Tag Archives: Eventing/H.T.

Michael Jung Leads Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event after Day One

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 26, 2018 – Germany’s Michael Jung stormed into the lead on the opening day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Partnered with his champion horse, FischerRocana FST, Jung showed he is here to win, producing a stunning dressage test to land a score of 27.1. USA’s Boyd Martin is hot on the German’s heals securing 31.2 to finish the day in second position aboard his black gelding, Tsetserleg. Tamara Smith (USA) currently lies third on the leaderboard with Kevin Baumgardner’s Dutch Warmblood, Wembley, on a score of 32.1.

Michael Jung commented on his early lead: “I am very happy with FischerRocana today; she felt really nice and did a good test. I am looking forward to the cross-country on Saturday; we need to prepare well but the course looks nice and the ground is perfect.”

“I really enjoy riding here; it is such a beautiful place, not just the riding but all the other elements you can enjoy. FischerRocana loves it here; she feels well; she feels at home and is amazing to ride.” — Michael Jung, Germany

Michael Jung currently sits in top position but with some of the world’s best eventers still to complete their dressage tests, the competition remains wide open. US Event rider and runner-up in 2016, Lauren Kieffer, has two strong rides, Landmarks Monte Carlo and Vermiculus. Olympic Bronze Medallist, Phillip Dutton competes his second horse, I’m Sew Ready, and Great Britain’s Oliver Townend will be eyeing up the top prize to continue his Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing journey, following his victory at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials last September.

Five Things to Know about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott were the 2017 USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champions. Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Get up to speed for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship on April 26-29

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE), which also hosts the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, kicks off this week. This iconic American sporting event, which takes place April 26-29, annually draws top international horses and riders to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. for world-class eventing competition. We’ll be streaming all three phases — dressage, cross-country, and show jumping — live on USEF Network, so be sure to check out the broadcast schedule and tune in for all the action.

Here are five things to know about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event as you head into the event.

  1. Land Rover is the new title sponsor.

Land Rover served as the Kentucky Three-Day Event’s longtime Official Vehicle and was Presenting Sponsor for five years before increasing its support by signing a four-year agreement last October to become Title Sponsor. Land Rover also continued its support of US Equestrian, extending its deal with the federation through 2020. Land Rover’s participation also includes the “Ultimate Stable experience,” including a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment, as well as live farrier displays, open in the sponsor village to all attendees. Land Rover also brings back its popular “Land Rover Tailgate Challenge,” in which Land Rover owners compete for an exclusive prize for the most creative and best-catered tailgate party. And ticket-holders can also test-drive the newest Land Rover models on a specially designed off-road demonstration course during LRK3DE.

  1. The event will also crown the 2018 Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion.

The highest-placed U.S. rider will be named the year’s Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion. US Equestrian President Murray Kessler will present the rider with the Roger Haller Trophy bronze for the first time this year. The trophy is given in memory of Haller, an internationally respected eventing official. Friends and family of Haller came together to commission the bronze trophy, which is designed by 1987 Kentucky Three-Day Event winner and 1996 Olympic individual bronze medalist Kerry Millikin. The national champion also receives a silver picture frame and a champion cooler.

  1. LRK3DE is one of only six CCI4* events in the world.

LRK3DE, which offers $400,000 in prize money, is also the only CCI4* event in the Western Hemisphere.

  1. Several past national champions are returning to the 2018 LRK3DE.

Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, and Kim Severson are all multiple-time national champions and have talented mounts who could help them add a title to their resumes again this year. Dutton, who has captured the title five times so far, will try for back-to-back titles this year after earning it last year with Mr. Medicott.

  1. USEF Network will be covering all three phases of the event — and the new Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix.

Check out USEF Network for broadcast schedule updates, live stream, and links as we cover dressage on April 26-27, cross-country on April 28, and show jumping on April 29. We’ll also be streaming the weekend’s new grand prix events: the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup 1.45m on Friday, April 27, at 6 p.m. ET and the $225,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix 1.60m on Saturday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

by Glenye Cain Oakford
© 2018 United States Equestrian Federation

Impressive Field Ready for 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship Up for Grabs

Lexington, Ky. – The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) is set to begin at the Kentucky Horse Park following the first horse inspection on April 25. A total of 46 athlete-and-horse combinations from nine nations will vie for top honors at America’s only CCI4* event, which also serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete. The Roger Haller Trophy, honoring the late, internationally respected eventing official, will be awarded to the national champion.

The 2018 field is full of talented combinations, and several returning national champions hope to stake their claim on the overall and national title. Defending Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) already has the most titles at five, but he could add another to his resume with I’m Sew Ready or Z. Dutton rode I’m Sew Ready, Kristine and John Norton’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a 10th-place finish at the 2017 Kentucky event in the horse’s CCI4* debut. This year, they finished fifth in The Fork CIC3*/FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG) Eventing Test Event to prepare for the LRK3DE. Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, will make his CCI4* debut with Dutton. The pair comes to Kentucky in fine form after winning The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event.

Looking ahead to cross-country day, Dutton said, “We have been around the course this morning and, as we expected, it is big but fair, so I’m sure it will be a great competition.”

Three-time national champion Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) has three mounts at the LRK3DE: Carlevo, Copper Beach, and Park Trader. Park Trader, Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his fifth appearance at the LRK3DE, while stablemate Copper Beach, Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his third consecutive appearance. Carlevo, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Carlevo LLC, makes his CCI4* debut in Kentucky and is coming off a second-place finish in the Chattahoochee Hills CIC3* with Davidson.

Two-time national champion Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) brings two mounts to Kentucky: Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Jacqueline Mars’s 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred cross gelding, and Vermiculus, Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding. Both horses collected top-15 finishes in CIC3* competition this spring in preparation for the LRK3DE.

Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.), a three-time Kentucky Three-Day winner and national champion, will aim for a strong showing with Cooley Cross Border, The Cross Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. The pair finished second in The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event behind Dutton and Z and won the 2017 SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* in England last fall.

Rising stars of the sport hope to gather more experience at the CCI4* level. Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program participants Savannah “Woodge” Fulton (Finksburg, Md.) and Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) plan to tackle the LRK3DE for the second time. Fulton brings her 2017 mount, Captain Jack, Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, while Martin has two mounts: The Apprentice, Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Spring Easy, Sherrie and Caroline Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.

“I think this weekend speaks for itself, how much Leslie and the program have helped my riding,” Martin shared when asked how the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program has helped her development. She added, “Being able to have a camaraderie with all the other riders is great. I wouldn’t know Mackenna Shea [an Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program alum] if it wasn’t for the program.”

Dressage begins Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET with Davidson and Park Trader.

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event’s Transformative Power

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, North America’s only CCI4* and the venue for the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park April 26-29 this year. Only a handful of riders each year get to take to the park’s manicured rings and rolling grass galloping lanes, and, when they do, many describe the experience as transformative — one that helped them and their horses learn, grow, and rise to a new challenge. The equestrians and their four-star horses occupy center stage at this important American event, but they’re not the only ones who make the competition tick: the numerous volunteers and officials behind the scenes also have an inspiring story to tell.

We asked a group of the Kentucky Three-Day Event’s veterans — not just riders, but also an owner, a licensed official, and a longtime volunteer whose team decorates the iconic Head of the Lake combination — to give us a glimpse behind the scenes with their first-person perspectives on the competition and on what this great sporting pageant means to them. Regardless of their roles, whether in the saddle or on the ground, all shared a common sentiment, the one that serves as the heartbeat of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event: it’s all about the horse. Read on for their perspectives on one of the country’s most famous competitions.

READ MORE

From Equestrian Weekly
equestrianweekly@communications.usef.org

Equestrian Aid Foundation Helps Eventer Kim Meier Cope after Life-Altering Injury

Kim Meier with Bart (top) and Test Run. Photos courtesy of Kim Meier.

Wellington, Fla. – Apr. 9, 2018 – Kim Meier reached the pinnacle of eventing before tragedy struck. In 2007 she was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a freak accident. For Kim and horse people like her facing catastrophic injury and illness, life becomes a struggle.

Kim carved her career in classic eventer fashion, riding homebreds and doing all the work herself. She developed her work ethic at the summer camp her family owned, fell in love with the horses and was determined to be an eventer. Largely self-taught, she also worked with Denny Emerson, Ralph Hill and Donnan Sharp.

Test Run or “Merle” was her ticket to the big time. She had bred his sire and his sire’s dam. In 2002, Kim and the gray Thoroughbred finished Bromont. Then in 2003, they competed at Foxhall Three Day Event, their first three star, then Fair Hill. At the Rolex (now the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event) Four Star Event in 2004, they had a top-10 finish out of 72 starters. They competed at Burghley and finished. She was 45 and looking forward to great things.

In 2005, Merle was sidelined due to an injury. Then, Kim’s barn endured a frightening and emotional experience with the EHV-1 virus. Merle got through it and they got back to work.

“I did three Intermediates that year in the summer and fall, planning my big comeback at Rolex in 2007,” Kim said in an article she wrote for Eventing Nation. “We did one Intermediate, and that next Tuesday I was doing a jumping school when IT happened. On the way to a vertical, he stepped on his bell boot and went down on his knees. I slid down his neck and caught the rail on the base of my head.”

As a result of her fall, Kim suffers from paralysis from the C5 vertebra down. Despite extensive rehabilitative therapies, Kim’s doctors said she could never ride, stand or walk again and would forever be wheelchair bound.

“It’s great how the Equestrian Aid Foundation jumped right in to help from the very beginning right after I got hurt,” Kim said.

The Foundation provided financial assistance to help Kim with basic living expenses. Her daughter and friends help her with daily activities and make certain she has the care she needs.

Though it’s been a long, tough road, Kim remains resilient and has the courageous spirit to stay as active as possible. She works judging unrated horse shows when she can, gives some lessons and does the occasional clinic.

Your donation to Equestrian Aid Foundation provides much-needed support for horse people like Kim facing catastrophic injury and illness.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Dutton and Z Claim Top Honors at The Fork FEI CIC 3*

Phillip Dutton and Z. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Vaulting Previews Tryon 2018 Venue with CVI 3* Competition and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Vaulting Test Event

Tryon, NC USA – April 8, 2018 – The final phase of the FEI CIC 3* proved no match for Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z, as the pair maintained their lead following the cross-country phase to finish competition in top form at The Fork at TIEC Presented by Lucky Clays Farm and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Eventing Test Event at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The winning pair finished on a score of 28, ahead of Kim Severson (USA) aboard Cooley Cross Border who secured a final score of 32.10, followed by Sharon White (USA), piloting Cooley On Show, to collect third place after the three phases and finishing on a 32.90.

“You never quite know how tight the time is going to be,” said Dutton of the show-jumping course. “It’s an advantage going at the end and realizing the lines you have to take to shave the time. My guy is not at his best if I open him up too much toward the jump, so I had to cut the turns, shorten him at the jumps, and rock him back just a bit. Everybody said they were worried that I wasn’t going to make the time, but here we are.”

Dutton competed two other horses throughout the weekend in the FEI CIC 3* division, but it was the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Bellabouche) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran who ultimately ended the competition in the winner’s circle. “Coming here is great experience for him,” Dutton explained. “He’s an up-and-coming horse and I’m trying to help him understand what to do in every phase, as that’s my job to educate him. The cool part of it for me is seeing him produced. Getting to this level and then hopefully the next level, and being confident and having enough skills that he’s going to be able to succeed.”

Second place finisher Kim Severson, of Charlottesville, VA, went into the show jumping phase just trailing the top four, but rocketed to second place standing after a clean round on Cooley Cross Border.

Severson’s run on cross-country impacted the duo’s score slightly, but proved to help their standings after moving back to second place following their show jumping round, a position they held following the first phase of dressage. “He was good yesterday,” she noted of the Cross Syndicate owned 2007 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz). “He started out jumping pretty high and I was a little careful because I just wanted to make sure that I gave him a good ride. After the water he really picked up and got faster. I didn’t give him the greatest ride into that first set of corners. That stride going in makes that two really long, but he fought for it and he was really good. Down there on cross-country, he’s so much fun. You can just gallop and he’ll do it if he can do it. He’s such a nice horse.”

Sharon White and Cooley On Show, her own 2007 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Jogantina) saw a positive shift in their overall placement, as they climbed up the ranks from eleventh to third by the end of the weekend. White, of Summit Point, WV, had nothing but praise for her competitive mount.

“He’s a fabulous horse and he’s strong in all phases,” commented White. “He’s definitely getting better. He loves the sport and he loves competing, so he’s definitely a good competitor no matter what. My job was to not get in the way and let him be who he wants to be. He really enjoys all three phases. His dressage is getting stronger; cross-country is fun with him. He’s got such a big stride and a lot of scope.”

“With the show jumping, I thought it was really interesting that the time was so tight and scores were tight. That was a bit of a challenge and we just wanted to see if we could do it.”

The week served as a WEG Test Event and riders caught a glimpse of what is to come this September. Dutton, who has competed successfully at six WEGs, is eyeing a spot on the United States Eventing Team in five short months. He concluded, “I certainly think that there’s a home field advantage having the Games here, and for us to be here and know the venue and get comfortable with it. There are some disadvantages with having the Games at home, with distractions and what else, so we might as well make the most of being able to get use out of this venue ahead of time and feel comfortable when the team gets here for September.”

The Advanced-A Division saw Lynn Symansky of Middleburg, VA and Under Suspection return to the top position as the weekend came to a close, jumping out of second place to finish on a score of 37.50, while Leslie Law of Ocala, FL achieved second place aboard Voltaire de Tre, scoring 38.60. Symansky also rounded out third place honors with 44.60 aboard Donner.

Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA and Veronica stole the Advanced-B Division, finishing their final show jumping phase on a score of 36.90. Leslie Law and The Apprentice earned second place honors after finishing with 47 penalties, and third place was awarded to Boyd Martin of Cochranville, PA with Steady Eddie on 47.10.

Vaulting Previews Tryon 2018 Venue with CVI 3* Competition and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Vaulting Test Event

Emma Seely, Chef d’Equipe for USA Vaulting, said she was pleased with the way the Test Event for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 unfolded. “We absolutely enjoyed [our time]. We’re happy to be here and it’s always good to have a feel for the lay of the land, so to speak. I’m happy to see all the improvements with the arenas and what future improvements are coming. It’s very exciting for us,” she said, elaborating on her favorite aspects of the facility. “We like the barns – that feels good for the horses – and we like the footing. It’s always good to have a sense of how it’s going to be, but we realize it’s going to continue to evolve, but it’s been really great to be here.”

Vaulting will take place during the second week of competition during the WEG at TIEC and is expected to draw the top Vaulting athletes from around the world to Western North Carolina. Seely, who will oversee the management and coaching for Team USA during the event, is excited to have the major championship on U.S. turf for only the second time in the event’s history.

“Essentially, as Chef d’Equipe, I’m kind of the team manager,” Seely explained. “For the spring, and through the selection trials through July, I’m just going to observe and see what they’re doing, how they’re doing, and what their game plans are, so that when we get the team selections I’ll have a sense of their processes and be able to support them in being the best they can be.”

Team bonding is a priority for Seely, who is already looking forward to team preparations ahead of the event. She commented, “In general, the community is small enough that they do already know each other, but I really do want to bring them together so that they support each other and so that we come in as a strong family unit, just ready to power through.”

CVI 3* Results

Squad: Canada’s “Beauty and the Beast” Squad were awarded top marks for their unchallenged performance aboard Habakkuk, with lunger Karin Schmidt on a total score of 6.872.

Individual Female: Top honors went to Mary McCormick (USA) aboard Paris, with lunger Christian Ramos, finishing on a score of 7.468. Stephanie Dore (AUS) aboard Vision and with lunger Jane Delano Kopperl were awarded second place with a 6.424 final score, while Jeanine Van Der Sluijs (CAN) aboard Charles the Great followed just behind on 6.400 with Karin Schmidt on the lunge. Alejandra Orozco Viscaino (MEX), together with Vision and lunger Jane Delano Kopperl, earned a total of 5.743 to finish fourth.

McCormick commented that her experiences at TIEC have helped her feel prepared for the WEG to come, stating, “In 2010 it was essential for me that Kentucky felt like home turf and that we’d been there before, so that when we showed up to the venue and there was all the frenzy going on with preparations for the WEG, we knew exactly where all the wash racks were, and just knew what to expect. So being here, I feel a lot more prepared going forward, even knowing where the laundromat is and knowing the stabling and knowing that my horse, Paris, has been in this arena and likes it – it’s really motivating going forward,” she said.

From Tryon, McCormick will travel six days to California and will spend time competing and performing. If selected for Team USA in September, McCormick will come back to the Tryon region as early as she can; she said. “I’m totally confident after today. I got a qualifying score for a certificate of capability, which takes the pressure off going forward, and the whole experience has been really fun and relaxed for us, so I can build on that and remember that feeling going forward.”

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

Dutton Dominates Day Three of FEI CIC 3* at The Fork

Phillip Dutton and Z. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Tryon, NC USA – April 7, 2018 – Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z made easy work of the cross-country phase to overtake the lead heading into show jumping at The Fork, presented by Lucky Clays Farm at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in the FEI CIC 3* division, serving as the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Eventing Test Event, and the pair sit on a score of 28. Jordán Linstedt (USA) and Revitavet Capato added 3.20 penalties onto their score to improve their rank to second place on a 29.9. Dutton also guided mounts I’m Sew Ready and Fernhill Cubalawn around the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) designed course to secure third and fourth place rankings with scores of 30 and 31.5, respectively.

Dutton and the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Bellabouche) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran, crossed through the timers in 6 minutes and 17 seconds, just a mere second over the optimum time. “The goal was to step things up a bit from what I’ve been doing as far as speed goes,” said Dutton. “I thought the course in general rode well. It’s golf course terrain, so you’re working all of the time with your lines and the different elements of up and down.”

FEI CIC 3* competitors commented on the potential hints on course as to what September is expected to bring on the track. “I think that it showed today with even a straightforward course that the time is hard to make, and that’s going to only be the first seven minutes,” noted Dutton, who is currently ranked fourth on the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings. “The horse needs to be fit and rideable. You want to ride through this terrain and not have to always be shortening up, so you want a nice, balanced, rideable horse. It’s going to be a good test.”

Dutton described his first place mount as competitive with uncommon athleticism, and one that he has fun piloting around the cross-country phase. “I’ve always known he was a freak!” exclaimed Dutton. “He just loves to jump. He’s only getting better and better. It’s kind of fun to be a part of his (hopefully) long career.”

“He’s point and shoot, and he’s just as good as my other horses. We’ve had one fall in which he over jumped in the water a few years ago, so we’ve learned from that. He’s not a horse that I want to ride aggressively all of the time, since he trusts me and if I say ‘really go,’ he really goes. I just have to make sure I don’t override him.”

As one of Team USA’s most veteran competitors, Dutton, who earned an Individual Bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, plans to run the gelding one more time at Fair Hill International in a combined training outing before heading to the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event at the end of April, where the horse will contest his first FEI CCI 4* event. “He’s on target,” stated Dutton. “I was pleased with the way he settled yesterday because the weakest part is the tension with him, so that was kind of a load off of my mind. We’ll run him next weekend to just get him in the ring one more time, but you never know if you have a four star horse until you run a four star course.”

Dutton’s third place mount, I’m Sew Ready, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lupicor x Jarda) owned by Kristine and John Norton, proved just that as he galloped around the cross-country phase with ease. “He can get strong before the fences, but it was a good run for him,” said Dutton, who is based in West Grove, PA and Aiken, SC. “I’ve still got him to go a bit faster; he’s not naturally that fast. This is his last run before Kentucky, so I’m pleased with him.”

The seasoned WEG contender has several strong prospects as potential selections come September, but Dutton hasn’t decided who he thinks will come out on top during the process. “I think that the horses usually work it out for you,” he said. “I will just try to get the best out of all of them and see where it ends up.”

Ending the day’s phase in the second place position, Jordán Linstedt and her own Revitavet Capato, a 2003 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Annabelle), have been to TIEC several times, and Linstedt commented that their experience onsite has been helpful in their success so far.

“This is my third time going around the track. I was here last year in the spring and then again for the [USEA American Eventing Championships]. It was similar and it was helpful to have already gone out and done some of the questions, although it’s always different,” she said. “He felt fantastic from beginning to end. I didn’t go fast on him at Carolina [International] – I think it was the slowest I’d ever gone on him for multiple reasons. Here, I kind of went out pretty quick and he was great.”

Heading into the final day, Linstedt said she’s planning for a smooth ride to match Capato’s movement and commented that show jumping is the pair’s toughest phase. “I guess stadium is kind of my weakest link with him a little bit, so my plan is to go in and jump a good round. I tend to, since he’s such a big-moving horse, either go a bit too forward or a bit too back, so just a really smooth round [is my goal], and hopefully he jumps really well,” she concluded.

Whitney Mahloch Finishes on Top in Advanced A Division aboard Military Mind, while Lauren Kieffer and Veronica Dominate Advanced B

In the Advanced-A Division, Whitney Mahloch of Ocala, FL and Military Mind improved their placing from sixth place to sit in first with a 33.8 heading into the show jumping phase, ahead of Lynn Symansky of Middleburg, VA, who holds both second and third place after two phases aboard Under Suspection and Donner, sitting on penalties of 34.5 and 34.6, respectively.

The Advanced-B Division saw Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA and Veronica jump into first place with a 36.9, ahead of Boyd Martin of Cochranville, PA and Steady Eddie, who finished the day on 39.1 for second place, and just ahead of Erin Sylvester of Cochranville, PA and Paddy the Caddy, who sit in third with a 39.2.

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

Little Holds Lead Heading into FEI CIC 3* Cross-Country at The Fork

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Tryon, NC USA – April 6, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous were uncatchable on the second day of dressage competition at The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Eventing Test Event (WEG), remaining in first place position and heading into the cross-country phase with 24.2 penalties. Second place was captured by Kimberly Severson (USA) and Cooley Cross Border on a score of 24.5, while Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready held a tight grip on the third place position with a 26.4. The FEI CIC 3* competition continues April 7 on the White Oak Course, and concludes on April 8 with show jumping in the George H. Morris Arena.

Little reflected that her strategy for cross-country largely depends on how the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) reacts in the warm-up.

“I got to see the course yesterday and there are so many fly fences. I’m sure plenty will make the time, and I’m just not sure this is the event to push her. I’m working on rideability and control and it would be easy for the horses to get going out there because [Captain Mark Phillips] is using so many portables. So, we’ll have to see how she warms up. I just rode her down there and back and she’s been pretty calm, so it’s nice to see that she’s changed a lot in a year. We’ll just see how she feels.”

Little has been recovering from a broken foot injury that occurred last November, but wasted no time getting back in the tack just two weeks post the start of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival, where she went on to compete successfully throughout the course of the circuit. “Initially, when I injured it, they thought I had just broken a lot of bones,” Little explained. “It wasn’t until January that they found there was more damage to the soft tissue. At that point we were getting quite close, so I thought I would try to see if it would heal, and I decided to keep riding and heading in this direction.”

Kimberly Severson of Charlottesville, VA and the Cross Syndicate-owned 2007 Irish Sport Horse gelding, Cooley Cross Border (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz), snuck into second place after putting in a solid day two dressage test. Severson commented, “He was very good today. I missed both of my flying changes – this has been quite a thing with him and me – but he’s a really good boy and does a good job, and he tries really hard. I am most happy with his rhythm and frame, but we still have little things to fix, like everybody.”

Severson, who has represented the United States at four FEI World Equestrian Games™, commented on the venue in regard to its purposes come September. “I think there’s a lot of room in there [George Morris Arena]. It’s obviously going to feel a little bit smaller with the seating full, but I actually went all the way to the outside and it feels a lot roomier than it has certainly in a number of other WEG locations.”

As she plans a strategy for her run on the cross-country course, Severson also has Kentucky in mind. Much of her goal will be focused on a smooth water ride. She joked, “You mean don’t fall off in the water?! No, I think he’s good. We did two little water schools in the past weeks. He’ll either be really good for it or worse for it, but I actually think he’ll do much better. That’s how I’m going to plan to ride it – the whole thing.”

The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Bronze Medalist Phillip Dutton moved down one spot from second place standing, but will still enter the cross-country phase in the top three rankings, aboard I’m Sew Ready, the 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lupicor x Jarda), owned by Kristine and John Norton.

“I was pleased with my tests, but like Kim said, there’s a lot to improve on,” said Dutton. “I haven’t run them a lot, so it is good to see where your training is at and what you’ve got to work on. The cross-country course I think is nice and not overly taxing, which I like at this time of year. The ground’s a bit firm, but I think they’re holding off watering because of the rain coming and I think that ultimately the footing’s going to be really good.”

Dutton is riding a total of three horses across the FEI CIC 3* track, and noted, “[I’m Sew Ready] wouldn’t be the easiest horse I’ve ever had to ride, but we’re just working on getting him reaching in his neck and not being tight in his back. You have to kind of be patient in the warm-up because he doesn’t give you the greatest feel in the beginning, and a lot of times in the past I’ve reacted to that and tried to fix him too quickly, so a long warm-up is good for him because over time he just loosens up anyway. He’s a very quiet horse, so that’s just kind of him. So, I was pleased with yesterday, and had him more forward than I’ve had him and we started to lose a little bit of power at the trot, but otherwise it was good.”

Like his cohorts, Dutton is here in preparation for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. “I feel that horses go better once they’ve been to an event at least once,” he said, “and you see this a lot at Championships where a brand new course causes a lot of trouble and rides much better the next year. So I think there’s definitely an advantage to being here, and that’s one of the reasons I sent my entry in!”

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

Little Fights to Preserve Winning Title at The Fork FEI CIC 3*

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Tryon, NC USA – April 5, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous sit atop the leaderboard in the FEI CIC 3* division at The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), receiving 24.2 penalties on the first day of dressage competition during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Eventing Test Event. Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready currently hold second with a 26.4, while Jordan Linstedt (USA) and Revitavet Capato round out the top three on a 26.7.

For the second year in a row, Little and the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) claimed the top spot during the first day of dressage at The Fork, as they strive to maintain their winning record at the event since its relocation to TIEC last year, as they head into their second phase on Saturday. While their position is the same now as it was last year, Little acknowledged that her partner is a much different horse.

“I think RF Scandalous is much more mature than she was a year ago. She went in there today and had some of the best canter work she’s ever done. I was really pleased with her changes. She was perfect. She’s a dream!”

After a graceful start for the duo this spring, Little hopes to go at a more consistent pace throughout the month, keeping “Kitty” active and her fitness level intact as The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event approaches later this month. “This is her final competitive run before Kentucky,” said Little. “I was really thrilled with her today, given that she is incredibly fit right now. My plan was to get her as fit as I could by this time, and then be able to back off a little bit in April and fine tune some things, so she’s coming into this event right where I’d like her to be.”

Thirty-six horse-and-rider combinations will contest the track on Saturday, designed by Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips, who is also responsible for course design at the WEG later this year. Little will strategically map her intentions for her run after she walks the course and confirms a plan for the pair.

“Last year we had a mixed bag of success,” she continued. “The Fork was wonderful for us; that was a great event. I came back in the fall for AECs and that didn’t go so well for me, so there are some things that I would like to accomplish out there.”

Little also plans to use The Fork to prepare the mare, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Michael Manders, for possible WEG contention. “I think it’s a very important prep event for a lot of reasons,” she explained.

“The management and the staff are really allowing the riders to train for WEG here. Not only do we get to keep an eye on things and see where things are going, but everyone has been very sensitive to the horses and the fact that the next time they come in this ring, it will be for that. You saw that today in the amount of time they gave us around the arena before we started the test. I thought that was very kind, and I thought the horses were able to truly settle.”

Eventers from across North America arrived to test the waters at the venue this week, many taking their turn in the George H. Morris Arena on Thursday in anticipation of the prestigious events to come. “Of course, if there are people that couldn’t get here, there are plenty of opportunities to come to the other shows during the summer and I’m sure that we’ll see people taking advantage of that because it’s such a fantastic opportunity for us to have that chance,” concluded Little.

Later in the afternoon, Lynn Symansky of Middleburg, VA and Under Suspection posted the lead in the Advanced-A division with a score of 25.70, while Symansky reigned supreme once more on Donner, claiming the second place position with 28.20 penalties. Boyd Martin of Cochranville, PA and Kyra rounded out the top three on a 28.90.

Will Coleman of The Plains, VA and Obos O’Reilly currently sit in first place in the Advanced-B division on a 24.50, while Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA and Veronica earned a 26.10 to stand in second. Leslie Law of Ocala, FL and The Apprentice follow in third with a score of 27.00.

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

The Fork Returns to TIEC Featuring WEG Eventing Test Event

Mill Spring, NC – March 20, 2018 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is proud to announce the return of The Fork at TIEC, the FEI CIC 3*/2*/1* and Horse Trials presented by Lucky Clays Farm, on April 4-8. The CIC 3* division of The Fork competition will also serve as the Eventing Test Event in preparation for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) in September. General admission and parking are free for all competitions and additional ticketed spectator events will be hosted throughout the week.

Founded by Jim and Bernadette Cogdell, The Fork Horse Trials began 17 years ago in Norwood, NC and moved to TIEC last year to elevate the level of competition and enhance the spectator experience. As one of the most prestigious Eventing competitions on the North American calendar, The Fork is back at the Tryon venue. Alongside the FEI CIC 3*/2*/1* competition, Advanced, Intermediate, Preliminary, Modified, and Training divisions will also be hosted.

The Fork at TIEC offers an unprecedented chance for spectators to preview top competitors in their final tune-up before the prominent Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI 4* in Lexington, KY, as well as a preview of the thrilling competition to come to TIEC in September for the WEG. For some riders, The Fork at TIEC will serve as a qualifier for the WEG.

Spectators can also enjoy an impressive lineup of social events throughout the week including a Ladies Champagne Luncheon, Comedy Club Night, Lakeside Lunch with prime viewing of the cross-country course, “What the FORK” Party, and Sunday brunch.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.