Bea di Grazia and her own Lad’s Night Out led the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Advanced division at Twin Rivers from start to finish. After a terrific performance throughout the weekend, the duo secured their victory by adding no jumping faults to their dressage score and only two time penalties.
With James Alliston and his longtime partner Parker putting in a clear round prior to Lad’s Night Out entering the ring, the pressure was on, but Bea di Grazia’s level of experience showed through as she seemed to casually walk into the ring with her striking grey gelding and take in the scenery, completing the course with ease. Di Grazia joked following her round that luck must have been on her side as one scary rail danced in the cups but stayed up when all was said and done.
Bea’s husband and cross country course designer Derek di Grazia looked on and applauded his wife on her tremendous weekend and Gold Cup win aboard the horse he purchased for her as a gift not long ago. When asked what will be next for this talented pair, Bea simply said, “What could be better than this? We had so much fun this weekend and Hector did everything I asked of him. I am excited to see where the future takes the two of us.”
Kalispell, MO – After a rollercoaster day of extreme highs and lows, the 10th anniversary of the Event at Rebecca Farm in beautiful Kalispell, Montana wrapped up today with a nail-biting climax in the CIC3*, part of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.
Though Allison Springer and her longtime partner Arthur had a ten-point lead heading into today’s show jumping, victory wasn’t yet in their grasp, and because the Irish gelding is notoriously spooky, Springer knew she had her work cut out for her. A life-size horse statue in the middle of the ring would prove to be their nemesis, and Arthur took a serious dislike to the sculpture, though Springer fought to keep his mind on the task ahead. As the rails clattered down, the pair dropped further and further down in the standings — a heartbreaking end to such a promising weekend. Seven rails and a time fault left them with a disappointing 11th place finish.
Even though some horses were a bit on edge because of the course decorations and ringside crowds, many riders had fantastic trips over Richard Jeffery’s challenging course, and when the dust settled at the end of the day, it was long-time Rebecca Farm supporter Hawley Bennett-Awad and Linda Paine’s Gin N’ Juice who led the victory gallop. After picking up just a single rail in the triple combination, ‘Ginny’ reveled in the electric energy from the crowds and jumped her heart out, much to Bennett-Awad’s delight.
“It was awesome,” said Bennett-Awad. “She actually wanted to get a little excited as she passed that horse statue in the ring, but she kept her cool and I was really proud of her.”
Allison Springer and her own Arthur were the first on course during the CIC3* cross-country competition at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida, but their comparatively quick round moved them up from third to first by the end of the day.
“You always wonder how things are going to go,” Allison said. “It’s nice to be able ask other competitors.” Her plan was to “just go out there and do it,” and Arthur’s scope and big stride made easy work of the course. Springer and Arthur will have no rails in hand heading into show jumping.
Boyd Martin and his WEG mount, Neville Bardos, were sixth after dressage, but the pair moved up to second after cross-country with just 7.6 time penalties. “It was a tough, testing course,” Martin admitted. “Luckily the horse I was riding has been around a bit now, and he’s quite experienced so I felt like I had a pretty cruising round.”
Martin has been conservative with Neville’s speed since WEG, but allowed the Thoroughbred gelding to gallop on at his own pace today. Martin recognizes the challenges of designing a good course on the undulating Red Hills terrain. While course design requires finding a middle ground between challenging and safe, “you want to be competitive, but not at all costs.”
Uncharacteristically strong, cold winds presented an extra challenge to competitors during the dressage phase of competition at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida, the first event of the 2011 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.
Phillip Dutton and Susie Beale’s 14-year-old Oldenburg mare Isabella II performed a quiet, accurate test to beat out several other experienced pairs in the Adequan Gold Cup CIC3* division. Heading into cross-country, Dutton will strive to maintain the pair’s dressage score of 43.9 to stay ahead of Karen O’Connor and Joan Goswell’s Mandiba, just two-tenths of a point behind. Allison Springer and her own Arthur also put in a solid score of 45.3, putting them in a close third place after dressage.
The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, now in its eighth year, includes seven events from across the country, giving top horse and rider combinations the chance to win prizes and cash throughout the season, as well as picking up leaderboard points. The top pair at the end of the Series takes home a check for $20,000. Learn more about the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.
It’s only fitting that the winner of the first event of the 2011 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series would be decided on the final moments of the competition on Sunday afternoon, drawing out the nail-biting excitement to the very last jump. Overnight leader Allison Springer must have breathed a huge sigh of relief to cross the finish line with all the rails still neatly in their cups, solidifying her victory at the prestigious Red Hills CIC3*.
Without having a rail in hand heading into the final phase, Allison and Arthur won the event by just 1.3 points ahead of Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos. Michael Pollard and Icarus, Selena O’Hanlon and Colombo, and Leslie Law and Rehy Lux all finished third through fifth, respectively, also posting double-clear rounds.
For her win in the CIC3*, a delighted Allison earned a year-lease on a fancy new Mercedes SUV, and even took it for a victory spin around the arena. Allison also earned a bevy of prizes from the Adequan USEA Gold Cup series as well: $500 in cash, 7-dose box of Adequan, a 3-month supply of SUCCEED, and a pair of Nunn Finer American Style open front boots. Second placers Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos take home a 7-dose box of Adequan as well as a pair of the Nunn Finers boots.