Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event – Results after Cross Country

Anne Lane Maunder and Penny Lane. Photos by Diana De Rosa

On April 30th the key day of the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event took place with great results.  Mother Nature was kind bringing beautiful weather for the Beginner-Novice, Novice and Training level divisions.  When the day was over, Becky Brown rode EZ to the top place with a score of 32.90 in Training.  Anne Lane-Maunder continued her lead on Penny Lane in the Novice division (29.30).  Beginner-Novice rider Jim Baker with Wings completed the Cross Country to maintain his lead (54.30).

Debbie Williamson, Ball Ground, GA, Chief Veterinarian, was pleased with how everything went.  “The day went really well.  The horses were in good condition.  Everyone got to go and the horses finished the Cross Country course with no accidents and finished well in the 10 minute box.”

Debbie is no newcomer to Three-Day Eventing and put the same care into this event that she does for the higher level events she does.  “I set this vet box the same way I would at any FEI event and it went like clockwork thanks to an excellent group of volunteer help,” she added.

Gayle Curtiss, Brookville, MD, was the announcer.  The former lawyer commented, “I thought it was a wonderful group of volunteers.  The course was in terrific condition and the competitors were excited to be here.  It was clear the competitors were here to learn and perform.”

Eric Dusa, Cheraw, SC, Facility Manager, went non-stop all week in order to ensure the grounds were the best they could be.  “I think that everyone had a good time.  Everything held up good despite the three inches of rain that fell the day before the first day.  My staff needs to be thanked because if it wasn’t for them things would never have gone as well as they did.”

Eric’s job is to “oversee everything outside the four walls of the barn,” he jokingly explained, but anyone who saw him throughout the week knew he wasn’t kidding.  “Two days before the Dressage we aerated all the Roads & Tracks and the day before we Harley raked and that gives the horses a good soft top to run on but still provides a secure base,” he explained.

Jim Baker and Wings – Beginner-Novice Leaders

Jim Baker and Wings

Jim Baker and Wings really appreciated what Eric and his crew did with the footing.  “This is truly the finest Roads & Tracks I have ever ridden,” Jim commented.  “The condition and the effort they put into it were phenomenal.  Wings did well.  The Steeplechase was a little challenging, because I had to have three lead changes which he doesn’t necessarily do on request.  Making the time was a concern but we did.”

Wings continued his winning ways over the Cross Country course.  “He had challenges at three different fences because of the questions being asked and the look of the fences,” explained Jim.  “But as long as I sat back and kicked on he did it.  The Cross Country in general was phenomenal as far as the quality and placement of the jumps in relation to light and dark.  This course was just wonderful.  It was a really good horse course.”

Now Jim is looking ahead to the Stadium Jumping and after walking the course he’s already got his plan.  “Fences 2-3-4 are uphill jumps which are going to require a push and then you come downhill,” he commented.  “Then for fence #5 you have to make a decision to either do a tighter turn or wider turn. I’ll make that decision based on how the horse is going and the time.  From 5 you have to change leads – it is downhill – 7-8 is a gallop but a sharp turn back to 9.  Then 9-10 will be a beautiful ride.  The hope is to have a good jumping position over 10 because that’s where all the cameras will be.”

When asked how Wings was faring, Jim commented, “Overall I think he is feeling successful having done what he has done today, his first ever Three-Day Long Format.  I think he feels good.  After the Endurance phase he was tired but 2-3 hours later he was alert and very proud of himself, which is the best possible result and sets him up well for the next Three-Day.

Anne Lane Maunder and Penny Lane – Novice Division Leaders

Anne Maunder was pleased with Penny Lane noting, “It went extremely well.  I did a phenomenal Steeplechase but then she shied at everything in Cross Country so she obviously was not tired. She came through absolutely fine.  She loved it.  I had what I refer to as a chiropractic ride.”

Like Jim, Anne was pleased with the course.  “I think it is a beautifully designed course.  There are a lot of mini versions of the sort of jumps you will meet later on.  It was a very educational course for a horse.”

Thinking ahead to the final Show Jumping phase, Anne remarked, “My plans for tomorrow are to stay on, stay in the ring and remember the jumps.”

Before we finished our conversation Anne let me in on her apparently well known secret.  It seems to panics a little on course and ends up missing gates, or jumping the wrong jumps (often the bigger ones) or going off course.  Yet, she concluded our conversation with one comment, “I’m determined to remember the course tomorrow.”

Becky Brown and EZ – Training Level Leaders

Becky Brown said EZ “was great.  He was really aggressive on the Steeplechase.  Phase A set him up for the Steeplechase.  In Phase C he was relaxed and calm and came into the 10 minute box self contained and ready to go and was very good on Cross Country.  Doing the Steeplechase and Roads & Tracks set him up to be much more focused on the Cross Country.  It makes a big difference.”

Becky Brown and EZ

For Show Jumping, Becky plans “to go clean.  I am hoping he puts in a typical stadium round for him because typically he is very good.  He normally goes clean.  I love stadium.”

So far so good and in a kind work Becky and Penny debated over who will win the Nikon D3100 Camera Kit that the Lowest scored winner will receive.  So far, Penny’s score is lower than Becky’s but a rail up or down could change things rapidly.

Yet for now it’s all about the horses.  “My horse feels great,” added Becky.  “He jogged in this evening and he was running over the top of the groom, very full of himself.  He is very happy.  His legs look tight.”

Although she’s not sure what breed her 11-year-old horse is, if she had to guess it would be Thoroughbred.  “He was bred to be a polo pony.  At 3 they tried him out but he was terrified of the other horses.”  That ended his polo career and a series of circumstances brought the horse to Becky.  I bought him as a three-year-old and have had him throughout his career.”

Becky loves EZ, whose name is not always symbolic of his attitude.  “He can be a pistol.  He can scare you in the warm-up if he is being very feisty.  He doesn’t rear or buck but he will leap through the air in bizarre ways.  As a 10-year-old he finally started getting calm with other horses in the warm-up.  Before that he was just crazy.  But he is a super little jumper.  He is my buddy.  He will be mine forever. He is barely 15.1 hands but a perfect size for me – very long legs and a small body.”

If all continues to go well at Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event, Becky hopes to go prelim at their next event.  ‘The goal is to be able to make that move up.  I definitely think it has helped him with the smoothness and calmness of today’s Cross Country.”

The day began with a breakfast sponsored by Pennfield feeds and ended with a barbecue hosted by Southern Eighths.  After the Cross Country there was a Stadium Jumping course walk in preparation for the final day.

With just one more day to go (stadium jumping) these riders are hoping to keep all the rails up in the final endurance test, the Stadium Jumping.  Things can change quickly and the Nikon D3100 Camera Kit will be the ultimate prize for whichever rider out of the three divisions finishes with the lowest score.


1-Wings, James Baker, 54.30

1-Penny Lane, Anne Lane-Maunder, 29.30
2-Emily Bug, Jeannette Ford, 39.3
3-Orkney HP, Lisa Gerdon, 126.20
4-A Splash of Henry, Briana Timmerman, E

1-EZ, Becky Brown, 32.9
2-AFW Ami Fidele, Linda Dahlgren, 39.50
3-Lily B, Risa Moon, 35.4
4-Conference Call, Sarah Morton, 58.60
5-Cor de Chasse, Jennifer Davis, 73

CONTACT:  Press Link/Diana De Rosa – 516-848-4867 – dderosa1@optonline.net

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