Tiffany Cooke and Patent Pending. Photo by Cristy Cumberworth.
Parker, Colo. – August 23, 2014 – It was cross-country day for competitors participating in the Colorado Horse Park CCI ** / CCI*, Training and Novice 3-Day, National Horse Trials and Area IX Championships. Tiffany Cooke, Olivia Cliver, Bonner Carpenter, Haley Clark and Amy Dalrymple all held on to their leading positions established in the dressage phase.
Cooke, who practices law in Dallas, and her horse Patent Pending maintained their dressage score of 52.80. The big liver chestnut Thoroughbred marched around the 25-obstacle, 4,781m course without penalty in a time of 8:34. The optimum time was set at 8:42.
Cliver and My Mitch also remained on top over the competition after a fantastic cross-country effort. The pair was only 6 seconds off the optimum time and held on to their leading score of 45.90 and completed the 24 jumping efforts without incident. Cliver trains with Mike Huber and Heather Morris of Gold Chip Farm.
“There wasn’t anything on the course that had me too worried,” said Cliver. “We ended up having a pretty scary ride at the up bank. I should have done five strides but I ended up doing six. That was our only hairy moment; other than that it was a lot of fun. I had just done a two star but this was my first CCI. I wasn’t sure how he’d finish at the end and he came off and was ready to go back in five seconds!”
Cliver admits that show jumping is their weakest phase. “I’m feeling pretty nervous about show jumping tomorrow but Mitch jogged great,” she said.
Hayley Clark from Garden City, MO and her 15.3 hand consistent partner Bold Impression also enjoyed a successful day out in the wide-open spaces of the beautiful cross-country course at the Colorado Horse Park. They will carry their score of 33.20 from their dressage test into the show jumping phase on Sunday.
“He was awesome today,” said Clark. “He is always great cross-country. If I say go, he goes. I rode really well into the second water – I sat down, widened my hands and he went. He’s pretty strong in all three phases. Show jumping is probably our weakest phase. Tomorrow we just have to keep all the rails up!”
“We’ve worked very hard on his front end,” Clark said. “We’ve done a lot of grid work. I got him two years ago. He came from a dressage barn. He didn’t know how to go out in the field or what a cross-country jump was. Once he got it, he loved it.”
Clark plans to step him up to preliminary at the end of this year. Then she’s going to Florida this winter and hopes to do her first one star and go to the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships next year.
Amy Dalrymple from Eagle, Colorado and her own Triton’s Echo, a Connemara/Oldenburg cross, remain in strong contention advancing to the show jumping with no penalties added after cross-country and carrying 32.00.
“I have never done the Novice 3-Day so that was all very new to us,” said Dalrymple. “The roads and tracks and the steeplechase were the most exciting part of that, especially the steeplechase – to gallop to the jump like that! It was great because she was calm after roads and tracks and the steeplechase phase and she was better on cross-country.”
Dalrymple, who trains with Sophie Mueller, hopes to step her up to training level.
“I was really happy to be first after dressage yesterday,” Dalrymple said. “It has only happened once before. That had always been our weakness. She’s come a long way.”
Dalrymple has really enjoyed her experience at the Colorado Horse Park.
“It has been great,” she said. “The whole show makes you feel like you’re at Rolex.”
Bonner Carpenter from Dallas and her own Basco, a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding, are still in the lead after cross-country in the Open Intermediate Division.
“He’s been really good all weekend,” said Bonner. “I couldn’t ask for him to be much better than he’s been. He is the strongest in dressage or show jumping.”
Bonner, who trains with Mike Huber and Heather Morris, is headed to California to compete at several three-stars and then the three-star at Galway in November.
Heather Morris from Lewisville, Texas and Laker, owned by Mike Huber, were in the lead going into cross-country but had a stop on the course.
“This is his first prelim so he just had a green moment,” said Morris. “I’m not worried about it. It’s one of those things that happen when they first move up. It’s not a big deal.”
Morris is very proud of her clients from Gold Chip Farm.
“I am feeling good about my group,” she said. “Everyone stepped up and had good rounds today. I’m proud of each and every one of them.”
International rider James Atkinson and Landonn II OHF, owned by Dan Michaels, took over the Open Preliminary lead.
“Actually it was really fun,” said Atkinson. “The horse is a catch-ride. Dan asked me to ride him and he’s a really nice horse. He was fun to ride.”
“My own upper level horse was injured at Rebecca Farm,” shared Atkinson. “He was my hopeful for the Pan American Games next year. So, we’re thinking to make a push to get Dan’s horse there. He’s certainly has the kind of quality to do the job. So, this may be the beginning of a very cool relationship. We’ll see.”
Atkinson is the cross-country course designer of the event and he asked to make a comment about the competing on the course he has built.
“At the FEI levels you’re not allowed to ride your own course. The reason it’s allowed at the national levels is because if course designers aren’t allowed to ride, then course designers will be people that don’t ride,” he explained. “Honestly, working on the course in the past four days I’ve probably had a total of six hours sleep. I’m out here aerating the footing until four in the morning every morning then I’m back out here at five getting things ready. I am probably the least focused person when it comes to riding. It also helps to really know the footing to get out there and gallop a horse. You just don’t get that by kicking the footing around with your foot.”
Eventing concludes on Sunday at the Colorado Horse Park with exciting show jumping action.
About the Colorado Horse Park
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado. The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 75,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually. CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor and eventing super-star James Atkinson. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity for more than 1,000 stalls.
The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space. The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.
Visit CHP at: http://coloradohorsepark.com/.
Fast Facts Colorado Horse Park CCI **/* Training Three-Day, Novice Three-Day and Horse Trials:
Friday, August 22, 2014 to Sunday, August 24, 2014
Littleton Equine Medical Center
Show Grounds Address:
7375 E Bayou Gulch Rd, Parker, CO 80134
From North: I-25S exit Ridgegate Parkway – go east under the freeway. Ridgegate Parkway to S. Chambers Road, approx 3 miles (Traffic light) – turn right/south onto Chambers Road. At end of Chambers Road turn left/east onto Hess Road. Hess Road to Parker Road/Hwy 83 – turn right/south onto Hwy 83 approx 4 miles to Bayou Gulch Road. (Traffic light). Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
From South: I-25N, exit Founder’s Parkway. Founder’s Parkway to Highway 86, approx 4 miles (traffic light). Turn east/left onto Hwy. 86 to Franktown/Hwy 83. At Franktown go north on 83 approx. 7 mi. to Bayou Gulch Rd. (Traffic light), turn right/east onto Bayou Gulch Rd. Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
Important Note for Competitors:
VS has not been reported at the Colorado Horse Park, however all horses competing are required to have a health certificate dated 3-5 days before arrival stating that the horse is VS free. All horses will be checked by a veterinarian upon arrival. Please enter the Horse Park by the main entrance on Bayou Gulch Road.
Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International