giltedge to team silver and Custom Made to individual fifth place, and four years later Custom Made claimed individual gold in Sydney (AUS) while Giltedge was on the bronze-medal-winning US side.

So how would these two special Irish-bred horses cope with the challenges of the modern sport?

“Giltedge would be just as successful now as he was back then because he was extremely rideable and a very good showjumper, in fact he would have an even better career now because he would have been totally in the game! Custom Made would still be a big 5-Star horse; he would revel in it just like he did because his big wins were all over galloping courses like Badminton, Kentucky, the Sydney Olympics, but probably not so much at Olympic Games and World Championships because the courses are getting shorter and more twisting and turning and that wouldn’t play to his strengths.

“One of the great things about these two, and many of our other horses like Biko and Prince Panache, was that they stayed sound and played the game for so long. They were Irish-bred and we can’t afford to lose the genetic advantages that the Irish bloodlines bring, like longevity and athleticism, which maybe some of the other countries don’t have,” he says.

When it comes to longevity, Custom Made was a perfect example, only passing away last year at the ripe old age of 34.

Prepare

So how did he prepare horses like these two all-time greats? “With a lot of long, slow work three or four months away from the event to put a base on them, and faster work closer to the competition,” he explains. The long, slow work was exactly that. “Sometimes you’d spend two hours on them riding up and down hills, trotting, slow cantering, and walking. Some of the kids coming up now don’t want to put that work in,” he points out.

And did the horses have similar personalities? “No, Custom Made (a.k.a. Tailor) had tremendous strength and scope and the most unbelievable gallop. He never got tired in his life and was an incredible athlete, but he was quite sensitive about a lot of things and when he got nervous he got very strong.

“But I never had a horse try as hard as Giltedge; he always rose to the occasion. There was this super-power thing that happened at a competition; he would turn into a horse that fought for you more than any other horse I’ve had in my life. That’s why he became such a great team horse for the US. I only ever had one rail down in showjumping with him and he was always going to be in the top 10 – he was one of those troopers you could always rely on,” David says proudly.

He relishes the relationships he had with both horses. “At the beginning of their careers I felt they were part of my career but towards the end of their competitive cycle it was me who was part of theirs! I just had to do my job and let them get on with theirs. When they retired, we gave demonstrations and they became even more famous. They had a huge fan-club; people just loved them, and not many horses get that because there are not a lot of really famous horses around anymore – I think their longevity had a lot to do with that,” he comments.

Family ride

When I ask him about the family ride across the United States of America, I can tell that there’s a determined streak in the O’Connor gene pool. He recalls a family dinner during which his mother announced her plan. “She had this romantic image of the US as the Wild West… John Wayne and all that. We lived in Maryland on the East Coast and she came up with the idea that we should ride to California on the West Coast, and the more people said it couldn’t happen the more she was determined it would. It was an amazing decision for her to make!” David says with a laugh.

So on 13th May 1973 they set off on the 3,000 mile trip that took 14 weeks to complete. “I was 11, Brian was 13 and it was just the three of us. We ended up going to Oregon instead of California because otherwise we would have had to cross the desert, and we didn’t quite make it to the west coast because Brian and I had to go back to school at the end of August,” David says. Brian’s horse did the full distance while David and Sally both needed remounts en route, turning the original two out to rest until they were collected on the way home.

“My mother knew people across the first-half of the country, and we stayed with them about every 10 days and gave the horses a couple of days off each time. But we didn’t know anybody beyond the Mississippi River, so we just knocked on people’s doors when we got to the end of the day, explained what we were doing and everyone East of the river said, ‘You’re going WHERE?!’ and everybody West said, ‘You’re from WHERE?!’ We were doing 30-35 miles a day and local newspapers started following us.

“It was an amazing trip for an 11-year-old kid and taught me a lot about spending time with horses and appreciation of the land and how people make a living. And it gave me a sense of time, not control over time but how to enjoy being in the moment, and that has always stayed with me. It was 47 years ago, and I still think about it often,” David says, clearly enjoying the memories.

Bitless

I ask David about riding without a bit in the horse’s mouth. He’s quite an advocate for bitless riding, but he points out that it has its limitations when it comes to competition.

“We start all of our young horses in rope halters without a bit, and when we are going on a quiet hack most are in just a halter, and we practice this a lot. They learn to go, stop, turn, rein-back, and all that, so when we put a bit in their mouth there is no anxiety about it.

“But there’s a huge difference when you are out on a course for 8 to 10 minutes galloping at a speed of 570 metres a minute. You can’t compare riding in a ring or quietly hacking with the need for the horse to be able to answer cross-country questions – they are two totally different things. From a risk-management point of view there is no way I would ever go cross-country for miles without having a bit.”

Admired

I ask him about the people he most admired during his time at the top of the sport and the first person he mentions is, unsurprisingly, New Zealand’s Mark Todd – “a great horseman and a good friend.”

He describes the period when he and his wife and fellow-Olympian, Karen O’Connor, lived in England as “magical. In the 90s, we were part of a group of riders including Mary King (GBR) and Blythe Tait (NZL) who were all there at the same time competing against each other and who became the best of friends. It drove us all to be better, there were 15 players at the top of the world sport all living near each other and it was a very special time,” he recalls.

So why didn’t he and Karen stay in Great Britain? “We had the opportunity to ride for Mrs Mars who became a big supporter of ours. She bought a place in Virginia and asked us to come back and run a High Performance Programme out of there. But if that opportunity hadn’t come our way, we might have stayed – who knows?” he says.

Wisdom

Finally, I ask David to share some wisdom with the next generation of young Event athletes. “The main thing is to have a goal that’s way out in front of you and to work hard to get there. Surround yourself with the best people you can find and learn your craft to the nth degree.

“As Mark Twain wrote. ‘It’s very easy to learn the tricks of the trade and never learn the trade.’ You need to learn every aspect of the trade and that includes the people part, the horse part, the riding part, the competitive part, and the management part. You don’t become a winner because you’re talented and you deserve it; you have to be driven and you need to be hungry if you want to succeed.

“And one of the things I tell all my students is that when you get an opportunity [like David did when spotted by Jack Le Goff], then grab it with both hands!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg Win USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 15, 2020 – The MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) after four days of international and national Eventing competition and showcasing the largest competition hosted on the East Coast in 2020. An incredibly close Show Jumping phase was undecided until the very end, resulting in a win for Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg in the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, laying down a clear round to hold the top spot and ending on a score of 28.10. In reserve, Phillip Dutton (USA) piloted Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z), to a clear round and a final score of 28.80 for T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran. Rounding out the podium and finishing on their Dressage score of 29.10, Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie 135, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking XX) owned by Woods, Kim, and James Baughman, Jr., produced a clear round in Tryon Stadium to achieve the podium.

Just 0.10 points behind Baughman, Doug Payne (USA) earned fourth place with Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne, while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA), the leader after Cross-Country, had a heartbreaking rail at the last fence aboard Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, to drop to fifth place and a final score of 30.10.

Martin piloted three mounts through the course set by Chris Barnard (Millbrook, NY), and each went better than the next, he recalled. “I had a little bit of a rough start today. It got better and better. Luckily, I had three horses in it: Blackfoot Mystery was a little bit tired and had big gaps. For On Cue, I had two poles knocked over, and she’s usually jumping clear. Finally, the old campaigner ‘Thomas’ went into the jumps like a champion, so I’m thrilled because show jumping is the weak phase of his, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It was just very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure.”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to CCI 3*-L Win

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the CCI 3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. In second, Boyd Martin (USA) piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law (USA) improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L and noted that he was still quite fresh after Cross-Country: “The Show Jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Win

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp prevailed in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division with Cooley HHS Calmaria, ending on their Dressage score of 28.30. Elizabeth Bortuzzo (USA) and Belongs to Teufer, the 2009 Thoroughbred gelding (Teuflesberg x Belong To Me) owned by John. A Witte, held steady to their Dressage score to end up in second on a score of 28.60, while the weeklong leader, Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, Edith Rameika’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, dropped just one rail on course to land in third with a score of 29.20.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x Chester Lass) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm have only been partnered since June of this year, she revealed, and found the win to be “a nice surprise” but one that only confirms the quality of the up-and-coming mount.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top CCI 4*-S Division

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill carried their lead through to the finish in the CCI 4*-S division, adding 20.80 penalties for time to their Cross-Country run and still keeping the lead score of 47.80. In second, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Crosstown Dancer x Wolverlife) owned by Madison Foote, Theresa Foote, and John Meyer, cleared the White Oak Course with 12.40 time penalties for a total score of 48.50. Rounding out the top three, Nobie Cannon (USA) and Bust A Groove, her own 2004 Thoroughbred gelding (Busterwaggley x Groovy), were by far the closest to making the time on a muddy course, adding only eight time penalties for a total score of 52.20.

Caras mentioned that it was only the third advanced competition for the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, and that the atmosphere only added some nice spark to an already nice Dressage test. “I was going for consistency and no mistakes, and I was happy with him overall,” she recalled. “He couldn’t have been better in the Show Jumping. I know that it can be hard to make the time in that ring, and he has a long stride and can be a bit slow, so I went in and rode forward. He’s such a great jumper and it’s nice to be able to just focus on the riding and the plan.”

To view full results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z Rise to USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship Lead

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 14, 2020 – Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Deniro Z cleared the White Oak Cross-Country Course with just 1.60 penalties for time to rise to the lead position in the highlight division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event. Heading into the final phase of the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, Halliday-Sharp sits on a score of 26.10, just two points ahead of Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, holding a score of 28.10 with the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner. Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran, rounded out the top three carrying a score of 28.80 after their double-clear Cross-Country performance.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate haven’t challenged a long-format competition since Burghley last year, she revealed, so she was thrilled with the day’s results, taking over the lead from Marilyn Little after she and RF Scandalous retired. “Deniro is amazing and I have a great partnership with him, which makes a big difference,” she emphasized. “We haven’t run for eight weeks because Chatahoochee got canceled, which is a little bit longer than I’d like before an important four-star event, but he’s such a professional. I am a little mad at myself that I didn’t make the time, but that’s not his fault!”

In fact, Halliday-Sharp continued, Deniro Z has proven himself to be stronger and more responsive in the tack than ever before, she detailed. “He’s actually just been so incredibly polite this year. I nearly pulled him up a little bit too much in front of two combinations, and he just came back so fast. Honestly, I think every fence and combination rode how I planned it, and the horse was phenomenal and he didn’t make it feel hard. He finished very fresh. I feel like it was a great day because he finished with the attitude of ‘Oh, that was easy!’”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Coast to Continued CCI 3*-L Lead

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS cleared the White Oak Course to hold their CCI 3*-L lead, and he called Chin Tonic’s run “the best of the day for me” despite challenging his first 3*-L with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. The duo sits on a score of 25.70 heading into the final phase. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged: with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

“This was his first 3*-L. He’s just an eight-year-old, but he’s a really magic horse. You know, the light was a bit funny [by the afternoon] – he came out of the box a little looky and he felt almost green, but he’s just so honest and got better and better as he went. I was thrilled with him; his conditioning felt great, and he really jumped the jumps all very easily.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality Hold Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division Lead

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, maintained their hold on the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after their double-clear Cross-Country round, carrying forward their score of 25.20. Dani Sussman (USA) and Jos Bravio, the self-owned 2011 Argentinian Warmblood gelding (Jos Fapillon x Remonta Guinea), improved from fourth to second and sit on a score of 27.30 after a clear Cross-Country round, with third belonging to Tik Maynard and Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Richard Maynard, who added 2.00 penalties for time to hold a score of 28.10.

“The course rode super well,” Murphy shared. “The footing was really good, and they worked so hard on it. Otter went out at 8:20am, so I went out and walked [the course] as soon as it was light out, and I was really happy with the ground. I was curious as to how it was going to ride going down the hill and things like that, but it was all lovely,” she reported. “There was a good balance going down there. As I said yesterday, the course was really appropriate for the level. It was all exceptionally well built with good designing. You had all of the questions that you needed, but it was appropriate for the level, so it encouraged the young horses or younger riders with older horses.”

For Murphy, she knew in advance that her young jumper tends to have more hang time in the air, and chose to be cognizant of her time as much as possible on course. “I knew I was going to have to go a little bit more on these courses that are a bit winding. He’s a good jumper so he has quite a bit of airtime, so I just wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to give points away because all of our Dressage scores were so close. He cruised across the ground, and still had plenty of play left at the end. He’s very proud of himself!”

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Keep Their CCI 4*-S Lead After Two Phases

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, jumped clear to maintain their lead on a score of 27.00. Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, still hold a score of 27.40 to keep second place, with Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste, the 2007 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Lucky Lionell) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, sitting on a score of 30.60 for third.

To view full results thus far from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Day One Dressage Leads Unchanged in CCI 4*-L and CCI 2*-L

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2020 – Day two of Dressage wrapped up the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division with a continued lead for Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, besting the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship thus far on a score of 21.50. Gaining second after earning a 24.50, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp piloted Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner, grabbed third heading into Cross-Country on a score of 26.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, keep their top placing to sit in fourth, also tied with Tamra Smith (USA) and Danito, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wolkenstein II) owned by Ruth Bley.

“There’s always pressure,” Little admitted about the atmosphere surrounding the CCI4*-L National Championship, “but truly the only pressure I feel is pressure I’ve put on myself. I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies! We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like – but of course the stars have to align!”

Erin Sylvester-Kanara and Paddy the Caddy Easily Dominate CCI 4*-S Dressage Phase

Erin Sylvester-Kanara (USA) and Paddy the Caddy produced a score of 24.60 to handily dominate the sandbox in the CCI 4*-S Division, followed in second by Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, receiving a score of 27.00. Third currently belongs to Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, after their performance earned a score of 27.40.

Sylvester-Kanara and the 2007 Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Unknown) owned by Frank McEntee are only contesting the Dressage phase this weekend and will not continue on in the CCI 4*-S, she revealed, after improving upon a previous score with the same test a few weeks ago at Plantation Field International.

“I was really, really happy with his test. I did that same test at Plantation and we just had some trouble getting into a rhythm with that test. It has a different flow in the trot work, and it’s a little bit more technical right at the start,” she explained. “You don’t have any mediums to kind of get out in a forward rhythm, so I set it as my goal to get that test a lot better, because I really didn’t have a good enough performance or score at Plantation. I actually intended to finish his season that weekend, and he was super in the Jumping phases, but I felt like I just needed to finish off with one more improved Dressage test.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Holds Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Lead after Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA), Otta B Quality and their day one lead were untouched after the conclusion of the Dressage phase in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L Division, sitting on a score of 25.20. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged after day two: Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third stays with Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy admitted that while she believes the next two phases of competition will be extremely influential for the division, she’s hopeful that her spot remains intact going forward if she’s able to navigate the White Oak Cross-Country Course according to plan: “With the scores being as tight as they are, I think tomorrow and Sunday will be hugely influential. I believe that we’ll see it shuffle around a bit here and there, just hopefully not with me!”

To view full Dressage results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Coleman, Murphy, and Little Lead in MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event Dressage Day One

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 12, 2020 – The CCI 3*-L Division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event was the only FEI division to see all competitors down centerline at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), with Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS scoring a 25.70 to lead the division heading into Saturday’s Cross-Country phase. Just behind with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

Coleman and the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC recently topped the Open Intermediate Division at TIEC’s Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global, and are looking to repeat their win in the CCI 3*-L Division. Due to schedule changes after significant rain saturated the White Oak Cross Country-Course, Coleman and the CCI 3*-L competitors will have an off day before challenging the Captain Mark Phillips course design on Saturday.

Coleman reported that their flatwork was hindered by a few bobbles, but not enough to knock them from the top position. “My horse is very talented, especially on the flat, and I think he carried me a bit today. We had some really, really good work in the test, and then we had a few moments where we had trouble. I forgot my test at one spot, which is sort of inexcusable, but does happen,” Coleman admitted, “and we had a little spook in another place. Other than that, I thought he performed well. He’s a lovely horse, and I’m just lucky to have him.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Leads Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after Day One of Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, currently lead the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division on a score of 25.20 with 15 pairs still to show in Dressage on Friday. In second, Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third currently belongs to Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy has been partnered with Otta B Quality since he was three years old, and called him a “really lovely horse” who “did everything he knows how to do” in Dressage to claim the tentative lead. “He was very well behaved, and did his best job, so I was thrilled with him today. He did the best test he could do for where he is, and he’s well-prepared to be here.”

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Hold BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division Lead Following Dressage Day One

Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders along with Jacqueline Mars, produced a comfortable lead after the first half of Dressage to kick off the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, scoring 21.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, sit in second with a 26.60, while Boyd Martin (USA) holds third with On Cue, the 2006 Anglo-European mare (Cabri D’elle x Primitive Rising) owned in partnership with Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner. The remaining 39 entries in the BUCKEYE Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division will ride down centerline starting at 8:00am EST on Friday, November 13.

For full results after day one, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.