Paul Maye (Picsofyou.com)
Raeford, NC – The marathon phase proved extremely influential at the Southern Pines CDE as the leaderboards across the competition saw great shake-ups. In the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship, Paul Maye drove a consistent and determined second phase to seize the two-day lead on a score of 126.39. While in the USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship, Jennifer Matheson will head into the cones as the leader with a score of 136.25. Lisa Stroud maintained her dressage lead in the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship and stands on a total of 165.87. All three current leaders were the marathon winners in their respective divisions.
USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship
Maye (Fairfield, VA) drove like a man on a mission over the eight hazard course guiding Harmony Sport Horses’ Markus to a marathon score of 77.96. The 2012 National Championships won hazards one, four and seven to hold a four point lead going into the cones phase.
“He was wonderful, he did everything I asked him to do,” said Maye of his 12-year-old German Sport Pony stallion. “He got me out of trouble in a couple places and he finished very strong.”
Lying second heading into the cones are Tracey Morgan (Beallsville, MD) and Fuego 88 with a two-day total of 130.59.
USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship
Matheson (Aiken, SC) posted the quickest times in five of the hazards on Saturday. On the marathon the 2010 and 2011 National Champion drove Bax and Cees together for the first time with great success as she posted a score of 86.86 for the phase.
“I thought the marathon went well. It’s a new combination,” said Matheson. “I’m really happy with how it went.”
Wendy O’Brien (Aiken, SC) the 2012 National Championship and Friday’s dressage leader currently lies second on a score of 140.77.
USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship
Stroud (West Grove, PA) won the dressage phase of the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship on a score of 50.24 and lengthened her lead with a strong marathon phase. The reigning National Champion won five hazards (one, three, four, five and six) to earn a marathon score of 115.63.
“I like that there were eight hazards here; it’s very technically challenging and very tight for a Team. Overall it was very well built and so welcoming. The volunteers and committee make it a competitor friendly show. When you wake up and are excited there’s nothing better,” said Stroud of the Southern Pines CDE. “I was thrilled with the dressage; I was hoping to break 50 this spring and I did 50.24 (yesterday), so I’ll take the .24.”
Stroud heads into the cones phase with a nearly 22 point lead as she vies to earn her 10th National Title.
Sitting in second place overnight is Heather Schneider (Palm City, FL) with a score of 187.24.
Competition concludes for all divisions with the final cones phase on Sunday.
For Orders of Go and Results, visit: http://drivingnews.us/results/results2013/SouthernPines/.
To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://southernpinescdedotcom.wordpress.com/.
Follow the 2013 U.S. Driving Team here.
By Helen Murray